How to be the Most Effective Seller or Buyer in the Current Market

Family in front of houseIn case you haven’t heard, the real estate market in Austin is the strongest it has been. In fact, July sales were the highest EVER recorded. In just the past two weeks, I’ve dealt with multiple offers in Austin, Cedar Park and Round Rock – so even the burbs are heating up. I thought I would address the most common questions I have come across so far this year:

Q. When is the right time to put my house on the market?
A. Don’t think you missed the window since you didn’t list your home in the summer time. With inventory so low, availability is driving the housing market more than the time of year. In this market, a properly priced home in good condition will sell no matter what time of year it is.

Q. What advice can you give me for selling my home?
A. Don’t get greedy, price your home competitively, have professional photos taken and de-clutter – twice! A home still has to be in tip-top shape to sell for a tip-top price. Lately I’ve been appalled at the quality of listing photos in MLS. Presentation and pricing are everything. Don’t get lazy and don’t let your agent get lazy either. It will make a difference in the final sales price.

Q. If I’m a buyer, what should I consider?
A. Be realistic! It is a seller’s market so there isn’t a lot of negotiating going on with price, repairs or terms. Be pre-approved for a loan and look in a price range lower than your pre-approval amount so you have wiggle room if you need to offer more than asking price or if interest rates change. Be prepared to make decisions quickly. Look at new construction if it’s an option in your price range especially if you have a home to sell. Builders are more likely to consider a contingency.

Q. Just how hot is the Austin market?
A. HOT, HOT, HOT! According to the Austin Board of Realtors® a total of 3,135 homes were sold in July in the Austin area, making last month the highest-performing month on record since the board began tracking home sales in the 1960s. The previous monthly record was 2,993 sales in June 2006. July’s 3,135 home sales were also a 35% jump over the 2,328 sales in July 2012 and median prices are up 8%!

How Long Does It Take to Sell a Home?

22laurie-articleInlineThere is no easy answer – some homes sell in a few days, others may take several months. Recognizing the key factors influencing a sale can give you significant control over market time.

The proper balance of these factors will expedite your sale:

• Location is the single greatest factor affecting value.
• Neighborhood desirability is fundamental to a property’s fair market value.

• Buyers compare your property against competing properties.
• Buyers interpret value based on available properties.

• The real estate market may reflect a seller’s market or a buyer’s market.
• Market conditions can not be manipulated; an individually tailored marketing plan must be developed accordingly.

• Property condition affects price and speed of sale.
• Optimizing physical appearances and advance preparation for marketing maximizes value.

• The more flexible the financing, the broader the market, the quicker the sale and the higher the price.
• Terms structured to meet your objectives are important to successful marketing.

• If the property is not properly priced, a sale may be delayed or even prevented.
• Your home generates the most interest in the real estate community and among potential buyers during the first 30 days it is on the market. If it is not properly priced during this time, we miss out on this peak level of interest.

A licensed Realtor© will work with you on each of these factors to help ensure that your home has the best chance of selling quickly.