Sellers: Why You Shouldn’t Wait for a Spring Listing

DUFFY - Sellers - Why You Shouldn't Wait for a Spring Listing

For many people, it can be tempting to put off listing their home for sale until spring. After all, the market is too slow during the colder months, right? Think again. The sales numbers tell a different story.  Over the last 3 years, sales have increased by about 4.5% in the winter months. If you’re thinking of selling, here are several reasons you should go ahead and list your place now:

Winter Buyers are Serious

These shoppers and looky-loos are bundled up indoors, waiting for spring to come around. For those buyers who are willing to get out and shop during the cooler months, they mean business.

Less Home Inventory Means Less Competition

Even though there are generally fewer homes on the market during the winter months, it turns out there are serious buyers out there intently looking for a home to buy, shopping a reduced supply of inventory when compared to warmer months of the year. In Atlanta, more homes go under contract in January than you might think. It’s one of the strongest months of the year.

Year-End Tax Breaks

Buyers that are in the market know that buying a home before year’s end can give them tax write-offs related to the purchase of their new home. These tax benefits include deductions related to real estate taxes, mortgage interest, and premiums for private mortgage insurance premiums. Sometimes, these incentives are enough to move a buyer to act in their best interest and buy sooner rather than later.

Incentive Payouts and Year-End Bonuses

Buyers with an incentive or bonus payday coming are often laying plans to act before the holidays. First time home buyers are ready to enter the market for a cozy Christmas in their new place. Established homeowners are looking to upgrade as the season gets underway. These are powerful motivating reasons for buyers to get out there and shop the market, and a good reason for you to list your home sooner rather than later.

Time Off

The holidays afford many people more time to handle personal affairs away from the office. Serious buyers take advantage of this and get out there to capitalize on their free time. They schedule more showings, browse more real estate websites, and make plans for their new home.

Deadlines and Life Changes

Many buyers find themselves working against a deadline. They may be up against an expiring lease, a job relocation, or their existing home just went under contract to sell. Other motivating life changes include the birth of a child, a marriage, a divorce, a death, or new employment. These things happen any time of the year, leading buyers to act now.

Work with an Experienced Real Estate Team

At DUFFY Realty, you are our number one priority. From the first call to final close, we’ll see you through it all. Call us today to get started: (678) 318-1700

Don’t Be Fooled By Investor Speculation In The Real Estate Industy

fun looking gnome in a garden holding a basket
fun looking gnome in a garden holding a basket

Selling A Home

It’s no surprise that advances in technology are changing the real estate industry. Years ago, home buyers had to rely on real estate agents to see the homes available in the local market. Now, real estate agents are still an important part of the home buying process. But buyers can also look online to view listings that have been shared with the general public. New Trend in the Real Estate Industry: iBuyers One of the latest trends that we are seeing across the nation is the shift to “iBuyers.” People who are looking to sell their homes quickly and easily turn to real estate companies such as OpenDoor, OfferPad, and Knock. These brokerages leverage the internet to minimize overhead in the buying and selling process. Most of the sites give homeowners the opportunity to request an offer on the property, which is provided within 24 hours. Some sellers like the option to move as quickly as possible, but they don’t realize how much they are giving up by working with an online company instead of an in-person real estate agent. Investors have jumped on board, predicting that online sales are going to change the real estate industry completely. Are these new startups and investors on to something? Or is this trend simply being propped up by investor speculation and share prices, without real profits to be made in this questionable business model? Where These Real Estate Websites Fall Short It seems like a dream to have an offer on your home in 24 hours and close on the deal in 10 days. But like many things in life: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Here are a few drawbacks to using an online service when buying or selling a home:
  • High Fees: You can expect 6% commission fees when working with traditional real estate agents, or much less when choosing our team at DUFFY Realty. In comparison, some of these websites (such as Opendoor) charge as much as 14% in fees. The costs add up!
  • Cost of Repairs: After you have accepted the offer, the website team has the opportunity to inspect the property. If anything needs to be repaired, then the cost will be deducted from the sale price. Unfortunately, you don’t have the option to shop around for an affordable contractor, which means that you are likely over-paying for the repairs.
  • Personalized Attention: Nothing beats the one-on-one service that comes from working with a real estate agent in person. Your home is one of the biggest investments you will make, which is why it is important to have an industry expert to help with negotiations and paperwork.
At DUFFY Realty, we offer affordable real estate services without the need to sacrifice the personalized services available in the industry. If you are looking for a way to save money on your home sale/purchase, talk to our team instead of using these unproven online real estate websites: (678) 318-1700
Rhonda Duffy

