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

Now is the PERFECT Time to Buy or Sell a Home? Not So Fast…

Time to Buy Blog Image

I just wanted to stop for a minute to share with you a thought on something I have been hearing a lot of agents saying about our current real estate market. Whether it is on TV or radio commercials, on Facebook or some other form of advertising, I have heard agents say “Now is the PERFECT time to buy or sell a home!”

Frankly, I think this statement is misleading and overgeneralized. Imagine if I told you and everyone that I met that “Now is the PERFECT time!” Certainly that wouldn’t not be true for everyone I spoke to.

Telling someone that “Now is the PERFECT time to buy” without considering that individuals unique circumstances, finances and the availability of homes that meet their criteria is making quite the assumption. And to tell a homeowner that “Now is the PERFECT time to sell” without considering the market conditions of their specific neighborhood along with a number of other factors, could be TERRIBLE advice.

My recommendation to anyone thinking about buying or selling a home right now is this: make sure to speak with a qualified agent who knows your market and who you trust to give you advice that is in your best interest!

If you have questions or anything else I can help with, drop me a note and I’d be happy to help! Thinking of selling still this year and taking advantage of this record breaking market? Click Here to receive your FREE copy of my Strategic Guide for the Savvy Home Seller – Timing the Market in 2014.

By Kyle PfaffeREALTOR® e: KylePfaffe@kw.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

    

Deadline for Filing for Your Homestead Exemption for Property Taxes!

The time has come to file for the Homestead Exemption for property taxes. If you have purchased your primary residence in 2013 (resided there as of 1/1/2014), then you can claim the homestead exemption on your property taxes. Homestead Exemption forms can be filed between January 1st and April 30th. In an effort to help make your life a little easier, I have provided the links or phone numbers to download or request the Homestead Exemption forms that apply to all homeowners. The Homestead Exemption forms for those over 65, the disabled, disabled veterans, and surviving spouses are also included.

What is a Homestead Exemption?

In short, a homestead exemption in Texas is an exemption that removes part of the value of your property from being taxed and thereby lowering your property taxes. For example, if your home has a tax appraised value of $100,000 and you qualify for an exemption of $20,000, you pay taxes on your home as if it is only work $80,000.

What Exemptions Are There?

Beyond the standard Homestead Exemption, there are also exemptions for the disabled, seniors over the age of 65, veterans and other local & county exemptions.

For more information on exemptions…Click Here.

Here are the forms!
Travis County               Williamson County               Hays County

If you have any questions, feel free to 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

Is Now the Time to Upgrade to a Bigger Home?

The real estate market for the Austin area has shown consecutive growth month after month for almost 2 years now. While it could a great time for any home owner to take advantage of the rise in home values, I think that this time could be a special opportunity for people who own homes that fit the profile and budget for first-time home-buyers. Let me explain…

Active Listings for First-Time Homebuyers2

The huge influx of people to Austin, rising rental rates and low mortgage rates have all contributed to a seemingly ever-rising demand for homes for first-time home-buyers. That demand has caused home prices for those first-time home-buyers to rise as well, increasing the possible equity for home sellers if they chose to sell in this market. Below is a report on the active number of listings on the market in Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park & Pflugerville for between $130,000-$180,000, a common price point for many first-time home-buyers. As you can see from the graphic, the number of home available to would-be buyers has recently increased, but is still well below the levels we saw two years ago. 

If you own a home in near this price range and think your home might be a great home for a first-time home-buyer, now could be a great opportunity for you to take advantage of your increased equity and move-up to a larger home and also take advantage of the super-low interest rates yourself. If you are considering selling your home, learn how I can help you sell your home for top dollar and deliver a high net to you as well as help you find a new home to move into. Drop me a note if you are interested in finding out the value of your home. 

Interested in selling your home and saving some money on commissions? Ask me about my “Move Out, Move Up” program.

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

The Kyle Pfaffe Real Estate Team

JUST CLOSED! First-Time Homebuyers Chris & Shannon!

JUST CLOSED! First-Time Homebuyers Chris & Shannon!
JUST CLOSED! First-Time Homebuyers Chris & Shannon!

Looking to buy or sell? Drop me a note or call me at 512-636-9707 and we can discuss how I can help you!

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

The Kyle Pfaffe Real Estate Team