The Best Time to Sell a House

I often get asked when it is the best time to sell a house. More often than not, the answer is when the seller is ready. It’s not about a season anymore. Every season is strong in Austin. About 60 people are still moving to Travis County every day and the numbers are even higher in Williamson and Hays Counties. Yes, there are more homes on the market in Austin, in the spring, but as a seller – that also means more competition. Inventory is very low in Austin. There is a housing shortage which has existed for years.

There is no bad time to sell in Austin. Sellers are always excited by the for-sale sign being placed in the yard. It is milestone for sure, but in order to reach that point – you need to be ready. When this list is complete – it’s time to sell: Continue reading

Tis the Season

Thanksgiving is now a distant memory, Black Friday came and went, as well as those Cyber Monday deals.  We are now creating lists, checking them twice and trying to manage our time in an effort to get everything done in time.  When you are looking for a house on your own, you tend to have other things to do on the weekends during the holiday season, especially if you are not really focused on what you want, or what you can afford. Continue reading

Austin Real Estate Market Sizzles

Recently Sold Home In Kyle

The summer home selling season is sizzling in Austin real estate news. Market activity set an all-time sales volume in May reaching $1.2 billion, according to the May 2017 Central Texas Housing Market Report released by the Austin Board of REALTORS®.  By the numbers, May 2017 single-family housing market statistics in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area showed 3,170 Single-family homes sold, which was 9% more than May 2016.  The median price for single-family homes was $310,000, an 8% increase over May 2016.  The average time on the market was 43 days homes, which was one day less than May 2016.

Austin is Weird

The key to this market for a buyer is flexibility in terms of location and a solid understanding of budget. Austin is weird and the beauty of that is having a wide variety of home styles to choose from, in a unique mix of neighborhoods.

With low inventory, Buyers are searching for a home in a larger area then they once were.

The key to this Austin real estate market for sellers is also understanding that their home is also unique right now. In some neighborhoods, there may be only one house for sale in a particular price point. This creates a sellers’ market and an opportunity.  The Austin housing market has buyers searching within a larger map area these days because of the lack of inventory and will keep looking elsewhere if the home does not show well.

Sellers are representing the neighborhood.

Keeping the house clean and cool in the summer are two of the easiest ways to welcome a buyer, show pride of ownership, and now-a-days represent the neighborhood.

Interest Rates Impact Housing Market Trends

Austin Texas Home Sales February 2017

 Austin, TX … The water cooler topic these days is all about mortgage interest rates. Everyone is anticipating rates to go up, but it is not clear when that change will happen or even by how much. Interest rates factor into real estate because they help determine buying power. Lower interest rates increase buying power. Lenders look at the debt to income ratio when deciding to approve a buyer for a loan. Debt includes existing data like student loans and car payments, but the principle and interest on your proposed mortgage will also be a factor. The more you spend on interest the lower your principle payment on the house will need to be to meet the qualifying debt to income ratio.

People always ask me if selling next year means selling for more than this year. I can’t predict the future. When I list a house, and even when I represent a buyer, I look at trends in the market. Market trends vary about every 3 months based on how fast inventory is moving, what houses have sold for and what houses entering the market are being listed for. Austin housing prices are a reflection of both national and global economic factors that affect interest rates, the stock market, the bond market and employment rates to name a few. The volatility of market conditions makes it impossible to predict what your house will sell for a year from now. Sometimes I review sales over the past year, but it’s not to price a house – it’s to look at the trend.

Austin Texas Real Estate Markets are Local

Markets are local which can be scaled down to a particular subdivision or specific condo community. Markets can be defined as a school district, zip code, etc. Looking back in time longer than 3 months helps me see the trend of that particular market because – although the list price can’t be predicted a year from now, how hot a specific market is generally can. Price, on the other hand, is a moment in time.

Price is a Moment in Time

Interest rates go up and down constantly.  A consistent steady decline or rise in interest rates does ultimately affect home values. Time will tell what this year will bring in Austin. Sales seem to have flattened a bit, but Spring is in the air.  

Austin Real Estate Market Winter Homes for Sale

Zilker Park  Christmas Tree

‘Tis the season for shopping, baking, cleaning and sitting in Austin traffic. With all of the things to find time for during the holidays, selling or buying a home in Austin, or anywhere, is often taken off the to-do list. There are benefits to selling and buying during the holiday season which can make the prospect of doing so a little merrier.

Austin Winter Real Estate Market

The holiday season is also the start of colder weather. In other parts of the country snow can really impact winter home sales. Fortunately, for the Austin real estate market, snow days are few and far between. Home buyers in Austin can generally shop year round though it may be hard to find the time during the holidays.

Buying a Home, Selling a Home and Creating a Win-Win

The holiday season holds benefits for home buyers. Less buyers mean less competition. There are typically less multiple offers this time of year which can drive up prices along with stress levels. There is often more flexibility with a standard 30-day closing turnaround this time of year as well. Both buyers and sellers have a lot going on besides the thought of moving. In addition, banks and title companies are closed for the holidays which decreases the amount of business days. For some, a shorter closing timeline may be appealing and for others adding 10 days to the timeline to get past the holidays or doing a lease back so nobody has to move right away works nicely. The goal this time of year is to make it work and it usually can.

‘Tis the Season for Serious Buyers

Only the must-see homes on the hot list make the cut this time of year. There are fewer buyers this time of year and with little time, those coming out to see a house are serious shoppers. Sellers will get less traffic but those that come out want or need to buy — now.

Home Staging Made Simple

Decorations set the stage by making a house feel like a home. A seller’s biggest challenge, in any given month, is keeping the home constantly clean. We tend to clean more this time of year anyway for visiting friends and family, so why not take advantage of the opportunity to show it.

There are many sellers that will take their house off the market between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I always encourage my sellers to keep their houses on the market. Serious buyers will miss a home if it is not for actively for sale, which is exactly the type of buyer they want.

Back to School Starts Austin Real Estate Fall Season

PoolMother Nature offers two options in Central Texas – either extreme heat or extreme rain. Heat indexes got as high as 108 degrees in Austin before breaking a record for rain totals in August. Working with extreme weather can be a daunting task for a home buyer. Only those with an immediate need or searching for a lakefront property were stepping out to buy a home in Austin.

Lakefront Properties in Austin

There is always a consistent desire to live close to Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake, but sales dropped along Lake Travis during the drought. Many homes that were once lakefront, were no longer as desirable without water present. Things have changed quite a bit. In fact, Lake Travis has reached full status for the second time this year.

Austin Lake Homes for Sale

The consistent water levels turned the lakefront property market around quite a bit this summer. Austin lake view homes for sale and lakefront properties in Austin, West Lake Hills and Lake Travis certainly saw saw an increase in sales activity.

Austin Goes Back to School

With summer vacations winding down and everyone back into school – commuting times need some adjustment. The market may soften just a bit more as everyone takes a bit of a breather as we settle into our fall schedules.

Central Texas Real Estate Market Statistics

Central Texas experienced a bit of a decline in July compared to July 2015. According to the July 2016 Central Texas Housing Report released by the Austin Board of REALTORS(R), 4,230 single-family homes were sold which was a 3.1% decline in July compared to July 2015.