Perrie & Associates - Blog

Say Cheese - The Importance of Professional Photography

Published: 9/29/2019

We've all been there.

You're shopping on Amazon when something suddenly catches your eye. You click on the new item. Read the description, maybe check out a few reviews, and suddenly - it's in your cart and being shipped to your house.

But what was it that caught your eye?

The price? Probably unlikely. The catchy product name? Perhaps. Most likely? It was the image. And we bet that if there were several pictures of that item you clicked, you looked through each one before you made your purchase.

Images sell. They draw us to a product. They help us put a face with the name of a person we may hire. They grab our attention to look at one advertisement above all the others crowding our screens.

When it comes to real estate, this fact is no different. When listing a home, photos are simply a must. You may think the photos are something you can handle, but you may want to reconsider.

iPhone cameras are constantly improving, but when it comes to selling a home, a quick shot from your device just isn't going to cut it. To really sell your home, it's important to invest in professional photography.

According to PRNewswire, a study done by VHT Studios, one of the nation's largest real estate photography businesses, showed that listing that featured professional photography sold 32% faster than those that didn't.

Not only that, but listing with more photos sell faster too, and according to a 2013 study by Redfin, homes featuring professional photography sold for more money as well.

So how do you tell the difference between what's amateur and what's professional?

For starters, quality equipment is essential. Your iPhone may be convenient, but a DSLR camera provides images that are colorful, crisp, and high quality, and there are also a variety of options with different lens sizes and lighting. This equipment doesn't come cheap, however, and it takes years of experience to learn the ins and outs of all the camera's capabilities.

According to Redfin's national photography manager Drew Larrigan, the equipment doesn't make the photograph. "The number one thing people get wrong with listing photography is having the mindset that anyone can do it and deliver a beautiful photo," he said. "There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work you don't see, capturing layers of [...] images to create one beautiful shot."

These layers Larrigan refers to are added and compiled in the editing stages to capture all the shadows and highlights in the room and create beautiful window views from the listing.

If you're wondering how you can tell the difference, check out these side-by-side comparisons. In the professionally shot images, the whites are whiter, the rooms look larger and more inviting, and the focus points of the home are clear.

Once you decide to hire a professional, there are a few things you can do to prepare the space. Clearing clutter from surfaces, cleaning windows, replacing lights, and removing personal items can all help to make your home stand out in photographs. Check here for other suggestions to make your home's photoshoot run smoothly.

Overall, the decision to hire professional real estate photographers can only improve your listing's chances. And, the investment in photography will return itself when your home sells quicker and for more money than any other home on the block! So tell your home to say cheese, and get it sold!

Owner's Title Insurance - An Easy Decision

Published: 9/3/2019

Countless decisions go into purchasing a home: location, architectural style, neighborhood, moving date - the list goes on and on. One decision owners face when buying real estate is whether to purchase owner's title insurance.

While many choices in the home-buying process require much consideration, a decision about owner's title insurance should be one of the easiest. After all, if you buy insurance for your car, why wouldn't you insure what will most likely be the biggest investment you'll ever make?

Technically speaking, owner's title insurance is optional. But again, when trying to decide if you should protect the most important purchasae in your life, the option is pretty clear.

Most people think of insurance as payment to protect from a future event - like when you buy car insurance to protect you from an accident that may happen in the future.

Title insurance is different. It protects your from future losses based on past events before you acquired the property. This can include a claim of easement, an encroachment or boundary line dispute, or a lien or claim that originated with a prior owner.

Now you may be asking, "shouldn't those issues be found before I buy my home?" The easy answer is yes - because otherwise you wouldn't be signing at our closing table! A title search will produce the liens and any prior issues associated with a property as well as utility easements; however, it won't reveal a person's claim of easement to walk across the property.

In addition, because Georgia law provides no judicial oversight of any foreclosure action, the title exam may not reveal if the foreclosed-upon prior owner has an objection to the foreclosure and intends to assert it as some point in the future. 

Chicago Title Insurance Company puts it best, saying  "title insurance is issued after a careful examination of copies of the public records. But even the most thorough search cannot absolutely assure that no title hazards are present, despite the knowledge and experience of professional title examiners. In addition to matters shown by public records, other title problems may exist that cannot be disclosed in a search."

Buyers may also be hesitant to purchase insurance because they think the home they are buying is in a safe, well-designed neighborhood and the "title should be fine." But just because there is an established HOA in a settled neighborhood doesn't mean that issues can't come up in the future.

What if the contractor built the home on the wrong footprint, and now the driveway extends 6 feet onto the adjacent lot? The HOA could have approved the build without thinking too much of it, but now the owner of the adjacent lot wants to build on his property, which is where your driveway sits!

The great thing about an owner's title insurance policy is that there is a one time premium. The premium is paid at the time of closing, and then that's it for as long as you own the property. 

No, owner's title insurance is not required, but for the lender, it is. And their insurance only protects the lender, and offers nothing to the homeowner. The lender purchases title insurance for every single property, and if they feel that it is so important to protect that property, why wouldn't you?

An owner's title insurance policy is one you hope to never need - but when you do, it is invaluable. We at Perrie & Associates have great relations with several title insurance companies, and strongly suggest owner's purchase a policy to protect their greatest investment!

Back to School!

Published: 7/31/2019

Today marks a new month, and for many counties in the state, including Cobb and Cherokee, a new season - the school season! 

The first day of school is officially here, and for many students, it may be their first day in an entirely new school. As many in the real estate industry know, the summer is the best time to move for families, and it has certainly been a busy season. If you have moved with your family, then it's likely your children may be starting a new school. While that can be an exciting transition, it can also be a challenge for some students to leave their old school behind and start with a blank slate at a new school.

If you are preparing your children for that transition, we have a few tips to make the school year go off without a hitch and have your kids jumping off the bus with a big smile!

Encourage Participation 

A great way to quickly get accustomed with a new school is to participate in extra curricular activities. Many sports teams will probably begin practicing a few weeks before school, or will at least have meetings early on to get established. Encourage your child to try something new at their school and participate!
In high school this may be a bit easier with a variety of sports and activities to choose from, but elementary students can get involved too with neighborhood and community sports.

Talk it Up 

While it's important to make sure your child is ready with supplies, it's also necessary to talk to them about their new school and ask them how they are feeling.
You don't have to have a formal sit-down with them, but ask them what they are excited about, what they are nervous about, and any questions they may have about their new school. After school has started, ask them about their day and what they're learning. Continue to check in with them so you can monitor how they're fitting in. 

Merge the Old and New 

Starting at a new school can certainly be exciting, but it can also be a challenge to let go of an old school and friends. That's why it's important to merge the old with the new.
Encourage your child to make new friends, but also be sure to keep in touch with old friends from your last neighborhood or school. Whether that is a play date on the weekends or becoming pen pals, it will make your child feel that they haven't left everything behind and they will always have friends wherever they go.
If you had specific first-day traditions in your old home, keep them going at your new one, and if you want, make a new tradition. It can be as simple as eating pancakes or taking a picture, but having keeping old traditions will allow your child to have something familiar on their first day.

Get involved 

Your child is the star of the show when it comes to starting at a new school, but you can definitely be a great supporting actor!
Talk with your child's teacher and the school's PTA to see how you can get involved with the school. Attend a PTA meeting to learn about what's happening at the school, or, if you're teacher needs volunteers, go and help out by reading to your child's class or chaperoning a field trip. When your child sees that you are participating in their new environment as well, they will be encouraged to participate themselves, and will also feel more at ease knowing you are there.

Stay Positive 

Throughout the transition of attending a new school, it is most important to stay positive. Drop them off for their first day with a smile, a warm hug, and encouragement, and follow up with the same when they get home. If you approach the new community with a positive attitude, your kids will follow suit!

Post-Closing Practices

Published: 7/10/2019

We know this busy season of real estate can be hectic, but it's never bad idea to take a moment to look back at some basics. 

We recently went back over the closing process, but what happens after the papers are signed and the keys have been exchanged? 

The work doesn't stop there, so here's a synopsis of what happens post-closing, including what we handle after you've signed, and what you should do too! 

Our job

  • Disbursement - Many checks are often disbursed at the closing table, but any wires and checks not given out at closing will be distributed afterward. The closer will get the file back and review it to ensure all documents have been properly executed in compliance with the bank's requirements, and checks will be mailed out to the appropriate location and wires will be sent out by the closing attorney. 
  • Deeds and Recording - The warranty deed is signed at closing and shows that a clear title has passed from the seller to the buyer. A security deed is signed when a mortgage loan is taken out in Georgia, and shows the terms of the loan and places a lien on the property until the mortgage is paid. Both of these deeds must be recorded with the Clerk of Superior Court in the respective county where the property was sold to show the transfer of ownership.After closing, our post closer will review the deeds and check the legal descriptions for accuracy before sending them to the clerk's office with checks for recording fees. Once received, the clerk will stamp the original and record a copy of the documents in the public records/deed books. The stamped and recorded original is returned to our office. The buyer will receive a copy of the stamped warranty deed for their records, and a copy of the stamped security deed will be sent to the lender. 
  • Documentation - Part of the post-closing process is sending documents from closing to various parties involved in the closing. This can include homeowner's associations that need a copy of the warranty deed, to agents who need copies of the closing disclosure. We will ensure that all parties receive the necessary documents they need to record your closing. 

What you can do
  • Little Red Book - At closing, you will receive one of our famous red booklets, a staple of Perrie & Associates. This book is all of the documents you signed at closing, condensed down into 8.5 x 11. Keep this book! It is so important for you to keep your closing package in a safe place. It's great to have for your records in case anything may come up. If it does, you've got all your information and all the terms of your closing right there at your fingertips.
  • Check the mail - As we noted above, you will be receiving some documents or checks through the mail after closing. Don't forget to be on the lookout for this paperwork - and be sure to check your bank account if you will be receiving a wire.
  • Homestead Exemption - In the new year following your closing, it will be time to think about taxes. From January through April, home buyers who purchased a property in the last year can apply from a homestead tax exemption.
    A homestead exemption is a reduction on the homeowner's property taxes, and the amount of the deduction is determined from the assessed value of the home. To qualify, homeowners need to apply with their county tax office. Each county has a different deadline between January and April, so be sure to check with your tax office on when to apply. 
We pride ourselves in continuing to a source of support for everyone who has closed with us. We maintain secure, electronic copies of all documents related to every file we have closed to date. For any questions regarding post closing, please email, or ask for our post closing department. 

