North Fulton County Home Sales Report – October, 2011

North Fulton County, GA Home Sales Report – Detached and Attached Single Family Homes – October, 2011 as Compared to October, 2010.

The numbers are in for home sales in North Fulton County for October, 2011. The numbers are quite impressive overall.

For single family detached homes, total sales volume increased from $53,862,275 in October, 2010, to $74,682,076 in October, 2011. This represents a 38.65% increase. *

For single family attached homes (condos and townhouses), the total sales volume increased from $6,415,500 in October, 2010, to $9,385,975 in October, 2011. This represents a 43.3% increase.

Some more good news is that the average sales price for single family detached homes increased from $358,916 in October, 2010, to $364,303 in October, 2011. This is a 1.5% increase.

Average sales price for single family attached homes decreased from $168,828 in October, 2010, to $161,827 in October, 2011 – a 4.2% decrease.

As far as single family homes increasing 1.5% in average sales price, that does not indicate an increase in home prices. This merely indicates that the average price buyers paid for all homes combined in October, 2011, was 1.5% higher than in October, 2010. This is also reflected in a news article posted by AGBeat – Home buyers paid more but got better deals and bigger homes in 2011 – report. “The news that home buyers paid more this year for homes follows the trend of buyer demographics as more buyers this year were repeat buyers, more stable, mature, older buyers with higher incomes, therefore, they typically purchased homes that were slightly more expensive in a year where first time buyers dropped from half of all buyers to a third.”

Also, total average days on market for single family detached homes in North Fulton county decreased from 169 days in October, 2010, to 142 days in October, 2011. Single family attached also decreased – from 191 days in October, 2010 to 126 days in October, 2011.

*Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

For more information about the Atlanta area real estate market, please email me at or call me at 404.918.2500.

~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®


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Selling Tips in a Buyer’s Market

A buyer’s market means it’s the seller’s turn to be flexible, especially with sale terms.

Purchase price, closing dates, move-in dates, storage, appliances, window treatments, points and fees may all require a little negotiation. Whatever the terms, don’t let personal feelings stand in the way of a good deal.

Selling in a soft market

The basics

In a buyer’s market, curb appeal, cleanliness, overall good condition and updates are especially crucial. Any little flaw should be taken care of before the first buyer drives up.

  • Attend open houses in your neighborhood to see what “sell-ready” really looks like. If you’re shy, ask your Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate sales associate to walk you through a few sell-ready examples.
  • Back home, start with the exterior to ensure you’re making a good first impression. Reseed or throw down some turf on lawn patches, change the lights in the lamppost, and if necessary, reset the walkway stone.
  • Clean the interior beyond your standards. Even if they are impeccable, rent an industrial carpet cleaner or hire a professional cleaning service. Brighten the interior ambience with light fixture updates, as new lighting is one of the most inexpensive and noticeable improvements you can make prior to listing.
  • Fix leaky faucets and make sure the water pressure is strong in both the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • If necessary, a great way to improve the appearance of your home is to paint. Use only neutral colors that can easily lend themselves to different décor and styles of furniture.

Don’t reject low offers; negotiate

  • Don’t dismiss lower-than-expected offers. Instead, consider buyer incentives that help you meet your asking price. Offer to pay the buyer’s closing costs, moving costs or loan origination fee. These can help the buyer with upfront costs. As well, you may consider offering a limited home warranty that covers HVAC systems and some appliances for a definitive period of time.
  • Be careful of purchase offers that are contingent on the buyer selling their home first. Their home may be in a softer market than yours and you could be in for a long wait. Be sure that the purchase agreement includes a contingency-release clause. This way you’ll be able to sell if another buyer comes along.
  • Work with your Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate agent to find creative solutions to make a deal come together. The purchase price is just part of the deal. Anything that makes your property stand apart from the competition will give it an edge in a buyer’s market.

    For more information about the Atlanta area real estate market, please email me at or call me at 404.918.2500.

    ~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®


Great Kitchens Sell Homes

The kitchen is the most important room to stage in your home.

Potential home buyers will want to view it void of unnecessary countertop appliances and clutter. By showcasing your kitchen in the best possible light, you can potentially sell your home faster and increase the closing price.  Even in a slow real estate market, making your kitchen attractive to a buyer could make the difference.

Great Kitchens Sell Homes

Clean up the kitchen

Studies have shown that one of the dirtiest places in the home is the kitchen. Before you list, pull out those rubber gloves and give everything a good scrub so that the kitchen sparkles. Replace unsightly floor tiles, or in a worst-case scenario, consider a complete floor makeover. Pay special attention to the cabinetry; in older homes, it is common to see cracks in the beaded caulking between the ceiling and the trim above the cupboards. For less than $10, you can buy a pre-mixed tube of crack filler and make it look like new. Also, to give the kitchen an inexpensive facelift, consider replacing the fixturing – an affordable way to give doors and drawers a second wind.

Clutter is a kitchen killer

Kitchens are the focal point of almost every home. A great rule of thumb for the staging of a kitchen is to leave no more than two appliances on your counter. After you have uncluttered the kitchen counter, brighten and soften the space by adding some fresh fruit, new dishtowels, a cookbook, and plants or flowers.

