Smyrna Real Estate and Community News

Nov. 28, 2018

Keep Your Walkways Safe this Winter

If you’re showing Smyrna real estate this winter, you’ll want to make certain your walkways are safe for everyone who comes by. Because of ice and snow, winter is far more dangerous for slip and fall accidents than other times of year. If you’re a buyer and you’re visiting real estate in Smyrna this winter, watch out for the following hazards when you go to view a property.


A Little Information Goes a Long Way

If your property has walkway or stairway issues that are either part of the property—older properties sometimes have steeper and narrower stairs than normal—or there are issues you haven’t been able to repair before showing the property, such as cracked or uneven pavement, flag them for visitors. This might seem counterintuitive if you’re selling, but it’s better to keep everyone safe than it is to hope they’ll miss a minor walkway problem. If ice or snow covers the walkway, irregularities in the surface can be hard to see, and that might set someone up to trip and fall. If you’re visiting properties as a buyer, keep a close eye on the sidewalks and stairs if there’s snow, water, or ice.


Deal with Water Before it Freezes

If it starts snowing out, clear the pavement before it accumulates to a significant degree, and you’ll lessen the chance of having a slippery sidewalk. The faster you remove the snow, the more you reduce the chances of ice forming.


If snow and ice do accumulate, you can remove it with a shovel and, if needed, another tool to break up the ice. Sweep the last bits of snow and ice away to provide a cleared walkway for visitors. You can use a variety of different products to melt existing ice and to prevent new ice from forming—called deicers—but be sure to ask about which types are safe for your driveway and sidewalk. Some surfaces are susceptible to damage from some deicers, so be sure to ask at the store where you pick up whichever product you decide to use.


Light it Up


Remember to keep the walkways brightly lit at night during the winter. This is one of the best ways to reduce the chances of accidents! Ask us about other ways you can make your house inviting and safe for those who might be interested in making an offer!


Posted in Community News
Nov. 26, 2018

Selling Smyrna Real Estate in Autumn and Winter


You’ve probably heard that autumn and winter are slower times for real estate but, if you’re planning on putting your Smyrna property on the market this November or December, don’t let that dissuade you. There are some areas, however, where you need to take extra care if you’re selling your property toward the end of the year.


Get All Your Household Systems Checked


This mainly applies to the HVAC system in your house, but you should get every household system in your Smyrna property checked out by professionals before you start showing the house. A problem with your heating system, if you’re putting your house on the market in the late spring or summer, needs to be fixed, but it’s not a complete disaster. If your house has a heating problem when it’s being shown in November, however, don’t expect buyers to get serious about making an offer. Get your plumbing, electric, and other systems checked, out.


Be Accommodating to Buyers


During the spring and summer, people tend to travel more and to take more time away from work. School is also out of session for most people, so it’s easier for people to tour Smyrna properties they’re interested in. In the autumn and winter, people tend to work more, travel less, and have to juggle work and school schedules, so buyers might want to tour the property during the evening, on weekends, or at other times that aren’t ideal for the property owner. Remember that there will be less showing traffic during the end of the year, so try to be accommodating to these buyers. They may have a genuine interest in making an offer on your property, but it also might be very difficult for them to even get to your property to see it in person. Being accommodating toward home buyers during the autumn and winter can go a long way toward selling your house faster.


Coordinate with Your Realtor


You won’t want to miss any opportunities to have someone see your property during this time of year, so keep in contact with us and do your best to coordinate your efforts. We will work hard to market your property, so there will be people coming by to take a look at it. Make sure it’s in the best possible shape and be willing to be a bit accommodating to interested buyers and you’ll find that the autumn and winter are great times to sell.


Posted in Selling Your Home
Nov. 20, 2018

Hygiene Bag Donations


We are collecting items to make hygiene bags for the children of the families that we are adopting for Christmas. Here is the list of items we need:

* toothbrushes
* toothpaste
* lotion
* deodorant
* mouthwash
* soap
* hand sanitizer
* feminine hygiene products

We will be collecting items up until December 10th. If you would like to donate please drop off items to our office located at 1125 Concord Road, Suite 109, Smyrna 30080 (behind Jitterbug) Monday through Friday between 9a and 5p or call 770-874-6262 to arrange pick up or meet up.