Market Check In

Published: 6/24/2019

We are halfway through 2019.

Yes, you read that sentence correctly. It's hard to believe, but this year is really already halfway over! With school getting out and summer starting, it's easy to forget how quickly time has flown by, but it is important to take a moment and check in with how you're doing so far this year.

So, we figured we would check in with the real estate market and see how things are going at the halfway point for 2019.

Mortgage Rates Raise Questions

After decreasing for months, the mortgage rate seemed to pause last week, leading some to believe that they may be leveling out.
According to The Washington Post, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate was 3.82% last week. The 15-year fixed-rate average slipped to 3.26%, and the 5-year adjustable rate landed at 3.51%, down from 3.52% a week prior.
Rates have dropped throughout 2019, and according to Market Watch, have only reason 7 weeks this year. Currently, experts are torn on what will happen to the trend of mortgage rates.
Shashank Shekar, CEO of Arcus Lending, told the Washington Post he expects rates to continue to fall looking at inflation numbers and federal spending. Elizabeth Rose, a certified mortgage planning specialist at AmCap Home Loans, told the Post however that she expects rates to remain steady as trade talks continue and inflation numbers remain "tame."

Slow Sales 

Despite low mortgage rates, homes are selling slowly, and although there was a slight increase in home sales for May, the market is underperforming according to experts.
First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming told Housing Wire that we are in a "homebody era" and many homeowners feel "rate-locked into their homes."
"Looking ahead, more than half of all existing-homes are owned by baby boomers and the silent generation and they will eventually age out of homeownership," Fleming said. "But right now, housing supply remains tight - you can't but what's not (for) sale - and market potential is lower because of it."
According to the Wall Street Journal, existing home sales have fallen for 15 straight months; however, there is hope on the horizon according the NAR, as May ended with 1.92 million homes available, up from last year.
While some homeowners are starting to realize the selling potential, as one Realtor told the Journal, it's not the push that everyone was expecting or wanting this summer season.

Home Value Increase Slows 

While home values are up from where they were this time last year, it seems the increase is starting to slow down.
According to Yahoo Finance, 33 of the 35 top U.S. Markets slowed in May, with the exceptions of Indianapolis and Cincinnati. The average U.S. home value fell in May, which is the second monthly decline after 85 months of back-to-back increases. The average U.S. home value sat at $226,800 in May.
Although two months of decline after an 85 month growth period may seem alarming, Yahoo Finance says the decline is showing that home values are "flattening." Some experts say the slowdown is welcome, and returns a sense of "normalcy" to home values after an aggressive season for buyers. Regardless of feelings, market trends point to this "flattening" of home values to remain.

Realtor Opinion 

In May of this year, the National Association of Realtors released the Realtors Confidence Index, a report based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate professionals.
The survey reported that properties were on the market for an average of 26 days, and first-time buyers accounted for 32% of sales. Of those who were surveyed, 82% said they saw home prices remain constant or increase during the month of May, and cash sales accounted for 19% of deals.
With regard to the top issues in the market, Realtors surveyed said low inventory and interest rates were the biggest factors affecting the market.
To see more from the survey, check out the report here.

Home-Inspired Gifts for Dad's Day

Published: 6/11/2019

Father's Day is almost here, and it's time to celebrate all the spectacular dad's who have filled our lives with love and great dad jokes.

Not sure what to get your pop's on his special day? Consider a few of these home-inspired recommendations to spruce up his man cave or make him feel even more relaxed in his big easy chair.

Tile Key Locator 

Is your dad always asking you where his keys, wallet, and phone are? Save his day with the Tile Mate! These handy devices can easily be attached to keys, cameras, wallets, or any other important item. They connect with your phone's GPS to locate the items whenever they've been misplaced. With the tap of a button, a friendly song will start playing to help you find your items. And if your dad has his keys but not his phone, they can help him find his device too! 

Amazon Echo Dot 

Is your dad in love with the Smart home idea? Or does he just love shouting down the hall to ask you to get something? This Father's Day, let Alexa do the leg work. All he has to do is say "Alexa, play Bruce Springsteen," and he's set to go! Pair this with a few smart plugs or lights and he'll never have to get up to hit the lights ever again.

Picture 1 of 8

Hopsy SUB Beer Tap 

For the beer-loving dad in your life, look no further than this at home tap system. Using it is easy - just plug and pour. All he needs is one power outlet, and your dad will be free to enjoy any of his favorite beers on tap. The company can ship the mini-kegs right to your door and offers beers from craft breweries as well as seasonal packs.

Waterpik Water Flosser Electric Dental Countertop Oral Irrigator For Teeth – Aquarius Professional, WP-662 BlackWaterPik Water Flosser 

For the father who is a neat freak, or is just passionate about dental hygiene, the WaterPik Water Flosser is the perfect gift. Combining fun tech gadgets and health, this water flosser has 10 pressure settings and timers to make sure dad is flossing for gum perfection. He'll thank you when he gets raving reviews at the dentist office!

Petcube Bites 

Have the dog and cat replaced you as the children of the house for your dad? Petcube Bites will allow him to check in on his new fur babies as much as he checked in on you as a teenager. This pet camera not only allows you to monitor your pets actions while you're out of the house, but you can also talk to them through the two way microphone and fling treats to always maintain their love and affection. With this device, dad can also take pictures or videos of the pets while he's away and show them off to all his friends.

Darth Vader Waffle Maker 

For the dad who's always got jokes, the Darth Vader Waffle Maker will have him saying, "Syrup, I AM your father."

DadBod Gift Set
Dollar Shave Club 

Most dad's don't always take the time to pay attention to their own grooming routine, so give your dad's a step up with the Dollar Shave Club package. Including shave butter, razors, post-shave gel, and more, this set will have dad feeling fancier than James Bond. You can also customize the packages to include oral care and other grooming products to help your pops glam up his routine and have him feeling fresh.

Best Dad Mug 

Is your dad Avenger's obsessed? If so, this mug is perfect (but only if he's seen Endgame). Besides, are you even a dad if you don't have a Dad Mug?

Whatever you get your father on father's day, wish him a happy one from Perrie & Associates!

Summer in the City - Atlanta Attraction for this Season

Published: 5/30/2019

Memorial Day is the un-official start of summer, and even if it isn't technically the summer season - this heat certainly is!

If you're looking you're looking to get outside, or just find something for the kids to do this season, we've got you covered. Here are some great Atlanta attractions we recommend visiting!

Adventurous Attractions  
If you're looking to get your adrenaline pumping this summer, there's plenty to do in metro Atlanta.
Six Flags Whitewater is a great way to cool off and have fun in the summer heat. Check out over 15 water slides, a giant wave pool, or just lounge around on the lazy river. The park is located conveniently in Marietta and will be open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
For even bigger thrills and spills, visit Six Flags Over Georgia. You can soar like a superhero with the Batman and Superman roller coasters, or experience the new Cyclone ride that's now a hybrid coaster of wood and steel.
In case of rain, there is plenty of indoor fun to be had at Andretti's Indoor Karting and Games, located in both Roswell and Marietta. With some of the state's fastest indoor carts, a 4,000 square foot laser tag arena, and 12 lanes of custom bowling, not to mention an entire arcade full of games, there is plenty to keep the kids (and parents) entertained on a rainy day while introducing a bit of friendly competition.

Learning doesn't have to stop over the summer months!
Local history is on full display at the Atlanta History Center. With more than 30 acres of exhibits, gardens, and historic homes, the center boasts a large collection of Atlanta history, including uniforms and memorabilia from the 1996 Olympics. Plus, you can tour the historic Swan Home, which was featured in the Hunger Games: Catching Fire film.
To view history with a wider lens, check out Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Walk with the Giants of the Mesozoic to see Argentinosaurus, the largest known dinosaur to walk the Earth, then take a stroll through the trees with a new outdoor, interactive exhibit. A giant theater screens several films daily, and for an adult science night, Fernbank After Dark offers special cocktails and tapas for an after-hours evening of live music and science.
If you're more of a sports fan than a history buff, the College Football Hall of Fame is the place for you. The hall features several interactive exhibits with video and memorabilia from the best in college football, a Game Day theater, and an indoor playing field where you can run through an obstacle course, test your best quarter back arm, and kick field goals to truly get in the game.
For more historic museums and sites, check out this list of other locations in the area.

Outdoor fun 
There's plenty to do outdoors to have some fun - despite the heat!
The Silver Comet Trail, running through 13 miles in Cobb County, is the perfect way to get outdoors for a long walk or bike ride. Along the trail are several pocket parks as well as beautiful scenery, and there are four trail heads with ample parking.
Similarly, the Atlanta Beltline offers 22 miles of trail that surround the city's in-town neighborhoods. Enjoy the public art located along the route and stop at some of Atlanta's best restaurants right along the path. There's even a skate park in the historic fourth ward!
To get a little higher this summer, hike up Kennesaw Mountain to get a bird's eye view of Cobb County. While you're there, explore the museum about the Atlanta Campaign and Battle of Kennesaw, and don't miss the live artillery and infantry demonstrations just outside the visitor's center.
If you're looking for a more casual way to enjoy the outdoors, Centennial Olympic Park has a number of great features including a splash pad that kids can play in that also has a synchronized show at various points in the day. Around the area there are other great attractions including SkyView Atlanta and the World of Coke to extend your day of fun.

