Cobb County Tax Bill

As a reminder, homeowners have 45 days after receiving their Annual Notice of Assessment to file a written appeal. (The notice includes the deadline date.)

In case you were not aware, the county does make periodic onsite visits to update their  property record from which to more accurately determine fair market values and/or make other determinations. More information can be found at www.CobbAssessor.org.

Don’t rely on the county’s opinion of value when preparing to sell. A Realtor and/or appraisal are a better resource for determining the potential sale price.

Higher Value Walton High School Home Resale Stats

MillerGroupRealty.com is the home for higher value Walton High School home resale stats by price range in Dickerson Middle School and Dodgen Middle School and the four elementary schools of East Side, Mount Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge that feed them. The local MLS provides a number of market metrics but system design does not support the level of detail that is so important to homeowners living within the Walton High School attendance zone.

The most recent Walton High School numbers reveal the following: Continue reading “Higher Value Walton High School Home Resale Stats”

Know Your Obligations

Know your obligations. Put more bluntly, know the law. This applies to those selling a house with or without a listing agent. And, whatever advice is directed at sellers often applies to buyers, and vice versa.

The duty to disclose is a very important topic and was recently addressed by Seth Weissman, long time general counsel to the Georgia Association of Realtors. (Don’t take any action based on this information, instead seek legal advice from a real estate attorney.)

The featured image does not tell you much about the house and appears to say, “HERE IT IS!”, leaving it up to the buyer to find the good, bad and ugly. Notating that a property is being sold as-is and/or without a disclosure seems to be an all too common strategy among investors, heirs and even owner occupants to sidestep their obligation.

Sellers – Regardless of the circumstances or conditions of the sale the seller is legally obligated to report latent defects of which they are aware and which a buyer could not discover through a reasonable inspection.

With this understanding it may seem the way forward is clear. But what about when:

  • A seller does not want to disclose a latent defect because the previous owner who must have known did not disclose.
  • A seller disagrees with a pre-listing inspection or one produced by a buyer.
  • A seller receives but does not read the buyer’s inspection report.
  • A buyer ignores a seller’s instructions and sends the inspection report anyway.
  • A seller asks the listing agent not to divulge a material defect that is unlikely to be discovered.

Buyers – Conduct your due diligence or forever hold your peace! There is little to no chance of winning a case against a seller if the issue could have been discovered through a reasonable inspection of the property, including current and pending zoning, boundary lines, flood insurance rates, past insurance claims, city/county/state long range plans, sex offender whereabouts, etc.

 

 

 

Home Improvement Plans?

Home improvement plans? Two more things to consider.

First, is a building permit required? This question usually creates a lot of discussion, most of which seems to favor avoiding the process or downplaying the need as if it is optional.

The county has defined the work requiring a permit, and without question there are some gray areas and permitting does impact the financial and scheduling components of a project. Homeowner reasoning not to have work permitted may be shortsighted.

Often I hear a seller disclose, when asked, that the work in question was done without a permit but they are quick to point out that it was performed by a licensed contractor or a licensed tradesman. In most every case, the seller is unable to name the “licensed” person or company! It surprises me how often buyers proceed on hearsay and don’t attempt to negotiate an offset in price for the real or perceived added risk.

Second, the impact on the Guaranteed Home Replacement Cost feature of the home insurance policy. Have a conversation with the insurance agent before, during or immediately after the work is complete to be sure there is sufficient coverage in the event of a loss. Based on limited personal research, it appears that permitting (or lack thereof) is not a factor in determining insurance premiums and claim payout.

With that said, it is my personal belief that erring on the side of getting work permitted has little downside compared to the range of issues* that may occur from not pulling a permit when it is clear that one is required.

* potential higher sales price, less time on market, safety, etc.

What’s Happening in Walton High School Area?

What’s happening the in the Walton High School area?

The standard answer comes from the MLS reporting, but the best answer comes from an in-depth study using FMLS raw data which requires an extensive manual process. This step is regarded as critical because it is very revealing and relevant when counseling sellers on how best to prepare and position their property to improve the opportunity to net more at closing, in less time. It is the MGR business model, local knowledge, and depth of experience that brings about the delicate balance between these opposing forces. So why the need for hours of work when push button MLS reporting is available?

First, the MLS “Original” List Price is a bit of a misnomer as the OLP comes from the most recent listing and not the initial listing in a multiple listings scenario; i.e., when more than one listing has been used to market a property. As show below, the average homeowner goes through about 2 listings in their effort to sell.

Second, the MLS “Total” Days On Market does not always reflect the entire amount of time a property has been offered for sale, and especially so in a multiple listing scenario due to MLS reporting rules.

Third, the MLS system is not currently built to segment results based on whether or not price changes were introduced.

Fourth, is the granularity needed to isolate the events down to the elementary school and price range level. More detailed information leads to better and more confident decision making.

The featured chart (in seasonal colors of red/green) illustrates two things; a) what happens when property is initially offered for sales at the Right Price (no price changes were required), and b) how this ratio varies among the upper price ranges.

Directly related to the falling SP/OLP% is the corresponding increasing days on market when the Right Price has not been identified.

These stats are for the higher value resale Walton High School single family detached homes in just four elementary schools (East Side, Mount Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge) because it is the focus of my business, and clients that fall into this slice of the market appreciate and benefit from this concentrated effort.

Below is the summary section of the reporting for the List Date 1/1/18 – 11/20/18 with List Price $800k – $999k, comparing among other things the variance between the MLS TDOM and MGR SDOM (seller days on market). It is very enlightening!

$800k - $1m Current Status v9

Contact me when you plan to sell and I’ll be glad to review this information in detail and other aspects of the MGR Best Home Marketing approach to selling higher value property.

 

For Sale, or Grave Marker?

For Sale, or grave marker? Honestly, it is sometimes hard to tell which it is.

Unless a house sits at the end of a cul-de-sac the first thing a buyer sees is the yard sign. This featured photo is not staged, it was the greeting I received upon arrival.

I can’t image an agent installing a sign for a new listing in any manner other than perfect, as it is a reflection on the profession and is part of the first impression buyers associate with a house. I can only image the buyer later referring to this house as, “the one with the falling down sign”.

Assuming signs are plumb when first installed, a sign that is leaning over or worse can indicate:

  • agent does not live in the area,
  • on the market for an extended period of time,
  • vacant,
  • does not show well,
  • seller is not motivated,
  • over priced, and/or
  • agent and seller have lost interest.

It seems that I witness yard signs in mourning for just as many luxury estates as lower priced property. This is very surprising as I would expect the market to demand better at the upper price ranges as sellers at the lower end to surmise it is what it is.

With that said, the perfect presentation has a short shelf life when it comes to delivering maximum impact on a seller’s net at closing. And although the best marketing in the world cannot sell an overpriced property the yard sign is still on public display, not under a bushel basket. It is for this reason that I’ve been known to replace a bent sign or one plastered with grass clippings (thanks to the lawn maintenance crew) to order to keep the appearance of a fresh, new listing.

2018 Cobb County Tax Assessment

The 2018 Cobb County Tax Assessment Notice is in the mail, or perhaps you have already opened it. Note on your calendar that the last day to file an appeal is Monday, 6/18/18.

Visit www.CobbAssessor.org for more information.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you believe the county has set an unrealistic value and your Walton High School home is in East Side, Mount Bethel, Sope Creek or Timber Ridge Elementary School.