3 tips for buying and selling homes in 2020

Embrace virtual tours and expect a window of opportunity for buyers

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Atlanta affordability
Photograph by fstop123/Getty Images

The world of residential real estate as we know it is changing, thanks to erratic markets, interest-rate cuts, and stymied home showings. Here, three agents tell us how that disruption may affect Atlanta’s real estate market for the longer term. It’s not all bad.

Embrace virtual tours. In-person home showings have dropped 50 percent in Atlanta, according to Sherry Ajluni, an agent with Compass Real Estate. “We’ve always used video when showcasing our homes but are leaning on it much more heavily now, and I think virtual tours will be here to stay.” Ajluni’s tips? Don’t show every bedroom, highlight the street view and backyard, and keep the video to under one minute for Instagram (or use IGTV). “Remember that it’s advertising—not a comprehensive look at every corner of your home,” she says.

Check official guidelines regularly. This year, anything can change with little notice, says Julian Jackson at eXp Realty. He recommends home sellers check local county and municipal sites regularly to ensure their contractors, delivery services, and other vendors are still operating—and be flexible amid social distancing. “Don’t assume that an appointment a week out will still happen as planned, as we’re seeing recommendations and rules change daily, from government officials as well as from businesses themselves.”

Expect a window of opportunity for buyers. “June is usually a peak month for deals in a normal year, but the global economic uncertainty has suddenly put the brakes on an otherwise healthy market,” says Ben Hirsh, an agent who specializes in the Buckhead community. Buyers can expect a window of opportunity with less competition since those who don’t need to move aren’t likely to be looking. And homeowners who aren’t ready to sell should keep an eye on interest rates, as many will likely find it beneficial to refinance this year.

This article appears in our Summer 2020 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

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