We all are so grateful to work and live in such a great community! #thesmyrnateam #smyrna #realestate #givingback

Posted in Community News
Nov. 20, 2018

Mortgage Rates for November 2018

For most of this year, financial experts have been predicting that mortgage rates are likely to hit five percent by the end of the year. That seems to be coming true, as rates have climbed over the past few months, and are projected to keep doing so for the rest of the year.


This might leave people interested in buying Smyrna real estate a bit worried that the increasing rates will be too much a financial burden for them to go through with their buying plans. Don’t fret, however, as, for most people, a small increase in the going rates for mortgages will not make a significant difference in the logistics of buying a home. 


There Are Benefits to Higher Rates


Worried about rising mortgage interest rates? So are a lot of other people, and that’s actually not bad news if you’re in the market for a home. When mortgage rates climb, real estate buyers tend to be more hesitant about spending money and that means that it’s much easier to get a buyer’s interest when you make an offer on a home. With fewer buyers looking to purchase, there’s less competition for each Smyrna property and that means your Realtor can drive a harder bargain on your behalf.

If You Have Good Credit, Higher Rates Can Benefit You


When mortgage rates go up, home sellers aren’t the only ones who see less interest from those shopping for a home. Whether you’re looking for a new mortgage or refinancing your home, you’ll find that mortgage lenders have to work harder for business when rates are higher, as well, and they’ll likely be willing to offer you a better rate than they would when the overall rates are lower. Sound counterintuitive? It’s not. There’s simply less business for mortgage lenders when rates climb and, if you have good credit, that means you have more leverage to use to get the best deal possible on your borrowing!


Tell Your Realtor You’re Serious About Getting a Good Deal


Not all home buyers are the same. Some are most interested in getting precisely the right property for them and others are more interested in getting a great deal on the home’s price. Let us know if you’re of the latter type, because higher rates and fewer buyers mean they can really push hard to get buyers to drop their prices.


Posted in Real Estate News
Nov. 19, 2018

The Four Most Important Words in Smyrna Real Estate

There’s plenty of advice out there about how to get the most out of buying or selling real estate in Smyrna. The most important thing you need to remember, however, is to help your Realtor to help you.


Talk to my Realtor


“Talk to my Realtor” are probably the most important words you need to remember when buying or selling Smyrna real estate. There are many reasons this is the case, and here are some to consider.


Right now, mortgage rates are going up and they’re forecast to continue doing so through the beginning of 2019. That means that there will be fewer buyers on the market and, because of that, those buyers are likely to try to get sellers to drop their prices much more than they would in a seller’s market. Your Realtor is the best resource you have toward not taking less than you should for your house. A motivated buyer, and certainly their buyer’s agent, can really pressure sellers to drop their prices more than they should. Be aware of this, and make sure that, if someone starts trying to bargain with you about the price of your home, you tell them to talk to your Realtor.


Real Estate Law Is Tricky


It’s vitally important that you understand that, without meaning to, you can make a binding agreement with someone who wants to buy your house. If this is the case, you might find yourself in a very bad deal, simply because you didn't realize you made a commitment to offering your home at a lower price, or with items included, that you didn’t mean to.


Always tell anyone wanting to talk about the specifics of your sale—price or otherwise—to talk to your Realtor about it. We are professional and we know what they can say and cannot say, and they know when it’s time to pull out paperwork and start documenting what’s being negotiated. If you’re unaware of such factors, you might find yourself in a very sticky situation.


Telling a potential buyer to talk to your Realtor is not likely to diminish their interest in your house, unless they’re trying to get the best of you without you knowing it. If they’re truly interested, telling them to talk to your Realtor is probably just what they want to hear. It means that you’re serious about making a deal, since you’ve decided to bring in the pros.


Posted in Community News
Nov. 7, 2018

Energy Costs



Showing your property is always a bit stressful, but in the winter and autumn, there are additional concerns to take into account. Every time an interested buyer comes to see your house in Smyrna, you’ll loose heat as they come in and out and you’ll have to light up the entire house so people can see it at its best. If you have a lot of showings, that might increase your heating and light bill so here are some ways you can keep those costs down.




Reduce the Temperature a Bit




Room temperature is generally agreed upon to be around 72 degrees Fahrenheit, but you don’t have to keep the thermometer that high if you have people coming in and out for showings. Remember that most of them will have their jackets on or, at least, heavier clothing than they would during the summer. They’ll also be walking around the house, so the house is actually likely to feel a bit hot for them if you keep it at room temperature. Don’t be afraid to reduce the heat a bit. Over the course of your showings, it’ll save you some power if you do so.




