Talk of the Town

Talk of the Town is a blog about life in Atlanta. You’ll find features on people, places and events that local people (and the world) are talking about. Plus, you’ll find newsy scoops on things people should be talking about.

The fastest selling homes have these features


Home shopping season had begun in the Atlanta metro area, and by most reports, it is most definitely favoring the seller.

Metro Atlanta had the highest growth in inventory – the number of homes for sale – for the past 12 months, even during a shortage of homes on the market.

Even in metro Atlanta, the number of available properties declined slightly since December, but showed an overall increase from last year to this year.

As potential home buyers do battle over these relatively scarce homes, you have to wonder why some homes sell so much faster than others. In a recent analysis, Realtor.com offers up a few answers to this question measuring the importance of certain features by the median number of days a home sits on the market.

Live la vida loca: Spanish-style homes are hot, according to Realtor.com, even though they account for only 1 percent of for sale listings on the website. The reason? Most are located in the coastal cities of California where the market is on fire. Spanish style homes spend just 47 days on the market compared to custom homes and Craftsman homes which spend 109 days and 103 days respectively, on the market. The slowest moving style of home is the 19th-century Victorian style which is likely to languish for around 122 days.

Enjoy the view: The perfect view for potential home buyers turns out to be one of a city skyline. Homes with urban views spend 83 days on the market as compared to a home with an ocean view which will sit for about 98 days. It's probably a good guess that homes with ocean views along with mountain or lake views (two other slow-moving views) may just cost a lot more than a place in the city, making them a lot less desirable.

Steel away: Fireplaces used to be hot, now they have very little impact on how fast a home will sell. But things like stainless-steel appliances have a major impact. Homes with those shiny silver appliances sell 15 percent faster than average homes.

Neighborhood, neighborhood, neighborhood: Location is the biggest factor in the real estate realm and on a neighborhood level, areas with good schools spend less time on the market -- 76 days -- and have significantly higher views per listing. Homes near good schools come with a price tag around $330,000. Homes near hospitals however, are likely to linger on the market, get fewer overall views and sell for less than other homes. It also seems most of us aren't too concerned about transportation. Homes with transportation nearby sell for a respectable $280,000, but spend 88 days on the market.

Go big, then go home: We like big houses and we cannot lie. According to Realtor.com traffic data, the bigger the home, the more page views it receives. An 8,000-square-foot home receives about 30 percent more views than a 1,000-square-footer. But it seems we are just a bunch of peeping toms since homes in the 1,500 to 2,000 square foot range are the ones that sell the fastest -- in just 86 days.

The price must be right: National homeownership rates are at a 50-year low. Those who can afford to buy a home are not making decisions willy-nilly. Lower-priced starter homes listed between $200,000 and $250,000 are the frontrunner, selling in 83 days on average, significantly faster than in any other price range. If you're selling in the $1M - $2M range expect to wait an average of 118 days for a buyer.


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About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.