Smyrna Real Estate and Community News

Sept. 24, 2018

Removing Trip Hazards Before Home Showings




When you’re showing a home, it’s important that it be as inviting as possible to the potential buyers who come buy to have a look. One of the most important parts of making your home inviting is making it easy for everyone to make their way through the property, so your Realtor can show off it’s best features. To that end, you’ll want to eliminate anything that poses a risk of hindering, or even tripping someone who comes by for a showing, and here are some tips for doing just that.


1. Start with the Obvious


Make sure hallways and the main floorspace in each of your rooms is cleaned and clear of clutter. Aside from the trip hazard presented by cluttered floors, they also seriously detract from the look of the home. Prospective buyers may well pass on a good property if it’s cluttered and messy when they come to visit.


2. Sweep Up Debris


It’s heading toward autumn, and that means that people viewing your home are likely to track in leaves and other debris from the ground outside. Clean this up immediately after each showing. Not only does it look messy, it can also stain your carpets and scratch up your floors if it’s let go, and that might mean an emergency cleaning or repair before your next showing.


3. Check the Porch


Autumn, between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the many other holidays around this time of year, tends to mean people decorate their porches and other exterior spaces a lot. Be sure your decorations don’t clutter up the porch. This will not only make it harder for people to get around, it’ll also detract from the curb appeal of your home, which means fewer people will be motivated to stop and take a look at the house.


4. Remember that People Have Varying Levels of Mobility


Remember that some of your potential buyers may use a cane, crutches, a wheelchair, or another assistive device for mobility, and that they’ll need more room to get around the house because of that. Avoid arranging furniture in ways that narrow walkways and check to make sure that throw rugs, the areas where different floor surfaces meet, and any stairs you have are all safe for everyone to traverse. Opening up the space also makes the home more attractive, in most cases, so taking care in this way has aesthetic benefits in addition to its practical benefits.


Your Realtor can give you more advice on preparing your home for a showing.




Posted in Real Estate News
Sept. 20, 2018

Advice for First-Time Homebuyers



Looking for a property in Smyrna as the first home you own? First-time homebuyers have among the most exciting, and stressful, experiences completing the search for and purchase of their properties. Here are some ways you can make the entire process easier for you.


Learn About Down Payments


Making a down payment can be a very intimidating prospect for a first-time buyer, but being prepared to put down a sizable down payment can lower the monthly payments on your mortgage, so it’s well-worth the effort. There are various assistance programs, including Veterans Affairs loans, which allow first-time buyers to avoid making any down payment at all. If you’re not sure if there’s any help available to you, talk to a mortgage lender about any programs for which you might qualify. Otherwise, save up money so that you can put down a meaningful payment on your property in Smyrna.


Get Preapproved


Getting preapproved is a more intensive version of getting prequalified. Getting prequalified gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow; a prepapproval gives you a specific figure, along with the terms and conditions of the loan. If you can take care of this right away, it will save you a great deal of time when you’re getting ready to buy.


Work with Your Realtor


Your Realtor’s job is not to convince you to get more house than you can afford. An ethical Realtor will take your budget and do their very best to get you the most desirable house they can at that price level. They’ll wheel and deal with sellers to get them to offer a better price and they’ll keep you appraised of any new options as they come on the market. Don’t feel like your Realtor is going to treat you as less important than buyers with bigger budgets if yours is more modest. They’ll help you get a property in Smyrna that’s just right for you.


Talk to Your Realtor About Inspections


It’s easy to get so caught up in the idea of buying a property that you’re willing to overlook too many drawbacks, just to make a deal happen, or even to forgo inspections so that they don’t ruin the thrill. Your Realtor will help you keep a level head and will make sure that all necessary inspections are completed. If you have any questions about any aspect of the house, or you feel that something needs to be double checked, your Realtor will most certainly help you. Rely on them to make sure the property is everything it appears to be before you make any commitment to buy.

Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 14, 2018

Brightening Up Your Home



Autumn can be a busy season for real estate, and that means it’s more likely that people will be coming to take an in-person look at your Smyrna property. Autumn is also the season when the days become noticeably shorter and, if your house normally tends to be a bit dark, the season’s low light can make it less attractive to buyers. Here are some ways you can make your home a bit brighter without making major changes, like adding windows or light fixtures.


Add Some Mirrors


Mirrors make rooms look bigger and brighter. Attractive mirrors are available for reasonable prices, as well. You can even check second-hand stores to find great deals. Adding a few mirrors to a dark room can make it seem quite a bit brighter, particularly when you have fairly good lighting or when you can leave the drapes open during the day.


Utilize Colors


Bright colors are good remedies for dark spaces. You don’t have to go overboard with it and you certainly don’t have to repaint your walls. Adding a few brightly-colored rugs here and there, or even bright artwork, can make a room seem like a more inviting place. If you have dark flooring, in particular, a bright rug can balance it out in a very attractive way.