Modernizing today will help you sell tomorrow

Modernizing your kitchen can help you sell your home for years to come. Renovating your kitchen now will let you enjoy new appliances while boosting the value of your home for the future. While you may want to take specific appliances with you, stainless steel can make almost any kitchen sing. Another way to add value to your kitchen is to install concealed appliances – hiding the dishwasher and refrigerator, for example, can really spice up your kitchen for buyers. Also popular are dual microwave/convection oven (prices can vary between $200 – $900 for higher-end stainless built-ins) – another appliance quickly becoming a staple in most modern kitchens.

If you can’t replace appliances, be sure to have them repaired and cleaned. It’s also a good idea to clean your fridge and stove, as buyers will almost always open oven and refrigerator doors.


Take the time to make sure all the existing light fixtures have working light bulbs. Make sure the blinds are open on all the windows and, if required, add a small table lamp or two to accent a dark corner.

… And the kitchen sink

Another kitchen remodeling idea is to upgrade your “sinkware.” New faucets, soap dispensers and sinks (whether you are reglazing or replacing altogether) are affordable ways to give the kitchen an immediate facelift. Don’t forget, buyers love to turn on the kitchen faucet when touring a home.

The kitchen is the most important room and biggest selling feature in your house. Staging it properly can make every potential buyer say, “this could be my kitchen.”

For more information about the Atlanta area real estate market, please email me at or call me at 404.918.2500.

~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®

Thanksgiving Countdown: A Week-by-Week Plan

It is a hard to believe that Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. Here are some great tips for preparing for that big turkey day! Enjoy!

Early November

  • Invite your guests. If the gathering is shared, keep track of who is bringing what on your menu.
  • Determine any special food needs for your guests and plan accordingly.
  • Make shopping list of perishables and nonperishables. Don’t forget to include film, batteries, and beverages.
  • If you are ordering a fresh turkey, do it now.
  • Make a Thanksgiving to-do list, listing all the little things you feel must get done prior to Thanksgiving. Be sure to schedule time for each chore and indicate who will take care of that chore.
  • Decide which china, glassware, and table linens you’ll use.
  • If tablecloths and napkins need to be cleaned or ironed, do it now.
  • Once table settings have been decided, order a floral centerpiece or make plans to create your own.

Two Weeks Ahead

green ribbon tied on napkin with wheat
  • Make sure you have enough tables and chairs for your guests.
  • Check all serving dishes, flatware, and glassware.
  • Polish silver. Wrap in tarnish-resistant silvercloth and set aside.
  • Shop for any paper goods you need for the event.
  • Take an inventory of your tablecloths and napkins.
  • If any of your items need to be cleaned, do it now.
  • Clean your refrigerator to make room for your Thanksgiving items.
  • Shop for nonperishable groceries on your shopping list.
  • Match up recipes with serving dishes and silverware. Drop 3×5 cards into each bowl and platter indicating which dish goes in each.
  • Plan and make decorations, place cards, and wreaths.

One Week Ahead

Thanksgiving table decorations
  • Plan seating arrangements.
  • Review your recipes and prepare a cooking schedule by day for the days ahead, and by the hour for Thanksgiving Day.
  • Check thawing time for frozen turkey.
  • Prepare guest room with fresh linens and other amenities.
  • Do any needed outdoor work like raking leaves or cleaning the glass on your front door.
  • Will you need a high chair, crib, or booster seat? Bring them out and clean, or arrange to borrow these items from a friend or the parent.
  • If children will be attending, get out games or movies for them. Or ask parents to bring things for the kids to do.

Four Days Ahead

  • As appropriate, begin defrosting the frozen turkey in your refrigerator.
  • Save money on ice — start making your own ice cubes now. When they’re frozen, dump them in a freezer bag.
  • Do major housecleaning and organizing.
  • Put up wreaths and nonperishable decorations like candles.
  • Phone guests regarding menu plans and find out what oven space they may need. Also inquire if they are bringing serving pieces or if you should furnish these.
  • Plan ahead for leftovers. Organize containers, bags, and wraps so guests can take home the meal’s bounty.

Two Days Ahead

red and orange flower table centerpiece
  • Chill beverages.
  • Have centerpiece delivered or buy flowers for the table.
  • Shop for perishable items.
  • Clean vegetables and refrigerate.
  • Set out bread for homemade stuffing.
  • Make cranberry sauce.
  • Fill salt and pepper shakers and butter dishes.
  • Complete light housecleaning.
  • Lay a fire in the fireplace, ready to light later.
  • Put up decorations.

One Day Ahead

Green Bean Bake Revisited
  • Peel potatoes, place in a pot of cold water. Keep in refrigerator.
  • Clean vegetables and refrigerate.
  • Make all dishes that can be prepared ahead. Don’t forget the pies and any chopping, peeling, or toasting that can be done ahead.
  • Check your bathrooms. Be sure to have extra paper goods and hand towels available.
  • Prepare stuffing.
  • Do spot cleaning of the rooms that will be used.
  • Let your family set the table in the evening.
  • Make the side dishes that can be baked ahead of time.
  • Make a staging area for coffee, desserts, and drinks. Stock with flatware, sugar and creamer, cups and saucers, etc. This could even be set up on a tray stashed in the pantry until needed.

