Posts filed under ‘Smart Realtors’

Information About Brokerage Services

Buyers in Texas have a right to representation; Realtors in Texas have a legal and ethical obligation to inform you of your right to representation.

Information About Brokerage Services

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September 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment

Austin, TX Economic Outlook: No Longer a Secret

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Austin as we know it today

Last month I had the honor of listening to David Tandy, CEO of Gracy Title, talk about the Austin economy, the Austin real estate market outlook and where we’re going. Hold on … the Austin we know today will not be the Austin of 2023. Some of the numbers I will reference in this post include articles, posts & research from the Austin Business Journal, 2013-2014 Angelos Angelou Economic Forecast, and the Austin Chamber.

F1

My biggest takeaway was that the Austin growth, momentum, economic outlook numbers are quite possibly understated. The main premise here is that most of the economic forecast, growth projection numbers were researched and posted PRIOR to the F1 Circuit of Americas airing in November (which had an estimated $483M economic impact to Austin) where 600 million people worldwide heard about Austin, TX and what an amazing city we are. Austin is no longer a secret.

The Numbers

  • At a 2.9% growth rate, we are the fastest growing city in the US.
  • In 2013, there will be 60-70,000 people moving to Austin. This growth will continue.
  • For every 2.5 people, we need one housing unit (home or apartment) which equals a 28,000 demand this year. This demand will continue.
  • In 2012, we created about 12,000 housing units, demand was 28,000; we currently have a 30,000 housing deficit. This deficit will continue.
  • low supply, high demand = sellers’ market

California

Californians are moving to Texas, a lot of them. Recent headlines involve Governor Perry’s poaching tour of CA (real classy move, Gov). California’s tall state income tax, increasing sales taxes and suffering schools are fueling the 3rd coast migration. Besides #sxsw, watch for more CA license plates in TX.

Real estate tips for our new residents

First, welcome (ignore the don’t-move-here t-shirts). Second, we are still much cheaper than CA. And a few other things you should know:

  • no income tax in TX, we make up for it in property taxes (they will be much higher than you experienced in CA)
  • prices are going up
  • Multiple offers are commonplace right now and expected to continue
  • Find out about homes before they hit the market (we call this the silent market or pocket listings or, simply, coming soon). How to do this? A good Realtor has a solid network of Realtors and they exchange information all the time. You may want to consider aligning yourself with an office that has the largest market share in the area. (Shameless plug: Keller Williams Realty began in Austin, TX in 1983 … they dominate the Austin market, most listings, most sold, most luxury market, most agents.)

Summary

The growth in Austin over the next 3-10 years is going to be huge, dare I say explosive. Jobs are fine … best job growth in the country. We will continue to feel it with housing supply, multiple offers, increasing prices, affordability and traffic.

Buyers have to be very strategic and on-the-ball with making an offer. The demand & low supply is pushing prices up. There is a ton of CASH out there right now. Gracy Title says 30% of their closings right now are all cash. This translates to disadvantage for contingent and low down-payment offers.

Connect with your favorite savvy and qualified Realtor to customize your real estate strategy and successfully navigate Austin as we know it today.

© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty, 2013-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Julie Nelson is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Austin, TX.  This article and other blog postings should not be construed as legal or professional advice.  Contact your favorite Austin real estate professionals in person for actual advice.  Julie can be reached at www.thenelsonproject.com.  Searching for homes?  We think this is the coolest Austin home search tool available.

March 12, 2013 at 3:41 pm 7 comments

What is a pocket listing and why does this matter to me?

Blank ticket Pocket listings are homes that a Realtor knows are going to be for sale but are not yet on the market or in the MLS.

This may be a home that is all signed up with a Realtor but the seller is painting the house and staging before they go into the MLS next week or next month after the estate sale or it could be a home that someone has just mentioned to the Realtor, “if you find a buyer for my home, I may be interested in selling.” It could also be a very high-end home that the owner does not want in the MLS (owner does not want attention or publicity and only wants the home marketed quietly among Realtors).

Why is this important to the consumer? Two words: inside information.

If you are a seller, you may sell your home before it even goes on the market.

