How To Choose a Home Inspector

I would never recommend that you purchase a home without first getting that home inspected. You’re making a huge investment and not just a financial one. You’re also going to move your family into this home and you want to make sure that home is dependable and safe for the people that you care about to live in. But what should you look for when choosing the right person to inspect your potential investment? In this episode, Episode #19 of “Real Estate, Real Answers,” I’m going to share with you what makes a good inspector and, at the end, I’ll show you how to find the right inspector for you.

The first thing I think of when I think of a good home inspector is someone who is trustworthy and thorough. You’re making a big investment, probably thousands of dollars into this home that you’re buying. You want to make sure that it’s a good financial decision and that it’s a safe and dependable home for you to move your family into. For that reason, a good home inspector is first trustworthy and thorough. But how do you know if he’s trustworthy or thorough in his work? Well, you can ask for recommendations and look at reviews but I’ll go into more depth and share with you how to pick the right inspector in the end.

The second thing that makes a really good home inspector is someone who can help you understand the difference between a major issue and a minor issue. A good home inspector will do more than just email you his or her report when that inspection is done. He might meet you at the property or another location or maybe have a phone conference with you and explain that report to you, answer any questions and help you understand what are those major and those minor issues. Some issues can be insignificant like maybe a small building code change that happened since the home was built (he has to report all of those) or an issue could be a significant issue that you really want to have addressed and taken care of if you’re gonna move forward and purchase that home. Knowing the difference in major and minor issues is really important because when you’re negotiating for repairs with a seller you want to focus on the items that really matter and not waste time on insignificant or small items that will distract and probably prevent you from getting those major issues taken care of.

A third thing that can make a really good home inspector is someone who can do multiple types of home inspections. When you’re purchasing a home and getting inspected there are a lot of different reports and inspections that you can have done. Some you might want to have a specialist for but others are fine to have one inspector do all of those different reports. The inspector who can do multiple types of home inspections might have a broader base of experience and understand how the different systems in a home all work together. Also, you can save time and money by having one company do multiple inspections. Usually, they will give you a slight discount when you order more than one inspection and you also save time and stress by not having to coordinate with different inspectors to get each one into the home and inspect it at different times and to get them access to the home.

Those are the three things that I think make a really good home inspector, but I told you at the end that I would share with you how to find the right home inspector for you.  First I would suggest asking your real estate agent for recommendations. They’ve usually worked with a lot of different inspectors, seen a lot of different reports and developed a level of trust and dependability with certain home inspectors. They or maybe friends or family who have also gotten home inspections can usually give you a recommendation of a good home inspector.

The second thing to do to find the right home inspector for you is to ask WHY. When someone gives you a recommendation for a home inspector ask them why they’re recommending that person. It could be something simple like they’re a friend or a family member (that’s not really important) but it could be something significant like the reports or the way that they interacted with that inspector that was extremely valuable to them. Knowing why will really help you to pick the right home inspector and sometimes the reason that an inspector is good for someone else will help you know that that person might not be the right person for you. People value different things and what someone else might value in a home inspector might not match what’s important to you.

The third thing to do to find a good home inspector is to look at online reviews. Online reviews can be helpful but should be taken with a grain of salt. Usually, the people that do online reviews are people who are either really happy or know a home inspector or maybe had a terrible experience. When you look at online reviews, often you’re getting people on both ends of the spectrum and not hearing from all the people in the middle who had just a normal everyday experience with that inspector. So just understand that when you’re looking at those reviews you might not be getting a full picture of the work that inspector does.

Anyways, I hope this Real Answers been helpful for you! I’m Kyle Pfaffe, local Austin-area REALTOR and certified Texas First Time Homebuyer Specialist. Through professional and exceptional service, I focus on helping homeowners sell their homes for the most money they can net and helping home buyers purchase the “most house” for the least amount of money!

If you have a question, concern or need that I can help with, contact me and I’d be happy to help any way I can!

By your Texas REALTOR, Kyle Pfaffe

512.636.9707   kpfaffe@cityscapepg.com

Home for Lease in Austin’s Colony

15205 Bullace - Final Lease Picture

15205 Bullace St, Austin, TX 78724

Home for rent in Austin’s Colony! This three bedroom home has an open floorplan and two full bathrooms. This mother-in-law plan also give plenty of privacy! Living room also has a fireplace. Spacious backyard with plenty of room for you to relax or give your pets a place to play! Contact me to set up your private showing to see it today!

Get More Info and Setup Your Private Showing NOW!

By Kyle PfaffeREALTOR® e: KPfaffe@cityscapepg.com

m: 512-636-9707 w: MoveSmartAustin.com

Tips to Buy a House (And Win BIG!)

See More Tips to BUY SMART

Welcome to Real Estate Real Answers Episode #15! I’m Kyle Pfaffe, local Austin area real estate agent, and if you have your own question, enter it in the comments below or contact me and I’ll make sure to answer it. If you’re thinking about buying a house right now, but – eh – maybe you’ll find one, maybe you won’t, this video is not for you. But if your goal is not just to maybe find a home but to buy a home right now and WIN BIG, then this video is just for you! Today I’m going to share with you four tips to buy a home right now and win big. Plus, at the end, I’ll share with you one tip to always make your offer stand out to sellers.

