Austin Market Update for July

July 27th, 2017

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We’re right in the middle of summer here in Austin, which means resale homes are at their highest inventory levels of the year. Peak inventory is always in July and August. What has happened so far this year, though?

We expected an appreciation rate of around 2% to 5%, but that didn’t happen. Appreciation was more like 4% to 9% this year. The higher appreciation means your taxes are going up, but it also means home values are going to keep climbing.

The rest of the market has been the same. The big story is that there is a huge shortfall in inventory of about 10% to 20%. The good news is that home builders have made up for that shortfall by building 10% to 20% more homes.

The only other minor difference is that sellers are willing to put their homes on the market in more of an “as-is” condition. As a result, homes are selling for a fraction of a percent less.

“There’s not a lot of inventory right now.”

Home sellers shouldn’t be worried, however. We can still help you win in this market.

The exciting thing about the end of the summer is that this is the time to buy. I always buy homes in September because the bargains are irresistible. If you’re looking to buy or invest in real estate, we would love to help.

If you have any questions for us or if you’re looking to buy or sell real estate some time this year, give me a call or send me an email. I would love to hear from you.

 

 

How Donna of The Bob Guest Team Helped Anastasia Move in a Time Crunch

June 22nd, 2017

“I planned on moving to Colorado, and while visiting there looking at houses, I realized I could not afford a nice house there. I had already sold my house in Texas, and from my Colorado hotel room I entered find a Texas Realtor in the browser and a representative from a company contacted me with Donna Garel’s name. Donna was available to show houses to me any day and any time, she knew I was in a time crunch to find a place. It seemed like I was her only client, and she was available to me whenever I needed her. I would definitely recommend Donna Garel to anyone I meet that is looking for real estate.”

-Anastasia

The Truth About How Disclosures Affect Your Home’s Value

June 20th, 2017

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Do inspections and disclosures really lower the value of your home?

A lot of home sellers out there certainly seem to think so. However, this isn’t true at all. That’s not how the value of a home is determined. A home’s value is determined by its size, location, upgrades, and the competition of the market itself.

” Never be afraid of an inspection or a disclosure.”

A disclosure actually increases the value of a house. For example, if your house had mold, buyers will be perfectly fine with that as long as it was taken care of. That kind of thing won’t affect your home’s value. In fact, it’s way better to disclose things up front and reveal that nothing is hidden. Buyers don’t want to be surprised by anything when they move in—they want to know about it now.

Due diligence is the key to success, so an accurate description of your house, its history, and the repairs you’ve made to it makes everyone feel much better about the transaction.

If you have any questions or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in our market, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

Common Sense Steps to Take When Negotiating Your Home Sale

June 7th, 2017

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There are some common sense steps to a negotiation that I don’t always see happening.

As I drive up and down the streets in Austin, it’s not uncommon that I see a house sell for $10,000, $20,000, or even $50,000 less than what the house is actually worth. I know that sometimes sellers are willing to take a lot less for their house, but it still hurts my heart a bit when I see those sellers getting less money than they should.

You need to have a good plan in place for your negotiations. You have to be careful and think things through.

For example, we know that Thursday is the best day to put your home on the market. Most buyers start to plan their weekend and look at homes online on Thursday and Friday. Then, they set up their showings with the Realtor. Your home needs to be on the market Thursday so that your listing shows up during the buyer’s research period. After all, you want to make sure that the most buyers possible see your house, and listing your home Thursday is the best way to do that.

Contrary to what you might believe, you don’t actually want to sell your house in one day, even if you get a great, full-priced offer. Why? Your house has not been fully exposed to the market in one day.

” Do not accept an offer the very first day that your home is on the market.”

So, list your home on Thursday and don’t accept any offers on Friday. The same goes for Saturday and Sunday. The lender won’t be there to take your calls, so you have no way to research those offers. Plus, you are just not in the right frame of mind to accept an offer on the weekend.

Stretch those offers through the weekend. As we mentioned, list your home on Thursday, have showings on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and then review any offers you have received by noon on Monday. At that point, ask the buyers to submit their highest and best offers. That way, all of your buyers get a fair shot. By end of business Tuesday, you are ready to accept an offer, and off you go.

In other words, using this strategy sets you up for successful negotiations in just seven days. That is truly the best way to accept an offer.

If you have any other questions about this strategy or would like to learn more about the home selling process, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

 

 

The Most Important Thing to Know About Our Current Market

May 23rd, 2017

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We are already heading into June and 2017 is almost half over. The big news in our marketplace is that inventory for resale homes is almost at a crisis level.

Inventory has been low the last three or four years but this year, inventory is crazy low.

The only thing that is saving us and keeping sales going is builder inventory in our area. There is a lot of competition for new construction for the first time in years, and builders are able to actually stock up a little bit. The majority of our sales right now are actually new construction.

That’s the big news in our market, so if you are thinking of selling your home, now is a great time to put it on the market. After all, there is almost no competition on the resale market!

“The only thing saving us right now is new construction.”

As a homebuyer, it’s a little tough out there. The only thing you can really buy now is new construction.

Despite this low inventory, price increases aren’t as high as we thought they would be, which is good news for buyers.

If you have any questions about navigating our current market or if you are interested in selling your home, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

 

How to Contest Your Property Taxes Effectively

April 24th, 2017

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With tax season here we thought it might be a good opportunity to give you some valuable tax advice. In Williamson and Travis Counties here in Austin, it’s estimated that between 50 to 60% of properties were appraised at higher values than they were actually worth. 

