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Paula Van Sickle's Blog

By Team PB Atlanta Real Estate | Agent in Roswell, GA
  • When Should You Take Real Estate Advice From Anyone but Your Own Real Estate Agent?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Atlanta, Home Selling in Atlanta, Home Ownership in Atlanta  |  March 25, 2014 1:45 PM  |  409 views  |  1 comment

    When you let friends and family know you're getting ready to purchase or sell a home, you'll get plenty of advice. As a real estate professional, I advise you to be wary of it.


    Both buyers and sellers have been disappointed with their results when they took the wrong advice from a friend, a neighbor, an attorney, an accountant, Cousin Gus who sold real estate back in 1982, or Aunt Sally who sells real estate in another State.


    But think about it…


    Those who live in your community can give you at least one good bit of advice – they can recommend an agent who served them well (or warn you about one who did not.)


    And anyone who has been involved in a real estate transaction recently can give you something more - warnings to help you avoid the mistakes they made.


    They can tell you what happened when they failed to take their agent's advice – and did things to harm their own chances of buying or selling.


    Home sellers can tell you about mistakes such as over pricing their home, insisting on being present for showings, and getting insulted and refusing to negotiate low offers.


    Home buyers can tell you about the time wasted making low-ball offers or the disappointment of losing out on the home of their dreams when they decided to "sleep on it" overnight.


    So listen to your friends and relatives – just don't listen when they give you pricing advice, and don't listen if they tell you to ignore advice from your own experienced real estate professional.


    When you want expert advice about real estate call me. I'll be glad to share.


    Paula S. Van Sickle

    Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers REALTOR®

    “Sell” Phone – 678-923-3523

  • RENT OR BUY: The $54,000 Question!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Alpharetta, Home Selling in Alpharetta, Rent vs Buy in Alpharetta  |  March 17, 2014 12:58 PM  |  396 views  |  No comments
    RENT OR BUY: The $54,000 Question!

    A renter paying $900 per month for rent will pay their landlord $54,000 over 5 1ears! With that same monthly payment this renter could be a homeowner building equity and reducing taxes.

    A renter paying $900 per month could potentially buy a home in the price range of $120,000 to $135,000 (depending on borrower’s credit score and debts) and not increase their monthly payment (based on a $130,000 sales price, 3.875% 30 year fixed rate with an ARP of 6.177%).

    Plus, Mortgage Interest Rates are still at historically low levels. For example, the cost for every $1,000 borrowed at a 3.75% 30 year fixed rate is only $4.63 per thousand.

    Home values are beginning to recover, but current home values in the greater metro Atlanta area have only recovered back to 2002 levels!

    So, let’s put this into perspective, a potential homebuyer can buy a home at 2002 prices and interest rates at 1956 levels! Wow, it really is an amazing time to buy a home!

    It really is interesting that mortgage interest rates are at 1956 levels. That means that the last time interest rates were this low, Elvis Presley released his first hit, Heartbreak Hotel; a gallon of gas cost 20 cents; a gallon of milk cost 97 cents; a loaf of bread cost 18 cents; a postage stamp cost 3 cents; the average cost of a new car was $2,000; and the average home price was $2,500!

    It’s even more mind blowing when you stop to realize that you can lock in the interest rate on one of the biggest purchases you’ll likely ever make for 30 years! We can’t lock in the price of a gallon of milk or a gallon of gas for a day, much less for 30 years!

    Who do you know that is currently renting? Maybe you should ask them the $54,000 question.

  • When You Really Want a Home in Atlanta - BE READY!!!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Atlanta, Moving in Atlanta, Home Ownership in Atlanta  |  March 17, 2014 9:16 AM  |  440 views  |  No comments

    When You Really Want a Home in Atlanta – Be Ready For Action!!


    With growing competition for well-appointed, properly priced homes here in Atlanta, buyers who want to "win" must be ready to take action quickly.


    That includes becoming pre-approved for a mortgage loan before you begin the search. You'll know your spending limit and any restrictions on the home you can choose. You won't waste time on homes that clearly won't work.


