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 Blair Branch Huckeba. A South-Georgia native, Blair is a Realtor with Dorsey Alston in Atlanta/Buckhead, and she was named “Rookie of the Year” at her previous company. In addition, she was a member of the 2013 Atlanta Board of Realtors Multi-Million Dollar Club and was among the top 25 agents company-wide for Dorsey Alston, Realtors in 2013, and she remains among the top 10 percent of the brokerage’s agents.
Atlanta Agent (AA): ABR’s latest report was universally positive about Atlanta’s housing market; how has the market been in your neck of the woods?
Blair Branch Huckeba (BBH): I service the entire metro area and there has certainly been a flurry of activity this spring. I have felt the strain of the tight inventory though. There are plenty of qualified buyers out there and just not enough homes for them to buy. We are seeing the typical scenarios when demand outweighs the housing supply: multiple offers on homes, homes selling for over asking price, and contingencies removed in order for buyers to win homes.
I think it’s a great time for sellers to sell, given the rise in prices and lack of supply. But all the advantage is not to the sellers; buyers do have the advantage of low interest rates, so it’s still incredibly affordable to buy. We will see interest rates increase over the next few months though, so I’m encouraging all of my buyers to get in the game and find their home before it’s out of reach!
AA: Given where the market is now, how do you feel about housing’s future?
BBH: Prices are going to continue to rise unless we see an increase in inventory. The lack of available homes is very evident in the current pricing. And I don’t foresee prices drastically dropping anytime soon (so buyers who are waiting for the bottom to fall out…you may be waiting awhile!) Some buyers may have cold feet for fear of another real estate bubble. But, real estate is cyclical, so there will always be high points and low points. Like any investment, there are no guarantees. And everyone has to live somewhere!
AA: Finally, what methods do you follow when networking with potential clients?
BBH: I really utilize social media for networking and maintaining contact with my past clients. I mean, I can find out when someone is getting married, when their birthday is and if they’ve had a baby, all by just logging on Facebook! It’s a great way to keep in touch and if agents aren’t using it they’re certainly missing out.
I also try to support my clients and potential clients, since they support me in my business. If they’re having a fundraiser for their civic organization, or a jewelry party for their side business, or invite me to a great event, I try to attend! Showing up and being present for people speaks volumes, especially in our technology-driven society.