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Real Estate Report May Special Section


North Atlanta’s

Sponsored Section • Real estate report

May 2014

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News and advertising for new homes, realtors, developers, commercial properties and more.

Five common questions about multiple offers By ANDREA CUENY Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty The market is buzzing about multiple offers for properties in all price ranges throughout the North Fulton area. Residential properties

and land lots are not just seeing multiple offers, but often sell above the listing price.  1) Will I receive multiple offers? Keep in mind that just because your neighbor received multiple offers does not necessarily mean you will as well. Each property is unique.  Lot

size, upgrades to kitchens and bathrooms, age of systems, exterior, elevation and landscaping all influence how quickly a property may sell … and of course list price, marketing and negotiations all factor in.  2) I have multiple offers  which one do I take?  If you do

receive multiple offers, think through and discuss with your REALTOR® the best options on how to handle this situation. Sometimes it is best to call for highest and best offer by a certain time. But other times that can scare off the buyers and you are left with no offers or buyers.  Understand the risk and reward associated with how you handle multiple offers. Your experienced REALTOR® will be able to counsel you through this with options and various scenarios. As you may prepare to put your property on the market or maybe already have your property on the market,  here are some points to consider if your property does receive multiple offers:  3) Should I take a back-up offer? Some would consider a back-up offer additional insurance on selling your property. The reality is that you just never know if that first buyer may terminate for one reason or another. Having back up offers gives you peace of mind in knowing that you do not have to continue to show your home, go through the contract and negotiation process and hopefully you have sold your home to this buyer or the next.

4) May I counter all offers if I receive multiple offers? Talk with your real estate professional, but keep in mind you can only sell your house to one buyer at a time.  5) Is there a specific way to handle multiple offers?  No, there is not a set procedure on how multiple offers are handled.   It is important to have a knowledgeable REALTOR® share with you the various options and ways to handle the situation so that you capture the best possible price and terms in selling your home.

Forsyth Co. housing snapshot Is it a buyers market or a sellers market? When we have more than a six-month supply of homes, it’s a buyers market. If we have a 5 months sup- Local Realtor Keller Williams Realty ply or less than it’s a sellers market. So technically, based on current inventory levels, it is a sellers market. But really the market is a started to see greatly reduced little funky right now. inventory and multiple offers. The market has improved Buyers rushed to get what they greatly over the past year and could because we hadn’t been comparing the first quarter of in this position for years. this year to Q1 of 2013, the Now, with prices up an median sales price has gone up average of 14 percent in For14 percent in Forsyth County. Not too shabby to say the least, syth County and 12 percent in but sales are flat. Flat is better, North Fulton, I think buyers are being very critical of what I guess, than being down 10 they are paying for and, in percent for the same period many cases, opting to continue like North Fulton. But it begs the search rather than settle. the question - Why aren’t we Sellers are, understandably, seeing more sales, especially pushing the upper limits on with low inventory? asking prices. But if they push Buyers don’t seem to be top asking prices without offerpressed into pulling the trigger ing top condition, buyers are on properties like they were last year at this time. Last year indicating that they will keep on looking. was really the first time we

Robert Strader

May 2014

real estate report • Sponsored Section 3

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Do good schools mean Protecting ash trees hot real estate markets? from an invasive pest Strong public schools are an important facet of any housing market. The difference between a good elementary and a great elementary school can translate into thousands of dollars. Home buyers will stretch their budgets $10,000 to $15,000 more to get into an area where the schools have been ranked high academically. Good schools equate to a more vibrant community. If the real estate market is hot in a particular area… so is the local economy. It has been shown that there is a definite correlation between the school system and the real estate market. The Rand Corporation did a study for the city of Santa Monica, CA and found 4 major impacts made by the school system on the community. They were: Housing values, crime rate, tax revenues and civic participation. There was also strong evidence that the quality of education impacted the physical and mental health in the community. A one year increase in the average education levels showed a substantial reduction that same year in major crimes