Neighborhood Festivals 
Summer weather means summer festivals, and the metro area has more than you can choose from.
The Chattahoochee Nature Center will have a Butterfly Festival the first weekend in June where dozens of butterflies and other pollinators will be released. The festival will also include food trucks, a butterfly encounter exhibit, a butterfly school for kids, and a plant sale.
If you're a culinary connoisseur, and food festivals are more your style, the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest will be held June 15 in Historic Fourth Ward Park and will feature more than 200 beers from local and national breweries.
For a cool hang, the 9th annual Atlanta Ice Cream Festival will take place in Piedmont Park on June 27. Vendors will offer ice cream, gelato, and other cool desserts, as well as fun games and activities for the kids including live demonstrations, an ice cream eating contest, and a Fight Cancer walk.
You can find more summer soirees in Atlanta here

Cheer on the Braves 
SunTrust Park and the Battery Atlanta are in their third season of hosting the Braves, and it's the perfect spot to celebrate America's greatest pastime this summer.
There are a number of new restaurants in the Battery Atlanta, as well as new shops to explore, and even an escape game!
In the stadium, take a tour through the Monuments Garden to see the evolution of the Braves and the Hank Aaron statue, or watch the game from one of three levels of the ChopHouse. Hope & Will's Sandlot continues to be the spot to be for kids at the ballpark with a rock wall, zip line, and arcade games right next to the field.
A slew of artists are performing at the Coca-Cloa Roxy, and you never know who will appear on stage at the Battery after a game! 

The Probate Process - Managing the Family Estate

Published: 5/16/2019

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy. It's a difficult time in anyone's life, and when you add the process of managing their estate - it can feel like an impossible task.

However, the probate process does not have to cause more stress in an already emotional time. Perrie & Associates is a full service law firm that can help families with the process, and we've broken it down in just a few simple steps.

First of all, what does probate mean? 
Probate is the term for the legal process through which assets are distributed. It essentially means that a Judge gives legal permission for a person's estate to be passed along. 

Once the necessary information is gathered to prepare a Petition and the Petition is prepared and  filed, the process takes from 60 to 120 days, depending on how complex the situation is and how many Petitions are already in the Clerk’s office awaiting processing.

The Probate Process 

  1. Petition for Probate is Filed. Upon a person's death, a petition to probate is filed in the probate court in the county where the person lived. This petition is filed to either appoint the executor of the Will if one is present, or to appoint an Administrator of the estate if there is no Will. An Executor, sometimes called a personal representative, has the legal ability to gather and value all assets of the estate, pay bills and taxes, sell property, and distribute the assets of the estate to beneficiaries. An Executor is typically named or appointed by the maker of the Will, and listed directly in the Will itself.  If there is no Will, an interested party will file a Petition to be appointed Administrator, and will be approved and appointed by the Court. All heirs and beneficiaries will be notified that a petition has been made, either by the Petitioner or by the Court.

  2. Publication for Service/Notice. When a petition is filed with the court, notice of the petition will also be published in the newspaper where the deceased person lived or where real property was held. This is to make certain any and all heirs at law are notified to allow them to respond to the Petition to Probate as to their involvement and make a claim within a certain number of days (this number of days varies by state). This publication must run for four (4) consecutive weeks in the “Legal Organ” – that is the official newspaper for the county in which the probate is filed.

  3. The Oath of office must then be taken at the Clerk’s Office by the Executor, Administrator or Personal Representative, after which the Court will issue Letters Testamentary (where Wills are involved) or Letters of Administration in instances where there was no Will.
  4. Notify Creditors and Take Inventory. Once an Executor or Administrator has been appointed by the court and Letters Testamentary or of Administration have been issued, written notice to Debtors and Creditors is published. Debtors (people owing the estate money) and creditors (those owed money by the estate) will then have a specified time - again determined by state law - to make a claim against the estate. An inventory of the estate's value including property, bonds, business interests, and other assets is also prepared at this time by the Executor, Administrator or Personal Representative.

  5. Typically, Estate Tax ID Number is obtained from the IRS and an Estate Checking Account is set up at this time; however that varies depending on the situation and circumstances.
  6. Estate Expenses are Paid. These may include the final expenses of the decedent’s last illness, nursing home or hospice care, and disposition of remains (funeral or memorial services) as well as any claims from creditors that have been determined to legitimate. The executor will pay the taxes and other debts from the estate. In some cases, assets of the estate can be sold to pay for these expenses, and funeral expenses are also typically paid for using money from the estate.

  7. The Estate is Closed and Ownership is Transferred. After bills have been paid and the required time for collectors has passed, the executor of the estate will distribute the remaining assets of the estate as they are laid out in the will. If there is no will, distribution of these assets will be made to the heirs at law determined by the laws of Georgia. Any trusts that were required in the will are created at this time, and the ownership of any property or other assets is legally transferred to the beneficiaries at this time. A petition to discharge will be filed with the probate court, and the court will rule the estate may be closed.

The probate process does not need to be stressful, and it does help to have an expert by your side to navigate the legal process. At Perrie & Associates, we offer full legal services to help you through the probate process and help you manage your loved one's estate. 

If you aren't dealing with the probate process now, think ahead and call us to draft a Will, Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare (formerly called a Living Will) and Durable Power of Attorney to help your family in the future. Our associates are here to help you with everything from preparation of these basic documents to insure your family is taken care of should something happen to you, to helping you navigate the probate and estates process.  Let us make a difficult time easier for you and your family.

Back to Basics - The Real Estate Closing

Published: 4/14/2019

The busy season of real estate is just right around the corner, so before it becomes hectic, let's get back to basics!

Presenting: The Real Estate Closing.

First, of all - what is a closing? Why do I have to have one? 

After all the searching, all the open houses, all the comparing and price negotiating and inspections - you have finally purchased or sold a home. 

While you have certainly gotten through the hardest part of the process, there is still one more step to take for Georgia residents: the closing. 

A real estate closing is the process of transferring the title of the home from the current owner to the new owner. Each state has different requirements for the transaction, and in the state of Georgia, an attorney is required to oversee the closing.

Okay, so what all happens? What do I have to do? 

The closing process can seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be! We've broken down the closing into 7 simple steps. 
  1. Give Us a Call - 
    To start the closing process, the buyer or seller's agent will send the contract that contains both parties' information as well as the property address and other information needed for closing to Perrie & Associates. The contract will be assigned to one of our five offices, and a closing coordinator will begin gathering information and contacting all parties involved to prepare the transaction to close. We also handle For Sale By Owner contracts where no agents are involved, and all new contracts can be sent to or faxed to 404-214-6686 or 404-214-6674.

  2. Building the Background-
    After receiving the contract, the pre-closer will order a title report. The title report is a document from the county that shows any liens on the property and is generated by the title examiner. The report is compiled from public records typically recorded in the local county record books. Documents contained in the report include unpaid tax bills, city and county tax bills, security deeds, neighborhood covenants, HOA documents, civil law suits or any other documents that can indicate a cloud or blemish on title that must be cleared up prior to closing. When an issue arises, it is referred to as a "cloud on title" and the property cannot be transferred to a new owner until those issues are resolved. The clouds on title are reported to us, and the pre-closer will address and clear those issues before continuing with the closing process.

  3. Information, Please - 
    Once the title is cleared, the closing coordinator will work with both parties to collect information such as social security numbers for the buyer and the seller, their current and future addresses, the amount of the buyer’s homeowner’s insurance, current property taxes, homeowner's association information and any other information required. The pre-closer will also work with the lender to prepare the settlement statement and other documents needed for closing.
    Next the file moves to the closer's desk, and the closer will also work with the lender to prepare the closing disclosure statement or the settlement statement, along with other documents needed for closing. The pre-closer will work with the lender to provide the commitment to issue title insurance and ensure proper fees and taxes are added into the lender's system in preparation for the upcoming closing.

  4. Save the Date - 
    When the buyer's lender reports that the loan has been approved, the closing can be scheduled. The lender and our office make every effort to work toward the closing date stipulate in the contract, but the buyer's lender has ultimate authority over when the loan is cleared to close. This process typically takes 30 days, so it is important that the purchase contract for a home be sent to the lender and closing attorney immediately after it is completed.

  5. Autograph, please - 
    This is it, you're finally here! Once you arrive for your closing, you will meet with one of our attorneys who will guide you through the closing package and documents that need to be signed. If you're the seller - you've got it easy. You may only have 8 to 10 documents to sign! For the buyer - get those autographs ready! 
    Some of the most important documents signed at closing are the warranty deed, which transfers the title from the previous owner to the new owner, security deed, which creates the lien on the property by the mortgage company and outlines the terms of the obligation, and the closing disclosure (or HUD for a cash sale). The CD or HUD will be given to both the buyer and seller and outlines the fees for both parties and how much each party will receive or owe after closing.

  6. Money, Money, Money - 
    After it's been signed and sealed (we'll get to delivered next), the seller will receive a check or wire for the proceeds of the sale, and then pass those keys across the table because the closing is finished! Now you have officially sold or purchased your home! 

  7. Record and Relax - 
    You've done the hard work and we've gotten your signature, so sit back and relax - we'll take care of the rest! Someone from our post-closing department will send the deeds to the county courthouse to be recorded, and once the warranty deed is returned, the stamped original will be returned to the buyer and the stamped security deed will be returned to the lender for their records.
The closing process should not be one to dread, but one to celebrate! It's a happy occasion for everyone involved, and Perrie & Associates is happy to help with this exciting process. We can't wait for to see everyone at the closing table as the busy season approaches! 

Self Spring Cleaning

Published: 3/26/2019

When you think of spring cleaning, your mind probably jumps to dusting, vacuuming, and getting rid of clutter. But why can't it mean spending some time on yourself?

Spring is a season for renewal and rejuvenation, and there's no reason it can't be a season of renewal for you! Use this time as an opportunity to check in with yourself, set new goals, and make new habits that will help you through spring and all the way through the summer months!

Need a bit of inspiration? We've got a few tips to get you started.

Clear Your Schedule 

While it's often hard to find a break in your busy schedule, try to set aside some time during this period to spend time on yourself. Whether it's an entire day, or just a few hours, schedule a break to relax and focus on what you want. Give yourself an opportunity to enjoy your hobbies - read a book, take a relaxing bath, work out, or binge that Netflix show that's been sitting in your watchlist.

