Summer Selling Tips from Your North Atlanta Real Estate Team

swimming poolSummer is here and the rush to buy a new home is on! This is one of the busiest seasons for the north Atlanta real estate market, due in part to families with kids trying to relocate and settle in to their new homes before school starts in the fall. As a seller, you will benefit from a large pool of highly motivated buyers; however you will also have plenty of competition.

So how can you set your house apart from other homes for sale in your neighborhood and city? Read on for some summer selling tips from experienced Keller Williams real estate agents Barry Wolfert and Lisa Wrenn of the Wolfert & Wrenn Real Estate Team!

Embrace the season with summer staging

Summer is all about backyard barbecues and drinking sweet tea on the front porch while your kids catch fireflies- or at least that’s what you want potential buyers to envision when they view your home. Make a special effort to show off your home’s outdoor living spaces to their best effect.

Patios and decks should be pressure-washed for a nice, clean look and porches should be clean and tidy. If you don’t have much outdoor dining furniture or seating, you don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money. Adding a chair and a small table, along with a potted plant or candle, can easily liven up your porch or deck and help prospective buyers envision how they would use the space.

Make sure your yard is ready for its close-up.

Summer foliage and colorful flowers can do wonders for the curb appeal of your home. Pay special attention to your landscaping and consider hiring a lawn care company if necessary to ensure that the lawn and garden look their best. Brown, dead grass and plants are an instant turn-off, so be sure to keep everything watered adequately.

refreshments for house showingIf you have a swimming pool, showcase it. The sweltering Georgia heat is on your side in this, making people long for a dip in their very own pool. Keep the pool and surrounding area as clean and debris-free as possible, and consider using the same staging strategy above to help potential buyers envision their future use of the space.

Provide an oasis to tired house-hunters

There’s a reason we have the nickname “Hotlanta.” Running around to showings in 90+ degree weather is an arduous task, so make your home a welcome respite for hot, frazzled potential buyers. No matter how energy-conscious you are, now is not the time to ration air conditioning. Keep your home comfortably cool, and consider providing light refreshments, like a pitcher of tea or lemonade.

Working with experienced real estate agents will help you sell your home quickly and for a great price. Our north Atlanta real estate team is here to help, so contact us today about selling your Marietta, Roswell, Kennesaw, or Acworth home!

Photos by winnond and dusky

3 Tips for Pricing Your Home to Sell

house made from folded moneyHomeowners understandably want to get the best possible price when selling their homes; home buyers understandably want to get the best value possible. When a compromise can be reached between the two, a sale is born. There are many factors that affect the sale prices of residential real estate in north Atlanta, from market conditions and interest rates to the marketing and staging of the home. Take a look at some tips for setting the list price of your home, from the Wolfert & Wrenn Real Estate Team.

Pay attention to local market factors

Determining an appropriate price for your home involves weighing a number of different factors, including:

  • Value– The value of your  home compared to other homes in the same block, neighborhood, school district, or city.
  • Supply– The local real estate inventory, or how many homes are for sale. The more inventory, the more competition you’ll have.
  • Economy– Other factors can affect the local economy and therefore home prices and inventory, like a major employer moving into the area or laying people off.

Play it cool

Never show your hand when it comes to the asking price of your home. If a buyer catches wind of the fact that you need to sell your home quickly, you’ve lost the upper hand. Once buyers know that you may be willing to accept a lower closing price in exchange for a swift sale, you will be unlikely to get the asking price you wanted. Of course, you also need to be realistic about the market and where your home fits.

Remember that sale price is just one piece of the pie

Don’t forget that the price itself is just one component of the larger deal you make with the buyer. Sometimes it may be wise to take a lower price as opposed to waiting for a higher offer but having to pay closing costs, allocating money for roof repairs, etc.

Home pricing is complicated and the wrong price could alienate buyers, lose you money, or cause your home to take much longer to sell. Contact Barry Wolfert and Lisa Wrenn of the Wolfert & Wrenn Real Estate Team with Keller Williams today to get the best advice and latest market information.

Photo by ponsulak via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Spring Staging Tips to Sell Your North Atlanta Home

Spring is widely considered to be the best season to sell your home, but it’s also the season with the most competition! Here at Wolfert & Wrenn Real Estate Team, we can help you beat out the competition to sell your home quickly and at a great price. Staging helps you show off your home to its best effect and make a great first impression on potential buyers, so check out these spring staging tips gleaned from our years of experience as north Atlanta Realtors.

