MARIETTA — Cobb County’s real estate market is booming, and the county’s foreclosure rates are plummeting down to less than half the amount listed this time last year.
According to legal notices published in the Marietta Daily Journal, 296 foreclosed properties are scheduled to be up for auction in April, a decrease of 4.5 percent from the 310 properties that were listed for sale in March.
Compared to last year, the amount of foreclosed properties has dropped 53 percent from the 630 homes that were listed in April 2013.
According to CoreLogic Inc., a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, the national foreclosure rate “has receded to January 2009 levels.”
In the first three months of 2014, 896 properties have been advertised for auction in Cobb. That is down 55 percent from the 1,995 properties that were advertised during the same period a year ago.
In Cobb, the foreclosure process begins when a mortgage company issues a notice of default. After a notice of sale is advertised, the property is auctioned off to the highest bidder on the courthouse steps for cash on the first Tuesday of each month.
“Instead of getting foreclosed on, a lot of people are now able to exit their homes and sell them,” said former Marietta City Councilman Johnny Sinclair. In some cases, the sellers are coming out of the deal with a profit.
Sinclair decided not to run for re-election in November, partially to focus on selling homes around Cobb for Harry Norman Realtors.
The revival of home sales in Cobb started within the city of Marietta and east Cobb, but has now spread to the rest of the county, Sinclair said.
There has also been a mix of house hunters, including new-home shoppers and “location buyers,” who want to be close to a downtown area.
Sinclair said he remained busy as a real estate agent during the down economy, but with the rebounding market, agents returning to the field are excited for an increase in business.
For people changing career paths to try real estate sales or young professionals starting their first listings, Sinclair said, “It can be a tough business, and it is based on connections and marketing yourself, … but it can pay off.”