Rhonda Duffy

Real estate expert and consumer advocate Rhonda Duffy is documented and ranked the #1 Agent in the U.S. for resales three years in a row and #1 Agent in Georgia 12 years in a row. Rhonda is the media’s go to expert on real estate matters for her commonsense approach, consumer advocacy and work to educate the public on the rapidly changing landscape of her profession. She has been licensed in real estate for 20 years, has been a broker in seven states and is trained in staging certification.

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Should I Turn My Home into a Rental Property?

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green fruit smoothie ingredients

Selling A Home

Wondering whether it’s a good idea to rent your home? You aren’t the first to consider the possibility. It’s a question that people grapple with every day. So, what do you need to know? Here are several things to think about before you put it on the rental market:

Are You Ready Be a Landlord?

If you are ready and willing, then continue evaluating the option to rent out your home. If not, then perhaps you should rethink your plans. You can continue to own the place and live in it, or you can sell it. Being a landlord is a fair amount of work and, at times, it can even be a headache. Done well, the rewards can be worth your while, but don’t go into it thinking it’s a cakewalk.

As a landlord, you are responsible for maintaining the home and making timely repairs when needed. Of course, you can hire others to help with these requirements, but you’re the one who will foot the bill. Make sure to keep this in mind, and be prepared to pay for such things when needed.

Finding Good Tenants

An unoccupied rental house is losing money. At the same time, finding a bad tenant that fails to pay on time, or causes heavy damage to your property, is also losing money. So, what is a landlord supposed to do? Find and attract good tenants with good credit and stable employment. It takes time, but once you understand how to find quality tenants, you’re on your way. It’s a critical skill that will make or break your success.

Handling Tenant Issues

In the process of finding good tenants, you’re likely to encounter some that are less than ideal. They may be neglecting the property or disrespecting neighborhood rules. Perhaps they fail to pay rent. These issues must be dealt with, and it isn’t always pleasant to do. However, renters do have certain rights, so be sure to follow laws and procedures as you deal with issues that may arise.

Market Conditions

Before you decide to rent your home, take note of the market conditions. If the market favors sellers, then you might consider selling the property at top dollar. On the other hand, if the market favors buyers, then renting your home can be a great way to continue to accrue equity while you wait for home values to rise once again.

Financial Common Sense

Rental properties can be a fantastic investment, but it has to make sense. You’ll want to spend some time evaluating the tradeoffs between rental income and any tax deductions you may incur. Other things to consider should include projected expenses, current equity, the value of the property, etc. If needed, your accountant can help you to analyze the investment potential of renting your home.

DUFFY Realty is a reputable agency that puts people first. Helping people like you are the reason we’re in this business. If you’re ready for a team of knowledgeable professionals to provide some common-sense insights in today’s real estate market, give us a call: (678) 318-1700.

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Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Team Instead of a Solo Agent

working at duffy

For most families, buying a home is the biggest financial investment that will be made for the future. Are you protecting your investment by hiring the right real estate services when it is time to buy or sell a home? It’s a good time to compare your options by determining whether you should be working with a real estate team or a solo agent.

Benefits of a Real Estate Team

Here are some of the benefits that you can expect when you choose to work with a real estate team instead of a single agent:

  • Customer Service: More people on the team means that you will always have support and help in the moment you need it the most. You don’t need to worry about the disruption of services if your agent goes out of town. A real estate team can offer team members who specialize in paperwork, listings, home showings, and more. The combined skills are great to up-level the customer service experience that is available for your family.
  • Same Price: Just because you are tapping into a team of experts, doesn’t mean that your expenses go up. In fact, it is common for team real estate services to be cheaper compared to the cost of hiring a single agent. Since the job duties are specialized and shared, the team is more effective at moving through the transactions quickly and efficiently. The reduced time requirements mean that there is more money that can be passed back to the customer in the form of commission discounts.
  • Better Results: A full real estate team will have more connections than a single real estate agent. If you are looking for a specific home or you need help finding the right buyer, then you can benefit by having multiple people working on the project at the same time.
  • Attention to Detail: A solo real estate agent can have their attention pulled in many directions at the same time because they are carrying all of the responsibility of working with several clients without support. As a result, small details or tasks might fall through the cracks because the agent is spread thin, with multiple deals happening simultaneously. On the other hand, a team has proven systems in place and can work on multiple deals without sacrificing attention to detail.