Feeling stuck? Get outside! After all, it is spring time, and the weather and new blooms can be inspiring. Take a walk around your neighborhood, or just enjoy a drink on the back porch. Whatever you do, allow yourself to forget about work for a moment and just spend time rebuilding and rejuvenating yourself.

Spice Up Your Diet 

It's easy for your diet to get stuck in the same rut. You probably rotating through about 15 to 20 different recipes, and if you're always on the go, you may not even have much time to cook. Try to change that this season, and spice up your diet with some spring cuisine!

Just a few quick changes to your regular routine here and there can help you feel inspired and excited. There's plenty of options out there - check out some of these spring recipes form the Food Network.

Unplug and Unwind 

Spring blooms are hard to enjoy if you're constantly looking at your phone. This spring, make it a priority to unplug from technology. Of course it's not necessarily possible to unplug completely every day, but even if you switch your news feed with a book for a few minutes, that can make all the difference!

Think about setting a time limit on your phone that will shut off certain apps or limit the amount of time you spend on them. On some phones, including iPhones, this can be done from the "Screen Time" option in your settings. If your phone doesn't have that option, set a timer at a certain point in the day to put your phone down, and try to set your phone face down so you aren't distracted by notifications. Taking your eyes away from the blue light of your technology and toward the sunlight outside can be a great help to not only your physical health, but your mental and emotional health as well!

De-clutter and Cleanse 

So this one is a little more along the lines of traditional spring cleaning, but take time this season to get rid of things that you don't need. By simplifying your life, you can feel more relaxed and focus for the rest of the year. If you're not sure where to start, check out the KonMari method by Marie Kondo. (This is the one that all of your friends are talking about after watching "Tidying Up" on Netflix - and why their perfectly-folded shirt drawers keep popping up on your Instagram). The Japanese method focuses on organizing four parts of your life - clothes, books, papers and komono (miscellaneous). It also incorporates gratitude and reflection that helps you be more mindful and thoughtful as you move forward.

In addition to de-cluttering physical items, don't forget to declutter your phone! Unsubscribe to all those emails that you aren't reading and delete any apps that are distracting or in your way on your screen.

Set New Goals 

Finally, consider the spring time as a time to re-align or set new goals. If you made new year's resolutions, check in on those now and evaluate your progress. Are you making good strides to push yourself even further, or do you need to readjust your goals? Remember, this doesn't mean that you should have already met your objectives - it's only been 4 months! Be kind to yourself and just use this season as a time to check in and reevaluate and adjust.

If you didn't make resolutions, that's okay! Now that you've gotten started with the year, you may see more clearly where you are going and where you want to be. Take this time to put pen and paper to those ideas and set new goals. Just be intentional about your ambitions and make plans to make them happen!

As the weather warms up and new life starts to grow, take a cue from nature and allow a revival within yourself. If you're looking to spice up your life, find new inspiration, or set new goals - now is the time. For some more ideas on how you can spring clean your life, check out this list from A Kind Journey. Whatever you do, enjoy yourself and relish in this energizing new season!

Better Your Business Card

Published: 3/19/2019

3.5 x 2

In that small space, you're supposed to be able to convey everything. Who you are, what you do, and most importantly, why the person holding this piece of card stock should hang onto it and contact you in the future.

Business cards are a hallmark of the industry, and for many businesses, you've "made it" if you've got a company card. But in the technological world we still live in today, do business cards still have a chance?

That's up for debate, but according to Entrepreneur, the answer is still "yes" - at least for now.
Business cards provide a first impression for your business, and it's also a personal way to swap information, rather than just adding your name to someone's phone and getting lost in their contact list. Not only that, but it also shows that you are prepared. Whether at a networking event or a showing, being able to pull out a business card when a person asks for your info shows that you've put thought into your business and you care about what you do.

With that said, there are some business card basics that need to be followed in order for this old-school format to be successful.

Keep It Simple 

One of the cardinal rules of business cards is to keep it simple. You've got a small area of prime real estate, so don't fill it with information that is unnecessary. Here's what you absolutely MUST have.

  • Name/Company Name
  • Job Role 
  • At least one form of contact
Of course, these three things aren't ALL you're going to include on your card, but be choosy when you start adding additional information. If fitting your slogan in causes you to decrease your font size on your phone number or email, is it really that important?

Photo or No? 

One of the greatest debates in business card basics is whether to include a headshot. With such a small canvas, is it necessary to fill a good chunk of that space with your face? However, we all know that real estate is a business all about people, so isn't it important to connect a face with a name?

According to two agents on MarketLeader, the jury is still out on this one.

In a study conducted by attorney Eric Bryn, a photo didn't help with a consumer's engagement. In fact, it actually harms it. Of 1,000 business cards sent out to consumers without a headshot, there were 200 responses. Of the 1,000 sent with a headshot - there were none.

However, some agents still feel that it is an important element to include and can be incorporated properly and professionally. If you're worried about taking up space, don't forget - there's a back to the card as well.

Most importantly though, if you do decide to go with a headshot, be sure that it is a professional and recent photo.

Design and Quality 

Following right behind content is design.

According to Forbes, a business card should be designed like a website.  Colors and fonts should be simple, and there should be plenty of white space so you don't overwhelm your client. If you're able, take the branding from your website, and continue that branding onto your business card. Not only does this help by establishing you and your business, but it will also help you simplify your design.

In addition to design, consider quality. When printing business cards, high-quality card stock is a must. An expert with MarketWatch says most "cheap" business cards are printed on 100 lb. gloss cover that still feel professional and sturdy. To really step it up, consider upgrading or consider a somewhat textured card stock that will stand out to clients in a pile of cards.


It goes without saying that we use or phones and technology to do every bit of communicating, so include this information on your business card.

On your card, include information to your website, as well as your social media presence. If you're including your Twitter or Instagram, just include your account handle (the @myname portion, not the full link). But beware, if your last post on that Instagram was from 2016, then don't bother putting that handle on your business card.

With regard to your website, remember that any link you put on your business card isn't just a hyperlink that your clients can click and immediately see. This means that your link should be short and sweet, and shouldn't require clients to continuously go back and forth from their screen to your card in order to make sure those numbers and letters are all in the right order. You can also consider including a QR code on the back of your card either next to, or in place of, a headshot. Almost everyone's phones now can read a QR code through their camera, and it's a quick and easy way to get your client where they were going to head anyway - the internet.

Use Them Wisely 

Finally, and arguably most important - you have to use your business cards wisely. Although we depend on technology, that physical 3.5 x 2 piece of card stock can really leave an impression.

J. Maureen Henderson with Forbes said it's crucial to not lean on your business card as a crutch. Handing someone a card should never be your introduction. Rather, it should be a way to put a final punctuation mark on a great conversation. A business card should be a reminder of you and the connection you and your potential client made.

Additionally, as much as you hand out your own business cards - you should also be collecting them. Remember when you're out networking that you should also be gathering cards of those you had connections with and following up with them.

Regardless of the digital age, the "old-school" staple of business cards can be effective in helping you build your business. As Entrepreneur states, you never know when you could meet a potential client, so be sure to keep a quick and professional representation of your business at all times.

Homestead Exemptions - A Filing Guide

Published: 2/21/2019

It's that time of year when the forms start piling up and you keep trying to put off the inevitable - taxes. We know it's not always the most exciting, but it's time to gather your documents and get it done. But if you bought a home in 2018, don't forget about the homestead exemption! 

Not sure or can't remember how to file for the exemption? We've got you covered with these quick facts about the homestead tax exemption! 

What is it? 

A homestead exemption is a one-time, tax exemption on your property taxes that can be filed the January after you have purchased a new home. It lasts until the ownership of your home changes.

How much is exempt?

The exemption is a reduction of the amount of taxes charged, and so will vary for each county and property. 

What do I need? 

To file for a homestead exemption, you must be a legal resident of the county and must own and occupy the home as of January 1 in the year you are seeking the exemption. There is no income or age limit to file an exemption. 

How do I apply? 

The deadline to file for most counties is April 1. An application will need to be filled out and can be found on the county's website: 

Happy filing! 

The Big Game comes to the ATL

Published: 1/29/2019

Image result for football party

It's the week of Atlanta's biggest show since the Olympics, and now that the threat of snow and ice has passed, the city can get back to focusing on the important festivities for one of the world's biggest sporting events - the Super Bowl.

The L.A. Rams and the Patriots are lined up as the star players for Sunday night's game in Mercedes Benz stadium, and Georgians in and out of the perimeter are setting up to host the best Big Game parties. But the game isn't all that the city will be hosting this week. Some bowl game events have already started earlier this week, with media day starting on Monday, but there's still plenty planned that will keep Atlanta going all through the week. If you're wondering how you can join in on the festivities (or want to know so you can avoid the traffic), we're rounding up the week's events right here:


The Georgia World Congress Center will be home to the NFL's Super Bowl Experience until February 2. The football-themed park will be an immersive and interactive experience where fans can take pictures with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, collect autographs, and check out a collection of the 52 Super Bowl Rings. A football "training" course with a 3-cone drill and 40 yard dash will also be available for all members of the family. Tickets for the event range from $20 to $40 and can be purchased here.

A three-night concert event will begin on Thursday night with the EA Sports Bowl featuring Ludacris and  Migos at State Farm arena for the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest. Post Malone and Aerosmith will headline Friday night, and Saturday night will feature superstars Bruno Mars and Cardi B.  You can check out their website for more information and to buy tickets.


At Centennial Olympic Park, the Super Bowl LIVE series presented by Verizon is a six-day fan festival with outdoor concerts, fireworks, and other activities. The line-up of performers includes Waka Flocka, Goodie Mob, Craig Campbell, and several other Georgia-based bands. For the full line-up and hours of the events for the rest of the week, check out AJC's wrap-up here.

One of the most anticipated events coming to Atlanta, Shaq's Fun House, will start at 9 p.m. Friday night and continue partying until the early hours of 2 a.m. the next day. Presented by basketball star Shaquille O'Neal, the experience held at the Battery Atlanta will feature carnival rides, performers from Cirque Du Soleil, an open bar, Waffle House food truck, and A-list celebrities. As if that wasn't enough, Migos, Diplo, Lil Jon, T-Pain, and others will join Shaq for performances. According to the basketball giant, he says "my Fun House blends super star talent with a unique over the top interactive carnival experience ... Shaq's Fun House is a completely different over the top experience you will not want to miss!" But hurry though, tickets (starting at $250) are selling out fast - you can buy them here.


