Happy Thanksgiving from Area West Realty!

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

Pottery Barn Turkey
Pottery Barn Holiday Home Decor

Thank you for allowing us to be apart of your life, and assist in one of the biggest transactions of a lifetime.

We are Thankful for the opportunity to serve within these great communities.

We are grateful to have your support as we grow, and  humbled by your willingness to give countless hours to develop our brand.

Area West Realty will continue to work hard and continue to be committed to developing communities!

Real Estate Sales

Area West Realty has grown!

Vist our website http://www.AreaWestRealty.com for new listings, West side Residential and Commercial Real Estate news

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Certified Short Sale Specialist

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 Please also check out the company website and blog on www.AreaWestRealty.com but continue scrolling for latest Journal thoughts & musings from Nia 

What a week…

Is it just me,or does the “to-do” list keep growing every week?

This week was filled with home inspections, home tours,my own bathroom demolition(dust is everywhere), fighting a cold, kids school work and tons of community service. Not to mention, a panic attack realizing my birthday is on the 24th of this month and I needed to insure I had enough CE (Continuing Education) credits to keep my license active.  Why did I JUST remember this at the 11th hour? … this sent me into a frenzy, staying up all night taking online courses-being cranky and frustrated the next morning when I didn’t complete the course. All of this has my husband ready to strangle me…and ME ready to strangle me.

Suddenly, something told me to check the Georgia Real Estate Commission site to review how many credits I DO have?….  to my surprise, I’m not due to renew until 2015!! *Can you see the cloud lifting *

However, I have paid for courses that expire in a few weeks so I will complete them but WITHOUT the pressure (you should see a much happier, calmer Nia-who I’ve missed).  Some of the courses have been really interesting and leading to other courses I will eventually take to obtain my Eco Broker certification i.e. environmental hazards and Green living. Next on my list is my Brokerage License..and I’m not sure if I will stay with Morris& Raper as an Associate Broker or move forward with Area West Realty Group as my own brokerage.

What’s on this weeks agenda?  Well, I have a final home inspection on new construction,  a 2nd home tour of a Craftsman Bungalow in Westview (I think the buyer will make an offer tomorrow-it’s perfect for her),follow up on 3 short sales (always fun arguing with the bank and being directed to the wrong people when my negotiator has been changed 3 times in 4months) a few home tours, followup on 60 listings for a new client seeking a Lease/Purchase (no, I do not do this for everyone- he was referred by a neighbor and is in a particular price range), and advertise/promote my Open House on the 25th for Summer Lane Dr. …but besides that, this week I plan to focusing on getting my marketing team the needed documentation to complete my website, and work with my husband to complete a few paint project, select the materials for my new master bathroom.  This should be a great week…

Now after a long day, I can finally relax and read Westview’s first neighborhood newsletter! – If you want a copy, let me know, the next version will be online also.

Fear….

It’s amazing how crippling fear could be, and how “fear” could be the underlying motive driving our decisions.

I have a client who has viewed many (I think we’re up to 20) homes, and today I just realized why we do not have one under contract. FEAR.

I have shown everything on the “wish list”, intown- out of town, up and down, pools, facing North… flats.- You name it, and we have come -THIS- close to making offers…until we have a 3rd tour  of the  home. Right before signing on the dotted line, she finds something wrong, something unchangeable (the flow of the walls) to convince herself  “this is not my home”.

How do I help her overcome this? It’s funny, because I have lived in MANY homes-i would never have thought (from initial inspection) that they were “MY” home. It wasn’t until I put my stamp, MY love-and MY life in it that it transformed into MY home…but there is nothing I can say about the feng shui of a wall…

Just when you think being a Real Estate agent is only opening doors and wearing cute shoes…I must use some phycology and find out our stumbling block or we are just wasting time and turning down a lot of great homes!

I Dislike “Appointment Only”