Are you looking for the best real estate team in Atlanta? We invite you to have a conversation with us at DUFFY Realty. We’ve been serving the local community for many years, offering innovative solutions and excellent results. We are proud of our excellent reputation and want to show you that buying or selling a home can be easy when you are working with the right real estate team. Call to learn more about our low-cost, top-notch real estate services that are available: (678) 318-1700

Preparing for an Appraisal Before Selling a Home

duffy realty of atlanta - because money matters

If you are preparing to move to a new home, one essential step is a successful transaction to sell your current home. Not only do you need an appraisal before selling a home, but you also need to consider home staging, cleaning, repairs, renovations, and more. An experienced real estate team, like DUFFY Realty, can walk you through the most effective strategy to ensure you maximize equity and find a good buyer.

Appraisal: What it is and Why You Need it

The true market value of a home can be obtained by hiring an unbiased appraiser to assess the property. If a buyer is planning to borrow money from a lender or mortgage broker, then an appraisal will be required. This step is a way for the lender to protect their interests by avoiding overfunding (loaning more money than the property is worth).

Did you know that the bank appraisal is a common reason why a real estate deal fails? If a buyer depends on a mortgage to cover the cost of the purchase, then an appraiser will need to come into the property to evaluate the value. Sometimes, it is discovered that the appraised price is less than the offer price, which means that the buyer will not be able to get the full financing needed for the purchase.

Are You Ready for an Appraisal Before Selling a Home?

You can bring in an appraiser to determine the value of your home before listing it on the real estate market. Before you spend the money, it is smart to do a thorough walk-through to look at the property with a critical perspective.

Identify potential areas that need to be repaired or renovated. For example, broken tiles, damaged siding, roofing problems, and other issues should be addressed. Not only should you think about repairing current damage, but it might also be beneficial to invest in home improvements that will boost the value of your home. Make sure to consider aspects such as curb appeal, clearing out clutter inside, eliminating pet odor, deep cleaning, and more.

Consider providing a list of improvements for the appraiser to see, which brings attention to the investments that have been made on the property. Sometimes, the appraiser doesn’t know to look for specific improvements because they aren’t aware of the work that has been completed. This step is especially important if you are selling a high-priced, luxury home.

Finding a Real Estate Team to Help with Your Home Purchase

If you want a smooth, easy transaction when selling your home, then you must enlist the help of an experienced real estate team. DUFFY Realty is here to help! We offer many years of experience in the real estate industry. Our goal is to help you maximize your equity. Not only can we help you find the right buyer, but we offer a competitive commission structure that is the fraction of the cost compared to other real estate agents. Call to learn more about the quality real estate services that are available for your family: (678) 318-1700

Answers to the Most Common Questions from Home Sellers

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What questions are racing through your mind when you decide that it’s time to sell your home? Home sellers often have questions about the best ways to maximize equity and find the right buyer. It can be hard to find the answers to these questions if you don’t have an experienced real estate team to assist with the transaction.

Here at DUFFY Realty, we work with both home sellers and home buyers. Here are a few answers to some of your common questions:

  • Is it a good time to sell my home? There’s no question that the real estate market fluctuates with time. This common question doesn’t have a simple answer, because many factors affect your personal needs and the right timing for your family. The best thing that you can do is discuss your circumstances with a real estate agent to determine the timing that will fit your real estate strategy.
  • How much is my home worth? Again, we can’t provide a generalized answer to this question because home values change from one year to the next. We will determine the right pricing structure for your home by evaluating comparable properties in the area. Our experienced real estate team is here to assist as you are determining the market value and offer a “Comparative Market Analysis” (CMA) for your property.
  • How can I prepare my home before it’s listed? First impressions play a huge role in the process of selling a home. If you want to sell the home quickly, then you need to be sure that your home is designed to attract the right buyers. Present the property in the best possible light by reducing clutter, repairing any visible issues around the house, and ensuring that every room is spotless.
  • Do I need to disclose issues to potential buyers? If there are problems with the property, then you need to disclose these issues with potential buyers. For example, if you know that there are defects with the appliances, then it is important that you share this information. Being honest about the quality of the property helps you avoid potential issues with the inspections and closing of the real estate deal. Some of these defects can be corrected before you list the property. Or, you can adjust the pricing of the home if the buyer will need to invest substantial cash into the repair work.
  • What is the difference between the listing price and the sale price? You determine the price you would like to show on the real estate listing. Then you need to wait for offers to come through from potential buyers. The sale price is the final number reached after negotiations, which is the price that will be used when you are ready to close the deal.