Light Up the Ceiling


Because it’s getting dark earlier this time of year, there’s a good chance that potential buyers will be visiting your home after sundown. One of the ways you can make up for this is by using floor and table lighting, which is inexpensive and which, when used properly, can make a room seem bigger and brighter. One trick is to point the lighting at the ceiling; there are lamp styles that lend themselves very well to this. The lit-up ceiling creates a nice, even lighting around the space, making it much more inviting.


Lights on During the Day


If someone’s coming over to see your home, be sure to turn the lights on, even if it’s during the day. Natural light through the windows really makes a home seem more inviting, but it always leaves shadows here and there. With your room lighting on, people viewing your property will be able to see it at its best and brightest.


If you need help setting up your home for a showing, Realtors are great assets. They can have your home staged for showings, so potential buyers get the best possible impression.



Posted in Community News
Sept. 11, 2018

Mortgage Rates for September 2018




Mortgage rates have been going up recently, and economists predict they may rise more. If you’re in the market for real estate in Smyrna, that might sound like bad news, but that’s not necessarily the case.


One of the reasons that, at the same time that mortgage rates have gone up, home sales have declined slightly, is because people are being more selective on price. When interest rates do go up, it becomes more important to be sure you’re getting the best deal not only on the cost of borrowing, but on the home you buy. Mortgage rates are, historically speaking, very low but, with interest rates on the rise, here are some things you can do to make sure you’re getting the best possible lending.


Shop Around


If you’re a first-time homebuyer or had to repair your credit before getting a mortgage, it might seem like the lenders are likely to turn you down, but that’s not always the case. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a bad mortgage offer. Your home should be affordable for you, and it should be an investment that improves the quality of your life.


When you’re looking for mortgages, don’t be intimidated into taking the first thing that’s offered. In fact, get prequalified so that you can set a firm budget from the get go.


Work with Us


Once you get prequalified, let us know right away. we can narrow down the houses you look at to ones that fit comfortably within your budget, and that’ll save time and stress. Also, make sure you don’t negotiate around your Realtor, because you might think you’re getting a deal from a seller when a Realtor would know better. Sometimes it takes experience to recognize a bad deal, particularly in the real estate market, and Realtors know the red flags to watch for.


Remember that qualifying for a mortgage isn’t a commitment, so don’t be afraid to go ahead and get that part done. If you’re just exploring the idea of purchasing a home, don’t let mortgage rates scare you off. Realtors can find great deals and there are plenty of good lenders out there looking for new customers.


Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 10, 2018

Smyrna Events for September 2018


Food Truck Tuesday


Every Tuesday through September 25 5pm-9pm




Taylor Brawner Park


3180 Atlanta Road






Food Truck Tuesday ends this month, so be sure to show up before it’s over for the winter. You’ll find a variety of food to choose from at this event and, if you’re new to Smyrna, it’s a good way to get out and get to know some of your new neighbors. After 5pm, parking can get scarce, but there’s additional parking available at the Community Bank of the South. The parking lot is located close to the intersection of Atlanta Road and Concord/Spring. You can get information on vendors at the event by clicking here.




Taste of Smyrna


09/15/2018 11am-8pm




Community Center
200 Village Green Circle SE




Head down to Village Green on the 15th and enjoy a variety of great food and entertainment. The Taste of Smyrna is a sort of send off party for summer, so get out and about and enjoy good food and good company before it starts getting chilly in the evenings! There’s no charge for admission, and you’ll find some great bargains on food, so plan on staying for a while and sampling some great options. You can get more information on this event by clicking here.


Smyrna Woofstock


Saturday, September 29, 11am-7pm


Sunday, September 30, 11am - 6pm




Community Center
200 Village Green Circle SE




More than 40,000 people are expected for this two-day pet adoption event, taking place right in Smyrna. There’s no charge for admission and you’re welcome to bring your own pets, but they do have to be on a leash at all times. In addition to finding a new pet to give a forever home, you can enjoy arts and crafts, find vendors that cater to pets, and learn about various rescue and animal-advocacy groups and how you can get involved. One of the great things about going from renter to owner is not having to ask if pets are allowed anymore. If you’ve just purchased a new home in Smyrna, and if you’re an animal lover, Woofstock is a great way to meet the perfect animal companion for you and your family. If you have a business or want to get involved with the event personally, call  404-238-9445.




If you want to know about more things to do in and around Smyrna, be sure to ask us! We are local experts.





