Searching for a home can be an emotionally fueled task. The perfect home that meets the needs of your family is out there. Today's housing market can feel like an endless race. The rush to place an offer and the restless wait to hear if it was accepted. While the process may feel overwhelming, the end result is pure joy. Behind every “Welcome Home” doormat and brand new set of keys is a real estate agent who works tirelessly for you.
We talk with four local agents who give us the inside scoop on what's happening today in the Fayette County housing market.
Tonya Jones by Jackie Boeheim
For 15 years, Tonya Jones has been a part of the real estate business. She was born and raised in Fayette County, giving her not only professional expertise but personal knowledge as well. “This is home,” Jones states. “I LOVE my community!”
It’s no secret that the housing market has presented unique challenges. Jones has experienced a shortage of housing, combined with the high demand for homes. Through her customized marketing strategies for sellers, she’s able to work hard for these clients. Through the pre-listing consultations to the staging and a detailed timeline, her clients can trust the process.
“I try to meet them where they are,” Jones explains. “Each client and transaction are different. I try to understand the person, their personality and the situation and put myself in their shoes.” Jones has seen firsthand that the limited inventory is driving the prices of homes up in our market, making it difficult for buyers. She’s hoping for that to stabilize near the fourth quarter of 2022.
If there’s one thing Jones stands by, it’s her clients. “This is not a transaction for me but rather a relationship.”
Latisha Williams by Jackie Boeheim
In 2006 Latisha ‘Tish’ Williams officially staked her claim in the real estate business. She brings confidence and guarantees to Fayette County through her promise as a realtor. “I am very familiar with the area,” Tish states. “I work, live and play here.” Clients from all over the world have leaned on her expertise, from Germany to Nigeria. Tish has made it easy to communicate with her clients through virtual showings and consultations.
Tish exudes confidence in every transaction by guaranteeing results for her clients. “For instance, I guarantee that my client will love their home, or I'll sell it for free,” Tish explains. Specific tools have been set in place to ensure that buyers obtain the home they desire. “We remove the risk of regret or remorse when working with us.”
According to Tish, the lack of new construction communities has become a complication for some. Young families are gravitating here for the great schools, having to trade the possible dream of new construction homes for more established communities. “Scripture says God is concerned with what concerns us. So, I bring client concerns to God in prayer.”
Tish is building a Real Estate Business, one that will find its success beyond her. “Most agents often see themselves as just a real estate agent who works for a brokerage. When they stop selling, most just stop. When I stop, I want to have a successor to take the reins and keep moving and do better.”
Kim Ross by Jennifer Conforti
According to Kim, to be a successful realtor right now takes patience, perseverance, a little creativity, and some luck. "What we’re seeing over the course of this last year, is a lot of the same type of buyer looking for houses. When you have multiple offers, everybody’s offer looks the same so as a listing agent you have to vet everyone very carefully. Also, in each price range, instead of 10 people looking at 50 listings, there are more like 20 people looking at 5 listings! It can be a challenge."
Her other challenge presents when Kim is the buyer’s agent. There are multiple offers on any given day for any given home... how do you separate yourself from the pack? "Standing out - being the red umbrella in a sea of gray, that’s something I think we do really well at the Kim Ross Team. There is only so much you can do and so many terms inside of a contract so that’s where the creativity comes in."
Early on last year, Kim had a lot of investors but that has died down a bit. For the last year, the majority of her buyers are retirees moving here from other states. Kim adds, "The film industry here is also affecting the real estate market and they are looking for a place to raise their family close to the production studio. Since Fayette County is such a nice place to raise a family, they’re coming."
Karen Graiser by Susan Walworth
Karen is not only an Accredited Buyer’s Representative and Seller Representative Specialist with Harry Norman Realtors, she is also president of the Women’s Council of Realtors. She enjoys listening to her clients’ needs, educating them about the area, and negotiating for the perfect property that suits their lifestyle. “I love what I do,” she said.
Karen notes that the average list price for homes in Fayette County increased by $100,000 last year. She points to the rapid growth in Coweta County as having an impact on our local market. Particularly the area south of Hwy. 16 in Senoia and Turin. “When I started you could buy a home in Senoia under $300,000. That’s not happening anymore,” she said. Low inventory and cash buyers are driving prices. “Our market’s been flooded with investors and relocations from the Northeast and West Coast,” she said, adding that it’s hard to buy anything under $450,000 now. “To them, this is still affordable housing. They just have a different perspective.”
She doesn’t see the bubble bursting any time soon, even though interest rates are likely to rise, and believes it’s still a good time to buy.