Homes, Atlanta

How to navigate a purchase or sale this year!

Homes, Atlanta
photo: Lisa-Blue
Erin Yabroudy reveals that buying or selling a home is definitely possible in today’s challenging economic environment.
Erin Yabroudy reveals that buying or selling a home is definitely possible in today’s challenging economic environment.

Whether you’re hoping to buy a new home or sell your current one, changing your residential status right now might be a daunting prospect. Despite recent high mortgage rates and inflation, real estate agent Erin Yabroudy of Harry Norman REALTORS in Buckhead reveals that it is possible to find either the right buyer or the home of your dreams in today’s market.

What are the challenges of the real estate market in Atlanta today?

A shortage of inventory is probably the biggest challenge. There also are affordability challenges because interest rates are higher than they were a few years ago. Home values are continuing to increase as well; home prices appreciated 6% over the last year, and we expect that to hold true in 2024.

Are there any positives about 2024’s real estate market?

Mortgage rates have moderated and are down from their high back in the third quarter of last year. Some in the industry believe they will continue to come down over the course of the year. That will bring more buyers into the market, which will lead to more competition and multiple-offer situations.

What are your tips for selling a home this year?

Pick a great real estate agent and take their advice in regard to selling. Right now, pricing is important. I would err on the side of caution in terms of positioning yourself at market value or even a little bit under to get several offers in a few days. Also, market prep is critical. The homes that are selling for the best prices have taken time to present something really good. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune: put on a fresh coat of paint, declutter, boost your landscaping with fresh pine straw or have your windows washed. These things can make a big impact.

How should some approach the home buying process right now?

Start by getting your financing in order. If you’re planning to get a loan, lock in with a pre-approval, if you can. Your real estate agent can recommend the right mortgage lenders for you. If you end up in a multiple-offer situation, this will help you stand out by giving the seller some surety. Also, don’t just think about what you can afford; think about what you want to afford. Just because you can buy a $2 million house doesn’t mean it will feel good to actually spend that much. That holds true at every price point. And in this market, be flexible if you can about your requirements. If you can’t be flexible, then be patient until you find the right home.

What do you say to those who are uncertain about the current real estate market?

We cannot control the economy. We can’t control interest rates, the stock market, who’s going to be president or inflation. It comes down to why you originally wanted to make a move. Are you getting married? Getting divorced? Having a baby? Downsizing? If your reason has not changed, then try to let go of the economic uncertainty. Atlanta is consistently rated as a top city for all kinds of reasons: We’re affordable, we have great weather and many companies are moving here. You can feel a lot of surety about Atlanta and the long-term viability of homeownership here.


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