Posts filed under ‘Smart Sellers’

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

Ho Ho Homes: Holiday Advice for Austin Home Sellers

The basics for selling your home around the holidays:

  • The buyers who are out there are serious
  • The tire kickers are out shopping and putting up holiday decorations
  • There are fewer homes on the market so less competition
  • There are buyers who, for tax purposes or other business-related purposes, need to close on a property by December 31
  • Buyers have more time on their hands, days off

Some sellers TIPS for the holidays:

  • Yes, on moderate holiday decorations
  • No, on your 140-piece snow village collection
  • Do not put Santa on your roof
  • Consider not having a tree
  • If you do have a tree, make it small and/or remove some living room furniture so the room does not feel smaller because of the pine or plastic pine
  • Not all prospective buyers have the same religious observations
  • 37th Street is cool but not a recommended staging tactic

Don’t do this: http://youtu.be/HFjI7gT1FvI

Or this: http://youtu.be/CixdqgGwPr8

Or this:  clip_image004 clip_image002

Consider this … here is a great HGTV article on decorating and staging tips: http://www.hgtv.com/decorating-basics/realtors-top-10-tips-for-wowing-buyers/pictures/index.html

Keep in mind that some perfectly wonderful homes do not sell because the first impression is off. Buyers will make a gut decision on a house within the first 2 minutes of walking in We believe there are 5 first impressions and it is critical to nail them all as best possible:

  1. The first online impression, the online photos … lots of them and they need to be quality on day 1 in the MLS.
  2. When buyers first pull up to the curb
  3. When buyers first walk in the front door
  4. The kitchen
  5. The back yard

If you can wow buyers with any or all of these first impressions, with or without holiday decorations, you’ll be in good shape to take advantage of the November and December Austin homes market.

Happy holidays.

 

 

The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty in Austin strives to provide 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.  We think you may also like www.tacomap.info (tacos first, real estate second).  If you really like what you see, tell your friends to call us with their Austin real estate needs.

 

November 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm Leave a comment

How Austin Property Taxes are Handled at Closing in November and December

 

If you are selling your home or purchasing a home and close in November or December, then this post is for you. The 2011 Travis County property taxes are now due and payable so they are handled differently at closing than earlier in the year. What does this mean for you?

The actual tax bills come out in October. That means when homes are closing January through mid-October, everyone is using an estimated property tax amount with an agreement to work out the difference if there is one. The estimated amount tends to be accurate but you never know the actual final amount until the bill shows up in October.Austin Property Taxes

So if you are closing in November or December, here is how your property taxes will be handled at closing: sellers will be charged for the entire tax bill at close (or provide a paid receipt). If the seller has an escrow account with their current mortgage, the amounts will be refunded after closing from the prior lender. It’s not a bad idea to check with your mortgage company to find out exactly what date they plan to pay your taxes … your title company will help with this coordination.

Your HUD-1 Settlement Statement will have a credit to the seller from the day of closing until 12-31-2011 from the buyer.

Buyers will have a new escrow account set up for 2012 (if you have a mortgage; we are currently seeing mortgage escrows set up with 2-3 month reserve). The HUD-1 Settlement Statement will have a debit from the buyers and a credit to the sellers for the remainder of the year.

So the seller pays the full bill at closing with the buyers crediting them for their portion of the year and the buyers set up their new tax escrow with their new mortgage company … all done at closing. If the sellers had / have an escrow account with their mortgage company (the one they are about to pay off at closing), then that mortgage company will mail the sellers the balance of their escrow account back to the sellers usually within 3-4 weeks; so yes, there is an overlap for the seller.

After December 31, tax prorations return to estimated amounts.

Questions? Happy to help or call your friendly Austin Realtor, lender or title company.

The Nelson Project at Keller Williams Realty in Austin strives to provide 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.  We think you may also like www.tacomap.info (tacos first, real estate second).  If you really like what you see, tell your friends to call us with their Austin real estate needs.
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November 12, 2011 at 8:35 pm Leave a comment

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

Should I stay or should I go? … I talked a client out of selling & buying today

I have been talking with prospective clients for a couple weeks about selling their central Austin home and purchasing a newer home with more space & less maintenance.  They were asking me to help them analyze their options including staying, adding on, basic rehab, maybe kitchen remodel, doing nothing, selling as fixer-upper, how much equity to use or not to use, what is deferred maintenance, what is improvement, best equity & appreciation outlook.  I could tell one spouse was gung-ho and the other not on board.  It is the proverbial “should I stay or should I go” debate; the add-on / rehab vs. buy a new house discussion.