    It also includes being willing to drop everything and view a new listing if your agent calls and says "I think I've found it."


    And then, of course, it means making the decision and writing the offer before "the perfect home" is under contract to someone else.


    We're hearing the story repeated again and again – buyers see the house they love and decide to think about it overnight – only to find that by morning they're already too late. Some other buyer didn't wait.  


    If you really want a home in Atlanta – be ready.


    If you are ready or thinking about buying a home, Team PB Atlanta Real Estate is READY!!


    Call today for a complimentary appointment with our Team – Let’s Get YOU READY!!!


    Paula S. Van Sickle - 678-923-3523

    Brad P. Burns - 770-380-2406


    Team PB Atlanta Real Estate


  • Should your real estate agent be a real estate professional??

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Atlanta, Home Selling in Atlanta, Home Ownership in Atlanta  |  March 12, 2014 12:51 PM  |  428 views  |  No comments

    Should your real estate agent be a real estate professional?

    A seemingly logical question might be, aren’t all real estate licensees professionals?  One would hope so, but how does one distinguish this?  A dictionary definition would likely say that professionals of any stripe are those that make a living in a particular trade.  In that sense, any licensee actually working in the trade could be considered a professional.  But can you afford to leave it at that?

    By a more critical standard, real estate professionals are those that truly commit themselves to their trade.  Not only do they strive to make a living out of the trade, they spend extra effort assuring competency in the work they do.  They find themselves among a fellowship of like-minded people that take exceptional pride in their work.  And there are plenty of statistics available that indicate that REALTORS© are far more productive, better servants. 

    So for a consumer to determine if their prospective agent is a professional, they might begin by asking if the agent is a REALTOR©.  REALTORS© are licensed tradesmen that have committed to serve and be bound under a professional code of ethics.  Licensees that do not choose to be REALTORS©, choose not to be bound by those high ideals—although surely there are some among the uninitiated that philosophically subscribe to the professional standards of the REALTOR©, they just don’t want to officially commit, for some reason.    

    Maybe that’s the question to ask.  Why is a licensee not a REALTOR©?  It’s a fair question, and one that consumers might want to ask, because if consumers become unhappy with the licensee’s work, they have a singular, logical recourse for remedy—through the judicial process, ideally via the office of the state’s real estate commissioner.  On the other hand, REALTORS© have a formalized process for addressing grievances though state associations and local boards.  At the associations and boards, a consumer may choose to mediate or arbitrate the matter.  In such cases, a panel of REALTOR© professionals may be appointed to judge the behavior of the REALTOR© in question, and decide whether that person should be allowed to continue serving in the brotherhood.  Then, if the consumer remains unsatisfied that sufficient atonement has been achieved, there is always the court system to fall back on.

    Finally, please don't forget to thank a REALTOR©, if you know one, because REALTORS© are your advocate in government.  The fellowship they comprise represents the most influential voice in the entire country committed to protecting individual property rights for homeowners—from the White House all the way down to the local municipality.  REALTORS© are the consummate professional.    

    Just remember that not all real estate licensees are REALTORS©, and there is a difference.  So ask the question.  Are you a REALTOR?  And if you suspect a devious answer, asks to see a membership card.  There really is such a thing.

  • Common Home Selling Mistakes

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Atlanta, Home Selling in Atlanta, Home Ownership in Atlanta  |  March 10, 2014 10:30 AM  |  468 views  |  No comments

    Common Home Selling Mistakes


    Homeowners are understandably disappointed when they list a home for sale and after months on the market it expires unsold. They wonder why, when other homes in their neighborhood are selling, theirs did not.


    Often the reason why can be found in one of these common home selling mistakes:

    • Overpricing
    • Poor presentation – failure to do the fix-up, clean-up, and de-cluttering activities their agent recommended.
    • Being present during showings
    • Putting limits on days and times for showing
    • Insisting on 24 hour notice for showings
    • Failing to negotiate low offers
    • And of course – choosing the wrong agent

    If you're thinking of selling...


