How Do You Find a Home in Your Dream Neighborhood?

If you want to move into a neighborhood you can’t afford, there are three steps to accomplish this goal.

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Recently, we asked our viewers to send us questions they had about the Austin market. Today we’re answering Fran, who asked, “If you like an area and can’t afford to buy in it right now, how can you get into the neighborhood and what can you do to buy a home there?”

Great question, Fran. There are three steps to accomplishing this:

1. Call me and meet our team. I would love the opportunity to introduce you to our preferred lending partner and give you a chance to counsel with him so you can understand what your buying power is. You never know—you might be able to afford more than you think you can.

2. Come and counsel with me. Let’s talk about what you’re interested in and what’s drawing you to that area. What is it about the homes and the community that you like so much? This will help you understand what kind of community you’re looking for.  

"Call me and counsel with me."

3. Be open as a buyer to more areas. As they say, there are plenty of fish in the sea. You might not be able to afford to live in the neighborhood you want, but odds are there is another neighborhood just like it somewhere in Austin that’s more affordable. If you try a different neighborhood, you always have the opportunity to build up your equity in another house so that sometime in the future, we can move you into your dream neighborhood.

If you have any questions or are interested in buying, selling, or investing in real estate, let us be your resource. We would love to work with you and help you accomplish your goals! 

Why Sell a House in the Fall?

Selling in the fall and winter months is actually a great idea. There are three main reasons why that I wanted to share with you today.

Selling in the Austin area? Get a market analysis report
Purchasing in the Austin area? Get full MLS access

The winter months are actually a great time to sell your home. In fact, there are a few distinct advantages to selling now over the spring and summer months, which many people think are the best times to sell.

For starters, competition is lower. When you put your home on the market, it will be measured against everything that's also on the market at that time. During the winter, you have less competition, which gives you the ability to make your home stand out even more.

You also have the interest rates factor. We don't have a crystal ball to predict the future of these rates, but we have been told that they will be going up soon. They will likely even go up before the end of the year. Higher interest rates shrink the pool of buyers who can afford your home, so list now while the pool is big.

"Your home is in position to stand out more than ever."

In the fall and winter, every indication in real estate history shows that you'll deal with more serious buyers. Buyers who are out searching in the colder, darker months of fall and winter are the ones who are serious about getting into their new house and getting their children settled in before the end of the year. You have fewer looky-loos than you do in the spring.

If you have any more questions about selling during this time or you or someone you know is interested in selling a house this season, reach out to me! Give me a call or send me an email. I'd love to work with you!

How We Help You Find a Great Lender

If you're buying a home, should you seek a recommendation for a lender from your Realtor? We absolutely think you should, and here's why.

Selling in the Austin area? Get a market analysis report
Purchasing in the Austin area? Get full MLS access

Should buyers reach out to Realtors to find a great, qualified local lender?

We have access to lenders here in the Austin market who can assist our buyers to help them make sure their home buying goals are met and give them quality education on the loan process. Buyers can absolutely choose who they want to work with when it comes to large or small local lenders, but in our experience, smaller local lenders have always given better service, better communication, and better assurance that a deal absolutely closes in the quickest time possible.

Some buyers also think they have a better chance to be pre-approved for a mortgage with a larger institution, but that's not necessarily true. It depends on you as a buyer and what your situation is. In every case with a local lender, you get to actually sit down with them and discuss your finances to get a better big-picture understanding of what your life looks like.

"Working with a local lender always provides great communication."

We love working with our preferred local lender because there is always great communication between them, the buyers, and us as well. I always trust what our local lender is telling our buyer. You get personal service from them, which is as important as great communication throughout the process.

Finally, there is accountability from our team on the lender. We want to make sure our clients are taken care of because that's an extension of the service we offer, and we always want to offer the best service possible.

If you have any questions about working with lenders or about the Austin real estate market, give me a call or send me an email. I'd love to work with you.

Austin Real Estate Market Snapshot

What's going on in the Austin real estate market? There's no question that we're in a hot market with new jobs and new people, but home buyers can still get a great deal on a home.

