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If you are considering a move in the Austin area, contact me because I help people like you Move Smart.

Austin Market Update – July 2016

Rather watch than read? Click the Image for the video!
Rather watch than read? Click the Image for the video!

The Austin Board of Realtors just released the official numbers for the month of July and in the City of Austin, the average sales price hit $345,000 in July 2016, a 4.6 percent increase from last year, while the number of homes sold in July declined by 7.3 percent. Housing inventory rose slightly from 2.1 months in July 2015 to 2.4 months in July 2016 and homes spent four more days on the market than the previous year.

What do those numbers mean? Well, home values in Central Texas continue to increase, which is great news for homeowners, but I believe those rising prices are starting to have cooling effect on the number of homes sold because of affordability. Home buyers, especially first time home buyers are being pushed further and further from Central Austin because they can’t afford the high prices. This will effect demand in Austin which should slow rising home values in Austin.
If you want to know more about the market in Williamson County, check out this post. If you have any questions about real estate or are thinking of buying a home, drop me a note or call me and I’d be happy to help!

What is the BEST Open House Question?

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Rather Watch Than Read? Click Image for Video!
  • Ask the WHY, not the WHAT
  • Get the Sellers’ Insight

Every weekend, thousands of people leave their air conditioned homes to visit open houses. If you are going to give up a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to look at houses, I’m sure you want it to be profitable – useful – and feel like your time was worth it (Are you thinking of a move? I can make it easier – Let’s Connect!). If you want your open house visits to be as valuable as possible, you need to ask the right questions. What is the most common question I get at an open house? I already answered that in this blog post. 

The best questions will always focus on information you can’t find in a flyer or MLS listing – they will focus on the hidden details. So, what is the best question to ask? I couldn’t narrow it down to only one so here are the top two:

What do the sellers like MOST about this home?

The answer to this question can be very valuable because it will often highlight something about the home of area that you would be very hard to convey or understand unless you are actually at the home. Maybe the sellers love the floor plan or the neighborhood. Maybe they like the schools or the back yard has an amazing sunset view that you could never truly appreciate unless you saw the backyard for yourself. The answer could be any number of things, but it is most likely something that you would never learn from a flyer, MLS listing or the information I have already shared in social media leading up to my open house (Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube!).

The second best question to ask is…

Why are the sellers moving?

If you read my other post, you know that this is also the most common question I get at an open house. It is also a very good question that I recommend you ask on a visit to an open house. This is information that probably only the agent knows and it can be super helpful. The reasons the seller is moving is moving might be the same reasons that the home wouldn’t be a good fit for you but you haven’t considered yet. Also, maybe the home is a great fit for your needs, but knowing the answer to that question can give you extra insight into the house, neighbors or neighborhood!

If you have any questions about real estate or are thinking of buying a home, drop me a note or call me and I’d be happy to help!

By Kyle PfaffeREALTOR® e: KPfaffe@cityscapepg.com

m: 512-636-9707 w: AustinHomes4You.com

Open Houses – What is the Most Common Question?

KEY TAKEAWAYS

What is the most common open house question
Rather Watch Than Read? Click Image for Video!
  • There are no bad questions
  • Some questions give special insight

I do a lot of open houses – usually 2-3 a week. That adds up to 8-12 a month and almost 150 a year! I get a lot of questions from people that visit the houses I am holding open – no “bad” questions, but definitely some better than others. So I was thinking the other day, what is the most common question asked at an open house?

At first thought, you might think something like “What is the price?” or “How many square feet are there in this home?” I do get those questions often, but many times people come in to an open house already knowing a lot of information about an open house from what is posted online or what I have shared in social media leading up to my open house (Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube!)

I do get plenty of weird questions about a home but I am fine answering anything coming from a curious buyer (do YOU know someone looking to make a move? Introduce us!). All that being said, what is the most common question I get from visitors at my open houses???

Why are the sellers moving?

If you think about it, this is actually a really good question! This is information that probably only the agent knows – you can’t find it on the MLS, Zillow or in a flyer. It is also information that can be super helpful. The reasons the seller is moving is moving might be the same reasons that the home wouldn’t be a good fit for you but you haven’t considered yet. Also, maybe the home is a great fit for your needs, but knowing the answer to that question can give you extra insight into the house, neighbors or neighborhood!

The perfect follow up question to this is, What is the BEST question to ask an agent at an open house? I’ll be answering that in my next blog post so check back soon or, even better, FOLLOW my blog so you are notified when that next post comes!

If you have any questions about real estate or are thinking of buying a home, drop me a note or call me and I’d be happy to help!