The first tip to buy a home right now and win big is to be very specific with your search. Know exactly what home you’re looking for, how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms, the layout, floorplan, 1 story or 2 story, the finishes, the neighborhood, the school district, and the size of the yard. All of those things are very important to be very specific in your search so you know what you’re looking for. Why is that important? Well, do you want to waste time going and looking at a home that you would never purchase – that would never be the one that you would want to live in and potentially miss out on a home that is the right one for you? Well, if you put in the work before you start your search and be very specific for what you are looking for, you can spend all of your time looking at the homes that are right for you and not waste any time on the homes that are not.

That leads us right into the second tip to help you buy a house and win big
and that’s to MOVE QUICK. When you have been very specific for what home you are looking for, you can move very quickly when you find that house. When you find it, don’t wait until the weekend to go and see that home – don’t wait for the open house. Go and look at it right away. Don’t waste any time. And when you find that perfect house, make an offer right away. Don’t rush to a decision, but once you are sure it is the right home, make that offer right away.  If you do that, you can potentially get your offer in and accepted before other offers come in and make it a multiple offer situation or maybe you can get your offer in before the open house when other buyers have a chance to see that home and beat you to that house.

The single biggest variable to your success buying a home is HUSTLE. If you really want to find a house and you want to win big, you have to work hard. You have to put the work in up front to make sure that you are only looking at the right houses. You have to go and look at that house right away when it comes on the market. You have to put your offer in right away, but all of that stuff, YOU CAN CONTROL! If you put that work in, you can win! That same tip applies for buyers or sellers. Sellers, if you are willing to put the work in, you can get more money for your house. You can sell quicker. You can sell with better terms. But you have to put the work in. If you do that, no matter what, you can WIN!

The third tip is to be persisitent. If you’ve looked at a lot of homes, but haven’t
found the right one, don’t give up! Stick to the plan that you have of narrowing your search and looking at the right homes and you will find the right home for you! Maybe you’ve lost out on some multiple offers or you haven’t gotten your offer in on time. Keep being persistent looking for those homes, make the offer and if you do that, you’ll find the right home and you’ll win!

The fourth tip is to buy for value. The frenzy of this market can drive some people to do crazy things, but not YOU! You’re going to buy for value! You’re going to make sure that even if it is a multiple offer situation, even if you have to move quickly, that you are buying for value. That means that you’re not overpaying for a house.

Now I told you at the end I would give you one tip to always make your offer stand out to sellers, and that is to make your offer with a three day option period. That really stands out to sellers because if they take their home off the market becuase they accepted your contract and are not going to consider any offers, that short time period means that if it doesn’t work out with you, they can get their home right back out on the market for someone else. For you, you can make a three-day option period work if you have already been working with your inspector to make sure that your inspection is scheduled for the first day after the contract has been accepted. That gives you enough time to do your due diligence on the home and make sure it is right for you and negotiate repairs and it is a huge win for the sellers as well and makes your offer stand out!

If you have a real estate question that you would like answered, put that in the comments below and I will answer it! I hope these four tips can help you buy a home and win big! Thanks for checking out episode 15 – this is Real Estate and that is the REAL ANSWER! If you are considering a move in the Austin area, contact me because I help people like you move smart.

How Accurate is My Zillow Estimate in Austin?

Today I’m answering the question, “How accurate is the the Zillow estimate for my home in Austin?” Zillow’s home value estimator computes an estimated market value for your home based on a proprietary formula using public and private data – they call it a Zestimate (that’s a fun word to say!). In Febuary, the Zillow’s CEO sold his home – how close do you think his Zestimate was? Think about it for a minute and I’ll give you the answer in below.

Anyways, sometimes you visit Zillow to find out your home’s value just because it’s fun to imagine how much you could sell your house for and how much extra money you could put in your pocket even though you have no intention of selling. Other times you could be seriously thinking about selling your home in the Austin area and need the right information.

Can you trust that number? How accurate is it? The simple answer is that your Zestimate is probably wrong by a significant amount and putting too much faith in the sales price it gives you is dangerous. Zillow’s own fine print and reports support this. More than 60% of Zestimates are off by more than 5% and 40% are off by more than 10%! Your home’s actual value could be much higher or much lower than the number you get on Zillow. For my home, Zillow gave a number with a margin of error of $50,000 higher or lower! That’s not helpful at all!

In fact, Spencer Rascoff, the CEO of Zillow sold his home in Febuary for $700,000 less than his Zestimate – a 40% difference! ($1,750,000 to $1,005,000, 40% – do math on side). Zestimates can be so far off because they don’t have specific information. Zillow hasn’t visited your neighborhood or seen the kitchen or bathroom update you just put in so they might price your house too low. They also don’t know about that new prison that was just built behind your friend’s house that is dragging that neighborhood’s value down.

So how can you use a Zestimate? It is a tool that can help increase your real estate awareness and give you as a homeowner public access to some information. However, it can kind of be like guessing the number of gumballs in a jar – you know the jar is big and the candy is small but how many exactly are in there is anybody’s guess. If you really need to know the value of your home, don’t take your Zestimate at face value and contact a real estate pro like me. He or she can give you a pretty good idea or your home’s value in a short amount of time.

Anyways, I hope this REAL ANSWER has been helpful for you. If you are thinking of selling your home, you should contact me because I help people like you move smart and sell for more money.