Sports Illustrated Saturday Night Lights event will be held at the Chick-Fil-A College Football Hall of Fame starting at 9 p.m. Saturday night. The concert and event will feature Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg along with an all-inclusive bar. Tickets can be found at their website.

Maxim's Big Game Experience will feature Diplo, Future, and Jamie Foxx, as well as a special guest that will be announced at the show. Hosted at The Fairmont, the event will feature some of the best in food, drink, art, and fashion, but be prepared to pay - tickets start at $750.

For some cheaper Saturday fun, check out Three Piece Suit Football, a charity festival hosted every year in Historic Fourth Ward Park. The festival will feature men and women tackling each each other in, you guessed it, three-piece suits, but there will also be food trucks on hand, local Atlanta breweries, face painting for the kids, and a Frisbee dog halftime show. The event is free, and proceeds from food and drink sales benefit Pets for Vets and Battlefield to Ballfields. You can find more information here.


To start gameday off right, check out the Big Game Brunch at Atlantic Station from 11 to 3. The event is all-inclusive and will feature food from Atlanta restaurants as well as bottomless mimosas, bloody marys, beer, and wine. Tickets are $65 and will jump to $75 the day of the event, and they can be purchased here.

Guy Fieri will also be taking Atlanta by storm with his Player's Tailgate event starting at 1:30 on Super Bowl Sunday. The event, though featuring a hefty price tag of $750 per ticket, will feature open premium bars and all-you-eat dining from gourmet chefs and restaurants. Held at Pemberton Place, the tailgate will be host to more than 30 NFL players, and proceeds from the event will benefit Operation BBQ Relief. If you're wanting to dine in style on gameday, you can buy your tickets here.

After you've partied it up in the ATL, don't forget to watch the reason why it all happened - Super Bowl LIII will air on CBS with kickoff starting at 6:30.

From free to fancy, Atlanta has something to offer for everyone for the big game this weekend. For more listings of events, check out Eater Atlanta's helpful price filtered list here, or check out CBS's list of celeb parties here.

Whether you cheer for the Rams, the Patriots, or just want to laugh at some commercials, we hope you enjoy everything that the city has to offer as we host the Big Game!

Build Your Business - Business Resolutions for 2019

Published: 1/8/2019

2019 is here and it's time to start making changes. You may be planning to work out more, eat healthier, or pick up more books rather than your phone, but what are your goals for your business?

In addition to setting goals and making resolutions for yourself, it's important to look ahead to the new year for your business. If you're stuck on some business resolutions, we've got a few ideas here to help you get started making 2019 the most successful year yet!

Utilize Technology 

It goes without saying that technology and social media are constantly shaping the way we live and work. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can change the game when it comes to your marketing. There are of course strategies on how to best use these platforms to your advantage, but the bottom line comes to using them. If you aren't posting, you aren't reaching your audience, who in turn isn't reaching your business.
According to Property Me, videos are the way to go for real estate, and you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you hit the record button. Use your client's most frequently asked question or an old blog post and turn it into a quick two-three minute engaging video. Studies show that these videos can create 4 times more listing inquiries. For more ideas on how to use video and social media for your business, check out Property Me's list here.

Keep Learning 

Embrace change. It's going to happen no matter what, so you may as well be on the upside of it. To remain relevant and effective in the industry, you have to stay current on its news. Of course, make plans to attend conferences and trade shows, but also remember to interact with your peers and colleagues. Listen to what they are talking about and what questions they are asking. See if you can do your own research and answer their questions. Staying up to date will not only help you maintain business, but it will also show your dedication and passion to your industry - one of the best selling points there is.

Stay in Touch 

It's no secret the real estate is a referral industry, so let others do the work for you! Whether it's a quarterly newsletter or a handwritten birthday card, find what works best for you. USA Today recommends trying to stay in touch with clients at least two to three times a year. Also consider creating a special online group for your clients where your customers can come to ask questions about your industry. Even though someone may not be selling their home every year, they will also have neighbors and friends that will need assistance, and if you stay top of mind, you will stay at the top of their recommendation list.

Make Plans 

Setting goals is easy - sticking to them is harder. According to Forbes, 80% of people have ditched their new year's resolution by February. There are ways to combat this though! Forbes says some ways to make your resolutions stick is to make a plan and develop a time frame. If you're looking to improve your work-life balance, set time limits on your phone, or take one day, sit down with your calendar and make dates to take time for yourself. It's also important to set reasonable time limits for your goals. You can't expect to grow your social media ten-fold in just a months, so be realistic with your expectations so you can see how you've improved.


While it's great to make resolutions in the new year, it's better if you schedule time to reflect on and re-assess your goals. Make a plan each month or each quarter to look back at your resolutions and check in to see how you are progressing. If you notice that you start slipping, make plans to improve. If you're flying past your goals, set new ones so that you can continue to improve and grow throughout the year.

Whatever goals you make for your business in 2019, you're bound to be successful because you're already thinking ahead! Happy planning!

New Year, New Market

Published: 12/27/2018

The new year is upon us and with it, we can always expect changes from our resolutions to the real estate market.

So what can Realtors expect in the new year? We've rounded up the highlights of the 2019 real estate predictions -

Mortgage Rates will Rise 

Mortgage rates will likely cause an issue for affordability in 2019. Although rates have been rising throughout the past two years, mortgage rates still remain lower than they were during the recession. According to Aaron Terrazas, director of economic research with Zillow, interest rates "will change in 2019, as the 30-year, fixed rate mortgage reaches 5.8 percent - territory not seen since the dark days of 2008, when rates were racing downward in response to the housing crisis. In 2019, rising rates will compound the effect of still-climbing home values, making homeownership even less affordable."

Millennials will Keep Buying 

Despite these rising mortgage rates, millennials will still be the largest generation of buyers, accounting for 45 percent of mortgages, according to 37 percent of mortgages will be bought by Gen-Xers, compared to only 17 percent from Boomers. Although first-time home buyers will struggle, according to Forbes, a large portion of millennials will be turning 29 this year "Entering peak household formation and home-buying age, and contributing to the increase in first-time buyer demand." As for the future, millennials are predicted to make up "the largest share of home buyers" for the next decade as their housing needs develop and change.

Inventory Troubles to Ease 

Housing inventory has undoubtedly been an issue as it the lowest level in recorded history last winter. However, in October, the inventory levels finally rose to positive, and according to, inventory in most markets has been increasing slightly while the pace of sales have also slightly slowed. That being said, wide-spread inventory gain is not predicated for 2019, and the national inventory increase will remain low for the new year at less than 7 percent.

Home Sales Expected to Decline 

2017 saw the best home sales year in a decade, but have been on a decline since then. 2019 will be no different according to, which predicts a 2 percent decline. Ruben Gonzlez, chief economist at Keller Williams, says "we're expecting it to be another slightly slower year as buyers continue to wrangle with higher mortgage rates after contending with several years of rapid price growth."

Tax Plan Questions 

April of 2019 will bring about the first year of the income tax process with the new tax plan. According to, renters will see a benefit with lower rates and higher standard deductions, but for homeowners, it's questionable. Some will find lower tax bills from lower rates and higher standard deductions, but others may find limited itemized deductions and personal exemptions that will result in higher taxes.

For a pictorial representation of what 2019 may bring for the real estate industry, check out this infographic from

No matter what happens, the new year will certainly bring changes. Don't forget to check our blog and follow us on social media for all the latest news in the real estate market!

Winter Wonderland - Christmas in Atlanta

Published: 12/12/2018

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In Atlanta ... there's no snow glistenin'..

But! There's plenty to do in and around Atlanta to celebrate the holidays! From Christmas lights to popup bars, and a new, Insta-worthy interactive museum, Atlanta has plenty to offer to spread some Christmas cheer!

Looking to get festive this season? We've rounded up some of the main attractions and high-lights:

Light the Night 

Atlanta may not be the City of Lights, but for the holidays, there's plenty of extra lights on display.
At Atlantic Station, you can enjoy 250,000 lights by walking around the eight blocks of the complex. In the center of it all is a 50 foot Christmas tree, and starting at 6 p.m. each night, there's a snowfall right there in Atlanta! In addition to the lights and snow, there is also an ice skating rink, a German Christmas market, and Santa may be stopping by as well.
Of course, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens boast an impressive light display this time of year as well. The Garden Nights, Holiday Lights event runs through January 6 and features a tunnel of lights, glowing orbs and a canopy of lights that dance to music, as well as hot chocolate and s'mores to keep you warm as you walk around the gardens.
The Holidays at the Park event in Six Flags is also going on now through January 6. Guests can enjoy more than 1 million LED lights with 16 different themes around the park as well as live performances, delicious holiday foods, and of course, the thrilling rides of the park.
In Marietta, Life College also hosts their Lights of Life, a drive-through light display with Santa, pony rides, and a petting zoo, and Lake Lanier also has a 7-mile drive-through light display along with carnival rides and a Snow Island.
For more lights in the Atlanta area, check out this list.

Miracle on Peachtree Street 

It may not be on 34th street, but there are some Miracles happening in Atlanta.
The Miracle pop-up bar is back again, with several locations throughout the city.
Miracle on Monroe, located at 931 Monroe Drive, is back for its third year. These pop-up bars look like the Grinch's storage room for all that he stole from the Who's down in Whoville.  From Christmas lights on the ceilings to over-sized packages and toys, there's plenty of festive to go around. Aside from the decorations, the menu is also ready for the holidays featuring cocktails like Run Run Rudolph, Jingle Bell Nog, and Christmapolitan. Miracle on Highland, located at 240 North Highland Avenue NE, features its own set of decorations.
Those OTP aren't left out of this new-festive tradition, however. Red Sky Tapas, located at 1255 Johnson Ferry Road in Marietta, is getting in on the action this year with bar based on the beloved movie, A Christmas Story. Not much has been released about the menu according to Eater Atlanta, but you can expect a holiday-themed menu of tapas and drinks such as cranberry mules and spiked eggnog.
The S.O.S. Tiki Bar in Decatur is also featuring a holiday bar with an island-flair. Mele Kalikimaka will return this year with retro-themed decorations and bar tenders with holiday Hawaiian shirts. Last year, the bar featured drinks like rum raisin and hot buttered rum, and the owner told Eater Atlanta that new, and more fun drinks are planned for this year.
With all these pop-up bars, it's hard to believe there are even more to visit, but you can check out the complete list here.

