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

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.

Ready to sell in Sellers’ Market Austin

sellers' market austinThe sellers’ market Austin is experiencing is showing no signs of slowing down. Statistics from March 2016 in by Austin Board of REALTORS® show Austin-area single-family home sales up 9.3 percent totaling 2,552 home sales compared to March 2015. A sellers market indicates inventory is low and demand is high. There is still competition within specific markets and there are still buyer certain expectations when it comes to condition.

Sellers’ Market Austin

When you have owned a home for a while, things tend to disappear. The do-it-yourself crown molding project that stops half way across the wall is now invisible. The trim around the replacement window from 5 years ago that never got repainted is just a distant memory. You don’t see them anymore, so they have been removed from the perpetual to-do list. Now you want to sell your house and the memories come rushing back of how you couldn’t cut the angle right or find the paint color.

Sell a Home in Austin

Unfinished projects disappear two ways. One way is to pay a professional to come in and finish or redo the project. Yes, there is a cost here, but it eliminates the question in the buyer’s mind of what it will take to finish it. The second way to deal with an unfinished project is to make it go away again.

Money can have the magical power of making things go away and may come into play even in the Sellers’ market Austin has. If a seller does not have the money to finish a project before putting it on the market, making a price concession either on the home’s sales price or even offering some closing costs will help.

Unfinished projects tend to haunt buyers just as they may have weighed on a seller at one point in time.

The truth is that not all unfinished projects ever get finished. That little thing called ‘life’ happens and often gets in the way. They are often in a constant state of either being the elephant in the room or invisible. It’s all a matter of perspective.

The Best Time to Sell a Home in Austin

Cottages at NorthwoodsIt’s that time of year again when homeowners start to question whether to sell now or wait. The answer lies in the advantage for each individual seller.  If the goal is to sell for the highest price, that number is determined by what the market will bare.  Remember the real estate market when you are selling is centered around the price, condition and location of the home in question. 

Where Homes are Selling in the Austin

The only thing that matters is how the market specific to that home is moving.  If there are a lot of similiar homes currently on the market (competition), then it may best to wait.  If there is hardly any inventory out there, you are in a good position to sell now.  Waiting for more competition to hit the market doesn’t make much sense when you ideally want scarcity.

The Holiday Season has Ready, Willing and Able Buyers in Austin for Ready and Willing Sellers

The holiday season is upon us and if that means to a potential seller that friends and family are coming every weekend making it hard to show the house – wait until January.  After all, it is hard to sell a home that can’t be shown. If a seller is not ready and willing to sell a home, it is best not to introduce potential buyers to it prematurely.

The Best Time to Sell a Home in Austin

We don’t have magic potion to predict the future.  What a specific real estate market is going to look like for any particular seller in January or even April is dependent on what the competition looks like at that particular time.  The market now, combined with the owner’s willingness to show it during the holidays, will help determine whether it is the right time to sell.

Home Sold in Shiloh l South Austin 78745

Shiloh Austin, TXJust sold in the Shiloh neighborhood in South Austin. Sweet single story charmer on a tree lined street lets the sunshine in. Great layout offers: Large living room with fireplace, plenty of  cabinetry and sprawling granite counters in kitchen, separate dining area, with access to outdoor deck and fenced in backyard.

2716 Cameron Loop, Austin Texas 78745

2716 Cameron Loop features 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a 2 car-garage. Extra details
include silestone counters in baths, laminate and tile flooring throughout along
with surround sound.

Shiloh South Austin 78745

2716 Cameron Loop was built in 1982 and is just under 1,400 square feet. 2716
Cameron Loop is located zip code 78745, in the popular South Austin neighborhood
called Shiloh, with a park located across the street.

May the Chi be with You

zenTake a look at the dining room table you never use, the toys on the floor or maybe the pile of dishes in the sink. Clutter, for many people, can induce stress and is often the source when you can’t quite put a finger on what is bothering you. Understanding some basic principles of Feng Shui can help bring you and your home back into balance. A stress free home is not only important for every homeowner, but it is important to a potential buyer as well. A happy home is easier to sell.

Feng Shui Principles when Selling a Home

Chi is energy. Star Wars fans may identify more with the idea of The Force. The energy that binds the galaxy together is the chi that flows through us and our homes. When our chi is blocked, energy is zapped and we feel sad. Houses are no different than living beings when it comes to chi. When chi is constantly flowing through our homes – we feel good. That is why we often feel better after cleaning them. Clutter blocks chi, which is why we feel suffocated when it starts to build up.

Buyers pick up on positive and negative chi very quickly. When the energy is good, they immediately light up even if the house is not exactly a match. On the flip side, when the energy is bad, buyers either can’t wait to leave or start picking the house apart.

Home Selling Tips

If you are just trying to feel more at harmony with your home, sometimes a good cleaning is all you need. That cleaning also includes a certain level of decluttering. Everything on that dining room table needs to go to its proper home, papers need to be filed and everything lining the stairs needs to go to the second floor. If you are selling a home, it is time to take things to the next level. You have all seen the TV shows – it’s time to keep it, sell it, toss it or donate it. Don’t move things you don’t want and don’t shove them in the closet either.

Good Chi in Homes

When selling, living space needs to have good chi and closets do as well. Buyers want to open closets and feel like there is room. When a closet is disorganized and stuffed to the max – the buyer’s brain says “there is no room in here for my things.” Garages and cabinets need to be organized too. If you want to keep things, but know your house is overstuffed, renting self-storage space may help. You can often rent climate controlled space for just a few months until closing on a new home. You may not need a very large space and can cram things in to your heart’s content.

Giving a home space to breathe will help you do so as well. The positive chi will flow, which will not only make you feel good, but feel good to be home.

The Reality of Remodeling

remodel HGTV is powerful. I cannot even begin to tell you how many homeowners I speak to who got an idea to attempt a do-it-yourself project as a result of watching a home makeover show. If you are chuckling on the inside, it may be because you are one of them. I use the word ‘attempt’, because while these shows inspire and educate, they also tend to make projects seem simpler than they are.

Reality TV Shows vs. Remodeling in the Real World

Remember, it’s an 10 hour project shown in 30 minutes. TV shows have the power to edit and often have a team completing the handiwork behind the scenes. It’s a reality show, just like any other.  I laugh on the inside and try not to show my angst on the outside when I go on a listing appointment with those who lost their drive on a remodel. The results range from unfinished faux painted walls, tile put in place that was never grouted and crown molding that doesn’t completely go around the ceiling. All of these unfinished projects are going to affect the sales price of your home.

It is easier to sell a dated home that is fully functioning and completed, than a home that seems to stop mid sentence. To a buyer, the project needs to be finished. I often have to change the perception of the seller, to see these things with buyers’ eyes, because after a while the seller doesn’t see the projects anymore. They have been living with them for so long; they just tend to blend into the background.

Do-it-yourself Projects

Many home supply stores offer classes on do-it-yourself projects. I often recommend someone take one before making a decision to start a project. We are all good at something, but certainly not good at everything. Have a reality check with yourself when you are watching those reality shows. Get a real education on what’s involved with a do-it-yourself project, before you begin one.