Posted in Community News
Aug. 27, 2018

Attracting Millennial Home Buyers




Millennials aren’t just entering the real estate market; this generation of Americans has been in it for years now, and they’re an interesting demographic. If you’re putting a house in Smyrna on the market and you want to make the best impression on this particular segment of home shoppers, there are some things you can emphasize to really make your home stand out. Keep in mind, however, that you don’t want to gear your home marketing so much toward one demographic that you put others off. Fortunately, a lot of the things Millennials look for are attractive to buyers from other demographics, as well.




Smart Home Technology


Millennials are, on the whole, a very technically-savvy generation and their comfort with technology makes “smart home” technology attractive to them. What are smart homes? The term is simply a trendy way of referring to technological solutions that make life just a bit easier. Smart home features include thermostats that automatically adjust to save energy, homes that are set up for features such as home theaters and other technology, and even more advanced features, such as windows that allow the homeowner to change their opacity electronically rather than by drawing blinds or shades.






As a group, Millennials tend to put more value on how much they enjoy their lives than they do on how much money or prestige they have. This translates to their real estate preferences, as well. Don’t worry about making your home look like an estate property for much of this crowd. Make it look comfortable, fun and emphasize features such as access to biking or hiking trails, proximity to schools, and other quality of life features. Remember that you don’t have to wow this crowd with expensive fixtures and improvements; just concentrate on presenting your home as a very happy, comfortable place to be, even if it’s modest.




Don’t Underestimate their Shrewdness!


Millennials have been portrayed—quite unfairly—as being loose with money. In reality, Millennials are not more careless with money than are older generations. What does set them apart a bit is that, generally speaking, Millenials are a generation that doesn’t mind spending less and making less if doing so makes them happier. If you have a property you think is less attractive than those around it because it’s not quite as flashy or new, remember that a Millennial buyer might see it as just perfect, particularly if the price is right. Millennials understand money very well; they just don’t assume that a higher price means a better product.




If you want to reach out to the Millennial market, talk to us about how you can advertise your home in a way that’s likely to reach them!


Posted in Real Estate News
Aug. 24, 2018

When Should You Get New Photos of Your Property?



Marketing your Smyrna property is a complicated undertaking. One of the most important elements of getting potential buyers interested in your home is providing them with excellent images of the property. Photos, however, no matter how good they are, do have a shelf life and they need to be rotated out to ensure they’re making the right impression. Here are some reasons you might consider having new pictures of your home taken.




Changing Seasons


Your photos should always look like they were taken recently. One of the telltale signs of an old photo is scenery that is out of season. For any buyer looking at such a photo, this makes the image seem dated and, thus, like a less credible representation of the property.




If it’s July and your property photos have snow in them, or it’s December and the photos you’re using to advertise your Smyrna property feature lush, spring blooms, the viewer instantly knows that the image is old and might suspect that, at present, the house looks less attractive than it does on the photos. This is likely to dissuade buyers from visiting the property.




If your photos are out of season, re-shooting is a very good idea. The more recent your photos look, the more confidence buyers will have in how well those photos represent the property.




Major Changes to the Property




Repainted? Added a porch? Had some landscaping done? All of these are valid reasons to have your home photographed again. Oftentimes, the big changes you make to your home before you put it on the market are specifically intended to raise the price you can ask, so show off your hard work! Recent improvements to the home and property are likely to translate well to images, and you’ll want to make sure potential buyers see what you’ve done to make the property better.




After Professional Staging


If you’re vacating the property before you sell it, having your home staged by a professional is a great way to make sure it looks its best for buyers. These professionals set up your Smyrna property in a way that makes it look inviting, worth the money being asked, and downright classy, so you’ll want to show this off in images. If you’re having your home staged, go ahead and have photos taken after. Your property will certainly look its best after stagers go through, and you can increase the value of their services by showing them off in your images.




We can help you arrange for professional photos of your home and will make sure those images are used to their best effect in your advertising.


Posted in Selling Your Home
Aug. 15, 2018

Social Media and Real Estate



Advertising real estate in Smyrna used to be an endeavor that reached far fewer people than it does these days. Today, not only can Realtors reach out over their own websites, they can use social media as a way to attract buyers who might never look at a regular real estate site. This is a particularly important strategy for attracting millennial buyers.




Advertising on social media has some significant benefits compared to other channels. Here are just some of them, if you’re wondering why your Realtor is very enthusiastic to put your real estate in Smyrna on the social media networks!




The Reach Is Incredible


A truly astounding number of people use social media on a daily basis. Facebook, the largest of the social media sites, averaged 1.47 billion active users per day in June of 2018. In 2017, an average of 500 million tweets were sent every day over Twitter. Combine those numbers with the reach of Instagram and other social networks and it’s easy to see why social media is such an important advertising tool these days. In addition to its vast reach, social media advertising is a very streamlined process and the results are easily tracked. In essence, social media makes it easy to reach a vast number of people, and allows you to monitor how well your campaigns are doing, on top of it.