Selling in the Austin area? Get a market analysis report
 Purchasing in the Austin area? Get full MLS access

Austin is a growing metroplex with lots of new jobs and lots of people moving here, and it's reflected in our market this year. Home sales and home values have both grown 5% this year. The median home price has risen 9% up to $289,990.

With the influx of businesses and people, inventory is still tight. We currently have just 2.8 months of inventory in Austin. Across the Austin market, the average days on market is 42 days. That's already an amazing number reflecting how long it takes to sell a home, but here on our team, our average is fewer than 30 days. In fact, our average time for selling a property is 22 days.

Additionally, with our listings, we are seeing multiple offers. Not every sale has multiple offers though; it depends on price, location, and condition of the house. When you list your home, you want to make sure you're pricing it right for the area that it's in, you put it in the best condition possible, and your agent makes sure the marketing is out there to give you a chance to receive multiple offers. We want you to be able to choose the best offer possible for you.

"It's still a great time for buyers to be in the market."

On the home buying side, interest rates are still really great. I'm seeing clients get loans with rates under 4% all the time. Just the other day I saw one at 3.25%, which is simply an amazing rate. The information I'm providing you today indicates that Austin is generally in a seller's market, but it's still a great time for buyers to be in the market. The interest rates are still practically the lowest in history.

Depending on the location and price point where you're buying a home, you may even be in a buyer's market. We've been helping a lot of buyers get a great price in this market recently.

If you have any other questions about the Austin real estate market, give me a call or send me an email. I'd love to speak with you!

Adjusting the Price of Your Austin Home


Selling in the Austin area?  Get a market analysis report
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Your home is on the market. How do we know when to adjust the price to attract more people to the property and get your home sold?

First of all, some people might wonder why they need to adjust the price at all if the home was priced accurately when it first hit the market. Our goal is to price our listings at a very effective price to get as much attention as possible. Sometimes, however, we get feedback from the market that tells us differently.

We are proactive about listening to that feedback and letting you know when the market tells us that your home is not priced correctly. That way, we can be proactive about making that price adjustment to get your home sold.

"We want to be proactive about your home value."

So, how long is a home left on the market before adjusting the price? From the very beginning, we will talk about the possibilities of adjusting the price. We look at market trends every day, and each week we will give you an update on whether or not you should change the price. Again, we want to be proactive about getting feedback from the market so we understand what the home is worth.

As your real estate agent, there are many factors we consider before suggesting a price adjustment. We pay attention to similar homes in your neighborhood. Every day, we assess how your home stacks up against the competition. We pay attention to what comes on and goes off the market so that we know what price adjustment we need to make to attract a new audience, as well as bring back the people who have seen your home already.

If you have any questions, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

Why We Work to Sell Your Home in Fewer Than 30 Days

Selling in the Austin area?  Get a market analysis report
 Purchasing in the Austin area? Get full MLS access

I get many questions about days on market, or the amount of time a home should be on the market before it sells. I thought I would answer some of the most common ones today.

What’s a good number of days on market?

Our goal is to get your home sold in 30 days or fewer. Sometimes the market doesn’t allow for that, as it depends on supply and demand. Statistics show that selling in fewer than 30 days will net you the most amount of money.

"Our goal is to sell your home in fewer than 30 days."

Why do the days on market fluctuate?

Basically, that’s due to supply and demand. If there are a lot of homes on the market, the days on market typically go up. How can you remedy that? It’s all about pricing your home right for the current market.

Is it possible to beat the average?

Absolutely. At any time, in any market, you can beat the average. It’s all about pricing your home correctly and making sure it is in good condition for the market.

On our team, it is our absolute goal to get your home sold quickly and for as much money as possible. We work hard to get that done in 30 days or fewer. Because we are always proactively watching the current market, we will bring you multiple contracts to choose from in order to net you the most potential money.

If you have any questions, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

How to Win a Bidding War in Austin

Selling in the Austin area?  Get a market analysis report
 Purchasing in the Austin area? Get full MLS access

The real estate market in Austin is hot right now. Almost every single home is selling with multiple offers, and our buyer clients are sometimes having an extremely tough time finding a property. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. 