Thanksgiving Day

Cranberry-Walnut Whole Wheat Rolls
  • Get out all serving pieces. Set out in order on a counter or buffet table.
  • Fill condiment dishes with your choice of pickles, olives, cranberry sauce, etc. Cover each dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Lay serving spoons on top.
  • Assign specific family members or relatives to be in charge of tending the fire, pouring drinks, answering the door, hanging up coats, and watching the children.
  • Remove turkey from the refrigerator for one to two hours. Add stuffing to the bird or place into casseroles to bake separately.
  • Preheat oven.
  • Put turkey in oven and baste every half hour or according to your recipe.
  • Prepare coffee and brew 20 minutes before serving.
  • Remove stuffing from turkey and let it rest, covered, for about 20 minutes before slicing.
  • Microwave food to quickly reheat if all the burners of the stove are occupied.
  • Make gravy and last-minute vegetables.
  • Set out refrigerated dishes including condiments, cranberries, and salads.
  • Heat bread or rolls as needed.
  • Pour drinks.
  • Carve turkey.
  • Keep the oven on the lowest setting to keep foods warm until the meal is over.
  • Enjoy the dinner! Clear the table and serve dessert.


Person Washing Dishes At Sink
  • Before leaving the table, blow out candles. Collect used cloth napkins and place them in the laundry.
  • Quickly fill the dishwasher with one load of dinner dishes and glassware. Add soap and run a cycle.
  • Fill the sink with hot soapy water and drop in silverware and any items to be hand-washed.
  • Put away leftover food in containers, foil packs, or plastic bags. Distribute into labeled bags for guests to take home. Refrigerate everything.
  • Wash items in the sink, then refill with hot water to soak pots and pans.
  • Clear and wash kitchen counters.
  • Wash serving pieces belonging to guests. Set labeled bags in a mudroomor hall, ready to take home.
  • Organize games or other entertainment.
  • Finish dishes as time allows, or after guests depart.
  • Launder tablecloth and napkins.
  • Put away dishes, serving pieces, and glassware.
  • Return any borrowed tables, chairs, games, etc.
  • Make notes on what worked — and what didn’t — and keep in your recipe box by the “Thanksgiving” tab.
  • Write and mail thank-you notes.

Article via: Thanksgiving Countdown: A Week-by-Week Plan from Better Homes and Gardens

For more information about the Atlanta area real estate market, please email me at or call me at 404.918.2500.

~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®

5 Inexpensive Home Staging Tips

Here are five things to do that are worth their weight in gold, give you a great bang for the buck, and will help sell your home faster and for more money!

We all know the real estate market is competitive. It doesn’t matter whether you own a home or condo, whether you’re in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or any other large city or small town, you have competition! There is nothing you can do about your floor plan, your neighbors, your square footage, or your location. However, there are great inexpensive things you can do inside your home. Here are 5 great tips:

1. Declutter. If you are walking into the living room and you are tripping on toys, shoes, books, TV remotes, or are lost at looking at the numerous pictures on the wall, or your 100 doll collection in the cabinet, then you have a problem! First designate a room for all the toys. Keep them there from the time you list your home until the time you sell your home. Thin out your doll collection and remove 3/4 of the pictures on the wall. Make sure you fill in the holes and paint. You will need to do this when you move so you might as well do it before you list your home. Your home will look fresh and more spacious.


2. Clean. Clean baseboards, ceiling fans, glass doors, anything mirrored. These are the areas most missed by normal cleaning, but most observed by potential buyers. If you can afford a cleaning person, do it. It’s easier to keep it up once you have done a thorough cleaning. Nothing is more of a turn off to a potential buyer than a dirty house.

3. Kitchen. Look at your kitchen. If you can’t see the counter tops, then neither can a buyer. Keep a coffee maker, your knife stand and some light staging items on the counters. Do NOT light candles with scents. Some people have allergies to them, and others may think you are masking a more severe odor.


4. Bathrooms. If your bath towels and bath mats clash in color go to a Dollar Store, Walmart or Target and invest in a matching set. It will change the look of your bathroom. For small bathrooms, don’t use large prints. A small stripe or little design is better. Make sure you buy the shower curtain that matches. It will be worth the expense.

5. Paint. You have heard it before, but a gallon of paint goes a long long way! If you have bright colors in your bathrooms, master bedroom, or kitchen, then paint them. Neutral earth tones are the best colors for selling a home.

Paint cans

Remember your house is no longer your home. It is now a commodity competing with other homes on the market. The goal is for a buyer to walk in and say, “Wow look at this home… It’s clean, decluttered, neutral in color and perfect for me. I’ll buy it!”

For more information on home staging or about the Atlanta area real estate market, please email me at or call me at 404.918.2500.

~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®