Consider Changing the Lighting




If you have incandescent bulbs in all your fixtures and you’re running them all the time—remember that you’ll want to turn on your lights for daytime showings, as well as nighttime showings---it can have an impact on your power bill. Consider installing LED lighting where you can, but make sure you get at least a second option—preferably from your Realtor—about how well the LED shows off the space. Some LED lights are very harsh and will tend to emphasize the flaws in a room. Look for softer LED lights; there are plenty of them available on the market these days. In general, lower color temperatures will make rooms look warmer and more inviting.




Use Motion-Detecting Lights in the Yard




Make sure your property is safe for interested buyers. It gets dark early toward the end of the year, so be sure you have good outdoor lighting on your walkways and porch. Instead of leaving it on at all times, however, consider getting motion-detecting lights. That way, people visiting the property will always have plenty of light to lead their way, but you won’t raise your power bill keeping it on at all times.




We will be able to help you make showing your property as convenient as possible, so be sure to ask for their input.




Posted in Community News
Nov. 1, 2018

Smyrna November 2018 Events



The Atlanta Opera: West Side Story




November 3-11 8pm-10pm


Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre


2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway


Atlanta, 30339




The famous Arthur Laurents book comes to the stage this November, offering a story about the hardships of love and war in the city. Since 1957, this story has been produced as a film, a play and an opera. The Atlanta Opera’s production will run from November 3 through the 11. This event is likely to sell out quickly, but you can get more information about acquiring tickets by clicking here.




The Ultimate Sugar Show


November  8 11


Cobb Galleria Centre


Two Galleria Parkway


Atlanta 30339




Billed as the biggest baking and sweets show in Georgia, the Ultimate Sugar Show begins on the 8th of November and runs until the 11th, offering a variety of different events to attend and, of course, plenty of samples to try and sweet baked products to buy. There are also competitions scheduled, so be sure to check for more information if you happen to be something of a bakery artist yourself and want to get in on some friendly competition with fellow bakers. You can pick up tickets for the event—and check out the different options available for those tickets—by clicking here.




Pictures with Santa




November 10-11


William Root House Museum & Garden


80 N Marietta Parkway NW


Marietta, 30060




For those who just can’t wait for Christmas to kick off, head down to the Root House Museum where your kids—or you—can get pictures taken with Santa. The Root House photography event has a Victorian theme to it, so if you want pictures that look a bit different than the usual Santa pictures that start getting popular this time of year, this is a great option. You can get more information about the event by clicking here.




Holiday in the Park: Six Flags over Georgia




November 17 – January 6


245 Riverside Parkway, SW


Austell, 30168




You have plenty of time to catch this event, but there’s plenty to do at Holiday in the Park, so going more than once might be a nice holiday-season diversion for the whole family. This event sees Six Flags lit up in a glorious display that features more than one million LED lights, the perfect thing for the shorter days and and longer nights this time of year. You can get more information about the event by clicking here.




We are local experts so, if you’re in town looking for Smyrna real estate, be sure to ask us about events in and near Smyrna if you want to explore the community!


Posted in Community News
Oct. 31, 2018

Storage Space and Home Showings



Staging your Smyrna property in the most attractive way possible can go a long way toward persuading buyers to add your property to their short list of options when it comes time for them to make an offer. When you’re staging your home, you have to think beyond the living room, bed rooms, and the other major spaces.




Storage space is a huge concern for home shoppers. When people think about moving into a house, remember that they’re not just thinking about how to furnish it, how much light it has, and so forth. They’re also thinking about where they’re going to store all the things we all need to get by, from clothes to cars to cookware and everything in between.


Pay Attention to Closet Space


When you’re making your house look its best for buyers, remember that they’ll almost certainly look in every closet in the house, or try to, when they go through. That means you should:




       Make sure that anything private is hidden: jewelry, money, passports, etc.


       Make sure your storage space isn’t stuffed or cluttered




Think about what you’re looking for when you check a property for closet space. You’re looking to see that there’s plenty of room, that it’s in good repair, and that there is adequate storage located throughout the house. The general rule of thumb is to have your closets filled about half way. This keeps the property from seeming vacant, but also shows that there’s plenty of room in the closet. Whatever you leave in the closet, be sure it’s all organized and clean. Clutter is always bad when you’re showing a home.


