Oct. 14, 2016

Reasons Why Fall is a Great Time to Sell

Reasons Why Fall Is a Great Time to Sell Your Home

Most families with kids want to move and settle in before the new school year starts, hence Spring and Summer are commonly recognized as the best time to sell a home.  Although, that is great advice for a homeowner living in a place where winter significantly slows the housing market,  Texas climate means that home sales can and do occur throughout the entire year.  

The cold weather and holiday commotion historically meant buyers were less likely to trek out and look for houses. However, with today’s technology, most house hunting starts on the Internet, letting buyers search for properties in the warmth and comfort of their own homes. A highly motivated buyer will be strongly focused on finding the right house, regardless of the weather or season. Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean you should put off selling your home, specially with listing inventory below historic numbers and buyer demand still strong.

So why would a homeowner consider selling a home in the fall instead of waiting until spring?

Reason No. 1: Year-end Tax Credits

No one wants to buy a home purely to make their accountant happy. The fall is a popular time for buyers to close, because there’s a sweet added incentive to closing on a home at the end of the fiscal year. Buyers can apply for a homestead exemption for the following year if they close on a home by December 31. Big tax savings can be a big motivator for buyers. Also, many companies start paying bonuses in the fall and winter, and that’s money that buyers will use to purchase their new home.

Reason No. 2: Shifting buyer demographics

According to Ryan Robinson,  an Austin Demographer, Austin's growth is approximately 110 new families arriving per day. Robinson also pointed out that in the recent years,  Austin is the fastest-growing large city in America with the population hitting close to the 2 million mark. Singles, millennials, and empty-nest baby boomers don’t necessarily schedule their home buying decisions around the school calendar. Families who are relocating to the area also make big moves during the holiday break. Pay attention to these types of buyers who drive the market in the fall.


Over the last few years, not only has the population grown, but the rental rates have exploded as well as new construction all over the city and surrounding areas to accommodate the new residents.  Large hedge funds and other investors continue to purchase homes to remodel and rent throughout the Austin area as the demand for rental properties remain strong.  With so many prospective home buyers renting, their leases will, one day, come to an end.


Reason No. 3: Home improvement bargains

Once you close on that home you find in the fall, you may want to upgrade your appliances. Luckily, the end of the year is when major appliances—refrigerators, stoves, washers, and dryers—are at their very cheapest, according to Consumer Reports.

If you are looking to upgrade to a larger home, consider doing it now since it may end up costing you more in raw dollars if you wait. In the greater Austin area, home prices are projected to appreciate over the next year. According to housing forecast, interest rates are projected to increase moderately over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.

Reason No. 4: Demand Is Strong

Buyer demand remains very strong throughout the greater Austin area. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

Reason No. 5: Less Competition

After September, the number of homes for sale in the Austin area drop as homeowners start to withdraw their homes from the market, figuring that no one is interesting in purchasing and preparing the for upcoming holidays.   In the spring, homeowners face competition from other sellers as well as new construction, which routinely build in the fall to deliver new built homes in the spring.  As a result, the home buyers have less inventory to choose from in the fall, which is a great thing for a motivated homeowner.  Less homes on the market can often equate to a better selling price, which may mean an overall higher value.

Reason No. 6: Quality Service

As the year comes to an end, fewer clients also means you should have the full attention of your real estate agent, mortgage broker, real estate lawyer, and everyone else on your house selling team. Take this time to ask all those questions you have about the selling process, such as the explanation of showing instructions, promoting your property and doing anything to

As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler.

Reason No. 7: Better Photography

Before the trees start shedding all of their leaves and lawns turn tan from the long summer days, the early fall can be spectacular for real estate marketing photos.  I strongly urge all of my early spring clients to consider taking the exterior photos of their home in the fall if they plan on listing their home in the late winter to early spring.  There’s nothing worse than a listing a property with a dormant lawn, no greenness, and snow on the ground in the MLS.  Why lose so much market time waiting for a great exterior picture when the best photos of home are available now?



In conclusion, a homeowner listing their home in the Texas fall is surely going to get their house sold with the current buyer demand in the market. A buyer who is ready, willing and able to find the right house will hunt regardless of the weather or the season. Talk to one of our experts, to get your house on the market and sold this fall!


Posted in Seller Advise
Oct. 3, 2016

What A Buyer Should Ask

Questions to ask before purchasing your home:

  1. How long has the house been on the market?

If it’s a new listing, don’t expect the sellers to strike a bargain with you. There is more room for negotiation when a house has been sitting on the market for over 90 days in comparison to a house that has been listed for only a few days. Many buyers assume there must be something wrong with the house when a property doesn’t sell right away, but in reality, it may have been priced incorrectly from the start.


2. Why is the home being sold?

Understanding why the seller is moving out of the home can help with negotiating the best possible price. Knowing their expectations and in what areas they are willing to meet in agreement will be very beneficial during the offer and negotiation process.


3. What is this property worth in today's market?

According to real estate ethics, your agent cannot tell you how much to offer on a house, but they can surely provide valuable information so you can come to an accurate conclusion of what the home is worth. Your agent can run a Comparable Market Analysis, or “CMA,” which is a current sales report of nearby properties sold in the recent 30-60 days. The prices shown in this report should be within 2 – 5 percent of the price the seller is requesting for the home. A bigger house that has more features might have a higher asking price, while a smaller house that needs work might have a lower price.


4. What is the condition of the house?

When viewing properties, it’s easy to fall in love with a home at first sight. Try to see past the beautiful kitchen or amazing backyard;  take a close look at the overall condition and age of the home. The seller will provide a disclosure of the known issues about the home after you’ve reached an agreement on the price and terms of your offer. Either way, an inspection is highly recommended to find out if there are any issues with the property, specially the top 5 important items. Those are the roof, plumbing, AC/HV, foundation, and the electrical connections. Depending on the information disclosed, this can help to adjust the home to a fair price or request that the seller make the necessary repairs before closing.


5. Do you see any signs of pests?

Could you imagine buying a house and finding–pests? You need to be vigilant about pests when you’re looking for a place. Look for mouse turds. Look inside cabinets, and moist places where pests like to hide. Maybe even pull the refrigerator or stove out, and make sure there’s nothing there! Ask the sellers to provide more information about it. This should be disclosed by the previous owner at time of sale. But even if the owner dealt with a past infestation — and can offer proof, such as a receipt for pest control — that doesn’t mean the pests have been completely eliminated. Whatever conditions made your house attract the infestation in the first place — a slow leak under the house, soft rotting wood that attracts insects — may still be present.


6. Is this home in a flood plain?

Living in a flood plain can require flood insurance, which can affect the cost of living in the house.If you discover that the property you want is in a flood plain, find out what type of flood plain and what risks accompany it, as well as how much flood insurance will cost for the area.  

Posted in Buyer Advice