Author Archives: Marie Dinsmore

It’s a Sellers’ Market: Advice for Buyers and Sellers

verico_lozinski_mortgage_corp_21c47bc6_1e78_1bd7_e8ab_31049851a086Real estate season is in full-swing and the Atlanta market has proven itself to be hot for sellers once again.  However, while phrases such as “bidding war” and “multiple offers” may be welcomed by those looking to get rid of their property, similar words may incite a bit of unease in buyers looking to make a speedy purchase.

Still, while it would be easy to assume that, in this climate, sellers can easily field offers with minimal effort, it’s important to remember that both buyers and sellers need to work hard to make the most of the current market.

FOR SELLERS:

Be On Your Game.  Even in a sellers’ market, traditional real estate rules still apply.  In short, sellers must still put their best foot forward if they’d like to get the most for their home.  Houses that are shown in top condition are much more likely to sell—quickly—in a sellers’ market than those that have been haphazardly cleaned and organized.

With that being said, don’t get carried away by assuming that you can overprice your home simply because the market is currently favoring those looking to move.  At the end of the day, buyers will always flock to well-priced homes that show well.  If it’s not priced right or shows poorly, it won’t sell.

Don’t Drag Your Feet.  If you’ve been lucky enough to receive multiple offers on your property, it’s important to move forward with the most qualified buyer.  Waiting too long can cause a loss of momentum, so pay attention to the buyer who is not only working with a local agent and has their loan lined up, but the one who makes an aggressive offer and expresses serious interest in your home.

FOR BUYERS:

Strategize and Plan.  One of the most frustrating things about a sellers’ market is that, as a buyer, even if you’re serious about purchasing and have made a point to secure reputable financing, you may have trouble either finding the right home or getting your bid picked up.  Therefore, since there’s often little you can do in these types of situations, it’s important to make sure that you’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s in advance.  You don’t want to suddenly find yourself in a great position to have your bid selected if you’re not prepared to move through the closing process.

Avoid Resting on Your Laurels.  Sellers’ markets are all about seeing what you want and moving on it.  Truly interested buyers won’t wait for the open house to decide whether they want to make an offer.  If a home enters the market on Monday, you need to be viewing it on Tuesday and if possible, making an offer within a few hours.  If you make the mistake of prudently waiting a week or two, you may find yourself sorely disappointed.

First Impressions Always Count.  Buyers who move quickly show sellers that they mean business.  Remember, no one wants to wait around, so make a point to make your contingencies and timeframes swift, and take as much risk as possible away from the seller.  Consider moving forward with an inspection prior to submitting your offer so that your bid won’t come with contingencies regarding inspections.

In regards to financing, it’s important to consider the state of our current economic climate.  Securing a loan takes longer than it did 10 years ago, so make sure you’re moving to acquire the necessary funds well in advance.  Plain and simple, if you need to ask the seller for an extra month in order to get your finances in order, you’ll have a difficult time competing with someone who can do it in a quarter of the time.

CONCLUSION:

In the end, regardless of the market, both buyers and sellers need to be prepared for the home sale process.  Sure, it may seem stressful; however, if you make a point to surround yourself with a knowledgeable and experienced team of real estate/lending professionals, you’ll be in a better position to get the most out of your investment.

If you’d like some advice or have a home you’d like to list or buy, please feel free to contact me.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

The Fed Announces Imminent Interest Rate Hike: What it Means for Buyers

101711088-182695069.530x298You may have recently heard that the Federal Reserve has plans to raise interest rates; however, at this point in time, there’s no definite time frame for the shift.  The decision, which is expected to be announced later this year—experts are suggesting the possibility of mid-September—is the result of a healthier economy that no longer needs the buffer that interest rates close to zero have provided over the last 9 years.

In essence, returning rates to historically “normal” levels will not only help keep future inflation from rising too quickly, but will also ensure the vitality of the lending market.

While this type of rate increase often leads to a bit of temporary instability in the market, which can lead to negative issues such as slowed economic recovery and stagnant employee wages, it can also signal higher returns for consumers who consistently save their money.

Still, if you are someone who is looking to borrow the necessary funds for a new home, you’re bound to find yourself in a tight spot if you fail to lock in today’s low rates.  At this point in time, an average 30-year mortgage carries a 3.8% interest rate, which is down from 4.3% about a year ago, so experts suggest that if you’re thinking of buying a home, now is the time to push for loan approval.