Lighten up

Spring is a season of fresh starts and sunshine, so make sure your home reflects that. Natural light is a big selling point for most people, so be sure to let your home’s windows play their part. If you have heavy, dark draperies that block out a lot of natural light, consider replacing them with curtains in paler colors and lighter-weight fabrics.

Bring in some spring

We’ve already discussed the importance of spring landscaping to sell your home, but don’t be afraid to bring spring inside as well with fresh cut flowers and potted plants. Real estate agents usually recommend that sellers (a) declutter, removing extraneous accessories and decorative items in favor of clean surfaces, and (b) re-paint the home in light, neutral colors and minimize brightly colored furnishings and decor.

These things allow buyers to see the “bones” of the house better and make it appealing to a wider range of people, but they can also result in a rather boring atmosphere. Fresh flowers and house plants work wonders as home staging tools by adding color and vibrancy to the home. Make sure all cut flowers are fresh and house plants are well-tended. Simple glass or crystal vases are best, and can be placed wherever a room needs something extra, from kitchen counters to coffee tables.

If you’re ready to sell your home, give us a call today or contact us online!

 

What to Look for in a North Atlanta Listing Agent

ID-10059943If you are like most homeowners, your house is your biggest investment and asset.  When it comes time to sell, getting the best price, in a timely manner, is usually a top priority. While selling a home is a complicated process, it can be relatively easy and stress free if you choose an experienced real estate agent.

If you’re looking for a north Atlanta real estate agent to sell your home, these are some important things to look for when choosing a listing agent:

  • Realtors- Not all real estate agents are Realtors, and the differences are substantial. As Realtors, we belong to the National Association of Realtors and follow the NAR’s Code of Ethics. We are required to maintain a higher level of knowledge about the ins and outs of real estate transactions and participate in ongoing education.  Agents who aren’t Realtors do not have to abide by these standards.
  • Brokerage companies- By choosing a Realtor associated with a brokerage firm like Keller Williams, you can be confident that your agent has the appropriate training, partnerships, and technology and marketing tools to provide you with the best possible service.  Keller Williams is now the #1 real estate company in North America and J.D. Power and Associates ranked Keller Williams “Highest in Customer Satisfaction” among both home buyers and home sellers.
  • Market knowledge- Real estate is an ever-changing industry, and what holds true in one city or neighborhood may not in another. That’s why it is so important to hire a real estate agent who has in-depth knowledge of the north Atlanta real estate market.  Intimate knowledge of the market includes knowing what homes feed into the best schools, where businesses are re-locationg and growing and knowing about local attractions/amenities.  These are just as important as knowing the average number of days on market it takes to sell a home and the sales to list price ratio in a given area.

If you are ready to list your home for sale, contact Barry Wolfert and Lisa Wrenn today! With our local market experience, Keller Williams real estate tools, and personal knowledge of Marietta, Roswell, Alpharetta, and other north Fulton and Cobb County communities, we can make your home sale easy and hassle-free.  Contact us now for a free home valuation.

Photo by jannoon028 via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Spring Landscaping Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

flowers at entryway for curb appealSpring is the busiest season for north Atlanta real estate, so if you are thinking of putting your north Fulton or Cobb County home on the market, it’s important to make the most of the season with smart landscaping.

Blooming flowers, green grass, full trees, and warmer weather make spring the optimal time to show your home off in its very best light. To take advantage of the season, check out these landscaping tips for sellers.

Tidy up

Your first priority should be getting your yard looking neat and tidy. Clear out any debris that has accumulated over the fall and winter, like dead leaves and branches. Cut the lawn regularly and use an edger around flower beds and walkways. 

Add mulch or pine straw

Refresh the mulch or pine straw in your yard to give your landscaping a quick rejuvenation. While it may seem like an afterthought, fresh mulch will help your plantings stand out and communicates that you keep up with the maintenance of your home.

Prune where needed

Prune your trees and shrubs, especially if they are encroaching on walkways. Ragged, overgrown trees or dead branches are a clear sign of neglect, which is the opposite of what you want potential buyers to think when they visit your home.

Add color

Take full advantage of spring by adding some beautiful pops of color to your yard with flowers. Annuals are inexpensive and can make a huge difference in your home’s curb appeal, especially when used strategically. Stick to a limited color scheme of 1-3 colors that complement your home, and use them to draw attention to features like the entry walkway and front door.