The most important thing you can do is hire a good real estate team to assist with the process of selling your home. If you have questions, then DUFFY Realty is here to assist. Home sellers can reach us by calling: (678) 318-1700

The Benefit of Selling Before Interest Rates Go Higher

The One Question No Agent Can Answer (Should I Buy This Home?)

Rising interest rates are a common topic of discussion in the real estate industry. As the mortgage interest rates change, these trends have an undeniable impact on the real estate market. Whether you are planning to buy or sell your home, the best thing you can do is work with an experienced real estate agent and mortgage broker to get the best financing for the transaction.

Higher Interest Rates Affect Buying Power

Some homeowners mistakenly assume that high interest rates won’t have an impact when it is time to sell their home. The truth is your buyers will be affected by the current interest rates, which can have an impact on the price that is paid for the property.

Lower interest rates mean your buyers will have more buying power and can pay more for your home, because it will cost them less for their money.

What Happens When Interest Rates Go Up?

1% might seem like a comparatively small increase for an interest rate, but this change can have a significant impact on the buyer’s monthly payment. Depending on the price point of the buyer, a rate increase of 1% lowers the purchasing power by 9 – 11%!

For example, if a buyer is looking at homes in the $400,000 price range, then an increase in interest rates from 3% to 4% means the monthly payment will go from $1,686 to $1,909… an increase of $223 per month just for interest costs. As a result, the home price needs to be lower to make room for the extra interest expenses.

This change can have a huge impact in today’s real estate market, making it harder to afford the right home at the right price point. As a seller, higher interest rates could result in a smaller pool of qualified buyers. You can avoid this problem by selling the property when interest rates are low, ensuring that you aren’t missing out on buyers who are interested in the type of home you are selling.

Will Interest Rates Increase?

No one can predict with surety future interest rate trends. It is normal to have fluctuations and corrections in the mortgage and real estate industries. Most homeowners don’t have the industry knowledge or expertise to identify the right timing or services, which is why it is imperative to work with a trusted team.

At DUFFY Realty, we are working hard to help you negotiate the best deal when buying or selling a home. If you have questions about how interest rates will affect your purchase, then you are welcome to contact us at any time for personal recommendations. We are the real estate experts in the greater Atlanta area, and our professional team is here to assist with anything that you need. Call today: (678) 318-1700

Why June is the Best Month of the Year for Getting Offers on Your Home

Essential Repairs before a Home Appraisal

You’ve probably heard the common saying: April showers bring May flowers. In the real estate industry, we like to add that May listings bring June buyers! If you are thinking about selling your home, then right now is the best time of year to act. The local market is hot, giving you a great opportunity to maximize the value of your property and move to a new home of your dreams. Listing your home on the real estate market as soon as possible means you can take advantage of the offers coming in from people who want to move in the summer months.

Timing is Everything in Real Estate

While there are options to buy or sell a home throughout the year, there’s no question that timing is everything. It is important that you think about the overall value of the property, the equity that is available for rollover into your next purchase, as well as potential buyers who are ready to send their offers.

Even if your home is beautiful and ready to sell, it will probably take a while to close on the deal if you are having a hard time connecting with interested buyers. People tend to move at certain times of the year, based on school schedules and seasons.

There’s no question that summer not only brings hotter temperatures to the Atlanta area, but the real estate market heats up as well. Inventory is low, which means it is a great time to move if you are thinking about selling your home.

Get the Price that You Deserve

Listing a home in spring means you can sell your home by summer… and you will get the price that you deserve. Buyers are often motivated to lock in the deal before school starts in a few months, so they are anxious to submit great offers on quality properties available in the area.

While there are varying opinions on the “best month to sell a home,” there’s no question that you can’t go wrong when taking advantage of the summer demand in a strong real estate market. Make sure you choose a good real estate team that can help with the listing and marketing of the property. Quality real estate services ensure that you can sell the property quickly at a price that you deserve.

