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Appen Media Group:

Real Estate Report November Special Section


November 2013

News and Advertising for New Homes • Realtors • Developers • Commercial Properties • and more

A l p h a r e t ta • C u m m i n g • C h e r o k e e • D u l u t h • F o r s y t h • G w i n n e t t • J o h n s C r e e k • M i lt o n • R o s w e l l • S U WA N N E E

When selling a home, what you don’t know can hurt you! By Eve Jones, Harry Norman Realtors So, you are ready to list your home for sale and you start by consulting with an agent or two. You may be tempted to use an agent who offers a discount commission,

but is that the smart choice for selling your home. First off, your agent, who has so generously decided to take a cut in their commission, may be cutting the other agent’s commission too! For instance, your agent has contracted to sell your home at 5%, but are they still offering the sell-

ing (buyer’s) agent 3%? Or, are they offering only a 2.5% commission? Why would you care about what that other agent makes? Well, because your home listing is competing against others that may be offering a fee of 3% or higher. How motivated will that buyer’s agent be to recommend

Great room point-and-shoot camera photo.

A professional photo of the same room. and sell your home to their buyer, whom they have been working with for three solid months? So, step one: confirm the “co-op fee” in writing by asking to see the agents’ listing sheet. Step two: determine how your agent is presenting your home to the market? Are they marketing your property in the most positive light? Have you ever looked at home listings on-line and had a good laugh at the photos? It never ceases to amaze me how many really, really bad photos (and typos for that matter) are out there.

Bad photos will discourage showings and interest. Make sure your agent emails your listing once it is live, so you can see for yourself how your home looks and intermittently, go out on-line and check on it. Lastly, be sure to confirm that your listing agent is a fulltime Realtor. In real estate, time is of the essence which means access to your agent is critical. Your agent needs to be available full-time throughout the transaction to best represent you and your home.


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Timing is a key factor in new construction versus resale purchases By JENNI BONURA Flexibility in timing is a true luxury – especially in real estate. Due to current market conditions, choosing between a newly constructed home and a resale home can impact timing decisions as well. In the North Fulton and surrounding market areas, some new construction communities are selling primarily or entirely as pre-sales, meaning that they are under contract before building actually begins. So, if you really want new construction AND a summer closing, now is the time to make a purchase. With resales, there is more flexibility in timing because what is on the market now is likely to not be on the market within six months. The average total days on market for resale in the North Fulton and surrounding areas is just under 60 days according to current FMLS statistics. So what is the market snapshot right now and what is projected for the short-term future? The NAHB (National Association of Home Builders)

is forecasting a 31% increase in single-family construction in 2014 compared to 2013, according to their September newsletter. Overall the Atlanta metro area continues to be a leader in total housing permits authorized within the nation at 16,348 total units. In the North Fulton area, the current months of inventory for new construction is ~ 4 months and resale is ~3 months based on FMLS data. Economists generally define a balanced market as having an inventory of six months which indicates that demand is still exceeding the supply, however this may change as the number of housing permits increases as predicted. If you are considering a move, regardless of new construction or resale, the most valuable advice you can receive is from a local expert – a Harry Norman, Realtors agent. If you need a recommendation for a local expert, or if you are interested in learning more about the new construction communities that we represent, please call me directly at 770-594-4901.

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Consider siding that better protects a home from weather (NAPSI)—Your home is probably the biggest monetary investment you’ll ever make, so it’s a good idea to carefully discuss your house’s siding choices with your home builder or remodeler. For homeowners, in particular, nature’s wild side—hurricanes, high winds, heavy rain, fire and flood—can be a big concern. What’s more, that sort of thing seems to be on the upswing: According to Weather.com, four of the top five costliest hurricanes have occurred since 2005, while Insure.com notes that six of the top 10 costliest wildfires have struck in the last 10 years. That’s why, if you’re considering a home building or remodeling project, it’s important to choose products that best protect that investment, including the siding. There are several materials you can consider, including: 1. Fiber cement, which consists of sand, cement and cellulose fiber 2. Masonry 3. Wood-based siding, including cedar and wood-composite 4. Vinyl. Compared with vinyl or wood-based siding, fiber cement siding is better formulated to handle the rigors of both

everyday and extreme weather. Consider this: • Fire: Fiber cement siding is noncombustible, so it doesn’t contribute any “fuel” to a fire. Conversely, vinyl siding melts and burns and wood-based siding burns. • Impact: Fiber cement siding resists impact from objects blown by a storm’s high winds much better than vinyl siding. • Flood: Fiber cement siding is a Class 5 flood-resistant material according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This differs from woodbased siding, which is not moisture resistant and prone to rotting. Certain types of fiber cement siding go even further to protect your home. For example, James Hardie siding is engineered for the home’s specific climate. That means for homes in cooler, wetter areas, proprietary additives are included in the formulation to decrease the water absorption rate and protect it from wet or freezing conditions. For those in hotter, dryer places, the formulation is tailored to protect the house from wind and dry heat. You can learn more about how the right siding can protect a home, even during a hurricane, at www.jameshardie.com/protection.


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Real estate report • Sponsored SectionNovember 2013 5

Home value trend in Forsyth County It’s that time of year when we see the seasonal shift in real estate. Both the number of sales and the average sale price tends to dip in fall and winter and then rise in spring and summer. The recovery in our local housing market has been pretty solid and while we see these seasonal trends, the long-term outlook remains stable. Aside from the seasonal dip, home values have increased over the past three years and the chart below reflects that slow and steady climb in the average sales price. The rise was spurred predominantly from the overconsumption of distressed

Robert Strader

Local Realtor Keller Williams Realty

sales by institutional investors. These hedge funds and investment firms purchasing not only off the courthouse steps but also on the open market drove distressed inventory down drastically while driving their sales prices up. When those inventories started to dry up, they then pursued non-distressed resales. As inventory levels

declined drastically, bidding became more competitive, driving prices up further. Predictions are for continued improvement in housing nationally through 2014 with most markets remaining in a seller’s market and prices increasing around 5 percent on average. While locally we can expect to see a significant increase in new home construction next year, inventory levels will still remain relatively low. Interest rates are expected to remain in the 4 percent range for most of next year. Values will continue to rise in a moderate and healthy way putting more sellers in a position to sell who haven’t been previously.

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November 2013 Real Estate Report