Play up your outdoor spaces

Use flower beds and planters to create a vibrant first impression in your front yard, as well as to accentuate outdoor living spaces. Spruce up your porches, patio, deck, and pool area with plants, and consider adding some welcoming touches like outdoor cushions on your porch swing or a lantern on the patio dining set.

With regular basic lawn maintenance and a few special touches, your home will look fantastic and be ready to make a big impression on potential home buyers. If you’re ready to sell your home, contact Barry Wolfert and Lisa Wrenn today. We specialize in the north Atlanta real estate markets of Cobb County and north Fulton County, so if you are selling a Marietta, Roswell, Alpharetta, Kennesaw, or Smyrna home, give us a call!

Photo by Peter Stevens via Flickr CC 2.0

When Is the Best Time to Sell Your Home?

painted kitchen remodelAs experienced north Atlanta real estate agents, we often get questions about selling real estate and how to get the most for your home. There are many common misconceptions out there that can hold you back, and one of them is the idea that there is a certain season for selling your home.

While it’s true that spring is the busy season for home sales, that doesn’t mean you should wait to list your Fulton or Cobb County home for sale. The best time to sell your home is now! Even in the “off” season, you can sell your home for a great price because the buyers you will encounter are likely to be highly motivated. If you’re ready to sell, don’t wait. Give Barry Wolfert & Lisa Wrenn a call today to get a free market analysis of your home.

Of course, your home might need some work to get it ready to sell. If that’s the case, don’t delay in getting started. As spring approaches, the home improvement bug catches on and you will have more competition for booking services like house painting, siding replacement, pressure washing, roofing, cabinet and floor refinishing, carpet cleaning, etc. Get your home freshened up as soon as possible so your north Atlanta Realtors can get to work selling your home.

Home Seller To Do List:

  • Deep clean your home, especially the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Have your home painted, preferably in a light, neutral color. This will make your home seem cleaner, more spacious, and more appealing to a wide range of buyers.
  • Declutter, declutter, declutter! Make sure all counters are clean and emptied of mail, knick knacks, and small appliances. You may even want to put some of your furniture in storage to make the rooms look bigger.

With our north Atlanta real estate team, you can count on a hassle-free experience and getting a great price for your home. Contact us to discuss selling your Marietta, Roswell, Alpharetta, Smyrna, Kennesaw, Acworth, or Woodstock home.

 

Photo by Barbara Raskauskas via Flickr CC 2.0

The Truth About Residential Real Estate Appraisal Values

real estate appraisalsIf you are thinking of listing your Marietta home for sale, it’s important to understand how real estate appraisals work. Low appraisals in the residential real estate market have become more common in recent years, and this can have serious consequences when attempting to sell your home. To understand why appraisals are coming in so low these days, you must first understand the relationship between appraisers and lending institutions.

Mortgage brokers and home appraisals

Since 2009, the Home Valuation Code of Conduct has mandated that all lending institutions use an intermediary to order property appraisals, barring mortgage brokers from ordering an appraisal. Instead, banks must either have someone outside of their lending department order the appraisal, or go through a third party. Most banks opted to use intermediaries for this task, resulting in the proliferation of appraisal management companies (AMCs). These AMCs ended up undercutting experienced home appraisers by half, and causing a mass exodus of experienced appraisers from the industry. So why have real estate appraisers suddenly started turning in such low appraisal values?

Reasons for low appraisal values

Litigious lenders- Appraisers who have stuck around are often victims of litigious lending institutions who file complaints with the Division of Real Estate, alleging that the appraisal is not supported. To combat this, appraisers turn in low appraisals to guard against litigation if the loan goes into default.
Bank and industry guidelines- Appraisal management companies and banks have their own unique guidelines for home appraisals, as do loans sold through FannieMae, and that’s not including the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. Many home appraisers are constrained by these restrictions on what they can and cannot use to evaluate the value of a home.

Having a good real estate agent on your side can make all the difference when selling your home, so contact Barry Wolfert and Lisa Wrenn today! As experienced north Atlanta real estate agents, we have the local market knowledge and industry experience to help you successfully sell your home for top dollar.

 Photo by adamr via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Marietta Real Estate: Fall Fixes to Sell Your Home

fall home staging to sellAre you thinking of listing your home for sale in Marietta, Georgia? Continued low inventory makes this a great time to sell, and with a few strategic improvements, you can set your home apart from the rest. Read on for some tips on staging and selling Marietta real estate.

