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Are there really plenty of fish in the sea?

Many areas around the country are experiencing a “Blooming Spring market.” In this good market, buyer’s need to exercise caution when writing offers on homes that are way below asking price. Bargaining is indeed an art, and the last thing you want to do is to insult the sellers. And, you also don’t want to loose your dream home over a few thousand dollars.

An unreasonably low offer risks angering the sellers to the point where they won’t even make a counter-offer. In general, an offer way below asking price is not customary and faces rejection. However, there are ways to proceed with respect when you feel that a lower offer is substantiated.

Sit down with your representative and make a list of reasons to share with the seller about why your offer is less than asking price; or, strongly consider negotiating other terms of the purchase, such as closing costs or repairs. A reduction on those aspects can still yield a savings for the seller.

If you are ever in the presence of the sellers, kindly exhibit respect for their home and them personally. Consult with your representative before arranging meeting with the sellers to make sure you’re all on the same page.

Ultimately, the best way to make your offer with confidence is to realize that there may be other attractive homes for sale in your price range. If a seller rejects your offer outright, you may need to move on to another property. On the other hand, if you’ve found your dream home, why not make a reasonable offer that the seller probably will accept?

This article originally appeared at dailycall.com

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RE/MAX of Southern Ohio Names Top Real-Estate Trends for 2015

Cincinnati (March 31, 2015) — As we enter the peak real-estate season, RE/MAX of Southern Ohio names the top housing trends to watch in 2015.  The trends are forecasted by the top brokers of RE/MAX of Southern Ohio and are based on current market conditions.  With more than 400 sales associates and 40 offices, RE/MAX of Southern Ohio is a real-estate leader, servicing all of southern Ohio and northern Kentucky.


1. Housing inventory will remain tight.

RE/MAX of Southern Ohio anticipates there will not be enough homes on the market to meet buyer demands.  While many homeowners have recouped some equity in their  homes, they still may not be ready to sell in 2015.


2. Prices will continue to increase, but likely at a slower rate.  

RE/MAX of Southern Ohio expects home prices to continue their upward rise in 2015, but at a slightly slower pace as the market begins to stabilize and return to normal.


3.  Higher rents will push many into housing market.

As rent prices continue to rise throughout southern Ohio and northern Kentucky, many renters will find fixed monthly payments very attractive.  As the housing market continues to stabilize and confidence builds, expect many renters to make the jump to home ownership in 2015.


4.  Millennials will become largest first-time group of homebuyers. 

By the end of 2015, millennials are expected to represent the largest group of first-time  homebuyers.  This group tends to favor smaller homes in more urban areas  – these areas in southern Ohio will likely benefit from millennial purchasing activity in 2015.


5. Looser lending restrictions make home ownership more accessible.  

2015 brings a loosening in credit requirements.  Buyers with good credit and steady   employment may be able to secure a loan even if they don’t have enough for the traditional 10 or 20 percent down payment.  Additionally, more buyers may be eligible for       home loans this year as previous foreclosures and short sales come off their credit reports.


“Overall, 2014 was a strong year for southern Ohio’s and northern Kentucky’s housing markets,” said Jeanette Schneider, senior vice president, RE/MAX of Southern Ohio.   ”None of us have a crystal ball, however, based on current market trends and conditions, we remain very optimistic about 2015 and expect this trend to continue.”

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Brookhaven starts tradition with Cherry Blossom Festival

(Photo: Brookhaven)

Brookhaven will start a new tradition with its inaugural Cherry Blossom Festival, which includes three days of live music, food, children’s activities and art from March 27 to 29.

The festival’s headliners are rock & roll legends The Coasters and The Drifters, who play back-to-back starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Both groups are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The Beatles tribute band The Return perform at 8:30 p.m. on Friday.

The free event in Blackburn Park also includes a 5K Run/1K Walk, a children’s village, pet world featuring the original Stunt Dog Show and food vendors.

The city recently planted 140 cherry blossom trees in the park to serve as a backdrop for the activities.

“Once we adopted the Cherry Blossom as our official city tree, it just seemed natural to have an event to show them off,” said Festival Chair and Mayor Pro Tem Rebecca Chase Williams.

