The Valdosta Young Professionals continued their virtual webinar series, Coffee & Connections, with Daniel Bayman, one of the entrepreneurs behind downtown Valdosta’s GUD Coffee Company, and special guest Hope Brown-Franklin, the Georgia Associate Broker and Florida Broker of Legacy Realtors.
Valdosta Young Professionals is a product of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce and is made possible by the support of its title sponsor, Georgia Power. Coffee & Connections is presented by VYP and hosted by GUD Coffee Company.
VYP was established in March as a platform for young professionals to connect with other like-minded individuals who live, work or do business in Valdosta. The program is open to anyone between the ages of 21 and 40 and members are provided with social, networking and educational opportunities. Membership is free.
Due to COVID-19, VYP is not able to host in-person events, so they have partnered with GUD Coffee Company to continue learning and gathering with members through a new virtual series. Each month, this live-streamed event will feature an expert on a topic beneficial for today’s young business professionals.
This month’s presentation was on first time home buying and selling.
Hope has been in the real estate business for over 10 years, beginning her career as a real estate paralegal. Her passion for real estate prompted her to obtain her real estate license and now she currently works in Valdosta for Legacy Realtors.
Daniel began the presentation by stating that the home buying and selling process can be unchartered waters for some, so he then asked Hope for her advice on the best place to start.
“Contact a mortgage lender. They will get you pre-approved for a home loan, evaluate your assets and financials, debt to income ratio, and credit scores. The specific score that they prefer is a 620 or higher,” Hope answered.
Hope recommends lenders Clay Hadsock with Ameris Bank, Nikki Rodgers at Commercial Banking Company, Cedric Johnson located in Atlanta with Homestar, and John Willis at On Q Financial in Atlanta.
Daniel continued by asking what other qualifications beside credit scores are reviewed when buying a home.
“All buyers should obtain a pre-approval letter. A lot of buyers go online and fill out an application for a pre-qualification letter, and that is just information that you are submitting on behalf of yourself. Lenders look at bottom-line monthly income, which could change pre-approval,” she said.
“I recommend reaching out to a qualified lender and obtaining the information from them so you can provide them with further documentation in order to make sure that you can qualify for a home loan.”
Hope also suggests for future buyers to contact a mortgage lender first and obtain a pre-approval letter before interviewing real estate agents.
“You want to find the agent that is right for you,” she stated. “Some specialize in price points, and as for myself, I serve all price points. I treat all my clients the same.”
Hope explained that behind the scenes, realtors study all contracts and do research on the home to make sure that they negotiate the best deal possible for buyers. “A lot of buyers are scared to contact an agent in fear of large fees. I make all my buyers aware that my real estate commission is covered by the seller, so I represent all my buyers for free.”
The discussion then moved to tips for selling a home.
“Should I sell my house right now?” Daniel asked. “When is the best time to sell a home?”
In a typical pre-COVID year, Hope stated that the best time to try to sell is in the spring. “It gives a lot of people time to obtain their income taxes, and a lot of people like to move around in a time when kids are getting out of school,” she said. “Due to COVID-19, interest rates and inventory are extremely low. If you are in the market to sell a home, now is definitely the time.”
To sell a home, Hope specified that there are certain factors that come into play for how long it will take to sell—condition, location and price point.
For those that may have further questions, Hope can be reached at (404) 989-4898, or firstname.lastname@example.org. She is also on social media on Instagram (@hopetherealtor) and on Facebook. Hope would love to assist any potential buyer or seller in Georgia or Florida.
For more information on VYP or Coffee & Connections, call the Valdosta chamber, (229) 247-8100, ext. 231.
Photo Caption: Daniel Bayman of GUD Coffee hosts Hope Brown-Franklin of Legacy Realtors on Coffee & Connections.