If you’re trying to buy a home, don’t wait to make an offer. We will put our best foot forward and write you the best price. We can make your offer stand out by doing a few different things:

  1. You must be pre-approved with a local lender. Sellers will not even look at your offer if you aren’t pre-approved by a mortgage lender.
  2. Your financing will play a role in your offer too. Cash is always the best, but if you’re pre-approved, you’re not far off from a cash buyer. If you’re using financing, sellers like to see conventional financing with at least 20% down.
  3. Having your paperwork in order is important, too. Being organized and able to respond to questions and inquiries will impress the seller. It shows that you’re serious about buying a home.
  4. Writing a personal letter to the seller can help put a face to your name. Explain why you and your family need the home, and this will help to make more of an emotional appeal to the seller. They will be more comfortable selling you the home when they know that it will be well taken care of.
These are just a few of the things that we can do in order to get your offer accepted by a seller. If you’d like to learn about more strategies, then please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Keep All Goals in Mind When You Get Multiple Offers in Austin

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As a seller in Austin, multiple offer situations seem like a good thing, right? They can actually be difficult to navigate in some scenarios. Multiple factors come into play.

For starters, the highest offer is not always the best offer. We need to look at all the terms of the contract in the offer and how they’ll meet your needs as the seller. When accepting an offer, there are a lot of things to consider. Price is obviously one, as well as how much the buyer is going to put down, whether or not the property will appraise, and the closing time. We want to make sure it’s the best fit for you.

Cash offers are often better than a mortgage offer. Depending on how high the offer is, we may be concerned about the appraisal. With a cash offer, this might not be a consideration. It really depends on your unique situation.

A qualified professional like myself can help you select the best offer. We consider all the terms because ultimately, they need to meet your goals as a seller. We often get a lender involved to be sure that the selected buyer can close. It’s great to be in a multiple offer situation because you have choices, but you need to consider which offer is the best choice for you. In selecting that offer, we want to ultimately make sure it closes for you.

We’d love to be the experts to help you with any real estate questions. Reach out today!

Are You Looking for a Bigger, Better Home in Austin?

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When you have built some equity in your current home and feel like it’s time to move up into a larger and more comfortable home, what should you begin to consider?
  1. You need to know your budget, and this also means that you need to know how much equity you have in your current home. This will help you to calculate how much money you’ll need to put down towards a second home.
  2. How long do you plan on staying in the next home? This will dictate where you buy the home, what type of home you buy, and what you should do with the property.
  3. Can you afford two mortgages? It doesn’t always happen, but occasionally people can get stuck in two mortgages if they cannot sell their home fast enough. This can be a little tricky, but we often see multiple offers, so it’s possible to buy and sell at the same time. It takes a little patience, but we have done this for many customers before.

If you’re interested in moving up into a nicer home, then I suggest you do so now. The market is performing extremely well, and this is giving you a great opportunity to move into a nicer home.

Contact us for a free consultation to get the process started. We look forward to continuing this conversation with you!

Spring Has Sprung in the Austin Real Estate Market

Selling in the Austin area?  Get a market analysis report
 Purchasing in the Austin area? Get full MLS access

Today we’re excited to share our first quarter market update for Austin real estate. We’ve seen some encouraging signs lately as we enter the busy season, and we’re going to go through exactly what those are right now.

In the first quarter of 2016, we had a very active market. We saw about a 7% increase in our median sales price, bringing our median sales price up to $267,500 for the entire Austin market.

We’ve seen a very active market as of late. We had about 9,000 listings come on the market during the first quarter, with 60% of them selling. Our inventory was also up by about 25% from the first quarter of 2015.

Even with all of the increasing numbers in the market, our average days on market has stayed more or less the same. Homes are selling in an average of about 55 days, which is a pretty quick turnaround.

One more thing we should mention is that we observed a 98.9% list-to-sale ratio for homes in the Austin market. This means that people are really competing for homes, and sellers are getting their way most of the time.

What does all of this mean? Well, we have a very active seller’s market, people are still looking to move to Austin, and if you’ve been thinking of selling, it’s a great time to put your home on the market. If you have any questions for us about your specific situations, just give us a call or send us an email. We’d be happy to sit down and discuss things with you!