Austin Real Estate News

If you are preparing to sell a home in Austin Texas, these 3 tips on condition and price can help you understand how crucial these components are for a successful sale.  Many have heard that the three most important things about a home are LOCATION, LOCATION, and LOCATION.  Well, that may be true, but location is the one thing that homeowners can't change.  But two things that you CAN influence:  CONDITION, and PRICE.  Let's talk about those:

In preparing to sell a home in Austin, you are facing better odds than many other places in the country where the economic downturn has created huge gluts of inventory on the market.  Here, the months of inventory citywide is about 7.6 (up from around 6+ in recent months, but still, not too bad.)  Six months of inventory is considered to be a "balanced market", by the way.  With Austin, Texas inventory numbers going UP, this makes TIP #! partcularly important:

* Get your Austin home in the best condition possible BEFORE listing it.   I describe this as "looking as much as possible like a model home where real human beings don't live".

Why?  Because buyers have no imagination. PERIOD. Even those buyers who say they wouldn't mind a little cosmetic fixup ALWAYS end up buying the home that is closest to turnkey, model-home condition.  (Except for some seasoned investors).  Why? Because really, even when buyers say they are looking for a "deal", they will ultimately pay more for a home that has already been tastefully updated with nice, neutral colors, and that has no obvious "projects" that need to be handled before they can move in & start enjoying the home.  NO, letting them "pick their own colors" doesn't work!  Neither do "decorating allowances"!  It would be nice if they did.  But they just DON'T!  Which brings us to:

Tip #2:

* Find a good REALTOR(R) to consult with you on condition AND price.  An experienced REALTOR(R) will know how to tell you the truth about your home's condition, usually with compassion.  Listen to them and follow their advice on what repairs and upgrades to do, UP-FRONT.  Most of us have a list of reliable contractors who can complete recommended work for you and do a great job.  Even if the repair-and-upgrade part of the pre-listing timeframe takes longer than you anticipated, it is better to properly prepare your home for sale by putting it in the best condition possible BEFORE listing, than to list it and then finish up your punch list.  Remember:  Buyers have NO imagination! Now let's move on to

Tip #3:

To sell your Austin, Texas home, Tip #3 is:  Take your REALTOR(R)'s pricing recommendation, which should be in the range with other, similar homes with similar size and features that have sold in the last few months.  Your REALTOR(R) will have to be able to justify your contract price to your buyer's lender's appraiser (NOT the tax appraiser!) with at least three solid SOLD properties in the area.  They can go over the comparable sold (and active, competitive listings) with you and explain where your home's price belongs in the range of value they have researched for you. Remember that even if you're "not in a hurry", pricing your home CORRECTLY, FROM THE BEGINNING, is the other critical key to selling your home. 

When it comes to selling a home in Austin (or anywhere), CONDITION AND PRICE are always the main considerations!

Posted in:General
Posted by Vickie Karp on June 28th, 2010 12:22 PM
Thursday's bond market has opened well in negative territory after stocks opened with strong gains again. The Dow is currently up 200 points while the Nasdaq has gained 38 points. The bond market is currently down 22/32, but due to strength late yesterday we will likely see little change in this morning's mortgage rates.

Today's minor economic data failed to show any significant surprises. The Labor Department reported that 456,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. This was a little higher than expected, but not enough to influence the markets or mortgage rates.

The second release of the morning was April's Goods and Services Trade Balance report that revealed a $40.3 billion trade deficit. This was smaller than expected, but since this data usually does not carry much direct influence on mortgage rates, its impact has been minimal. It does influence the value of the U.S. dollar versus other currencies, which makes U. S. debt more or less attractive to overseas investors. However, the data seldom leads to a noticeable change in mortgage rates.

Also worth noting is today's 30-year Bond auction. This sale is a little less important to mortgage rates than yesterday's 10-year Note sale was, but can influence bond trading and mortgage rates if it was met with a particularly strong or weak demand from investors. Yesterday's sale showed strong interest in some indicators but lackluster in others. Overall, it is being considered an average auction. If today's sale follows suit, it likely will not influence mortgage rates this afternoon.

Tomorrow morning brings us the release of the most important data of the week when May's Retail Sales data is posted. This very important report measures consumer spending, which is highly relevant to the bond market because consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy. Analysts are expecting to see that sales rose 0.2% last month. A smaller than expected rise in sales would be good news for the bond market and could lead to lower mortgage rates tomorrow.

The last report of the week is June's preliminary reading to the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment late tomorrow morning. This index measures consumer willingness to spend and usually has a moderate impact on the financial markets. It is expected to show a reading of 74.5. A smaller than expected reading would be considered good news for bonds, but since this report is only moderately important it likely will not influence mortgage rates considerably.

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now... This is only my opinion of what I would do if I were fina ncing a home. It is only an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.
Posted in:General
Posted by Vickie Karp on June 10th, 2010 1:11 PM

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