ROBERT AIKEN Senor VP, Managing Broker Harry Norman Realtors Forsyth/Lanier

– 27 percent fewer murders; 30 percent fewer assaults and 20 percent fewer motor vehicle thefts. The study noted that a 1 percent increase in the average school district reading or math scores equated to a .5 percent to 1 percent increase in property tax revenue. The higher housing values, the higher the property tax revenues are for the community. Schools definitely impact our community. Another impact comes from our community leaders. They must be made aware of a very dangerous term, “Student Mobility.” This refers to the phenomenon of students changing schools for reasons other than grade promotion. Frequent movement of students from school to school puts those students at greater risk for

academic and behavioral problems. Many drop-out students have been victims of frequent school change. Housing is the most important issue that must be addressed with this critical problem. Often times a family moves due housing being cheaper for the family. When this movement occurs, and schools end up with a 40 to 60 percent mobility rate, the quality of the education for all students in the system are impacted. With being in Real Estate for 40-plus years and raising several kids, I know how important schools are to the community. It is so essential for the community leaders, the school system and the real estate companies that operate in that community to work together to preserve high academic standards for our clients. We all must remember that students are clients; the citizens who live in our area are clients; and new buyers and sellers of homes are clients. They definitely deserve our cooperation in working together to give them an outstanding community in which to live, work and grow

(NAPSI)—There’s good news for homeowners who have ash trees on their property. There is a simple way to protect this valuable tree. In addition to creating a beautiful landscape, the benefit from a mature, healthy ash tree is about $217 a year in increased property value, air quality, cooling in summer, reduced heating costs and more, according to the National Tree Benefit Calculator. However, they can be vulnerable to what some consider the most devastating of all invasive insect tree pests of the last 20 years—the emerald ash borer (EAB), a beetle native to Asia that was introduced to North America in 2002. EAB larvae live under the bark of the ash tree and feed on the tree’s transport tissue, starving the tree of nutrients. EAB has already destroyed tens of millions of trees. In fact, most trees with EAB die in a few short years after the onset of symptoms. Fortunately, one particular trunk injection treatment from Arborjet, administered by

a professional applicator, will protect ash trees against EAB for up to two years, in many cases even if the trees are currently under attack. Homeowners can look for a number of signs to identify EAB in ash trees, including a thinning canopy (upper layers of leaves), branches sprouting low on the trunk, bark that peels easily with lines appearing underneath, small Dshaped holes in the bark, and increased woodpecker damage. For more information, visit

May 2014

real estate report • Sponsored Section 5

Move-up buying gets easier By: Eve Jones Many homeowners have been sitting idly, biding their time for the right moment to buy a larger, more upgraded home. Until very recently, move-up buying seemed impossible since home prices were declining and home sales were slow. The market has transitioned where the values in North Atlanta are steadily improving and homes are selling in less time. So, now move-up buyers are faced with the possibility of a quick sale on their own home, but have nowhere to land without using

temporary housing. There are ways to buy first and sell your current home later. Strong buyers with good credit and assets may qualify to buy their new home, using a first and second mortgage. Later, in their preferred timeframe, they would be able to sell the original home - ultimately using the proceeds to eliminate that second mortgage. There are even lending options called renovation loans for buying fixer-uppers without having to sacrifice a lot of cash. A new gourmet kitchen, luxury master bath or a needed addition are all possible utilizing this

product. Sounds complicated but, it is not with the right Realtor® and lender team in place and it can make longterm financial sense as well. Some of the higher price points are still a bit soft in certain areas, offering buyers good values. And, as market values continue to appreciate, the greater basis of a higher priced home, provides opportunities for enhanced gains once that home sells years down the road. Of course, it is not a guarantee but, worth consideration. The first step is to contact an experienced, licensed

Realtor® who can connect you with a qualified lending professional. Working together, you can establish your home value, loan amount qualification, tar-

get communities for purchase and expected prices. Next, the fun part begins…finding your dream home! –Eve Jones, Harry Norman Realtors


(i.e. just accurately priced, just staged, just professionally photographed, just masterfully marketed, just rolled out listing to 500+ web sites, just negotiated through 4 offers, just provided market analysis to appraiser, just negotiated and worked through Buyer’s repairs lists, just presented a back-up offer, just coordinated with the lender and attorney, just secured the seller a price of 16% over their original purchase price, just celebrated with the seller).

Returning veterans want a home and a job. Fortunately, some organizations can help them get both.

Homeownership Help (NAPS)—According to a survey by Harris Interactive, 75 percent of military families believe that owning a home is one of the most important things to service members upon returning from active duty. The reasons include a desire to have their own residence (73 percent), establishing a household (43 percent), and financial security (36 percent). In addition, the majority of veterans (88 percent) said that owning a home makes them feel safer. While one roadblock that veterans face in the pursuit of homeownership is securing steady employment, they display a generally positive attitude in regard to potential employers and positions. • More than two-thirds believe that employers appreciate their unique skills learned in the military, while the same 67 percent believe employers are eager to hire veterans. • It’s important to note, however, that nearly half agree that their skill set does not match the requirements for many available positions. • Only one in five considered opening their own business when they returned home from the military. All totaled, finding a suit-