If you’re on the hunt for a new home or are simply looking for a competent mortgage professional, I’d be happy to provide referrals and offer guidance along the way.  Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Featured Neighborhood: Manor North in Alpharetta, GA

manor-north-estate-homes-cherokee-county-alpharetta-ga-561Starting in the low $500’s, Manor North is located in Northern Alpharetta and is part of the Cherokee County School System.  This gated community treats residents to an upscale country club lifestyle with a variety of luxurious, open floor plans that feature several “master on main” ranch designs.

Located within close proximity to a wide variety of parks, as well as a host of shopping and dining opportunities—to include The Collection at Forsyth and Avalon—this stunning neighborhood also features convenient access to GA-400 and the Manor Golf & Country Club.

With six floorplans to choose from—ranging from 4-5 bedrooms—the homes themselves feature elegance around every corner, with 10-foot ceilings, crown molding, and hardwood flooring, as well as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a variety of unique architectural details.

 

manor-north-estate-homes-cherokee-county-alpharetta-ga-54HOUSING FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS

Open Floor Plans w/ Exceptional Natural Lighting

Wood or Iron Stair Balusters, Stained Oak Railing

Chair Rail & Wainscot in Dining Room and Foyer

Moen Oil Rubbed Bronze or Stain Nickel Lighting Fixtures

42” Direct Vent Gas Fireplace w/ Custom Mantle & Surround

Recessed Kitchen Lighting

manor-north-estate-homes-cherokee-county-alpharetta-ga-43Spacious Walk-In Closets

Double Vanities in Master Bath

 Outside Deck w/ Stairs to Concrete Patio

Professional Landscape Package w/ Zoned Irrigation

 

SCHOOLS

Free Home Elementary

Creekland Middle School

Creek View High School

King’s Ridge Christian School

manor-north-estate-homes-cherokee-county-alpharetta-ga-40St. Francis School

Chandler Academy

 

HOSPITALS

North Fulton Regional Hospital

Emory Johns Creek Hospital

Northside Hospital (Atlanta)

Northside Hospital (Forsyth)

Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital

Why You Need a Realtor When Buying New Construction

new-constructionAs the economy has improved, so too has the construction of new homes.  What were once sad, empty parcels of land are now beautiful new developments, so it’s no surprise that sales in these neighborhoods have increased as buyers have returned to the market.

Building your dream home can be exhilarating, especially if given the opportunity to not only pick your lot and layout, but everything from your interior finishes to your upgrades as well.  While today’s homebuilders work hard to make the process as easy as possible for potential buyers, it’s still important to remember that purchasing a home involves a large financial transaction that can have an abundance of financial implications if handled incorrectly.

Therefore, while most new housing developments have their own agents on site to assist future homeowners in procuring a home, it’s still extremely important for buyers to maintain their own representation as well.

BUILDER REPS HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO THE BUILDER—NOT YOU.

While builder reps help detail things like the difference between various models and floorplans, as well as upgrades and available financing, it’s imperative to remember that those reps are still contractually obligated to place the interests of the builder first.  Therefore, in order to be sure that your total wellbeing is given priority, buyers should seriously consider utilizing the services of an experienced Realtor who can make sure their wants and needs are placed at the forefront of the deal.

While you may think that you can easily go forth without an agent, especially in the hopes that the builder will negotiate the 3% agent fee back into your pocket, the reality is that they’ll probably keep it unless you have the representation of a Realtor who can research how much negotiating can be done.  Without this outside assurance, chances are good that you may find yourself over paying for your property.

FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY.

Real estate transactions involve a good deal of paperwork and legal considerations which can be difficult to navigate if you are not completely sure how the process should work.  If you’re making the decision to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home, you need to make sure that someone is looking out for your best financial interest.  A Realtor will not only be contractually obligated to protect you, but can help you navigate the various clauses, riders, and upgrade options embedded in the final new-construction contract.

SMOOTH NEGOTIATION PROCESS.

Part of the buying process involves the negotiation of terms, upgrade options, and closing costs, as well as selecting the best financing for your needs.  A Realtor will be able to present other attractive options for financing or will be able to work directly with the builder’s lender to secure a better rate for your mortgage.

