Welcome to the Good Life

Ann Marie is your real estate expert! With a career spanning over 30 years Ann Marie knows what it takes to deliver results! Check out her videos below for some valuable information on buying and selling a home!


Who Is the Newest Agent on Our Team?

Our team is eager to welcome its newest agent, Catherine McManus.

I always want to provide timely, relevant, local information. So today I have a very special guest with me, whom you may recognize from her years of working for us: my daughter, Catherine McManus. She’s the newest ‘official’ member of our team. Catherine has worked with us over summers past, as have all my children. 

Why did she decide to formally enter the real estate industry? Here’s what Catherine said: “As a child working each summer with the team, I saw how my mom was able to serve people and help them with the integral decision to buy a house. I thought that was something I would like to do; that’s a way I would like to serve people. Plus, I love Augusta, so moving back to my hometown again is incredible.”

Catherine has returned from working in Kansas, and we’re delighted to have her back in Augusta and working with us. She’s going to specialize in assisting homebuyers, and she has a particular interest in helping people buy their first house. If you choose to work with us in the future, you may get the chance to work with Catherine; she knows what she’s doing.

I love Augusta, so moving back to my hometown again is incredible.

We’ve been discussing what people need and what legacy we’ll have. My father worked in real estate for 40 years, so Catherine will be a third-generation agent in Augusta. That’s fairly rare. She knows Augusta well, has resources behind her, and is excited to contribute to our enduring tradition of service. 

If you have any questions about buying, selling, or real estate in general, please don’t hesitate to call or email when you need us. We would love to help you.


What Should I Consider When Buying a Home?

Here’s what you need to know to buy a home in our current market.

Now is an exciting time to buy a home because interest rates are wonderful. However, there are things to keep in mind because inventory is low. 

At 0:34 in the video above, you can see a diagram of a triangle that illustrates how you need to choose two of the following to prioritize: location, condition, and price. Consider which two of these are most crucial to you. For example, if it’s in the right location and the right price, are you willing to upgrade its condition? Of course, the well-known adage is ‘location, location, location’ but because of the rising prices, there are many areas in Augusta that are great locations to consider. 

If you have any specific questions about locations, schools, or pricing, call me at (706) 481-3800 or email me, and I’ll be delighted to help you!


How Buyers Can Win in a Multiple-Offer Situation

There are a few ways buyers can win in a multiple-offer situation.

How can buyers win in a multiple-offer situation? Inventory is very low, so it’s critical to have a strategy in place to get your offer accepted over another.

Of course, price is the largest consideration, but the financing, or how you go about purchasing the home, has a big impact. Cash is the strongest thing to offer, and a cash exhibit proves you’re able to get financing if needed. Also, a pre-qualification letter is crucial, as it will give you a head start on buying a house. I recommend going to a local lender so the other party will immediately recognize them. 

You want to make sure you have strong earnest money. Some real estate agents say this isn’t essential, but it’s a huge deal when it comes to multiple offers because it shows how committed you are. Additionally, if possible, have a shorter due diligence period; this is the number of days you’ll take to inspect the property to ensure it’s a solid deal. We sometimes have inspectors lined up in advance of finding a property to keep the due diligence period shorter, which makes your offer stronger. We try to keep this period to 10 days, when possible. 

It’s critical to have a strategy in place to get your offer accepted over another.

Often the tie-breaker is possession; I’ve had sellers choose an offer with this stipulation, even when another offer had a higher price. Consider what you need, then find out what will best suit the seller. For example, sometimes the seller needs to stay in the home a bit longer after closing for various reasons. 

If you have any specific questions about multiple offers or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send an email. I would love to help you.


What Did May Bring for Our Augusta Market?

Our latest market stats prove Augusta has a lot to feel good about.

I can honestly say that in my 36 years of studying homes and prices in the real estate market daily, this has been one of the most interesting times to track data. Our inventory shortage only worsened in May, dropping 20% over last May. This has caused our prices to rise by 10% amid an economic downturn and worldwide health crisis. In this sense, Augusta has a tremendous amount to be grateful for. Thanks to the housing shortage, we’ve been seeing the average list-to-sale price ratio reach beyond 100%, meaning that the average seller is fetching more than their asking price.  

Something I have seen before here in Augusta—and I’m seeing again now—is that certain sellers have opted to overprice their homes, which has caused them to stagnate on the market. It’s still important to remember that each price range and neighborhood has an individual strategy that needs to be employed, so if I can help you with that, please let me know. If you’re thinking of making a move, whether to downsize or upgrade, this is an excellent time to do so because your return will be very good. 