able home and employment and assimilating back into civilian life are challenges many veterans and their families face. Fortunately, services for veterans, including employment, mental health programs, housing and other special care services, are available. For example, Easter Seals provides direct services to the new and unmet needs of tens of thousands of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and “Recruiting America’s Heroes,” offered by Century 21 Real Estate LLC, the franchisor of the world’s largest residential real estate sales organization, provides returning veterans who are interested in becoming real estate agents with specific benefits to make a smooth transition. Former military personnel get special training programs and continuing education courses, discounts, and waived annual global conference registration fees. Anyone interested in learning more about the resources available to active and retired service members can call the Easter Seals Community One Source Hotline, (866) 4234981, e-mail or visit

There’s a lot more to selling homes than you think. That’s why you’ll want to carefully choose your agent to sell your most valuable asset, your home. Patty Ash and Eve Jones of Harry Norman are just the agents you need. We bring sellers (and buyers) the highest level of experience and expertise. Our total 17+ years of experience and $17+ million in sales (2013), combined with our previous corporate professional experience, offer our clients the perfect blend of professionalism, a fresh perspective and knowledge. Call us today for a free in-home consultation. And, if you are thinking of selling and buying, we work as a team to help make the transition smooth every step of the way.

Eve Jones

Patty Ash

770-365-1406 cell

678-557-2877 cell

NORTH FULTON OFFICE | 678-461-8700 | Alpharetta, GA 30022 |

7855 North Point Parkway, Suite 100





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Sponsored Section • Real estate report

May 2014

Record numbers so far in 2014 By BILL RAWLINGS Vice President/Managing Broker North Atlanta Office - Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty The spring market is here and we are off to a great start here at Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty. We have already set record numbers thus far in the year and we are looking forward to a great rest of 2014. As inventory is low and demand in the market rises, buyers are experiencing multiple offer situations. Here are a few tips that will help you navigate through this process. As a buyer you will first want to sell your home. Many complications can arise

if you have not already done so, causing the seller to go with a different buyer in a multiple offer situation.   As a knowledgeable buyer you will also need to review the comparable sales and make the highest offer you can rawlings with the fewest contingencies.   If you are able, offer slightly above the list price to try to make your offer more desirable.  Also, have your agent contact the listing agent representing the seller to see what terms would be ideal for the seller.  For example, maybe the seller needs

to stay in the home through the end of the school year. Meeting this request can raise your offer to the top of the list. Next, make sure you get a pre-approval from your lender prior to making the offer.   By doing this you are making the sellers feel more secure about your financing.  This may also set you apart from other’s bidding on the home. By applying these steps you will be able to secure the home of your dreams and be able to compete in a multiple offer situation.  Should you want help negotiating through this challenging market, please let me know and it would be my pleasure to introduce you to the market expert in my office for your neighborhood.

May 2014

real estate report • Sponsored Section 7

Landscaping tips for home sellers Curb appeal is crucial to making a positive first impression when putting your home on the market. Often, landscaping is overlooked or underdone in preparing a home for sale. An attractive and wellmaintained landscape can add value to your home, and leave buyers wanting to see more. Here are some tips: Start early for pruning and trimming. About a month before listing your home, ask a qualified landscaper to shape and trim overgrown shrubs, bushes and trees. Any plantings which are supposed to be “layered� should not be growing into each other. Bushes should not grow above the bottom of window frames, nor be touching the side of the house. Trees which are overgrown and

may be blocking light into the house, or blocking the view of the home from the street may benefit from strategic branch removal. pino Be careful in your pruning and use common sense; The last thing you want is for the plants to be so severely cut back so all that is left is leggy stems and bare branches. If done properly, the plants will have a little time to recover and green up around the edges. Tend to flower beds and edging. Tidy up any unsightly perennials and edge the beds for a clean and professional look. Consider planting a

few flats of annuals for some spring color to accent your beautiful yard. Lay down new mulch or pine straw in all beds so that the yard looks fresh and well maintained. Pressure wash the driveway, walkway, porches and patios. Invest in a new doormat and a pot of colored flowers on each side of the front door to make the entry inviting and warm. Stay away from patterned front door mats, and instead go for something simple like a coir mat. Make sure to buy the appropriate size for the width of the door. Follow these tips and buyers will instantly get the impression that your home is inviting, clean and well cared for and they will be longing to get inside to see more.