The Real Estate Leaders in Atlanta

We invite you to learn more about our team at DUFFY Realty. You’ll see that we are leading the Atlanta real estate industry with quality services and an unbeatable reputation. Our team offers competitive flat-rate real estate fees, helping you save thousands of dollars on the transaction.

For more information about quality real estate services, call DUFFY Realty at (678) 318-1700

Selling a Home? Protect Your Money on the Sale

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Owning a home gives you peace of mind in knowing that your family has a safe place to live and build memories together. It is nice to have a family home that can be designed and shaped based on your family culture and the needs of your loved one. Additionally, this property is a great investment to help you build wealth over the years.

Building Equity in Your Family Home

As a homeowner, your ongoing mortgage payments help to build equity in the property over time. This long-term investment creates wealth over the years, eventually allowing you to own the home “free and clear.” Not only do your monthly payments help to reduce the size of the loan, but a strong real estate market means that the value of the property increases with time.

Keep in mind that equity isn’t guaranteed because there is always a risk with investments. But homeownership is a safe choice. You need a place to live, and you might as well enjoy the financial benefits over the years.

Tips for Protecting Equity

The more equity you can build in your home, the more money you will have in your pocket when it is time to sell. What will you do with the extra cash? Many families choose to roll the equity into the purchase of another home, helping to reduce the cost of the new mortgage. Or, you can use the extra cash to buy furniture, work on home renovations, buy a car, or even take your family on vacation.

A few simple strategies can help to protect your home equity:

  • Choose a Good Real Estate Agent: The right agent will use certain strategies to increase the selling price of your home. The higher the price, the more money you will have when the property sells. Your real estate agent should help you find the “sweet spot” so that you can maximize the price of your property while ensuring a fast transaction as well.
  • Flat Fee Real Estate Commissions: When you are selecting your real estate agent, it is important to discuss the commissions and fees that will be charged on the transaction. Many real estate agents charge 3%, which is a significant amount of your home price. Instead, choose our team at DUFFY Realty… our clients save an average of $9,000 due to our low commission structure.
  • Invest in Renovations: As you are preparing to sell, it is smart to invest in a few renovations for the property. Even though you will be spending a little money, it adds up to boost home value. Talk to your real estate agent to identify the best “bang for your buck” when it comes to home improvement projects.

At DUFFY Realty, we understand the importance of protecting your equity to support your financial goals. Our team has many years of experience in the Atlanta real estate industry, and we are here to help you in maximizing the value of your home. Call to learn more: (678) 318-1700

When Does the Real Estate Season Start?

Atlanta discount real estate commission

Are you trying to figure out the right timing to buy or sell a home? It is smart to consider the trends in the economy and real estate season so that you can maximize the equity available from your investment. We often hear customers ask us about the start of the real estate season because they want to get ahead of the competitors in the area.

Trends Through the Year

Some people will tell you that the main real estate season is spring through fall. But, the truth is that the real estate season never really ends! Even though some months are busier than ever, your real estate team will work all year long to accommodate people who need to move.

In fact, it is smart to start working with your real estate agent before the busy season begins. You can get your home on the market and bring in the right buyers without competing against the higher number of home listings that usually come online in the summer season.

Following these trends will give you the advantage to improve the results for your real estate transaction. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about the market details. Simply choose the right real estate team, and let them oversee the best strategies for each time of year.

Should I Wait to Buy a Home?

There are many reasons why families might be waiting to buy a home: real estate industry trends, school schedules, work changes, and more. Sometimes, it makes sense to stay put for a while based on the needs of your family. On the other hand, there are situations where you should act fast to take advantage of the real estate market trends that are available right now.

Don’t make assumptions about buying or selling a home until you have a chance to talk to an experienced real estate agent. Our team will discuss the current trends, talk about your situation, and help you with identifying the timeline that will fit your needs.

If you are planning to move in the next few months, then right now is a great time to make your move. We are approaching the industry’s busy season, which means that you still have time to get ahead of the curve. Our real estate team is just a phone call away; always ready to help you find a dream home. We are here to answer your questions and assist with your real estate listing.

DUFFY Realty offers the leading real estate services in the Atlanta area. We’ve been serving this community for many years, offering unbeatable quality and attention for homeowners. Our team has industry connections and the quality experience you need when you are buying or selling a home in any real estate season. Contact us right away to learn more about the real estate services that are available for your family: (678) 318-1700