It’s Image Friendly


Social media sites make it easy to show off images. Because photos are so important to marketing real estate in Smyrna, Realtors get high-quality photography for every property they represent. The combination of good imagery and a platform that’s largely built around showing off pictures makes social media a great advertising medium for real estate.




It’s Easy to Make Changes


Should the price of your home change, or the status change, it’s easy for Realtors to change the ads in their social media accounts. For other types of advertisements, graphic designers, newspaper ad personnel, or others might have to be involved in any changes that need to be made, but social media eliminates most of those hassles. If an advertisement isn’t working well, it’s just as easy to change the design of the ad, increasing the effectiveness of the marketing materials.




Online Matters


We have adopted online marketing very quickly relative to professionals in other fields. Social media isn’t the only good place to market properties online, but it has a significant place in the toolkits of most Realtors. If you’re putting a property on the market, your Realtor will likely have plenty of options for advertising.


Posted in Real Estate News
Aug. 7, 2018

Tips for Keeping Your Smyrna Home Cool and Comfortable


Anyone who lives in Georgia is no stranger to warm summers, but keeping your house cool is easier and less expensive than ever before, thanks to how technology has changed over the years. Some of the best ways to save money and keep your house comfortable are pretty cutting edge, and others are simply improvements on older technology.




Smart Cooling


Smart home cooling oftentimes makes use of zones. The home is broken up into cooling zones and the cooling system detects which rooms are occupied and which are not. Only the rooms that are occupied get cooling, and that can save a lot of money on your utility bill. If you’re thinking of upgrading your HVAC system before you put your Smyrna property on the market, be sure you ask your contractor about making your system smarter in the process by using cooling zones.




Ductless AC


Ductless AC has caught on in the US more slowly than it has in Europe, but it’s becoming more common in the US all the time. This type of AC system allows for the zone-based cooling described above, and is particularly well-suited for smaller homes and homes with spaces that would be difficult for a traditional system to reach. These systems will save money, but more over the long term than the short. If you have a smaller house or you’re just interested in going with the latest tech when you make improvements to a Smyrna property of any size, ask your HVAC company about this option.




Not Your Father’s Window AC


Window-mounted AC units have become much more efficient, affordable, and effective over the years. There are floor models, as well, which are very advanced and efficient, available from home improvement stores and online. These options are great if, for the most part, your house cools well, but you have one or two rooms that need a bit of extra cold air during the summer.




HVAC is a major home system and, as such, it’s a big consideration in whether or not someone is likely to buy a property. If you're putting your Smyrna property on the market, make sure to have your HVAC equipment repaired, if needed, as buyers are likely to view problems with heating and cooling as significant reasons to pass on a house. If you need help getting your AC inspected or in finding a pro who can help you fix it up, ask us for information.


Posted in Real Estate News
Aug. 3, 2018

Mortgage Rates and Considerations for August 2018



Mortgage rates have been going up, which changes the considerations for people looking for real estate in Smyrna. The housing market is doing well, overall, and most borrowers shouldn't have a hard time of it getting a good loan. When rates are higher, however, being smart about borrowing is vital.




Get Prequalified


Getting prequalified provides you with an estimate of how much you can borrow. With this information, you can enter the market with a good idea of your target price range but, more importantly, you can make an informed decision as to how much you really want to borrow. Given that rates might go higher, it’s a good idea to hold out for a really good deal rather than impulsively buying a home that forces you to stretch your budget. Of course, a good Realtor maximizes your chances of getting a good deal, so working with an experienced professional is vitally important when mortgage rates go up.




While you’re getting prequalified, you can ask your mortgage lender about another option: locking in your rates.




Locking in Rates


There’s no universal advice about locking in the mortgage rates that you’re offered. In some cases, it might be better to leave your rate floating, in others, you might do well to lock in the rate once it’s offered. Talk to your mortgage officer about your options in this regard and which might be the best for you. It’s definitely a question worth asking!




Don’t Obsess


It’s easy to get carried away with following mortgage rates, trying to figure out when to pounce, and fretting about where rates are headed in the future. None of that is necessary. Once you’re actually looking to take out a loan, you’ll need the best possible information to work with, and the lender you work with will help you to sort out all the relevant information. You cannot control the prevailing mortgage rates, but you can shop around for lenders so that you get the best deal, you can keep your finances in good repair so you get the best possible rates, and you should make sure you borrow intelligently.




Talk to Us About Concerns


Still worried? We can let you know how the Smyrna real estate market is performing, and it’s always more useful to look at local trends than it is to look at large, national trends. The same is true for mortgages. If you’re worried about all the press being given to rising mortgage rates, go ahead and get prequalified for a loan—there should be no obligation for this—and see how much those rates affect the amount you can afford to borrow.


Posted in Buying a Home