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Helping my clients achieve their real estate goals is my passion. I start by identifying my client’s needs, then meeting them with a professional, courteous and caring attitude. Providing an excellent experience and exceeding the client’s expectations is my goal for every transaction. If you are considering buying or selling a home, please allow me to show you how my unique methods, expertise and skills bring results. 770.442.7300

I am never too busy for your referrals ~ Jennifer Pino



Sponsored Section • Real estate report

May 2014

Zillow and Trulia: Good or bad for real estate? By ROBERT AIKEN Are Trulia and Zillow good or bad for the real estate industry? That question is one of the most contested amongst real estate agents today. Not contested is the fact that both companies have enjoyed impressive revenue and valuation growth. Real estate agents subscribing to their

“lead-generation” services represent the lion’s share of each company’s revenue. These agents pay on average $3100/ year and $2300/year to Zillow and Trulia respectively. Some of the good things about Zillow and Trulia: Provides greater listing exposure to millions of consumers, the addition of tax records, school ratings and

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In the Atlanta division, prices, plans and specifications are subject to change without notice. Photographs and or renderings are for illustrative purposes only. Information believed to be accurate but not warranted. BUILDER magazine named Ryland Homes the 2012 “Fastest-Growing Public Homebuilder” in the May 2013 issue of Builder 100. See Sales Counselor for details and a complete list of HouseWorks® features. © 2014 The Ryland Group, Inc.

other information to listings is good for consumers and makes the agents’ job easier, levels the playing field for newer agents and agents without many listings, gives consumer access to FSBOs, foreclosures and other non agent represented properties, painting a fuller picture of the available market, creates a new, broadly reaching, advertising platform for agents to advertise their skills. Some of the bad things about Zillow and Trulia: A high percentage of their “available” listings are actually sold or off the market. This confuses and upsets consumers and makes agents look bad, the sites’ property valuations are often way off, making agents’ jobs harder, promotes non-listing agents alongside listings that aren’t theirs, tricking consumers into believing they know the property, sells to any agent, regardless of experience, the title of “Premier” or “Pro”, the “leads” generated for subscribing agents are low quality, nonresponsive and a waste of time, the cost of being a subscribing agent is too high for what you get. Basically, use Zillow and Trulia

ONLY as a reference. Go to a professional to verify and provide accurate real estate information. The Forsyth/Lake Lanier Office can be reached at 770-497-2000, ashley. or visit their website at

These tips can help you save water and money (NAPSI)—Did you know that homes with automatically timed irrigation systems use about 50 percent more water outdoors than those without them? Your system could be wasting as much as 30,000 gallons of water each year if it is programmed incorrectly, a sprinkler head is pointed in the wrong direction, or you have a leak. Regular sprinkler maintenance could save as much as $120 annually on your water bills! With winter on its way out, now is the perfect time to get your irrigation system off the snooze button with a little “sprinkler spruce-up” to ensure it is operating efficiently. Maybe your system has been inactive for the long winter, or it may have been damaged during the harsh winter. Before you take your sprinkler system out of hibernation, use a little “water sense” and take four simple steps to get it ready for efficient operation—inspect, connect, direct and

select: • Inspect your irrigation system for clogged, broken or missing sprinkler heads and replace where necessary. • Connect sprinkler heads tightly to pipes or hoses to prevent water pooling in your landscape and leaks that could drown your favorite plants. • Direct spray away from your driveway and sidewalk to water only your lawn or plants. • Select a watering schedule that meets your yard’s minimum needs or, better yet, replace your clock timer with a WaterSense® labeled irrigation controller, which uses local weather data to control your system to water only when needed. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, go with a pro—look for an irrigation professional certified through a WaterSense labeled certification program to help maintain your system. And even if you don’t have an automatic irrigation system, you can make your yard more water smart. On your next trip to the nursery, look for plants that are local to your region or labeled “drought tolerant.” You can learn more by visiting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense website at

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May 2014

real estate report • Sponsored Section 9


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Sponsored Section • Real estate report

May 2014

Real Estate Report Monthly special section

What is the Real Estate Report? Real Estate Report is a special section that focuses on the North metro Atlanta Real Estate Market. It includes information about new homes, resales, commercial property, real estate agents and more. The circulation is 73,500 the first week of each month. Real Estate Report runs in the Alpharetta-Roswell Revue & News, Johns Creek Herald, Forsyth Herald and Milton Herald.

GUARANTEED EDITORIAL: Real Estate Report advertisers are guaranteed editorial in the Real Estate Report. The amount of editorial space you can submit is determined by the size of your ad. 1/2 page advertisers may submit up to 450 words and a photo. Full page advertisers may submit up to 700 words and a photo.

Advertising DEADLINE for JUNE: Wednesday, May 28

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Real Estate Report, May 2014  
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