A GUIDING HAND FROM SEARCH TO CLOSE.

From here, it’s important to remember that buying a new home is more than the fun process of selecting your finishes and signing on the dotted line.  It also involves everything from working with title companies to attending numerous inspections, so it’s worth having a Realtor on your side who can manage the overall process and ensure you’re not missing anything before the home is completely yours.

Therefore, if you’re in the market for a new home and would like some help navigating the waters, I’d love to make my services available.  Please call me for more information or to set up a meeting.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

selling-mistakesYes, learning from your mistakes is certainly a part of life and can definitely be an extremely worthwhile process.  However, when it comes to something as important as selling your home, it’s probably better to learn from other people’s mistakes.

Therefore, if you’re thinking about listing your home in the near future, the following are five common mistakes that, if avoided, can save you a lot of money and trouble.

FOR SALE BY OWNER. You may have heard that putting a “For Sale by Owner” sign in your front yard is a great way to save money. However, in this era of DIY projects and fix-it-yourself endeavors, you should resist the urge to tackle the real estate market alone.

There’s a reason that people dedicate their entire careers to the housing market.  In short, selling your home involves a lot of money, so it’s not something you should take lightly.  Working with a licensed agent helps ensure that you’re not losing your finances through a poor listing price or faulty closing contract.

If you absolutely feel the need to sell something yourself, consider unneeded furniture or other items that will simply detract from your home’s overall appeal.  Sell your coffee table yourself, not your home.

“BUT SHE’S MY FRIEND…” Plain and simple, not all agents are created equal. In addition to specializing in certain counties or neighborhoods, certain agents are better than others when it comes to residential real estate, luxury properties, foreclosures, etc.

In addition, just because your best friend’s aunt dabbles in the industry doesn’t mean she’s the best person to sell your home.  Picking the wrong agent can have serious consequences, so it’s important to choose someone with ample experience.  Don’t be afraid to do your research before selecting someone who meets your needs.  It’s your home and your money, so feel free to be choosey.

MAINTAIN A BIT OF REALISM WHEN PRICING YOUR HOME. We’ve heard it our whole lives—aim high. Reach for the stars.  While that tends to be great advice in regards to following your dreams or doing well in school, it’s not always very prudent when it comes to pricing your home.  In short, it’s better to be smart than overly eager, so listing your property at a price above its market value may hurt your chances of getting the most for your home.

You don’t want to find yourself getting a lower sale price than you were hoping for, so work with your agent to set the best, competitive price.

DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Yes, this may be difficult to remember when stressing about the cost of repainting your pink bathroom or dealing with pre-sale repairs, but keeping things in perspective is important.  The goal is to make it to the finish line of your home sale, so try to keep your eyes on the rewarding outcome instead of the dollar signs bouncing around your head.  Once you sign the closing papers, chances are good that you’ll forget all about those smaller frustrations, so try to enjoy the ride as much as possible.

KEEP YOUR EMOTIONS IN CHECK. As much as you may love the pencil marks on your wall that correspond with your children’s yearly heights, try to remember that those heartfelt stories are not going to win the hearts of prospective buyers.  Sure, no one can argue with the fact that your home may hold an abundance of personal history, but emotions can cloud your judgement.  As an impartial player, a great agent can help you make smart, strategic decisions.

If you’re ready to sell your home or you know someone who is, please feel free to contact me for assistance.  I’d love to help you move to the next chapter of your life.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Community Resources

WELCOME

2019 Welcome Services

The Dinsmore Team has created this handy guide for both Buyers and Sellers. The guide lists trusted service providers that we use personally and professionally. The providers listed service the Forsyth and North Fulton County areas.

2014 Complete Guide to Moving

This 20-Page Guide will be your comprehensive source for selling your home and planning your move. It includes tips for getting ready to sell, planning your move, packing and transitioning into your new home.

2014 Home Owners Tip Guide

This 20-Page Guide will help you develop an annual maintenance schedule for your home's systems and appliances to help you avoid bigger problems by taking care of them while they are small. It's also a great resource for trouble shooting malfunctions on your own, saving you time and money.


utilities

Looking for a fast way to connect all of your utility services online? Try Connect Utilities.

Please let us know if there are other resources you'd like to see.

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com

770-712-7789