Reset your landscaping for fall

As the season transitions from summer to fall, it’s time to take a good, long look at your home from the street and identify any problems with the landscaping. As the lush foliage of summer gives way to falling leaves, your yard can start to look a bit disheveled. It’s important to keep the lawn, shrubs, trees, and other plantings well-groomed and tidy, but you don’t want your home to look too sparse, either. Adding a few plantings here and there will add color and visual interest to your yard throughout the fall. Pansies, certain lilies, and ornamental greens can work well during the fall, and chrysanthemums can be found cheaply even at your local grocery store. Check out this list to identify the fall plants that will work best in your yard.

Make exterior repairs

With less foliage obscuring your home and driveway in the fall, every flaw becomes infinitely more noticeable. This is a good time to replace gutters, install landscape/security lighting, patch cracks in your driveway, and ensure the walkway to your front door is in good condition. It’s also important to have your entry looking its best. Consider replacing the front door, adding a new light fixture, and upgrading the door hardware.

Ready to sell your home? Barry Wolfert and Lisa Wrenn are the Marietta real estate agents who can make it happen! Contact us today to get started.

Photo by ankakay via Flickr CC 2.0

Sellers Enjoy Upper Hand in Roswell Real Estate

stage your front door to sell your house

We recently discussed the lack of homes for sale in Roswell and other north Atlanta areas, and how the disparity in supply and demand for north Atlanta real estate has created a seller’s market. Read on to find out what this situation means for those trying to sell their homes in Alpharetta and Roswell.

It’s a seller’s market- but don’t get carried away

Right now, sellers do have the upper hand in the Fulton County real estate market. The lack of inventory means that buyers are having to compete, even offering well over the asking price. Yet despite having the upper hand in north Atlanta home sales, sellers need to be careful not to abuse the situation.

While multiple offers may be rolling in, beware of exploiting potential buyers too much. A competitive market doesn’t mean that sellers should be completely unwilling to make repairs or give other concessions. It may be a seller’s market at the moment, most buyers are not going to overpay for these properties. If you try to play buyers against each other or refuse to negotiate, you could end up missing a sale. There’s nothing more frustrating than receiving multiple offers on your home, only to lose out completely by frustrating and offending all of your potential buyers.

That’s where having a trusted, experienced Realtor is especially valuable. With my experience in the Roswell real estate market, I am able to help my clients navigate the home-selling process and negotiate a great selling price. For more expert real estate advice, take a look at my tips for handling multiple offers on your home.

If you are selling a home in Roswell, contact me, Barry Wolfert, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Realty Consultants. As an experienced real estate professional, I have the market knowledge and know how to help you navigate the ever-changing metro Atlanta real estate market. 

Photo by Liz West via Flickr CC 2.0

 

Home Sellers Enjoy Upper Hand in Current Real Estate Market

high demand in north Atlanta real estateIt’s no secret that a lack of inventory is pushing up home prices in the north Atlanta real estate market, and this has given sellers the upper hand. If you have been thinking of listing your Roswell or Marietta home for sale, now is a great time to make a move.

Low real estate inventory complicates search for home buyers

Low real estate inventory levels are forcing home buyers to search longer and harder to find their dream homes, and they are now more likely to compromise on formerly “must have” requirements. From location and architectural style to square footage and specific home features, the demand for homes in Marietta and other north Atlanta suburbs is strong.

Sellers benefit from demand

With high demand and buyer confidence, sellers are no longer desperate to unload their homes. They don’t need to negotiate to make a deal, so buyers need to carefully consider their offers. Offering a reasonable price is a good start, but buyers may also need to be flexible on other matters, like closing dates, buying as-is, or making a larger down payment.

Choose a Realtor who can help you navigate a sellers market

If you are selling Marietta real estate, a Realtor can help you make the most of this opportunity. While you want to get a good price for your home, it can be tricky to navigate issues like receiving multiple offers on your home, so having the guidance of an experienced real estate agent is invaluable. Of course, the combination of low inventory and high demand can also make home buying more difficult, so if you are trying to buy a home for sale in Marietta, it’s wise to choose a Realtor who will help you see high quality properties and get you the most favorable deal.

If you are buying or selling a home in Marietta, Roswell, or elsewhere in North Atlanta, contact me, Barry Wolfert, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Realty Consultants. As an experienced real estate professional, I have the market knowledge and know how to help you navigate the ever-changing metro Atlanta real estate market.

Image courtesy phanlop88 via FreeDigitalPhotos.net