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%!

10 Steps to Selling Your Home

Selling your home can be a daunting process. Is it a good time to sell? What do you need to do to prepare to sell your house? How should you price your home? A licensed Realtor© can help you with every step of the process.

We want to share the specific steps that we lead you through to sell your home.

Family in front of house1. Define your goals, wants, needs and expectations. A good place to begin the home selling process is by exploring your short and long term goals in life and how selling your home fits in. We will walk through a process we use to thoroughly understand our client’s goals, wants and needs to ensure that your expectations are met.

2. Determine the best price for what’s going on in the market right now. We assess the current state of the market and what comparable homes are actually selling for by reviewing a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on your home. That way, we can objectively determine its fair market value and price it right.

3. Prepare your property so that it is in top-selling condition. Most of us don’t keep our homes in top-selling condition. We will work with you to help you see things from a buyer’s point of view. We will consult with you on what to repair, replace or remove so that your home makes a GREAT first impression.

4. Implement time-proven, research-based marketing strategies. Your home will be marketed with a marketing plan that has the highest potential for bringing not only the most buyers, but also the most qualified buyers to your doorstep.

5. Show your property. Always keep your home in top-selling condition. When you leave for work, make sure that your home remains in top-selling condition. You know what they say about first impressions!

6. Receive an offer. When a buyer decides to buy your home, an offer will be presented. We will advise you on the offer and whether the buyer is qualified to purchase your home.

7. Negotiate to sell. Most offers require some level of negotiation. We will work together to decide your parameter and we will negotiate on your behalf.

8. Have your home appraised and inspected. Once you have accepted an offer, we will work with the buyer’s agent to coordinate an appraisal, inspections and a survey (if required). If the buyer requires that certain repairs be made on your home, we will continue to negotiate on your behalf and recommend vendors so we move successfully from contract to closing.

9. Prepare for closing. A few days before closing (also known as settlement), we will contact the title company and the buyer’s agent to ensure that all the necessary forms and documents have been prepared. We will work with you to review the closing documents and let you know what additional forms and information you need to bring to the closing meeting.

10. Close! At the closing meeting, ownership of your property is legally transferred to the buyer. We will be present to advise you and ensure that everything goes according to plan.

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.