Atlanta Sellers See Full Cash Offers

Is this too good to be true? If not, how can you get your slice of the real estate pie?

Photo by: Eric Benjamin This midcentury modern home received multiple cash offers and eventually sold for over 104 percent over the asking the price. 

You may ask yourself bubble? What bubble? A condo-owning couple in Washington, D.C., kept getting notices slid under their door from agents telling them what comps sold for in their building. So, in spite of the fact that they’re expecting their first child, they put an astronomical price tag on their home and it sold in four days. An agent in the Hollywood Hills told the The New York Times that he received multiple offers on a property after a Realtors’ caravan.  

Stories like this are trickling in from all over the country – Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and yes, even Atlanta. According to agent Eric Benjamin of Keller Williams in Atlanta, sellers are getting all-in cash offers, large amounts of earnest money and even multiple offers above the asking price. 

These properties range from a 20-foot ceiling loft in Reynoldstown to a midcentury modern near Lakeside High School in Northeast Atlanta to a huge newer house that backs up to the Silver Comet Trail in Smyrna.

“Estate sellers in Decatur told me to stop accepting offers after we got seven and the property went $20,000 over asking,” Benjamin explained. “The flip side is if there is an appraisal contingency, they might have to reduce that price if the appraisal comes in lower than contract price.”

Benjamin says that a lot of the traffic is from investor businesses from Europe and China that are buying up large blocks of real estate in Metro Atlanta; however, he sees a significant slow down due to lack of inventory. 

“The so-called shadow inventory that the media has been talking about does not exist, but if it did, these investors would snap them up,” Benjamin told FrontDoor.

Shadow inventory refers to real estate properties that are either in foreclosure and have not yet been sold or homes that owners are delaying putting on the market until prices improve. It can create insecurity for owners about when to sell and when a market can expect full recovery. Also, shadow inventory typically causes reported data on housing inventory to understate the actual number of inventory in the market.

So, what does Benjamin recommend for both buyers and sellers jumping into this market? 

“For sellers the house has to be perfect – perfect condition, perfect staging, perfect price,” he advises. “I just ran my numbers and my seller clients are getting 99.71 percent sales price as a percentage of original list price.” 

Buyers, he said, should be prepared to pounce on any good properties because there aren't many of them and to also be prepared for multiple offer situations. And make sure to have an appraisal contingency, just in case they have to go considerable over asking price.  


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