The problem with tax appraisers assigning values to homes is that they cannot go inside and look at your home, so they’re not seeing the entire picture. This is why a tax appraisal is often incorrect.5.9

When you go to your county assessor’s office to contest the value of your home, you will need to know what your home is actually worth and also what the size of your house is. If you still have your lender’s appraisal that will tell you your square footage and it will also give you a good ballpark value of what your home might be worth. You can also contact me for comparable sales data, which could prove very helpful.

Now, when you go to the assessor’s office you have to remember to be extra polite. You will meet with an appraisal expert and he will look at your list of comparable sales and then compare them to the county’s list of comparable sales and decide if an adjustment may be made.

I have even prepared a script of what you can say:

“I appreciate your time and I know that your goal is to appraise properties fairly, and that’s my goal as well. Here are my comparable sales. Based on these sales my house should be priced at X______. What do you feel about that?  How close can you get me to my goal of X______?  Can you get me a little closer, please? Thank you so much for your time and I appreciate your help.” 

After the assessor looks through the comparable numbers, they generally have the power to change the value by 10 to 20%. The key here is to be polite, and not to fight with the assessors because that will not get you any further.

We’re always happy to help you, so please feel free to contact us with any of your issues.

What We’re Seeing in the Austin Market This Year

April 21st, 2017

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The Austin market hasn’t exactly done what we expected it to do this year.

Since 2012, it has been consistent with prices, inventory, and sales rising all at the beginning of the year. However, that didn’t occur this year as inventory didn’t rise the way we expected it to. Sales went up and prices stayed flat.

We’re seeing rapidly increasing inventory and we also expect prices to rise like they have in the past year, though.

“The market is behaving in a way that no one predicted this year.”

We’re also seeing some trends reversing. Very small houses (around 1,600 square feet) being built aren’t selling as well as they have in the past, and now, builders are starting to build starting in the 1,800 square foot size. Anecdotally speaking, we see that people are drifting away from small houses and back toward 1,800 or more square feet.

If you have any interest in buying or selling a house in the Austin market or you have any other questions we can help with, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We’d be more than happy to help!

 

Be Our Guest at Our Upcoming Client Appreciation Party

April 4th, 2017

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Today I want to invite you to an upcoming client appreciation party we’re hosting and give you a quick snapshot of our market before we hopefully see you there.

This party will be held at Brushy Creek Lake Park on April 8th from noon to 5 p.m. Brushy Creek Lake Park is located at 3300 Brushy Creek Road in Cedar Park, Texas 78613. We’ll have music, barbecue, gifts, and a ton of activities for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a past client, a friend of somebody on our team, or you just need an excuse to party, we’d love to see you there.

“If you need an excuse to party, you’re in luck.”

To RSVP, please call our office at (512) 616-4100 or send an email to Donna@BobGuest.com.

As far as what’s happening in our market, it’s doing everything we thought it was going to do. Inventory is still a problem in some areas, though, and prices haven’t risen yet. This is the time of year where prices usually start to rise in our market, but they haven’t risen as fast as they have in previous years. Sales are right on pace, but a lot of buyers are waiting for prices to stabilize.

If you have any questions about our market or how much of a blast we plan on having April 8th, don’t hesitate to give me a call. I’d be happy to help!

Why Patty Can’t Brag on Bob Guest Enough

April 3rd, 2017

“A friend of mine had gone to Bob Guest to sell her home and had great success and so when I got ready to sell I just called him. And it was fabulous, he got almost twice the price that I thought I could even get for the house. It was fabulous. He doesn’t know how to do anything but go above and beyond. I needed a septic, he got me names of different companies I could use. I needed a handyman, he sent me a variety of names I could use. He just always took that extra step. If you were upset, he took the time to calm you down because house selling is stressful. And he never got ruffled, and if you were ruffled he would bring you back down off the ledge. He was fabulous, I’m not kidding. I wish he could be everywhere, he’s that good. I’ve never seen a Realtor go above and beyond like he does. He’s just a very fabulous man, his whole team is fabulous. I mean, Donna! I can’t brag enough on Bob Guest, I really and truly can’t. He’s conscientious, he knows the market, he prices your house right, he tells you what needs to be done and if you choose not to then the price is reflected by it but he’s never ugly about it. He always makes you feel like you’re top priority. And that’s a big deal. He’s just a fabulous person, not to mention a fabulous Realtor. Usually you don’t get both in one individual, you get one or the other. But he is just, I don’t know, I feel like I’ve known him all my life and I would recommend him to any and everybody.”

You’re Invited to Our Client Appreciation Party!

March 9th, 2017

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

Call me at (512) 616-4100 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

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I’ve got some exciting news for you today! Our client appreciation party will be on April 8th at Brushy Creek Lake Park and we’d love for you to join us.

We want to thank you so much for your past business and referrals. We really appreciate it, so we’re hosting a fun day of bounce houses, music, food, face painting, and giveaways.

“We hope to see you at this year’s client appreciation event!”

Again, that’s April 8th from noon to 5 p.m. at Brushy Creek Lake Park, 3300 Brushy Creek Road. We hope to see you there!

You can also meet my brand new grandson, Cyprian! We will be celebrating his arrival as well.

As always, if you are looking to buy or sell a home or you have any other real estate questions, please feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!