Here are the festival’s dates and hours:

Friday, March 27 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday, March 28 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sunday, March 29 from Noon to 6 p.m.

The festival is sponsored by the Brookhaven Office of Tourism and funded with the city’s hotel and motel tax.

Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to spread out and enjoy the entertainment.

The Coasters and The Drifters will perform R&B classics from the ’50s and ’60s, including “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Up on the Roof,” “This Magic Moment,” “Yakety Yak,” “Charlie Brown” and “Under the Boardwalk.”

Blackburn Park is located at 3493 Ashford Dunwoody Road in Brookhaven.

Parking is limited, but shuttles will be provided from nearby parking lots. Locations and a schedule will be posted online.

The 2015 Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival is sponsored by DeKalb County, Autotrader.com, xfinity, Belhaven University-Atlanta, Regency Centers Corporation, Gables Oglethorpe, The Hyatt Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina, The Heights at Brookleigh, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Perimeter Summit, Primrose School of Brookhaven, Northside Hospital, Georgia Power, Brookhaven Children’s Dentistry, Collette McDonald & Associates-RE/MAX Around Atlanta, Perimeter Community Improvement Districts, NorSouth, Banfield Pet Hospital, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Post Brookhaven Apartment Homes, Brookhaven Reporter, Dunwoody Crier and Brookhaven Post.

Visit www.brookcherryfest.org for event schedule and details.

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Metro Atlanta home prices up 12% in February

The median price for all metro Atlanta homes sold in February 2015 was $196,005 — up 12 percent.

Love wasn’t the only thing that was hot in February.

According to a report from RE/MAX of Georgia, housing prices heatred up last month. The median price for all metro Atlanta homes sold in February 2015 was $196,005 — up 12 percent.

Additionally, the Alpharetta, Ga.-based real estate company found closed transactions rose to 3,510 in February — up 23 percent.

Months supply of inventory (the total number of residential properties listed for sale at the end of the month divided by the number of sales contracts signed during the month) saw an 8 percent drop from January and a 3 percent drop from February 2014.

“We are pleased to see median sales prices and transactions up again this month,” Jeanette Schneider, senior vice president of RE/MAX of Georgia, said in a statement. “Give that February saw challenging weather and few days this signals a positive sign for our housing market.

This article originally appeared in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.


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Timing is everything

In light of tougher loan requirements, many potential buyers are asking if they should buy now, or wait several months before moving forward with a decision. The thing is, you can’t time the real estate market any more than you can time the stock market. Simply put, the best time to buy is simply when you want and need to do so.

Start searching now, targeting your preferred locations and getting a sense of the local trends. Speak with your local real estate professional to gauge listing times, list-to-sale prices and contract terms. There’s no such thing as a “national” real estate market, and every area is going though its own adjustments, up or down.

Now is the time to begin your loan pre-approval process, to determine how much home you can afford, and to assemble the required documentation that your loan officer will need. Securing a loan pre-approval will give you the chance to immediately take advantage if an excellent purchase opportunity appears. If you don’t have your loan pre-approval, a fantastic home you’d love will go to a buyer who is prepared with his loan pre-approval.

Owners who are pressured to sell for reasons like foreclosure or job relocation may be more willing to negotiate, but if you really love a particular home, don’t loose it by haggling over a few thousand dollars. At an interest rate of around 4%, an extra thousand dollars will cost you about $4 a month more for your house payment. A home is not a stock certificate. Take advantage of the current great buyer’s market and start building your equity today.

This article originally appeared at dailycall.com.

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Welcome New Associates




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Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top Real Estate Professionals

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2014 RE/MAX Top 100

Top 50 U.S. Team Leaders 

Top 50 U.S. Team Leaders

Top 100 U.S. Team Leaders

Top 100 U.S. Networkwide Team Leaders

Top 100 U.S. Individuals


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GNAR: February Home Sales


 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 9, 2015) – There were 2,091 home closings reported for the month of February, according to figures provided by the Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS®.

This represents an increase of 12.6 percent from the 1,857 closings reported in February 2014. Year-to-date closings through February 2015 are 4,067, a 12.7 percent increase from the 3,636 closings reported through February 2014.

“The home sales data for February shows just how strong the Middle Tennessee market has become,” said GNAR President Cindy Stone. “While we have seen many months of positive increases, with the extreme winter weather our area faced last month, we were uncertain of the effect it might have on property sales.

