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True Story: Buying and Selling A Home In Four Weeks (Rhonda Haran)

April 2, 2010

Extracted from an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution titled, “The Search: We’ve got to find a house”

Alan and Traci Guerry’s first home was in Alpharetta’s massive Windward community, where they lived for 15 years. They had been thinking for a while about buying another home and decided to start looking last year because of the market conditions.

“There were a lot of great opportunities for us to explore,” Traci said. “We were nervous, on the [other] hand. How long was it going to take our house to sell?”

The answer: Just four days.

Traci credits her agent, Rhonda Haran with Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, with helping determine a price that quickly landed a buyer.

Then they were faced with: “Oh, my goodness, we’ve got to find a house,” Traci said.

The couple, who has a 6-year-old son, Tristan, wanted to stay near financial planner Alan’s office in Alpharetta. It took about four weeks for them to find their next home, and they closed within a week of each other.

 Choice No. 1: Impressive kitchen

The home on Gaineswood Drive in the Grand Veridian subdivision had an intriguing cul-de-sac location, a small lake, fenced back yard and three-car garage. Built in 2001, the home was priced at $638,900. The kitchen, which opened to the family room, wowed them because it had been updated with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and plenty of built-ins. But they could smell cats as they went into the partially finished basement and worse, evidence that a dog had relieved itself in a bedroom.

 Choice No. 2: Curb appeal

The brick and stone home on Rolling Links Drive in Alpharetta’s White Columns neighborhood had curb appeal and was on a big corner lot with a flat, fenced back yard, Traci said. She immediately had visions of her son playing outside. The six-bedroom, 6 1/2-bath home with a finished basement was reduced to $639,900, and the couple thought it was a fabulous price. But for the savings they would be getting, they needed to determine if they would spend the money to make interior changes, including the kitchen, to fit their taste.

Choice No. 3: New and detailed

The new home on Manor North Drive in Alpharetta’s The Manor Golf and Country Club also was on a corner, flat lot with a long driveway. The home was priced for $759,000, and the builder had dropped the list price by $200,000. Interior features such as the detailed trim work and the domed faux ceiling in the foyer were like what they saw in million-dollar-plus homes, Traci said. “It takes your breath away,” she said. Despite the details, the home didn’t have a big family room, which they were used to having.

 The choice

No. 3. It stood out because it was new construction. The builder also accepted their offer, which was lower than the asking price, and agreed during the negotiations to build an iron fence for the back yard. The neighborhood has proven to be just right for the family, which moved in last April and enjoys amenities such as the tennis courts and pool for daily use and lessons. “We just feel very fortunate,” Traci said. “The timing couldn’t have been better.”

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