The sell would be around $250k, the purchase maybe $300k.  That’s over $15k in commission for my business.  I think I just talked them out of moving and I feel good about it.  Here’s why …

They wanted to know what their best equity & appreciation position would be for a 5-10 year outlook.  Based on neighborhood #1 (current & near Mueller, Cherrywood) and neighborhood #2 (prospective new, slightly suburban), the best outlook was to stay put, take care of the deferred maintenance, fix up the kitchen, enjoy the kitchen, grow the equity.  They may decide to sell in a couple years or may stay put for 10, but the neighborhoods surrounding Mueller have an excellent outlook and are better insulated from market fluctuations than the suburbs.

It’s the honest truth and it is my job to look after my clients’ best financial interests.  The Realtor code of ethics says that is my obligation; it’s my shortest job description.

Some things that may have swayed the decision or recommendations the other way include:  if they were both on the same page, if the motivation to move was solidly in place for both, if they needed to sell & buy to create a better financial situation.  Any one of those things solidly in place and we would probably be moving forward to sell the house.

I see couples change their minds all the time and I get that.  It can be a lot of money and a lot of hassle to rehab the kitchen and work through the deferred maintenance … some folks are up to the task, some embrace it, some not so much.  They may call me in a few weeks or six months and want to move forward.  Or they may end up falling in love with their house and their neighborhood and themselves all over again.

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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July 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm 2 comments

Crestview Allandale Violet Crown: What’s up with that market?

Today’s neighborhood analysis is Crestview in north central Austin. I constantly study Crestview and today’s focus is because I am working with owners about to put their home on the market. So what’s going on in that popular neighborhood?

First, Crestview, as the public perceives it, roughly runs from Burnet to Lamar and Anderson to Koenig and involves 8 or so actual subdivisions, most of which you have most likely not heard of including Vallejo, Violet Crown, Burnet Heights, Northridge Terrace, Bellair Heights. When analyzing the Crestview area, I generally will dip south of 2222 into a slice of Allandale as well as near McCallum Highschool in the Sunshine & Roosevelt streets as a buyer looking in Crestview will most likely also be looking in those neighboring neighborhoods.

It is a very popular north central location due to it’s proximity to downtown and UT without the DT / UT / Hyde Park / Rosedale prices. It has become a trendy destination for young professionals and contemporary remodels. It is gentrification meets octogenarian original owners meets the I-am-not-moving-to-the-suburbs crowd. Built in the late 40’s to the early 60’s, Crestview is grandma meets mid-century modern meets organic gardener. You should see some of the vintage bathroom tile. 

                  3057507 3057495

So, the market. Crestview really went up in value in the 2000’s and has flattened out the last few years. We are waiting to see if 2010 will dip in average price but right now it’s holding. However, right now there is a higher inventory than we have seen in the neighborhood for a long time and that will, most likely, increase time on market and bring prices down a bit. In the chart below, you’ll see that the median sold price increased 9% from 2006 to present.

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 % Diff
# Sold 231 170 114 144 64  
Avg Sold $234,830 $269,193 $270,396 $265,115 $267,467 14%
Med Sold $227,250 $262,150 $259,000 $256,162 $248,450 9%
Avg $ SQFT $189 $213 $218 $204 $198 5%
Med $ SQFT $190 $213 $220 $210 $203 7%
Med Days on Mkt 17 15 29 42 28 65%

This chart is all sold data but the active / for-sale data is very important as we assess the market. For example, right now there are 25 homes on the market in the area in the $200k – $250k price range and only two pending. 18 sold in the last 90 days but we are still seeing the first-time tax credit buyers move through the system. July and August should be very telling but that is another article.

The good news: interest rates (omg) and buyers should be paying attention cause it’s a virtual candy store out there. The not so good news, for sellers, is that inventory needs to go down before prices will come up. The best news: we live in Austin, TX and people are moving here and will continue to move here. I am personally cheering for the game developers and Google and Facebook as they grow their businesses in our fine city … I think they’ll fit in quite nicely in Crestview.

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 24, 2010 at 5:59 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

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