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Realtors reflect on 'phenomenal' time

Market gaining strength in 2013

POSTED: February 24, 2013 12:28 a.m.
Autumn Vetter/

Derek Johnson swings his napkin as he celebrates a friend’s award Thursday during the 400 North Board of Realtors Circle of Excellence dinner.

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The best of the best in the area real estate market for 2012 were honored Thursday.

During its 2012 Circle of Excellence Awards Banquet at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, the 400 North Board of Realtors recognized nearly 100 of its members.

The 400 North Board of Realtors includes agents from Forsyth, Dawson and Lumpkin counties. More than 200 people attended the awards banquet.

Members named to the Circle of Excellence have achieved at least $2 million in real estate transactions for the year.

Terry Swanson, 2013 president, said 2012 saw more Circle of Excellence members than in the last several years.

“The last three, four years, we’ve had somewhere between 75 and 80, and this year we had 91,” he said. “There are fewer Realtors in the business today and we’re getting more awards, so that means you’ve got a higher percentage of the people working that are making good business choices.”

He noted that the event itself was a sign that the local real estate market is returning to the strength it knew before the economic downturn of recent years.

“You could feel the excitement and energy in here,” he said. “It’s just the air, the feeling.

“Three years ago, we were just trying to tell everybody [the market] was good and it really wasn’t. Now it’s genuine.

“It’s funny because we have bidding wars on homes, so people are getting list price or above, buyers have multiple offers they’re competing against. We haven’t seen this environment in almost seven years, so it’s phenomenal.”

Gloria Buice, with RE/MAX Traditions, received the Silver Phoenix Award, which is given to real estate agents who have been named to the Circle of Excellence for 25 years in a row.

She said she was surprised by the recognition.

“I just said time flies when you’re having fun,” she joked, noting that the annual banquet is always fun.

“It’s a great event for all the Realtors to get together and there really is a lot of camaraderie among most of these people. We do have a good bond, especially the people who’ve been in the business for a while, there is a close bond there.”

Buice and Swanson predicted good things in real estate for the current year.

“I’m very optimistic and think 2013 is going to be fantastic,” Buice said. “I think with interest rates being so low and with the buyers wondering if it’s the time to buy, it is.”

Added Swanson: “We’ll have challenges this year, but it’s going to be that we’re creating a firm bottom [line] and getting ready to dig out of this stuff and that’s what feels good.”

 

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