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 Lisa Robinson, an associate broker with ENGEL & VÖLKERS in Buckhead. Before joining the brokerage, Lisa was the founder/principal broker of one of the few minority female-owned real estate firm in Atlanta. Lisa and her company received numerous awards and accolades, including recognitions from the Atlanta Business Journal and the Atlanta Board of Realtors.
Atlanta Agent (AA): What is the state of Atlanta’s luxury housing market?
Lisa Robinson (LR): From my position it looks great. Homes that are priced well and show well are selling quickly, particularly those priced between $1 million and $2 million, and that in turn has increased in the buyer pool, as more sellers have listed their homes.
Currently, we have more than 1,300 homes listed that are priced $1 million-plus, and in the last six months, there were more than 500 homes sold in that price range, which is very good. Also, the average days on market was only 105, a relatively short sale cycle.
We’ve also seen an increase in traffic from international buyers, as Atlanta is one of the largest international hubs in the U.S. – and with the homes so reasonably priced compared to other metro areas, we’re receiving considerable interest from those buyers, especially from China, Nigeria and several European countries.
AA: Are there any challenges on the horizon for housing?
LR: Higher interest rates are likely, given that the Federal Reserve is expected to increase its target rates. Many people are wondering how that increase will affect home prices, but Goldman Sachs recently wrote that home prices can in fact continue to increase amid the Fed’s interest-rate policy, as higher household incomes will help offset the potential negative affects of the higher rates.
We’re also hoping there is some loosening on lending standards, which may lead to an increase in mortgages and boost homebuyer demand.
AA: Finally, what is your main piece of advice for agents looking to reach your level of success?
LR: The first thing I would say is to make sure you have a sincere love for real estate, and that it is indeed your passion. If you think the job is going to be glitz and glamour and economic gain, keep in mind that though it may in fact be some of those things, it can be a very difficult industry if you do not have real passion and commitment.
Every day is not a high-end closing with an easy transaction. You must be in the job for the right reasons, which is the love of working with people, helping them realize their homeownership goals and being a part of the process – not for the economic gain. Of all the agents I have coached, the ones who experience the most difficulties are the ones who have a skewed perception of the industry.
I would also advise agents to be well prepared and, though not many mention it, to get enough sleep! You must be prepared for the unpredictability of a real estate career, which is a wonderful career, but a demanding one.