Selling a Home in Austin through the Looking Glass

Selling a home in Austin can be a strange experience as a homeowner right now. Austin is weird. Why should selling a home be any different? There are tons of mixed messages out there in terms of what to expect when selling a home in Austin. Yes, Austin is a hot real estate market. It’s been a hot market for years, that is not new news. What’s changed is the proportion of different buyers that make up the market.

Selling a Home in Austin

Austin has always had an influx of new residents. In recent years, the amount of inbound out-of-state new buyers has increased at an exponential speed creating a new narrative when talking about Austin’s affordability.

Perception is often based on perspective. The lens an out-of-state buyer is looking through when deciding how affordable Austin is can be very different from how an intercity buyer sees it.

Other markets are very different from Austin’s even though most of the country is experiencing a housing shortage right now. The Austin real estate market is considered a value-added market if you are coming from certain areas of the country. Cost of living factors including real estate taxes, home prices, and historically low-interest rates lend to the perception that Austin homes are on sale, not just for sale.

The mixology of market data

The housing data has become variable. Home sales are still based on what a ready, willing and able buyer can pay, and the multi-state market mindset is mixing data at a very high percentage rate right now. The comparable market data they are referencing in their minds is quite different than the actual market data. You can’t forecast it. If a $400,000 home in Austin is perceived to be worth $800,000 in another state – that’s a $400,000 savings in the mind of that inbound out-of-state buyer. The house is a deal to that buyer even if they have to compete for it and pay $100,000 more.

With so little inventory, it’s kind of hard to predict what a home is going to sell for. The ‘wildcard’ offers above list price are just that – wild and by that I also mean random. There is no way to predict a home is going to go for $50,000 above list, any more than one can predict a home is going to even sell for list.

A home’s value is largely based on perception in this market. Home sales are based on what buyers are ready, willing, and able to pay at a given time. That’s how it’s always been. What’s different is the multitude of perceptions out there, coupled with low inventory right now creating a paradox through the looking glass.