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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Are distressed properties in Austin on the rise?

I read this online article today released by RISMedia, the article was "Are REOS in Vogue again in Austin?"  The article (please open the link to read), stated that in August, Nationwide, distressed properties were up .7 percent which prompted me to check Austin's MLS for distressed properties.  Here's my findings:

* There are 84 currently Active distressed properties in the Austin area (REO's, preforeclosures and short sales)
* Out of the 84, 30 of these Active properties were listed in the past 30 days, that's 35%!
* 86 distressed properties are Pending
* 387 distressed properties Closed since January 1st, 2015

The last time I looked, months ago, there were only 20+ distressed properties in the entire MLS.  This sure is a change.

So, what do you think?  Is our market shifting?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What you need to know during a Seller's Market

Let’s face it, you’ve been listening to the news and hearing the market is great in Austin, hence, it’s a seller’s market.  All you need to do is list it and you’re halfway to rolling in the dough, right? Well, not quite.  There are things you need to do and not to do, before you actually make it to closing, did you know that?

1) PRICE TO SELL—What? You mean the seller can’t just come up with the ridiculous list price and someone will make an offer at that or above that asking price?  Your initial list price still needs to reflect the actual market value and this also depends on inventory and the comparable solds in the same community the property is being sold. In this market, the buyer’s are aware that the sellers are wanting close to list price. If the property is overpriced, the property has lost the sweet spot of the first 45 days of marketing and getting the attention of the buyers. Buyers perceive that there may be something wrong with the property if the property have been in the market too long.  If the property is 20K overpriced, the buyer is most likely to move on and not make an offer at the price the buyer or buyer’s agent feel the property should be at.

2) STAGE IT—You have an awesome house and it shows handsomely, to you but maybe not to buyers.  Hire a stager so that your home can be easily visualized as a home to a buyer’s eyes not your eyes.  Most of my medium to high end properties I sell include a consultation with a stager that I hire and provide as part of my service.  The stager compiles a report of what the buyer needs to do to prepare the house for the market.
Believe it or not, some of my buyers have names to properties we’ve seen when we eliminate them.  Example, the colored house (house with different paint colors in each room), the cat house (house that smelled like a cat), the scary painting house (house with a painting which apparently gave a buyer the creeps).  Wouldn’t you want your home to be referred to as “the perfect house”?
3) YOUR CURB APPEAL MATTERS— The outside is just as important as the inside.  After all, isn’t the front photo the FIRST photo they see on the internet?  Many buyer’s skip into the next property if the first photo (with a dying/browning grass, wilted flowers, leafless or deceased oak trees, etc.) does not capture them.  Hmm, first impressions still do matter in a sellers market.  This also includes the front stoop as this is the area where the real estate agent takes about 5 minutes to unlock the lockbox as the buyer’s look around.  A dirty front stoop with a chipped and fading front door becomes very noticeable.
4) HIRE YOUR AGENT WISELY—Just as important as the items above, your best advisor is your real estate professional. Hire a professional you like, trust and respect.    Even in a sellers market, if you don’t like or have the right chemistry with your agent, the transaction of your home will be affected.  I always tell my clients that if for any reason you are unsatisfied with my performance during our listing agreement, we can cancel the agreement as long as there is no offer in place.
Besides the items above, do your homework, do your due diligence and follow your agent’s advice.  Remain humble.  Work with your agent to achieve one goal… GET YOUR HOME SOLD.



Great testimonial from a buyer

I love receiving such testimonials from my buyers so that I can share with you their experience with me this way, I can help you the best way possible.  Thank you so much Alex and Vanessa.  It was a pleasure working with you find your next home.
At our very first meeting, she listened carefully to our goals and preferences, and patiently helped us stay true to those as we were house hunting over the next month.  It's easy to get distracted and feel pressure as weeks pass while seeing many houses that don't quite fit the requirements, and it was great to have Pearl as our compass to help keep us on the right path.  She was never in a hurry for us to make a decision, even playing devil's advocate to ask us what things would make a potential house hard to sell in the future.  We also appreciated how quickly she was available to get us into see new listings and respond to our inquiries.