Clean Up the Garage


Garages are very attractive to buyers and, if you have one, you’ll want to show it off. Be sure the floors are sealed, any cracks are repaired, and that there isn’t any clutter laying around. Make sure the lighting is good, as well, so that the space looks bigger when it’s lit up for people touring the property.




If you have hazardous materials in your garage, consider getting rid of them or storing them in a container so they’re out of sight. The idea is to make your garage look like an organized, clean space, not like an operating repair shop.




We can help you with other elements of staging your home so that, when people come to see it, they get the best possible impression.




Posted in Selling Your Home
Oct. 26, 2018

Protecting Your Identity while Mortgage Shopping



If you’ve started looking for real estate in Smyrna, you’ve probably started shopping for mortgages, as well. If that’s the case, you’ve almost certainly gotten advice on protecting your identity against identity thieves, as well, including taking measures such as subscribing to an identity protection service, making sure your credit hasn’t been used by someone else, and beyond.




Here are some things you should do to protect your identity that go a bit beyond simply subscribing to a service to do it for you.


Practice Good Password Hygiene


Whenever the phrase “identity theft” is uttered, it’s easy to start thinking about hackers working their way into your Wifi, spying on your phone conversations or emails, or other secret-agent type shenanigans. In reality, identity thieves usually don’t have to work that hard. Most people use predictable passwords, use them across more than one site, and seldom, if ever, change them,




If you’re trying to lock down your identity, change your passwords, all of them, before doing anything that costs money. You can use password managers like LastPass, KeePass, and other options to generate and store secure passwords. Chrome, the browser developed by Google, will also suggest and store secure passwords for you. Don’t try to use a memorable password; use a password manager to remember your passwords for you. This seems like simple advice, to be sure, but it’s worth following.


Check Your Credit Report


If you haven’t worked with a mortgage officer yet, check your credit report before you do anything else. If someone has already stolen your identity and used your identity to complete transactions or take out loans, you’ll likely see it on your credit report. You’ll have to repair any damage that’s been done before you can seriously start looking for lenders, so it makes sense to check your credit report as soon as possible.


Don’t Email Personal Information


If you can avoid it, don’t send any personal information--account numbers, social security numbers, etc.--over email. If you have to send such information to an office, using a fax is generally the safest way to do it. Mortgage officers and banks will always have a fax number you can use instead of email, and it’s often safer to take that route for sensitive information.




Shopping for a mortgage can be stressful, but getting all of these, and other good security practices, implemented, can help you avoid identity theft while you’re trying to get a loan, and after.


Posted in Real Estate News
Oct. 22, 2018

Keeping Autumn Leaves in Check



When you’re selling a house in Smyrna, you need to keep the yard tidy so buyers aren’t turned away by a neglected-looking property. This is part of what Realtors call “curb appeal” and it’s really the difference between whether someone looking for a property stops to take a look at your house or just drives right by.




Here are some tips for taking care of leaves that build up in your yard. Remember that raking or otherwise collecting leaves a couple of times per week is advisable if your house is on the market when the trees shed the greatest amount of leaves per day.


If You Really Don’t Want to Rake


Not everyone enjoys yard work and, let’s face it, that makes it a lot easier to procrastinate. If you really don’t like raking, consider using your lawnmower to pick up leaves. If you have a lawnmower with an attached bag for clippings, running over the leaves will chop them up and toss them in the bag, cutting down on a lot of labor. Remember that you’ll have to empty the bag quite a bit while you’re mowing.


Leaf Blowers for Bad Backs


If you have a bad back or another physical condition that makes raking difficult, consider using a leaf blower to tidy up. Hardware stores have plenty of models to choose from and many are very lightweight. Remember, however, that you’ll still have to get the leaves into a container of some sort, so plan on asking for help with this if necessary.


Get a Big Rake


If you’re going to handle your leaves in the traditional manner, meaning with a rake, get a big one. The small, metal rakes that were ubiquitous a decade a go have been largely replaced by very large, lightweight rakes that make short work of even big yards. Spending a few extra dollars on a bigger rake can cut down your yard cleanup time more than you might imagine.


Don’t Forget the Broom


Remember to sweep off the walkways and the entryways during the autumn, as debris can pile up fast. You’ll also want to keep an eye on the roof, as autumn leaves can build up on the roof in short order during this time of year.




If you want to have a professional landscaper get your yard ready for fall--and for showings--talk to us! They know local businesses that provide just about every conceivable service to homeowners, so consider them a resource in maintaining and improving your home and yard!


Posted in Community News