It seems the market is really picking up, in my opinion, as I hear the “celebration bell” ring in my office on a hourly basis from excited colleagues closing a deal or writing a contract. But what does this ‘picking up’ really mean for Atlanta?

As I compare Q1 2009 to last year’s Q1, it means buyers are getting deals with an obvious decrease in median sales price for average for single family homes of 20.12%. This includes all FMLS areas inside the perimeter north of I-20, Vinings, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Tucker. Dunwoody comes out the winner with a 0% decrease in median sales price where Midtown/In-town/Ansley and Vinings are jockeying for an overall decrease up to 35% in median sales price.

For sellers, well, this is tough news to swallow if you bought last year and need to sell for personal reasons. But with any long term investment, you don’t lose (or make money for that matter) until you sell. Pay your principal down as best you can – as no one has a crystal ball for when this will level out.

For buyers, WOW, lucky you. Isn’t Warren Buffet that boasts “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful”. The fact that affordability has reintroduced itself to the Atlanta housing market (interest rates and low prices), this great First Time Home Buyer Tax Incentive AND Jumbo rates are reasonable, we are seeing a vast movement in buyer activity. SO, if you think you have the ability to be priced right to sell (and I can help you with that), now is the time – the fish are biting!

One word of caution to my sellers. We can no longer pretend that foreclosures and short sales are anomalies and don’t affect our list/sales pricing. The Metro Atlanta Area has seen a drastic increase in foreclosure sales resulting in an astonishing ratio of distressed sales to “regular” home sales. 1 in 4 homes sold in the Metro area in Q1 of 09 have been foreclosure sales. This DOES NOT include distressed properties that are in a short sale situation (which currently 50% of my buyers are buying right now). I would dare to say that 1 in 2 home sales are distressed sales, so the foreclosure(s) in your building DOES effect the value of your home.

Short sales are time intensive alternative to a foreclosure where the mortgage or lien holder agrees to accept less than what is owed on the property and I can help you over come that challenge if you are in this situation and you NEED to sell because you are now over leveraged. Buyers, it can be alarming how long it will take to navigate through a short sale, but the reward can be great. Talk to your Real Estate professional that can help you get to the finish line.

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