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Those That “Don’t Have To Sell,” Don’t Sell

The Atlanta real estate market is in a very interesting place.

That’s a quote from a letter that I got this morning from my friend Shaun Rawls, my mentor in the real estate business since 1999. In 1999, he was one of my pre-license real estate school teachers at the Homebanc Institute of Real Estate Studies, a school led by the one and only Kay Evans.


Y’all remember Homebanc?

Aaahhh, the halcyon days of mid-1999, before Shaun and Kay led Keller Williams Realty to become a real estate brokerage stalwart in Georgia.

Thinking back, I was probably in a “crash course” for my licensing test, it was this time of year ten years ago when I was “fixing” to get my real estate license…what a long strange trip it’s been!

This is most of the content of Shaun’s letter that he wrote to his team today, a team of about 1000 people who work in Atlanta area real estate as part of The Rawls Group of market centers.

I believe that Shaun’s words deserve a little broadcasting:

…“Things” are generally improving, numerically.  Although there’s no guarantee that they will continue to do so, these improvements should be a real wake-up call for buyers who continue to wait for prices to continue to decline. 

As we move forward, the very best deals of the economic downturn are probably going to be seen through the rear view mirror.  The “fact of the market” is that inventory is decreasing, prices are rising and the good properties that come on the market at the right price are selling faster than we’ve seen in a long, long time. 

In fact, the statistics show that in 39 FMLS Areas in Metro Atlanta, there is less than 11 months of inventory on the market, the median sales price is $162,000 and the median Days On Market (“DOM”) for properties that sell without a price reduction is 24 days (Compared to 252 days on market for properties that have to reduce their price before they sell!). 

For quite some time now, buyers have had the luxury of not having to fight for, or compete for, homes for sale.  Those days are gone, or at least they are fading fast.  It’s almost as if there is a “Seller’s Market” for great homes at a great price while there is a “Buyer’s Market” for average to below average homes on the market.

For Sellers, it’s critical that they realize that these improvements in the market in no way give them a green light to be cocky or overly confident.  There is a fine line between a good listing and a great one, and a tremendous difference in the results that are realized for each. 

One of the “Aha’s” that I have had for sellers is this:  Seller’s that “don’t have to sell” are disadvantaged in this market.  The HUD-1’s are going to the sellers that have to sell, not to the sellers who don’t.  In fact, if a seller doesn’t “have to sell,” then they should know that they have an immediate and obvious handicap in the selling process.  Those sellers that do have to sell can and will do whatever it takes to sell their homes, and thus have an “advantage” over most other sellers. 

In this market, Sellers that DO have to sell DO sell, and sellers that DON’T have to sell DON’T.


One of the most important things that I see going wrong for listings in this market is that sellers and agents are spending too much time focusing on determining what a home is worth, rather than determining the listing price that will most certainly generate offers from buyers in the market place. 

Shopping for a home

Appraisers determine the value of a home. Real estate professionals determine what the sticker price needs to be in order attract offers that can begin a dialogue of successful negotiations that will result in a successful closing. 

Price is king in this market. 

Remember:  “The right price overcomes any objection.”  If you’re not the best listing at the best price in the market, then you won’t get offers.  In 20 years in this business, I’ve never shown property to a buyer who said, “Let’s make an offer on the third best house that we saw today.”  Never.

The other issue that is plaguing our market is ineffective price reductions.  Simply put, if you reduce the price of a home to a price that doesn’t put the home in front of a new pool of buyers, then such a reduction is typically a waste of time. 

We have to remember what price ranges we put into the computer when we search for homes, and when we need to make a reduction to re-position the home on the market we must introduce it to the buyers who are searching for homes in the next lowest price point.

These are interesting times.

These are, indeed, interesting times.  They are interesting mostly because of how they are shaping us and because of what they are helping us to become….”

I am so honored to be a part of Keller Williams Realty First Atlanta, and I consider it a privilege to have a mentor like Shaun Rawls.

Together, we are focused on building our business in a learning based, productivity specific environment that insures that we provide the very best service in the real estate industry.

And this is what we believe in…

Win, win…or no deal.

Integrity…do the right thing.

Customers…always come first.

Creativity…ideas before results.

Communication…seek first to understand.

Commitment…in all things.

Trust…begins with honesty.

Teamwork…Together Everyone Achieves More.

Success…results through people.

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