Fantastic Fantastical 

If your Instagram is filling up with people getting sucked into a black hole of peppermint or giant ornaments that seem to go on forever, look no further than Atlanta's newest attraction, Santa's Fantastical.
This is the first year the interactive museum has come to Atlanta and is located at 1155 Mt. Vernon Hwy in Atlanta. Santa's Fantastical is a walk-through immersive experience with 12 worlds that feature synchronized lights, interactive technology, and Instagram-worthy photo set ups like a Christmas house straight from the 50's and a future Christmas set in space.
The museum is great for all ages. There's slides for kids to play, visits with Santa, and live performances. In the Sketch-Tastic world, you can create your own character and then watch it come to life in Santa's workshop. Photos are encouraged, so if you're looking to win social media this holiday season, be sure to check it out.

However you spend your holiday season, spend it with friends and family and spread some holiday cheer!

Feeling Thankful

Published: 11/19/2018

For many, Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and good food. However, Thanksgiving is also a time of reflection as we take time to recognize all that we have and all that we are thankful for.

Though the holiday season can get busy quickly, the Perrie & Associates staff took time to pause and reflect on what we are thankful for -

Stephanie Chandler, Pre-Closer 

"I am thankful God wakes me up every day to find joy in the smallest of things. I'm also thankful for my husband of 23 years and the loving, beautiful family we have raised."

Gayle Willingham, Office Manager 

"I am very thankful for my children and grandchildren as they bring such happiness to my life! I enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday so much as we gather together and give God thanks for all he has given us over the past year. I am thankful for the privilege to live in America, the home of the brace and the free. We are so blessed to live in this country and have the opportunities to thrive. Last, I am thankful to work for such a great company that supplies us with a wonderful work environment!"

Jenna Caprington, Pre-Closer 

"I'm thankful for my ever-growing family, a job I enjoy, awesome coworkers (shout-out to Tammy Brett, and Helena) and all our great attorneys. I am also thankful for seasons that change, a warm, soft bed, cuddly puppies, good friends, and a great cup of coffee. Most of all, I'm thankful to God for Jesus and all my blessings!"

Miki Foster, Closer

"There is so much to be thankful for in my life. I am especially thankful for gaining a brand new family at Perrie & Associates (I couldn't be any happier!) and a brand new family at home with my fiance and his two beautiful daughters along with my two beautiful daughters. Thank you all for being so welcoming!"

Brandi Woody, Pre-Closer 

"I am so very thankful for my husband and my two wonderful children. I am also thankful and grateful to work for such a great company here at Perrie & Associates LLC. When work people feel like family it make it so much better!"

Kelsie Bates, Closing Coordinator 

"I am thankful to Perrie & Associates for allowing me to go to school and still allowing me to have benefits (and to my Aunt who got me this wonderful job!). I am thankful for the most supportive fiance in the world and the journeys we are about to embark on together. I am thankful for all of the wonderful memories I have with family and friends. I am thankful that I have so many people who love and support me and all that I do and dream to achieve. I am thankful for this gift of life and for all of the moments leading up to today and all that are to come."

Spencer Knott, Closing Attorney 

"I'm thankful to be back among friends and family in Georgia and for a job that allows me to do that!"

Emily Selby, Director of First Impressions

"This year I am thankful for the opportunities I have had to pursue a new path and for all my friends, family and coworkers who have supported and encouraged me. I am also thankful to my wonderful new fiance and all the love and support he shows me daily. Finally, I am thankful for the opportunity that his band, the Woodland High School Marching Band in Cartersville, has to march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and for my chance to document their accomplishment as they represent the state of Georgia in this iconic Thanksgiving tradition! Be sure to look for them on TV this Thanksgiving Day!"

Chris Copeland, Disburser 

"I am thankful for my family, at home and at work!"

Stephanie Lee, Closer

"I am so very blessed and have a ton to be thankful for! I am thankful for our freedom and to all of the people past and present who continue to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I am thankful for God's word that always reminds me of how lucky I am to have family and friends that I can depend on at all times. I am also so thankful to have been able to continue my career with David Perrie for over 10 years now!"

Linda May, Closing Attorney

"I am grateful for my family and my friends, including my work friends, my networking friends, my church friends and my client friends. I am grateful for my country, for the sacrifices those people who have gone before me have made so that I have had the opportunities that I have had. I am grateful that each day is a new beginning and that I Jesus to guide me!

Stacie Upchurch, Operations Manager

"As another year comes to a close, I am always happy to reflect on the countless blessings and the many things that make me so thankful. My husband, my family (including my P&A work family), and being fortunate enough to come to work every day and truly love what I do all top my list without fail! I think back to a time when everything I had was stripped away and smile when I think of how full my life and my heart are now and how much fun the journey has been. So much of what I have become and what I care about most surrounds where I spend every work day and for that, I am very fortunate! Happy Thanksgiving!"

David Perrie, Owner

"I am thankful that 25 years ago I decided to back to night law school at age 38 such that I didn't get to the end of my career and didn't complete my dreams and goals. It was a tough four years going to work all day and law school all night, but it has given me the greatest sense of accomplishment. I so encourage everyone to chase your dreams.
I am thankful for the incredibly talented and motivated people we have been able to attract and maintain at Perrie & Associates, LLC. I am thankful for our clients who give us meaningful work that supports us and helps people achieve the American Dream of home ownership! I am also thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful for my health and sense of humor, and to God who makes all things possible."

We at Perrie & Associates are also thankful for you, our wonderful clients! We are so grateful for your business and loyalty. Without you, we could not do what we love.
From our family to yours, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Meet the P&A Team - Spencer Knott

Published: 11/14/2018

We would like to introduce our newest member of the Perrie & Associates family, Spencer Knott! Spencer is a realtor turned closing attorney who is returning home after working in Colorado. He has been with our office for over 6 weeks and has seamlessly established himself with the company both in the closing and marketing departments. We are happy to have him as addition to our team!

. . . 

Name: Spencer Knott
Role: Closing Attorney

Fun Facts: 

  • Loves Braves baseball
  • Saw the first homerun in Fulton County Stadium hit by Ron Gant
  • Attended Chipper Jones' and Bobby Cox's last game
  • Used to be a bartender, and can make a mean martini 
  • Served Bobby Cox and Don Sutton as a bartender 
  • Wife, Kedi is Tswana South African
  • Killed a cow for his wedding in the Tswana tradition

Spencer grew up in Kennesaw where he attended Harrison High School. He later went to Kennesaw State University where he received his Bachelor's in International Affairs. He attended Georgia State University for Law school and graduated in 2015. In 2011, Spencer met his wife Kedi, and they married in South Africa in 2017.

He first started working in the real estate industry as a Realtor in Denver, Colorado. There, he worked for three years establishing a successful business by building relationships and establishing his presence through social media. Spencer and his wife Kedi eventually became homesick for the Peach State, and returned to Atlanta in the fall of 2018.

What brought you to the real estate industry and why do you enjoy working in this field?

I came to Real Estate Law in a round-about way. I first got into real estate because of an old college roommate, who was absolutely killing it in the Denver market and asked me to come out and join his firm. I took the plunge, moved to Denver with my wife Kedi, and had a blast out West. I also learned a lot from my managing broker Rick Cavallaro on how to do things the right way and treat people right. He’s still one of my favorite bosses I’ve ever had. 
My favorite part of working in the Real Estate Industry is that success is primarily attained by creating and maintaining genuine relationships with people. I love meeting new people every day and hearing a piece of their story. When else would I get a chance to hear such a diverse and interested range of origins, views, and outlooks? It’s really fun!

Did you always know you wanted to be an attorney? What made you decide to go to law school?

No.  I was a mirror inspector and it was a job that I just couldn’t see myself doing anymore, so I decided to go to law school.

How do you like to spend the weekend?

I like to fish and hike, relax and read or watch football if it’s fall.

Where is your favorite place you have traveled?

I’m going to cheat and name two: Orvieto Italy and Pilanesberg, South Africa.
Orvieto is a beautiful town in Umbria Italy that is built on a mesa and is surrounded by this gorgeous valley where they make a delicious white wine. I proposed to my wife there in 2014 next to its stunning Duomo that somehow sneaks up on you on foot because of the narrow medieval streets that you have to traverse to get there. After I proposed we ate a fabulous meal and watched the sunset while listening alternately, to an opera practice and a lover’s quarrel in Italian coming from a near-by alley. It was perfect Italy.
Pilanesberg is where we took our honeymoon. We brought all of our guests that made it all the way to South Africa as well. Pilanesberg is an incredible wild animal game reserve in the northern part of South Africa. The whole park is in a giant extinct volcanic caldera. Even without the stunning natural landscape, which there is plenty of, the park is a wonderland of natural splendor. We were so pleased that our whole group was able to observe lions, hyenas, elephants, rhinos (black and white), cheetahs, hippos, and giraffes just to name a few. We even saw a pride of lions with a fresh wildebeest kill. Not only was the setting incredibly beautiful, but all of our friends from different periods in our lives that made it out developed a tight bond. We are all now planning our next adventure with the same crew.

What are some things still on your bucket list?

I want to travel somewhere where I can see the Northern Lights. I also want to travel to a really remote and chilly destination and stay in a cottage with no electricity for at least a month. I want to eat soup and take walks and smoke an old school tobacco pipe (I don’t smoke), and just completely disconnect.  I’m thinking something like the Orkney Islands.

Finally, how do you like working at Perrie & Associates so far?

