When is the best time to buy a home in Austin? It was yesterday. When is the best time to sell? It is today. Austin real estate and every other market always operate in a constant state of looking in the rearview mirror. We use the past to predict the future, to value the present, and use it to reflect on what might have been. The constant state of reflection and prediction makes it hard to actually stay in the present whether you are a buyer or a seller.
For buyers, spring is indicative of more homes entering the market because they feel that sellers are more prone to put their homes on the market. Buyers think they have a better chance in the spring. After all, more homes for sale mean more inventory, which means more choices. Unfortunately, what a spring buyer finds in Austin is just more competition. It’s nice to look at homes in the spring. It’s not freezing outside, everything is in bloom and there is more daylight to look at homes after work. Unfortunately, more competition means more multiple offers, higher prices, and less of a chance at getting a home.
It’s always spring for the Austin real estate market
Currently, in Austin, spring basically starts every Thursday and lasts until noon the following Monday. A lot of homes hit the market on Thursday. I started listing this way along with many others, simply to make it a little easier on the seller in terms of scheduling. The world shut down two years ago this week. Keep in mind many sellers were zooming for work and homeschooling. It was very hard to show homes during the week because everyone was home. I would start actively marketing a home on Wednesday or Thursday, to consolidate showings on a Friday afternoon and continue through the weekend. That is essentially how the current listing schedule started and it has stuck.
Prices are continuing to climb along with interest rates. Interest rates still start with a three right now for most, but they are dancing close to the edge of starting with four. For some buyers, this is going to affect affordability. Interest is a data point in determining what a buyer can afford.
Buying a home in Austin. Why buy now?
Waiting costs more. In many scenarios in the greater Austin area, the list price is the starting price. When a house goes into multiple offers and the best and highest offer is $40,000 more, the sold price becomes a comparable property for the next house in its class. The next house for sale in that class starts at the previous home’s sold price. Multiple offers start again and a new best and highest buyer is crowned. In the end, the longer the buyer waits in this market, the more the buyer may be paying in interest, home price, or both.
Every market is local. Multiple offers aren’t happening in every scenario. A buyer isn’t always competing with many or any offers. It really depends on the location, price point, type of home, or combination of all. The lower the price, the greater the risk of a multiple offer scenario playing out, simply because of affordability.
The real estate market in Austin really hasn’t changed in years. I wrote a very similar article back in 2015 with a similar title. You can read it here.
Selling a home in Austin? Why sell now?
When will the seller’s season end in Austin? I don’t know. For sellers right now, it is spring. We won’t know the season has changed until we are looking in that rearview mirror. Whether a homeowner is getting five offers on a home or 30, more doesn’t always mean better. Sometimes more just means more. The number of offers isn’t as important as one might think. Most offers will be very similar. Only one can be the highest. Only one can be the best. Only one can be both.