Selling a home in this market is not easy.  The obstacles seem endless, from competing with foreclosure prices,newly renovated homes,better locations and now what seems an unfairly matched battle of obtaining correct appraisals..why would any seller want to add to the challenge?
I’m sure you wouldn’t, but YOU may be adding to this unknowingly.
Currently, we have just about 200 single family listings  “available” in the 30310 zip code.  I present my sellers with as much data as possible to prepare for the challenges we may face when listing, and to understand that this process will not be completed over night, in a week and may even take a few months before we obtain a solid buyer.
Initially this could be fine, but once the home is on the market-anxiety often sets in and “is my home being viewed?’ becomes a constant thought.
As an agent, there are a few punch list items we can do to make sure your home is being viewed, but most importantly- availability is KEY.
It is more of a challenge to sell a home listed as “Shown by Appointment Only” or a home that is occupied by a tenant with an unpredictable or varying work schedule.
Buyers AND agents love the flexibility of being able to show a home anytime- at the buyers request and this could come as soon as they see a listing. Often giving the agent less than 24hrs notice.  While working as a buyers agent, it has been my experience to schedule appointments to show a home, and then to line up readily available homes to show my buyer THAT DAY.  Usually, after we view the ‘available and vacant’ homes, we have an idea of which we would like to make an offer on, leaving us to either cancel our appointment or briefly view out of courtesy but without the intention of moving forward.
I have lost many viewers by not having my homes available “now” to view while an agent was out touring my community with their buyer.  Keep in mind, buyers and agents may not live locally and it isn’t always convenient for them to come back another day to view 1 home.
If you are listing a home, although you may feel a bit uneasy with it, having a Supra (agent computerized) lockbox really is best! There are many
ways to ensure your home(and personal items)are protected. Your home should be available for your listing agent to adequately preform their job.
Also, Surpa boxes are a great way to track viewers! Your agent and print off a list with contact information to agents that have shown your home. It’s a good reporting tool and a great way to measure your homes performance.
Another challenge, which could hinder the sale of a home is listing a home currently occupied with a tenant who has a lot of furniture.
I remember viewing one home and feeling immediately over whelmed, and I do this professionally– I can’t imagine what my poor buyers felt.(Well, I can since we did NOT go back to view nor did we make an offer)
Once we left-neither of us could remember if the home had hardwood floors or carpet.
It is difficult for buyers to feel comfortable going through closets, and even bathrooms of these homes. No matter how neat and clean the tenant may be, it feels very intrusive-as if we’re snooping.  Buyers spend less time in these listings and therefore walk away feeling unsure or not at all familiar with the layout.
In this day, no one wants to lose money- so I do not recommend losing a tenant to list your home, however you must make it very clear to have the home in “show” condition daily, and that a lockbox will be added to the home. You might even want to offer a bonus or incentive for your tenant to motivate them to help the process.
Asking agents to “courtesy call” the tenant prior to showing is reasonable and could make your tenant feel better about the process and lockbox.
These are just a few challenges I’m up against on my listings,and hope this will help you when you make your decision to list!
Nia

Thinking of moving to West End/ Westview?

I often receive emails or calls of potential buyers curious about our neighborhood. Many times they want to know if what they’ve read in online reviews are true….

-High crime, blighted community, depressed, no shops, low-income families – and many more negative comments that would make anyone wonder ‘Why should I buy there..?”

All I can say is “Don’t believe everything you read..!!!” We all know, often times the media does not paint an accurate picture of what really IS. Old stereotypes, opinions, rumors and past experiences can influence our thoughts.  When I first moved here (5yrs ago) I spent a lot of time fighting and trying to prove to family and friends just how wrong they were about the neighborhood. Now, I am really enjoying being one of Atlanta’s best kept “Secret Neighborhoods”.  I felt,‘ if someone is so foolish to let their opinions on a community be swayed  based on rumors than we don’t need that kind of neighbor anyway’.  I want more neighbors like those I have- movers and shakers, adventurous, passionate, caring, the challenge seekers, strong, those willing to break down barriers to do what others say ‘can’t be done’ , I need more neighbors who garden (because I LOVE getting fresh veggies from their garden-lol), more neighbors who bake (and drop my kids off cupcakes or make me dinner when I’m sick/prego)  The neighbors I have care enough about their kids and education that they didn’t just move to a good school district, they created a charter school, home school and WORK IN the local public schools to MAKE them great.

And when we didn’t have anything to do- we created our own: Chili Parties, Pizza Parties, Historic Holiday Parties, Auction nights, Screen on the Green, Dog Parades, themed dinners! But there are also plenty of public places i.e. Museums, restaurants, Book stores and need I say it.. Krispy Kreme!!

The community benefits of living in West End and Westview are endless…………it depends on YOU!

But if you’re still not convinced and need additional information-here is my New Buyer script:

“Welcome to MY South West Atlanta!

The Historic West End and Westview communities are the best intown Atlanta neighborhoods currently offering Craftsman Bungalows for under 100K!  For more neighborhood information please visit their websites and subscribe to their chat groups:  www.WestviewAtlanta.com or www.AtlantaWestEnd.com

 The city of Atlanta does provide down payment assistance for buyers with an FHA loan and who take the steps necessary to obtain it. One of the steps is working with a lender that has access to the funds, the other is to take a 1day class; please see this site for details(www.atlantada.com) under “Affordable Housing” and “Homebuyers” see the mortgage info.We are hoping to really increase homeownership in 2011 ! We could really use you- so if you’re one ready to think outside the box, or one needing just a bit more convincing then send me an email and let’s discuss the next steps!
Here is a mortgage officer that can tell you more, Vonda Henry vkayhenry@gmail.com , she is also the President of the West End neighborhood association.
Our local schools consist of  M.A.Jones Elementry, and Brown Middle School. We also have 2 wonderful, new charter schools that I feel very good about- KIPP Strive Academy (http://www.kippstrive.com/) and Kindezi (http://www.kindezi.org/)
 
For crime prevention, we have a mini-police precinct as well as Private Security options are available in the Historic West End. Also our neighbors strongly believe in the “Neighborhood Watch” approach and take part in annual training offered by the City.
 
We believe in being active with City Council and partnering with them to address our needs. www.NPUTAtlanta.org for information about our Neighborhood Planning Unit.
  
 Here is a couple (www.Westviewbungalow.com) who have purchased and restored their home, they have inspired many and are an example of the many new home owners we have.  
If you are on Facebook.com please search and “Add” each- to keep up with the latest events!”
 
@NiaKnowles (Twitter)
404-414-3289

Westview, West End Realtor

Nia Knowles

Certified Short Sale & Foreclosure Specialist

AREA West Realty Group
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