Buyer Beware and Seller Take Note

It’s been a crazy beginning to 2014! Homes are selling at a faster pace than I have ever experienced in the past 9 years as a Realtor®. There have been some very hard lessons learned for both buyers and sellers during this time, so I thought I would share them.

Buyer Beware:

  • Be prepared for multiple offers and selling prices at 5-10% over asking price.
  • Regardless if a home has been pre-inspected, hire a licensed inspector to inspect it for you.
  • Make sure to have a static test done on the plumbing if: 1) You are purchasing a home built before 1970, 2) It has a slab foundation or 3) It has had foundation work (regardless of year built).
  • Always have septic systems checked out and make sure you (and your agent) understand the requirements of transferring the license for that system.
  • Realize that very few (if any) repairs will be done.
  • Be prepared to walk away if the repairs are extensive or expensive. There is nothing worse than being house poor, and a lender may not loan you money on a home that needs major work.
  • ALWAYS get pre-approved before you start looking at homes and use a local lender with in-house underwriting.
  • If the home does not appraise for purchase price, you may have to come up with cold hard cash to make up the difference in the appraisal value vs. purchase price.

Seller Take Note:

  • Don’t get greedy. Even if you get multiple offers, the highest offer may not be the “best.”
  • If your home is not priced right it will take longer to sell. In this market, a home that doesn’t sell in a matter of days raises red flags to a buyer.
  • Make sure your listing agent takes PROFESSIONAL photos. First impressions are important and it will pay off in the long run.
  • If you are staying in the Austin area, investigate the area you want to move to and realize you may need to live in temporary housing for a while because of this crazy market.
  • It’s smart to list the property in MLS. This way you will attract ALL the buyers that are interested vs. the few buyers who saw the “coming soon” sign.


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