By Kyle PfaffeREALTOR® e: KPfaffe@cityscapepg.com

m: 512-636-9707 w: AustinHomes4You.com

Part 5: Common Mistakes of First-Time Home Buyers

Looking for a Home Like Their Parents

It is very important for first-time homebuyers to remember that most people do not buy their dream home right out of the gate. Your parents or other family members and friends likely started out by purchasing a smaller house in the Greater Austin area. As they balanced what they wanted with what they could afford, their finances played a large role in determining what they purchased. As time went on, they paid down their mortgage and gained more equity in their home through appreciation. Only then did they trade up to a larger, nicer home in the Austin area. With that home, they had to worry less about how much the home cost and could focus more on finding what they really wanted.

As a first-time homebuyer, it may be very difficult to lower your expectations a bit. Do not let those expectations keep you from missing out on a great first home and keep you from taking advantage of the still very low interest rates available! When you have built your finances and some equity in your home, you will then have the perfect opportunity to move up to your dream home!

Buying a home for the first time is a very exciting time – do not let unrealistic expectations kill that joy! If you are considering purchasing a home or would like to learn about your options drop me a note. You can also check out my other blog post – What You NEED to Know Before You Buy a Home.

Own a home and thinking about moving up to your dream home? Download the FREE Guide >>> Timing the Market in 2014

by Kyle Pfaffe, REALTOR®      e: KylePfaffe@kw.com      m: 512-636-9707      w: AustinHomes4You.com

    

Housing Market Recap for 2013

The Austin Board of REALTORS recently released the housing market’s final statistics for 2013. The trend of strong growth continued last year with improvements in every key area of measurement. The number of homes sold in 2013 grew +19% over 2012, to 30,710 homes with an average sales price of $284,614 – 7.6% higher than last year. Two of the most significant metrics are average price per square foot – a better measurement of property appreciation than average sales price – and average day on market – the average amount of time homes sold for in Austin. The average price per square foot of homes sold in Austin in 2013 grew 9.4% versus 2012 to $133/sq.ft. Also, homes in Austin sold in 2013 in an average of 47 days, down 27% from 2012 the average time to sell was 65 days.

Downtown Austin

The strong 2013 housing market should see continued growth in 2014 as the demand for homes continues to rise while inventory of homes available for purchase struggles to catch up. These numbers are reflective of

the Austin area housing market as a whole and certain neighborhoods saw slightly stronger or weaker growth than the average. For specific information on your neighborhood, drop me a note and I’ll be happy to help! Considering selling this year? Check back for my upcoming post on knowing the BEST time to sell in 2014 (Can’t wait? Just give me a call…).

by Kyle Pfaffe, REALTOR®      e: KylePfaffe@kw.com      m: 512-636-9707      w: AustinHomes4You.com

The Kyle Pfaffe Real Estate Team

Austin Board of REALTORS Pulls Listings from Zillow, Trulia & Others…So What?

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This month, the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) made the decision to end their agreement with List Hub at the end of their current contract next summer. List Hub is a syndication service which has distributed the home listings in ABoR’s MLS to various 3rd party websites like Trulia and Zillow. This effectively means that homes listed by Austin REALTORS will stop showing up on 3rd party websites next summer.

Why does this matter? About 95% of all home buyers begin their home search on the internet. Zillow and Trulia and 1 & 2 respectively for most visited real estate websites in the US. If you are considering listing your home for sale in the Greater Austin area any time during or after next summer, you definitely need to be asking any REALTOR you interview how they will market you home online and how they will offset this potential loss in visibility for your home.

Why did ABoR make this decision? Two major issues are driving this change – data inaccuracies on 3rd party websites & lost leads. There has been a history of data inaccuracies on the listings on most 3rd party websites and it can be very difficult and frustrating for REALTOR’s to try to fix. These errors ultimately reflect poorly on the REALTOR’s who are left to answer for the mistakes, even when they had nothing to do with them. ABoR also came to this decision because many of the home buyer leads are going to agents who pay those 3rd party websites for them, instead of the agents who hold the listings or who are trying to drive the web traffic to their own websites.

Will this affect people who list with me? NO! First of all, I am already marketing my listings on a wide variety of web platforms BEYOND what most REALTORS use that is getting exposure for my clients homes that others might never receive. Second, as a agent at Keller Williams, my listings are distributed on over 350 online search engines and 76,000 websites – ABoR’s decision will have essentially no effect on the exposure I get for my clients!

If you have more questions about this change or would like information on how I use an array of online platforms to maximize my clients homes for sale, contact me and I would be happy to help however I can!

by Kyle Pfaffe, REALTOR®      e: KylePfaffe@kw.com      m: 512-636-9707      w: AustinHomes4You.com

The Kyle Pfaffe Real Estate Team