It’s a great firm that has made me feel truly welcome and valued. I love our culture here and think that we actually follow through on the oft-said promise that “we are a family here”.

Halloween Haunts - Creating Your Neighborhood Haunted House

Published: 10/30/2018

The spookiest night of the year is upon us! Time to dress up in your boo best, watch some scary movies, and - oh no, you forgot - pass out candy! Is your home not ready for the little ghouls and goblins coming to knock on your door tomorrow night? Don't want to be the boring house on the block that turns off their light to ward off trick-or-treaters?

Never fear! We've got a few quick DIY tips for you to make your house haunted for Hallow's Eve!

Light the Night 

Nothing sets the tone for being spooked like some eerie lighting. If you have spotlights in your home, run to the hardware store or craft store to pick up different colored bulbs. A green, orange, or purple light on your home can set the tone, and is a quick and easy way to say you're ready for the night. If you're not feeling bright colors, swap out your bulbs for black-lights for a frightening look at your front door.
For safety for your trick-or-treaters, be sure to have enough light at your front door and around any stairs or small steps that could be a tripping hazard.

Boo Balloons 

If you have a bit of extra time and are looking to get creative, check out these easy ghost balloons from the DIY Network. All you need is white balloons, a sharpie, gauze fabric or tissue paper, and some string to hang them! If you have kids, they will also enjoy getting in on the fun and making your house a home for these spooky specters.

Perfect Pumpkins

Pumpkins are a Halloween staple and an easy and quick decoration that you can dress up or down. While the stores may be running out of their selection, that's okay! Any size or shape will do. Of course, you can carve your pumpkin into a nice, glowing jack-o-lantern, but if you don't have time, just draw a face with a sharpie or paint. If nothing else, a plain pumpkin on your doorstep is a nice nod to the fall season, and you can keep it out through Thanksgiving!

All Eyes on You 

Looking to go for a more chilling look for your front porch? Check out these eerie eyeballs from HouseLogic. Grab a few ping pong balls, some colored markers, and Christmas lights. Draw eye-balls on your ping-pong balls of all different colors and shapes. Then, just create a hole and attach them over the lights. If you don't have a string of lights no problem, just put a few eerie eyeballs in with the candy bowl for a fun fright!

Spooky Sountrack 

An easy and quick way to add ambiance to your home is with a Halloween playlist. Check out this one from Spotify or this Halloween Party playlist on Pandora. Or create your own playlist with all your frightening favorites like the Adam's Family and the Monster Mash!
Play your sountrack with a boombox or speaker by your door. No sound system? No problem! Putting your phone in plastic cup (like a Solo Cup) is a cheap yet effective amplifier!

With just a quick run to the store, you can easily pick up everything you need to make your home Halloween ready! But don't forget the candy!

Happy Haunting!

Explore Your Neighborhood: Fall Edition

Published: 9/26/2018

With the first day of fall last Saturday, the new season is officially here. Crisp weather is on it's way, and it's time to get out and enjoy all the autumn has to offer!

If you're looking for some ways to enjoy the new season, we have a few ideas to help you out!


Football season is finally here, and in the heart of SEC country and the home of the Atlanta Falcons, football fans are rejoicing.
Now is a great time to head over to the College Football Hall of Fame. The hall boasts memorabilia from all of your college football favorites, and the Chick-Fil-A fan experience gives you the chance to train like your favorite players!
After you've enjoyed some college football history, you can head over to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium to watch the Atlanta Falcons play. The new stadium has great food, an awesome atmosphere, and a new retractable roof that is officially open for business. Check out the Falcon's schedule here.
If you aren't able to snag tickets to a game, check out a local high school football game on Friday night! It will bring back those wonderful high school memories and you can show your support to your local team!

Festivals and Fairs 

Step right up for the height of fair season! Fall is synonymous with county and state fairs, and there are plenty in the metro area!
The Georgia State Fair starts this Friday and will run through October 7 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Guests can enjoy pony rides, pig races, fair rides, a petting zoo and dozens of performers.
Down in Perry, the Georgia National Fair begins October 4 and will run through October 14. It's the biggest fair in the state and will include plenty of fair food, rides, livestock competitions, and performances.
For art and fresh apples, check out the Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay for two weeks in October. There are also several local orchards in the area that you can visit for fresh fried apple pies, apple cider, and apple picking.
If you're looking for local neighborhood festivals, check out's list here.

Get outside 

Cool weather is on the horizon, which means those leaves should be turning gorgeous fall colors soon!
This is a great time of year to get outside to find fall color and enjoy the outdoors.
A hike up the the top of Fort Mountain or Mount Yonah will provide some spectacular fall views, or the trails around Red Top Mountain or Stone Mountain can be a nice quick get away out of the city.
There are also plenty of places in the city to enjoy fall foliage including Inman Park, Piedmont Park, the Atlanta History Center and the Beltline. For more fall getaways, check out this list of beautiful autumn locations in the metro area.

Haunted Happenings 

Halloween is quickly approaching, and there are plenty of spook-tacular events to give you a fright if you dare to enter.
Of course, one of the biggest Halloween attractions in Atlanta is Netherworld. A walk-through haunted house, Netherworld is known throughout the scare industry for it's high-quality special effects, impressive makeup, and talented (and frightening) actors. There are two houses for guests to enter, and this year's haunts will feature Primal Scream and Mr. Grendel's 3D Funhouse of Horrors.
For frights and heights, visit Six Flags Over Georgia for Fright Fest. Zombies and ghouls take over the park at night, and several haunted houses and scare zones are placed throughout the park. Rides will also be open during the fest that runs until October 31st.
If you're looking for some less frightening Halloween fun, Little Five Points hosts a Halloween festival and parade on the 21st, and Oakland Cemetery keeps its gates open after dark around Halloween.

So if it's fall fun or terrifying frights you're searching for this fall metro-Atlanta and the State of Georgia has you covered! Happy Fall, y'all!

Fall Fix-Ups

Published: 9/12/2018

While it may not seem like fall in Georgia just yet with this heat, a new season is on it's way. Before we know it the leaves will be on the ground, and (hopefully) we'll be waking up to cool crisp mornings.

With the season change, many other things are adjusting along with the weather. For one, pumpkin spice everything is already hitting the shelves, and you're likely getting ready to freshen up your closet and bring out those jeans and long-sleeves. But what around your home needs changing?

Despite the current Georgia heat, fall is a great time for fixing up a few things around your home. As the weather gets cooler, it's easier to get outside and not only enjoy the new temperatures, but actually enjoy the time you spend making adjustments to your home's exterior. The season is also a great time to get ready for winter because you don't want to be left out in the cold trying to fix your heater when it's only 32 degrees.

Here are a few fall fixes we recommend:

Seal it Up

Fall is a great time to seal up the home and make sure you aren't losing out on precious heat (or in Georgia's case, air conditioning). Take some time to seal up cracks around windows and doors in your home. To find the leaks, HouseLogic recommends using a lit candle or incense stick and walking around your home near the windows and doors - if the light starts to flicker or the smoke begins blowing, you know where you need to add caulking to your home.

Raise the Roof

We don't mean throw a party, but do consider showing some love to your roof this fall. This season is a great time to make repairs or even replace the roof if it's needed. DiTech says it's important to inspect your shingles for any damage, and look for any nails that have come loose that may signify a loose shingle. Roofers are also busiest during the winter months, so calling them out this fall will allow you to beat the rush.

Clean the Gutters

Since you're already up on the roof, you may as well take a moment to clean out the gutters. It's best to wait until all the leaves are off the trees if you can. HouseLogic says that moisture is one of the biggest problems in maintaining a home, and leaves the collect can also hold moisture which can eventually ruin your gutters and cause backups. Sweep them free of leaves and other debris, and make sure all of your downspouts are working properly.

Help the Heater

You may not need it now, but soon your heater will be doing the work of your AC, so it's best to give it a helping hand. Inspect your heating units and replace furnace filters; you may also want to clean your fireplace and chimney before you're able to cozy up next to the fire.

Enhance the Exterior 

The weather is getting nicer, so while you're out enjoying it, you can also get something done, and also increase your ROI if you're looking to sell next spring. Forbes recommends sprucing up the siding, both by pressure washing your home and re-painting the siding if it's needed. Also think about updating and cleaning the deck. Replace splintering or cracked boards, and give it a pressure wash treatment as well so you can fully enjoy those cool fall evenings to come.

Organize the Garage 

This project will get you outside, but more importantly, will help you get your cars inside this winter. It's easy for the garage to become piled with lawn equipment, bikes, and beach toys from the summer. As HouseLogic states, there are countless organizational tools and tricks that you can use to tidy up the garage. While you're there, move any snow equipment to the front where it's easily accessible and take stock of what you have. That way, when the first "snow" in Georgia hits and the kids are ready to play, you will be too! And you won't have to rush to the hardware store before they run out of sleds!

FMLS Showcase 2018

Published: 8/22/2018

We're only one day away from one of the biggest real estate events of the year - the 2018 FMLS Trade Show!

The Southeast Residential Real Estate Trade Show is tomorrow, August 23 from 9:30 to 4:30 at the Cobb Galleria, and we here at Perrie & Associates could not be more excited at this event!

The event brings together realtors, real estate professionals, and other affiliated industries for a day of networking and learning.

More than 3,000 industry professionals are expected to attend this year's event and over 140 industry vendors will be represented at the show. National and regional speakers will be in attendance to discuss timely issues facing the industry, making this a great opportunity for those working in real estate.

For this year's 18th annual show, technology use in the industry will be a primary focus.

More than 15 presenters will hit the stage covering various topics ranging from market stat apps to home staging, and with three theaters running simultaneously, there is always something to learn.

Mark Toro, founder and President of North American Properties, is this year's keynote speaker and will be discussing the "secret sauce" needed to create communities.

"From the repositioning of Atlanta Station and redevelopment of Colony Square to the development of Avalon and Revel, [Toro's] team of 'Experience Makers' redefines how community is created to respond to today's consumer. [Toro] will share what goes into assuring that NAP's properties lead the industry in value creation, both economic and social."