    Before you choose an agent, interview the agent, read his/her testimonials and bio, ask to see sales statistics, look at how he or she markets listings, pay attention to how quickly your calls are returned, and ask about the agency's cancellation policy. You should have the right to cancel if you're not happy with the service.


    And don't forget: Choose someone who knows your local real estate market and can accurately advise you. Now is not the time to do a favor by listing with a friend or relative in a different city.


    Once you've chosen the right agent, listen to your agent's advice.


    Team PB Atlanta Real Estate: Weekly BLOG 3/10/14


    Paula Van Sickle – Realtor® 678-923-3523

    Brad Burns – Realtor® 770-380-2406


    Call Our Team Today for an appointment to show you our marketing plan on how we can/will get your home SOLD!!!!!
  • Home Sellers – “But I don't want to leave during a showing!”

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Atlanta, Home Selling in Atlanta, Home Ownership in Atlanta  |  February 18, 2014 7:09 AM  |  459 views  |  No comments

    ATTN: Home Sellers – “But I don't want to leave during a showing!”


    You've heard it many times. Whether here in Atlanta or anywhere else in the world, home sellers need to be out of the house when buyers come through.


    But why? What if the buyers and their agent have questions and need answers? I'm the one who knows all about this house.


    Sellers need to be away for four reasons:

    1. The seller's presence can cause buyers to leave before they've had time to fall in love with the house.


    When the sellers are home, most buyers are shy. They're hesitant to open closet doors or turn on faucets to check the water pressure. They feel uncomfortable and won't stay long enough to really get a feel for the house or to stand around trying to decide if their furniture will fit.


    2. Sellers who get into conversations with buyers or their agents can destroy their own bargaining positions.


    For instance, they may ask why you're moving and your answer might indicate that you're in a hurry and really need to sell. Thus, their offer will be lower than it might have been.


    It really is no one's their business why you're moving. It has nothing at all to do with the value of the house. But if someone asks you a direct question, you may find it difficult not to answer.


    If the buyers are truly interested and have a valid question, their agent will contact your agent.


    3. You could be drawn into a verbal negotiation that's not in your best interests.

    Some buyers are pushy and don't want to wait to write an offer and have it presented. Instead, they'll approach the seller with "Would you take…"


    Answering that question without knowing all the details that go into an offer could clearly be against your best interests. "X dollars" could turn into "X minus many thousands" in seller concessions by the time the offer is written.


    4. Personality conflicts. You and those potential buyers might simply not like each other from the minute you meet. It could be a matter of attitude, or the buyers might make a statement about the house that you feel insulting. Some people see that as a form of negotiation, but when it's your home being attacked, it can make you angry.


    For whatever reason, you may decide you don't want them to have your house.

    The buyers might decide they don't like your "energy" and don't want to live in a house where you lived.


    As your realtors, Team PB Atlanta Real Estate serves as a buffer between you and the buyers - protecting YOUR interests. If they or their agents have questions I can't answer, I'll contact you immediately.


    So - for your own sake, please leave while your home is being shown.


    Contact Our Team today for a FREE consultation on either Selling, Investing or Buying a home ~


    Paula S. Van Sickle – REALTOR® @ 678-923-3523

    Brad P. Burns- REALTOR® @ 770-380-2406



    Better Homes and Garden Real Estate Metro Brokers

  • NEW LISTING & OPEN HOUSE in Roswell, GA ~ Sat. Feb 1st - 1 - 3 PM

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Roswell, Home Selling in Roswell, Investment Properties in Roswell  |  January 31, 2014 8:39 AM  |  458 views  |  No comments

    OPEN HOUSE - ALL ARE WELCOMED - SAT, FEB. 1ST - 1 - 3 PM - 2940 Willow Green Court, Roswell (Willow Springs) - call Brad @ 770-380-2406 for more info or just come on by!! 


    Team PB Atlanta Real Estate/Solid Source Realty
    Paula Van Sickle @ 678-923-3523
    Brad Burns @ 770-380-2406
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