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New Year, New Rules

2009…Prices in freefall. Volatility, mortgage for mortgage, transaction for transaction. The new President establishes an $8000 incentive plan. First Time buyers are choosing from about 15 different grant and second mortgage “programs” and “assistance” gimmicks.

Far too many potential buyers sit on the fence and miss an opportunity to own property in the best purchase market in decades. Far too many sellers miss the market by fiercely believing the “not on my street” fallacy…


Thinking ahead to 2010, here are five simple rules that are on the top of my mind for anyone who plans to engage in a real estate transaction:

1. Get Your Money Right – cash is king and lenders will require buyers to have a formidable basis for loan approval – buyers with the most cash at stake will dominate in most multiple offer situations, even if they offer less than a leveraged, mortgage heavy buyer

2. Due Diligence Goes Both Ways  – buyers must show up with a duly diligent offer and then be prepared for thorough testing, surveying and inspecting before they commit to the purchase…sellers must do their homework before their property arrives on the market, sellers must realize that KITCHENS and BATHS SELL HOUSES

3. Hurry Up and Wait – expectations define relations, mitigating and troubleshooting are two of the major tasks that are on the top of my mind when I serve my clients, a Realtor can help you manage expectations and woe unto you if you get involved in a short sale, or an REO foreclosure transaction, or even many seemingly simple purchase and sale transactions between reasonable people, and you expect a rapid, efficient, easy path from contract to closing

4. Bigger is Not Necessarily Better – “flow”, utility, and nice finishes matter more than whether the house is bigger than the competition…buyers are choosing smaller houses in better neighborhoods – neighborhoods with better real estate fundamentals

5. Price Matters Most – over the past 3 years, many sellers “missed the market,” in 2010, the simplest path is the surest – sellers who win will price their property “under the market” if they want their property sold quickly – that means in 30 to 60 days…more than 60 days means that a seller is “recycling” their product and the only proven way to win after a couple of months is with price reduction tactics – big, deep price cuts

One of the fundamentals of real estate investing is “make a lot of offers.” Buyers who are prepared will win at that game in 2010. Sellers can create their very own “seller’s market” by pricing their property to attract multiple offers.

2010 will bring some counterbalance to many of the Intown Atlanta submarkets, but a “recovery” is not on tap.

Next year, one of my goals is to help 22 Intown Atlanta Sellers sell their properties. If you are seeking advice on how to sell your Intown Atlanta or Decatur property in 2010, then please contact me about an on site consultation.

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