“Remarkably, the market was essentially not phased. As January did before it, this February saw its best monthly sales numbers since 2007.”

Comparison of sales by category is: 

  February 2014 February 2015 
CLOSINGS 1,857 2,091
 Residential  1,509  1,697 
 Condominium  216  229 
 Multi-Family  15  13 
 Farm/Land/Lots  117   152 

There were 2,458 sales pending at the end of the month, compared with 2,221 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 76 days.

The median residential price for a single-family home during February was $206,000, and for a condominium it was also $163,125. This compares with median residential and condominium prices of $189,000 and $165,000, respectively, at this time last year.

Inventory at the end of February was 12,445, down from 14,129 in February 2014. The current inventory of properties by category, compared to last year, is:

  February 2014  February 2015 
INVENTORY 14,129 12,445
  Residential  8,717  7,912
  Condominium  1,054  814
  Multi-Family  149  110
  Farm/Land/Lots  4,209  3,609

“Inventory remains the main challenge in the market, though we will see it uptick as spring nears. The hardest hit market, in regard to inventory, is the first-time buyer range. The inventory supply there is very low. For example, the absorption rate for single-family homes below the January median price of $215,000 just in Davidson County is 2.2 months. Using the same criteria, the absorption rate above the median was 4.8 months. By the time you get to the $600,000 and above range, inventory is plenty at an 8.9 month supply.”
The Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® is one of Middle Tennessee’s largest professional trade associations and serves as the primary voice for Nashville-area property owners. This information was orginially distributed by GNAR.

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Three units, same neighborhood in Brookhaven

Katrina and Nick Brown stand in front of their Brookhaven,GA home. (Christopher Oquendo Photography)

After reaching one milestone in 2014 — passing the bar exam — Nick Brown and his wife, Katrina, decided to take another big step and become homeowners. The couple moved from Charlottesville, Va., after Nick graduated from the University of Virginia Law School, and didn’t want to rent.

“We were pretty set on buying,” said Nick, 26, an attorney with King & Spalding.

At first, they thought of buying in Midtown to be near Nick’s job, but then discovered Brookhaven, which also was close to Mercer, where Katrina is studying to be a physician assistant.

The couple, who worked with Collette McDonald and Gunner DeLay of RE/MAX Around Atlanta, considered these three units in Ashford Creek. They were looking for townhomes with a garage, kitchens with granite countertops and cabinet space, and an office/man cave, for sportsman decor such as deer heads.

No. 1 – Spacious end unit

A two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath townhome on Ashford Creek Trail offered long-term potential with the bedrooms and another room for an office on the basement level. It was the only two-bedroom they found on the market during their search and had a two-car garage. The townhome, built in 2006, was listed for $360,000.

No. 2 – Updated and affordable

A one-bedroom, one full and two-half bath townhome on Ashford Creek Avenue was distracting because the decor, such as the wall colors, didn’t fit with the couple’s likes. But the kitchen had a new convection gas range and stainless steel appliances. Updates also included a new A/C unit and new carpet upstairs. The townhome, built in 2006 with a one-car garage, was listed for $215,000.

No. 3 – New listing

A one-bedroom, one full and two-half bath townhome on Ashford Creek Circle boasted the same floor plan as No. 2 but with a more neutral palette. The kitchen was outfitted with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and tile backsplash. In the vaulted bedroom, Katrina could envision studying at the built-in desk. A potential man cave was on the lower level. The townhome, built in 2006, was listed for $214,900.

3694 Ashford Creek Trail.(Christopher Oquendo Photography)

The Choice

No. 3. They first made an offer on No. 1, the two-bedroom unit, but concerns about the appraisal value hampered the negotiations. Still, they wanted to buy in Ashford Creek, where the common areas and lake created a tranquil setting, they said. “We reassessed what our goals were for buying a home right now and our timeline. One-bedroom homes were available in the community. Once we got into the one-bedroom, we decided we liked the floor plan,” said Katrina, 27. They put in an offer the evening they saw it and closed in October, buying a unit near the clubhouse, which has a gym. “This is really perfect for us,” she said. “It had exactly what we needed.”

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