Reach out by phone or email if you have questions, want more information on a given real estate topic, or are ready to start the home selling process. I’m here to be a resource for you.


Is it Better to Downsize Now or Later?

Is now still a good time to downsize? Yes, and today I’ll tell you why.

With the recent economic downturn and all of the uncertainty in the air, are you better off downsizing now or waiting? Each seller’s situation is different, but you should know that economic downturns and upturns are nothing new.

If you were thinking of making a move before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and are already committed to buying a smaller house and reducing expenses, I say do it now. To learn more about why now is still a great time to downsize in our marketplace, watch this short video.


We’re on the Lookout for a New Executive Assistant

I’m looking for a new executive assistant to join my staff.

We’ve renovated our offices, upgraded our suite, and reorganized our computer network, but what my team and I are most excited about is the next step: hiring a new team member. Specifically, we’re looking for a special person to fill the executive assistant role. 

Responsibilities include but are not limited to: 

  • Handle client needs
  • Schedule and manage the owner’s time
  • Prepare packets and marketing materials
  • Follow up on outstanding items
  • Manage email
  • Keep vision board updated and organized
  • Prepare team meeting weekly agenda
  • Work with the owner to develop, track, and manage team budget for marketing, etc.
  • Coordinate their purchasing of any office equipment, marketing materials, and other business-related supplies and materials
  • Ensure all contacts and leads are in Lead Tracking System
  • Create and manage all systems for sellers, buyers, client database management, lead generation tracking, lead follow up, and all office administration

Key characteristics:

  • Motivated and takes initiative
  • Organized
  • Efficient
  • Forward-thinking
  • Positive
  • Thrives on action and a fast-paced environment

Requirements: 

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred (business, marketing, or communications-related degree)
  • Real estate experience (three to five years) and a license (GA/SC a plus)
  • Computer literate

If you’re interested in this opportunity, click here to fill out your application. If you have any questions, please call or email us. We look forward to hearing from you!


How Are We Getting Buyers and Sellers Together Digitally?

We’re doing a lot more things digitally these days, but we’re still helping buyers and sellers effectively. Here are some of the tools we’ve been implementing that help us do that.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we’re implementing a lot of new tools to get buyers and sellers together. We’re using virtual tours, 3D walk-throughs, and more to help buyers find sellers and sellers find buyers.

We’ve hired a “virtual staging” company to help highlight our sellers’ homes, and we’re innovating with our attorneys, inspectors, and appraisers to keep people safe and healthy. To learn more about how we’re keeping real estate strong during this time, watch this short video. 

2739 Walton Way Virtual Tour

861 Deerwood Circle Virtual Staging (Take note of the kitchen floors- 4th picture in!)

5016 Congressional Drive 3D Matterport Tour


Lending Guidelines Are Tightening

As banks nationwide adopt more stringent guidelines, there’s no reason to panic. There is, however, cause to be more careful.

One of our local mortgage bankers confirmed that there’s going to be an increase in the required credit score to qualify for a mortgage—632 will jump to 680. Some banks have even moved their requirement to 700. There’s never been a more critical time to guard your credit and resolve any issues. If you don’t know where you stand, take the time to check; are you noticing any erroneous things in your credit history?

Speaking of credit cautiousness, I want to discuss mortgage forbearance. Under the CARES Act, mortgage companies are allowing you to forego payments for a certain period, but you must be in close contact with your servicer and understand exactly what their guidelines are. To hear my full message, watch this short video above.


What the Numbers Say About Our Augusta Market

According to the latest numbers, our Augusta market is still strong despite everything that’s been happening.

With everything we’re hearing in the news and emotions running high, we need to look at the facts to know what’s happening in the Augusta real estate market.

Today I have a couple of key March statistics straight from the MLS to share with you. Compared to March 2019, prices rose 11.4% and pending sales soared by 22%. To find out what these numbers mean, watch this short video.


People are Still Moving to Augusta Despite the Pandemic, but Inventory Remains Low

Given the times we’re going through, I’m as committed as ever to giving you timely information about what’s happening in the Augusta real estate market right now.

Despite the dismay that the pandemic and resulting stay-at-home ordinances have caused, real estate is still going strong. Today I’ll share a little bit about what’s been happening in the Augusta market lately. For one, our cyber moves are still on track!

Travel restrictions have caused delays until May 11, but we have workarounds for that. Medical residents are buying homes to take advantage of the low monthly payments they can lock in compared to rent. To learn more about what’s happening in our market, watch this short video.