Every week, we ask an Atlanta real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in Atlanta real estate.
This week, we talked with This week, we talked with Tim Hur, the broker/president of Point Honors and Associates, Realtors. Tim is also the president of the Asian Real Estate Association of America – Greater Atlanta Chapter and the CEO of International Business Accelerator, and as if that weren’t enough, he’s the president’s liaison to South Korea for NAR, and the association’s chair of the State and Local Forum on Global Business.
Atlanta Agent (AA): We’ve observed a marked decline in investor purchases the last few months; is that consistent in your marketplace? And will that open the doors for more conventional buyers?
Tim Hur (TH): Interestingly, I’m getting more calls from smaller investors to assist them with their purchases – the market has definitely changed that inventory isn’t as available for them as they were before. The big institutional investors are still pretty strong but the smaller buyers are faced with unique changes in the marketplace.
At the very least, the investors are asking for help with the negotiating process since prices have gone drastically up or they’re unfamiliar with the purchasing process (i.e. auction.com, hubzu.com). A lot of conventional buyers are still shut out of the market or they’re having to settle for properties that is not their top choice. I just had a client email me today that they’re not satisfied with their rate of return in that particular market as the property value isn’t increasing fast enough, so he’s thinking of selling and completing a 1031 exchange. It all depends on the area and market.
AA: We recently reported on a study that found that 414,000 home sales will be lost this year to student debt; how do you work with clients who have student loan payments to consider?
TH: I’m not surprised. I just had one client that wasn’t able to obtain his financing since his student debt put him right at the limit and another client who’s husband had to be the only one on the mortgage since the wife had too much student debt – even though the wife makes twice as he does. I work with a few lenders that can find creative solutions to these issues – things aren’t always set in stone.
That’s when having personal relationships with the loan offers and the mortgage companies are important. It’s definitely going to be an issue in the coming years and something that may even need to be addressed through Congress. Competent loan offers that work with banks with common sense policies will be able to find solutions within reason.
Furthermore, Realtors, we get it. This is why it’s important to work with a Realtor or join the Realtor family. I know in Georgia, the Realtor community are working legislators and other elected officials to address this very issue of homeownership and student debt. We’re hoping that a solution comes out from the legislative side as well.
AA: Finally, what’s your focus when marketing your listings?
TH: Every property has it’s unique challenges and needs. There’s never the right formula to get something sold – the basics, of course, great photograph and great marketing material are a must, but I like to add video for each property as well. Every good agent will have a good set of ideas and tools up their sleeves – my focus always changes for each property and I like to think each property speaks to me on how it should be marketed.
Location matters a lot to me too- a day is never the same for us real estate folk!