Top three tips before buying your home

1. Get a real estate agent. “It’s very difficult out there, finding and getting through the process,” said Bill Golden of RE/MAX Atlanta Metro Citywide.

2. Get prequalified for a loan first. With stricter regulations and restrictions, this part of the process takes a lot longer. “It’s better to deal with this part of the process beforehand,” Golden said.

3. Try to look at the “big picture.” Don’t settle on purchasing a home that is not in the neighborhood you want or has the features you want because you find a place that is very cheap. “You’ll end up having not what you wanted,” Golden added.

“People don’t always see that finished product. Home stages show well,” he said.

But it’s not just a house’s look that persuades homebuyers. There’s the low interest rates and the low prices. If a house is priced right, it can be under contract within 30-90 days within 95 percent of its asking price, Ziegler said.

“You have to get the pricing right the first time. The right pricing is part science, part art,” he said. “People are paying for value and good condition does sell.”

And for houses that are selling below $200,000 where there are few on the market but high demand, numerous offers can be made on the home — benefiting, of course, the seller, Ziegler explained.

Rowland said Atlanta’s intown real estate market tends to do well because of such amenities as schools, walkability, safe neighborhoods and well-kept homes.

“It’s a great time to buy, but it’s also a seller’s market because of the lack of inventory,” she said. “All the agents I’ve been speaking to say they are doing extremely well.”

One area of growth is renters who are now buying because they can find an inexpensive house and pay the same or less in a monthly mortgage fee than in rent.

“Five out of 10 renters are converting to buyers,” Rowland said.

‘It’s a good time to find something’

Bill Golden, a Realtor with RE/MAX Metro Atlanta Cityside, said he sees “glimmers of hope” in today’s local market and believes buyers and sellers will also begin to see an uptick in the economy and how it effects Atlanta’s real estate market.

“Every day you open the paper and see something different in the market. It’s up, it’s down. But what does it all mean? The important thing to know is that this is area specific,” Golden said.

Atlanta buyers and sellers really can’t go by what they read about the national market, he said.

“Especially during an election year when people tend to not buy. The economy is a stronger driver than an election,” he said. “And God knows we need it.”
Interest rates are at all-time lows, he said, echoing Rowland and Ziegler.

“There is so much inventory on the market, and this is for buyers — it’s a good time to find something,” he said.

Single-family homes are selling very well in metro Atlanta, Golden said. There is still a large market for condos, especially because they are so cheap, but there is a glut of properties which may eventually bog down the condo market,  he added.

Foreclosures and short sales are also still very much part of the market, Golden said.

But buyers still can’t expect to simply bid low and get a cheap house because someone is desperate to sell. With multiple bids coming in on these homes, there is still competition and not much bargaining power at all, he explained.

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