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As licensed REALTORS® who are “in the real estate trenches” each day, we are often asked about the current state of the market in North Fulton, and what we expect to see.  (“North Fulton” is the northern part of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia. The cities in “North Fulton” include Roswell, Alpharetta, Milton, Johns Creek, and Sandy Springs.)

Having just weathered the real estate recession, we are finally seeing a rise in North Fulton home prices! When reviewing the media reports, one has to understand the source of the information and specifically what the data is referring to. When we hear that prices are up 15%, sellers get excited and tend to think that their home should be worth 15% more than it was last year. That is not typically the case. Normally, the reports are referring to the increase in median price … by averaging all areas and all price points. It is important to evaluate the specific price point and specific area of the home, when attempting to calculate the actual percentage of increase in price.

Real-EstateShould a seller order an appraisal?
When determining a price on their home, sellers will sometimes order an appraisal. Appraisers are looking in the rear view mirror…that is, they are looking at the sales which have already occurred and those which have closed within the past 6 months. When pricing, it is important to also review the supply and demand for a particular area and to look at the homes which have recently gone under contract. In addition, the improvements to the property can add a great deal of value. There are many ways of evaluating pricing and quite a few sources of data that can be obtained. One thing is very clear … when selling a home proper pricing is critical!

Supply and demand
Supply and demand is influencing home sales more than ever, since the inventory is quite low. In some areas of town, the low inventory is causing multiple offer situations. In those situations, homes will often sell for more money than the asking price. If you find yourself in a competitive bid, there are many things you can do to increase your chances of becoming the successful bidder. Consider seeking the expertise of a highly experienced, licensed real estate professional, who has dealt with competitive bids in the past and who can guide you in the process. Finding the right house to become your new home is the fun and easy part. Making sure that the transaction makes it to the closing table with all parties still shaking hands, is where a REALTOR® earns your respect.

Will prices go up?
We expect prices to continue to rise throughout the year. It is likely that the rise will be slower than it was in 2013. As we see a gradual increase in prices, fewer and fewer homeowners are “underwater”, that is, owing more on their property than the property is worth. This allows some people to buy and sell properties, who were unable to do so in the past.

A couple of factors which will slow down the price increases are 1) an increase in mortgage rates and 2) the new home construction. During the recession, new home building virtually came to a stop. Now, with the improving economy, many new homes are being built. The demand for new homes is high. New homes offer stiff competition for the resale market. This impact may cause the price gains on resale homes to slow, somewhat.

Whether buying or selling … now is certainly a great time! Send me an email and let’s get started!

Cathi Lund on Google+