In addition, Mary Hess will demonstrate and discuss market stat tools and apps that can help you become the local housing expert, and Sean Moss will help agents solve their buyer's number one problem of a down payment.

The trade show will also be plugged into technology this year with the Socio App, that will send out networking and event announcements throughout the day.

With all of the educational, networking and business opportunities, it is clear to see why so many call the FMLS Showcase "Hands down - the best trade show value in the real estate market - anywhere!"

Tickets to the showcase are $10 if purchased by August 22, and $15 on the day of the show with proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity.

Perrie & Associates has truly enjoyed participating in this event over the years, and we are excited to see you on August 23! Be sure to stop by and see us! We will have great giveaways and prizes we know you will love!

For a complete list of presenters, a schedule of the day's seminars, and a map of the event and booths, visit FMLS Showcase Trade Show.

iBuyer Beware - The Costs of Selling to Startups

Published: 8/8/2018

With all the technology that's out there now, it seems like some jobs are becoming obsolete. Machines have replaced assembly line workers, and even self-checkout machines are taking over grocery stores. But will there be a technology to replace the Realtor?

Some services on the market now that claim to do so, letting sellers "skip" the negotiation process and the work with a real estate agent. These iBuyers, such as Knock, OpenDoor, and OfferPad aim to sell your home quickly and conveniently, often allowing homeowners to close on their home in a matter of days. But does speed and convenience beat out the quality of a trained Realtor? Many industry experts say no.

Most of the iBuyers operate in a similar fashion. A seller contacts the company about selling their home, and the investors use what's called an automated valuation model to determine an approximate value of the home. According to MetroBrokers, this model uses tax records and comps to determine the home's value. Many of the companies make the offer site-unseen, although Knock will make an in-home valuation if requested.

If the iBuyer's offer is accepted, an inspector is sent out to the home to note changes that they feel need to be made before the home is sold. The seller can choose to repair the problems on the list or deduct the costs out of the final price of the home. Once the repairs are addressed, the home is sold to the iBuyer and the seller can close.

For those looking to move quickly for a job or other house, an iBuyer may be the right fit. But as they say, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

As Forbes notes in their analysis of iBuyers, there isn't a person on the other side of the transaction, there's an investor - and investors like to make money. Although the iBuyers claim to skip the fees of going through a Realtor, they still charge a 6% commission, the same commission as most Georgia realtors. Additionally, they charge more fees to account for the risk they are taking in buying a home unseen, having costs potentially add up, or being unable to sell the property for a profit. Though Forbes states there isn't a lot of data on this, they estimate that the cost could be "up to more than 10% of the fair market value of a home.

One local Atlanta agent put the iBuyers to the test. In his article on Inman and also published on WFG National Title Insurance, Chad Schernikau used his own home in the Atlanta area to compare the offers from Knock, OfferPad, and Open Door.

The home, a 1950's renovated ranch style, was updated to add more than 1,500 square feet to the home along with a basement, and was valued at $495,000. Knock's final purchase price offer came in at $373,00 after Schernikau asked for an in-home valuation, and included approximately $22,000 in fees, leaving him with $351,000. OfferPad's purchase price offer came in at $265,000 with fees of more than $15,000. On OpenDoor, a different home was used because the company doesn't buy old homes, but the final difference between the company and a traditional realtor totaled a little more than $45,000.

Clearly, based on price alone, there is cause for concern to sell to these properties. But in addition to low valuations, as Schernikau mentions, these iBuyers lack the human component of real estate. An agent is better qualified to value your home with their knowledge of the local market and what buyers are looking for. They can also help you negotiate the cost of repairs and other fees associated with closing, rather than just paying what an appraiser asks out right. Not only that, but many agents we've spoken to said it's also difficult to get in touch with these companies, and they aren't always available like many Realtors.

For some sellers who are in a rush or need cash quickly, an iBuyer may be the right choice, but it's hard to deny the expertise and quality that a Realtor can provide. After all, both buying and selling a home can be an emotional and important step in life, and it's important to have someone physically by your side to help you through the process.

Mid-Year Contract Changes

Published: 7/31/2018

Beginning August 1, new changes to the GAR Purchase and Sale Agreement will go into effect.

Changes are as follows: 

On the Purchase and Sale Agreement (F20), changes were made to modify language on section B7 regarding the disbursement of earnest money reflecting changes stating that the disbursement of an earnest money check constitutes liquidated damages in the even that the transaction fails to close due to default by the Buyer. This means the Seller waives any right to assert a claim for a specific performance.

Language referencing the Seller's rejection of the disbursement of the earnest money check has also been removed, and the Rights of Buyer or Seller have been broken into two sections titled "Remedies of Seller" and "Remedies of Buyer".

These same changes were made to the Purchase and Sale Agreement forms for purchases on New Construction (F23), Lots (F27), Land (F34), and Leased Properties (F36).

In the event that a transaction falls through wherein the Seller is the defaulting party, a Buyer is now able to seek the specific performance of the contract or terminate the contract after notifying the seller and holder of the earnest money. If this is the case, all earnest money deposits and other payments made by the Buyer will be returned to the Buyer.

What it all means 

In the past, both the Buyer and Seller could pursue all lawful remedies including consequential damages, closing fees, and moving expenses. Now, the seller's sole remedy for a Buyer's breach in contract is to accept the earnest money, meaning that sellers will likely start asking for more earnest money as a result.
For the Buyer, their options for Seller's default are now to either sue for specific performance, or terminate the contract with the return of the earnest money.

For more information on the changes, you can read Georgia Association of Realtors General Counsel Seth Weissman's article here.

Back To School

Published: 7/25/2018

It's hard to believe, but the time for backpack shopping and catching the bus is upon us. That's right - schools all over the state of Georgia are about to start.

Many schools have their first day sometime during the first week in August, but some counties, including Cobb and Cherokee, start as early as August 1. Be prepared as school buses start hitting the road and be sure to watch out for students early in the morning in your neighborhood.

As many in the real estate industry know, the summer is the best time to move for families, and it has certainly been a busy season. If you have moved with your family, then it's likely your children may be starting a new school. While that can be an exciting transition, it can also be a challenge for some students to leave their old school behind and start with a blank slate at a new school.

If you are preparing your students for that transition, we have a few tips to make the first day of school go off with out a hitch and have your kids jumping off the bus with a big smile.

Open House/ Meet and Greet

One of the easiest and quickest ways to make your child feel at ease is to check out the open house or meet and greet that is held before school starts. Many counties will host such an event a day or two before school either in the morning or evening. This is a great opportunity for students and parents to meet their teacher for the year, learn where their classroom is, and get acquainted with their new school.
If you aren't able to attend the meet and greet, email your student's teacher and ask them questions about the year and their classroom, and also let them know that you are new to the area. Having a familiar face on the first day and letting them know the situation can really make a child feel more at ease in their new classroom.

Stock Supplies 

School supply shopping doesn't have to be a thing of dread. Let your child help and have fun with it! While you don't have to buy all new everything, maybe let them choose one accessory, like a book bag or pencil box, that they are excited about.
A few days before school, pack school supplies with your child. Show them everything that they have for the first day of school and let them know that they will be prepared!

Encourage Participation 

Another great way to quickly get accustomed with a new school is to participate in extra curricular activities. Many sports teams will probably begin practicing a few weeks before school, or will at least have meetings early on to get established. Encourage your child to try something new at their school and participate!
In high school this may be a bit easier with a variety of sports and activities to choose from, but elementary students can get involved too with neighborhood and community sports.

Get Some Sleep 

Summer is a time for hanging at the pool, playing outside, and sleeping! It's likely that kids aren't accustom to the early morning wake up call that is needed to get to school on time after two months away, but it is incredibly important to get enough sleep so they can be ready to learn.
A few weeks before school, start having them wake up earlier and earlier each day. It doesn't have to be a dramatic change, maybe just 15 minutes every other day. Those small increases can build up to the time they need to wake up for school, so that way on the first day, they will bounce out of bed ready to go!

Talk it Up 

While it's important to make sure your child is ready with supplies and sleep, it's also necessary to talk to them about their new school and ask them how they are feeling.
You don't have to have a formal sit-down with them, but start asking them what they are excited about, what they are nervous about, and any questions they may have about their new school. Understanding how your child is feeling about school will help you understand what they need and how you can help them be prepared.

Trial Run 

Taking a trial run of the first day goes hand-in-hand with attending open house, but there are other things to consider for the first day besides where your child's classroom is. If they will be riding the bus, walk with them to the bus stop and talk to them about how to be safe when waiting for and riding the bus.
If you will be driving them to school or picking them, make sure they know where to go and how to get to their classroom from the drop-off location. In addition, talk with your kids about what happens after they get home from school. Will a parent be home with them, or will they be with friends or siblings? Letting them know what to expect for all parts of the day can calm their nerves and help them get through the first day.

Merge the Old and New 

Starting at a new school can certainly be exciting, but it can also be a challenge to let go of an old school and friends. That's why it's important to merge the old with the new.
Encourage your child to make new friends, but also be sure to keep in touch with old friends from your last neighborhood or school. Whether that is a play date on the weekends or becoming pen pals, it will make your child feel that they haven't left everything behind and they will always have friends wherever they go.
If you had specific first-day traditions in your old home, keep them going at your new one, and if you want, make a new tradition. It can be as simple as eating pancakes or taking a picture, but having keeping old traditions will allow your child to have something familiar on their first day.

Get involved 

Your child is the star of the show when it comes to starting at a new school, but you can definitely be a great supporting actor!
Talk with your child's teacher and the school's PTA to see how you can get involved with the school. Attend a PTA meeting to learn about what's happening at the school, or, if you're teacher needs volunteers, go and help out by reading to your child's class or chaperoning a field trip. When your child sees that you are participating in their new environment as well, they will be encouraged to participate themselves, and will also feel more at ease knowing you are there.

Stay Positive 

Throughout the transition of attending a new school, it is most important to stay positive. Drop them off for their first day with a smile, a warm hug, and encouragement, and follow up with interest when they get home. If you approach the new community with a positive attitude, your kids will follow suit!