If you are a buyer working with a full-time networked Realtor who knows a lot of Realtors either through a large office, large network and/or they simply have a knack for keeping their ear to the ground or the Realtor knows a particular neighborhood especially well, that Realtor may know of a home before anyone else does, before it goes on the market.

If you have the opportunity to see a home before it goes on the market, you will have less (if any) buyer competition, you may have a seller fantasizing about how easy it would be or how lucky they would be if they could sell it before even going on the market.

The seller will think their Realtor hung the moon; the buyer will think they are especially lucky; the Realtor knows their network and pre-market hustle helped move things along amazingly fast. The seller may be flexible on their price because they love that things are happening so fast or, on the other hand, they may be less motivated to adjust their price at all because they haven’t even tried the market yet; it can go either way.

For pocket listings in Austin, The Nelson Project offers this:

  • At any given time, we are working with 2-4 sellers who are getting their homes ready to go on the market.
  • We are extremely well networked in the Crestview, Northwest Hills and other central Austin neighborhoods.
  • We are purposefully associated with the largest real estate office in Austin (actually the largest in the country) with over 550 agents; we get 5-10 emails per day with other Realtors letting us know about their pocket listings and we pay attention to these emails.
  • We know what agents in our office specialize in various neighborhoods and will go directly to them with our buyer needs to inquire about their pocket listings.
  • When we get a new listing, we blast our Realtor network (emails, meetings, in person, in the office hallway, on facebook) with the coming-soon information.

When you hire a Realtor, part of what you hire is their network; hopefully they have a good one.

www.thenelsonproject.com

 

© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2008-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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August 3, 2010 at 9:52 pm 2 comments

Jack’s Property Tax Valuation is Jacked: This Week’s Consultation

For educational purposes, I am sharing this actual email (with a few minor modifications) of an email conversation I had yesterday with a friend / client to help him appeal his Travis County property tax valuation.

Dear Jack (not his real name),

You can and should share all of this information including my commentary with the tax folks. 

First, my big fat disclosure:  (my broker requires that I cover this) …these are some similar homes that sold in the area between June 2009 and January 2010.  I am not an expert on tax appeals but I do have access to MLS sold data that may be of help to you.  These comps may or may not be acceptable comps for the Tax District Review.  You’re not going to hold me accountable to your tax appeal results.  There are services that do this for a fee such as www.texasprotax.com and you may find some helpful information on their site.

With that out of the way, tell the tax person that your Realtor ran these comps for you and you think they are a very good representation of sold properties in the area.  We did not cherry pick (or bottom pick) the list.  Tell them that I have coached many people into not appealing their taxes because of lack of comps.  But that in reviewing yours (especially 2009), it is one of the most seriously off valuations I have seen this year (and I am not one to exaggerate).

Everything I looked at was a sold property from June 2009 through January 2010 for homes 1100-1300 sqft.  (Note: in this case, Jack’s home valuation was so off that we were actually looking at the highest comps in Windsor to make our point; in most cases, we would thoroughly scour the sold properties to find 3-6 that were seriously close comparisons … depending on the house, maybe a couple high, a couple medium and a couple low … or maybe all medium or all low but they should all be reasonable and hold up to debate.)

First, if we pull Windsor for that time frame, the highest sale is $254k, next is $208k and next is $190k … those are the 3 highest sales. Keep in mind that “Windsor Park” has about 3 sections in area 3 and yours is not close to 51st Street and Mueller as the others are.  (Link with actual sold data provided to Jack here, but we’ll skip that part for the blog.)

My next step was to draw a polygon on the map for the best representation of Windsor Park.  The numbers in this group are lower than the section above.  The 3 highest sales in this group are $180k – $187k.  Again, no cherry picking … these are the highest comps.  Here are these 3 comps (again, print out each page): (another link provided here for Jack but omitted from blog)    

Remind them that all 6 properties here the highest sales.  And that you’re not convinced that yours would be one of the highest but you’re trying to make a point for them to take your comps seriously.

At this point tell them what you paid in 2007 and that the house is moderately updated, in good condition, carport, poorly insulated and that you just want fair value for what homes are selling for in the neighborhood.  You may want to remind them at this point that the $312k valuation in 2009 was so egregious that your Realtor is still lecturing you for not appealing last year.

Just for a sanity check, I ran 78723, homes under 1500 sqft, same sold timeframe and built less than 1990 (no new construction), and the 4 highest comps were $242k – $254k … totally supporting the above analysis.  (I may use this as a blog post … don’t tell them that.)

There you go.  Tell all your friends and colleagues how fabulous I am … serious.

Love you guys,

(Note: A credible real estate professional should be able to provide this type of guidance and value to their clients. I think I just earned a few referrals.)
 
(Post appeal note: Jack called and they found that the Tax District records had an error with the age of the house … by 50 years! The house was built in the 50’s, not 2003. The new valuation with comps Jack provided and the corrected year: about $220k, down from $263k. Nice.)
 
The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty in Austin strives to bring you valuable real estate information and news through this blog and our other online resources.  Find more about The Nelson Project and search for Austin homes at www.TheNelsonProject.com.  if you like this blog, you may want to visit our totally useful Austin neighborhood portal.  If you really like what you see, tell your friends to call us with all their Austin real estate needs.

 

© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2008-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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June 30, 2010 at 5:56 pm 1 comment

The Timeline of a Short Sale; Chill Pill Advice

In this KWRI monthly video production, This Month in Real Estate, Jay Papasan & Bryan Ellington walk us through an example of a short sale timeline.  Nationally, foreclosures are down and short-sales are up.  This may be because more and more sellers are realizing that a short-sale may be their best path out of their distressed situation.

Patience, My Friend

A national study shows that, on average, it takes a lender 62 days to respond to a short-sale offer and another 67 to close.  Buyers can get a good deal on a home but because of the time frame and sometimes weeks between meaningful updates (ie. update with actual new information &/or progress from the lender), this process is not for the average buyer.  Now, a good Realtor is going to check in with you every week or two in this process but that does not mean she has any new information (the “no new information” message we all love to deliver).

A steal?

In Austin, TX, you may not get a steal but you will most likely pay one of the lowest prices in the neighborhood.  I say “not a steal” because the lender has to approve the price and the listing agent (or sometimes a 3rd party) has to convince the lender that the price is reasonable.  To the lender, it’s a numbers game; they’re already going to lose money so they are assessing how much they think they have to lose to move this property off their seller-not-making-payments list.

I run neighborhood analyses all the time and am in the habit of looking at the bottom 10% to see if they are all short sale, foreclosure, pre-ss or pre-fc or some sort of bank-owned and/or a distressed seller situation … and yes, they pretty much are one of those.

Where are Short-sales in Austin, TX?

Everywhere.  All price ranges.

Choose Wisely

Not all Realtors will handle a short sale.  Many shouldn’t.  They need to know what they’re doing and have systems in place to methodically move through a lender’s short-sale abyss.  When we have a distressed seller, we partner with the short-sale specialists in our office, giving up a good chunk of our commission in order to get the job done.  We know enough to write an intelligent blog on the topic and just enough to call in the troops (we’re not proud, just trying to serve our clients).  It’s a ton of work and should not be taken lightly by any party.

Skills & Flight Risk   chill-pill1

If we have a buyer making an offer on a short-sale, one of our first concerns is if the listing agent knows what they are doing.  Our other first concern is if our buyer is really prepared to stick it out for the long haul of if they will be a flight risk if they can’t handle the wait.  If you are a buyer that would call your agent every two days wanting an update, don’t buy a short sale or work with a Realtor with the backbone and skills to get you to chill.

The short sale video link:  This Month in Real Estate:  June 2010

The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty in Austin strives to bring you valuable real estate information and news through this blog and our other online resources.  Find more about The Nelson Project and search for Austin homes at www.TheNelsonProject.com.  if you like this blog, you may want to visit our totally useful Austin neighborhood portal.  If you really like what you see, tell your friends to call us with all their Austin real estate needs.

© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2008-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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June 14, 2010 at 10:56 am 1 comment

Making offers on foreclosures in Austin (or not)

In Austin overall, sellers are getting 97% of their asking price and that includes the REO properties

Continue Reading March 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm 2 comments

condominium conundrum

not knowing condo rules can kill your deal

Continue Reading September 3, 2009 at 11:32 pm Leave a comment

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© Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Reatly, 2016-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Nelson and The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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