Real Estate Tips

Home Selling: How Often Should Your Real Estate Agent Call?

When selling a home, the number one complaint of homeowners is the lack of communication & follow-up from their real estate agent - after the agent has listed the home for sale. In fact, a quick scan of popular websites reveals the most common grievances such as "My agent never returns my calls," or "My agent went on vacation and didn't tell me." it's a very common problem for sellers, and a source of great frustration.

We call this the "List & Leave Syndrome, " a phrase I coined after experiencing a similar circumstance in 2010, which ultimately prompted me to fire my agent -- and was the catalyst to me becoming licensed as an agent.

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Buying a Home? 3 Big Mistakes to Avoid Before Your Next Home Purchase

Home Buying Mistakes to AvoidIf you've been thinking about a real estate purchase, there are a number of mistakes to avoid as home buyers, which could potentially save you a lot of time, frustration and heartache.

Avoid making these common mistakes, and be fully prepared before going on the house hunt.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Decide What You Want...

Buying A Home For Resale Value

How to Buy a Home With Resale Value in MindIf you're preparing to search for a new home, you'll want to consider two sets of criteria. The first set of criteria defines what you want, and most of all need, for your family to be happy in the home. We've talked about creating your list of, and separating housing wants and needs in previous blog posts.

The elements that contribute to resale value make up the second set of criteria. Unless you are entering...

Home Buyer Mistakes: 5 Tips to Winning Offers in a Seller's Market

Are you in the market to buy a home this spring? Join the crowd! In many areas, the market is red-hot; inventory is low and buyers are plenty. In these times, hopeful home buyers must quickly educate themselves regarding the buying process and current market conditions. How can you increase the odds of winning your dream home in a seller's market, especially when competing with multiple offers? Develop a winning strategy by follwing these tips, and avoiding common home buyer mistakes.

Multiple Offers

Image Courtesy of Online Training Academy

How to Identify a Seller's Market

A seller's...

Capital Gains Tax and the Sale of Your Home

What to Know About Capital Gains and Home SalesHomeowners interested in selling a primary residence may want to know more about the capital gains tax and applicable exclusions to avoid handing over a chunk of the profits to Uncle Sam. Whether a seller is able to qualify for a full or partial exclusion, either translates to less money given to the IRS.

Learn more about capital gains tax and full and partial exemptions on the sale of a home today.

For informational purposes only. Always consult...

Eco-Friendly Strategies for a Green Home

Energy Efficient Upgrades For Your HomeGreen energy is the way of the future: now more than ever, homeowners are becoming conscious of the environment and what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Here are different strategies homeowners can use to help make their home environmentally friendly and use less energy.

What is an Eco-Friendly Home?

An eco-friendly home is one that includes many environmentally-friendly features that allow an individual to reduce the energy they use and the pollution they emit. There is no set standard to define an eco-friendly home, and many homeowners are able to create a sustainable lifestyle that works for them. For example,...

Are Tiny Homes a Wise Investment?

tiny homes

It seems there are Tiny Homes popping up everywhere. Magazines, websites, and reality TV shows all praise the space-saving miniature houses that typically range between 180 and 400 square feet in size. Is it a practical lifestyle choice? Is it truly possible to live comfortably with another person in such a tiny space? Do people still enjoy living in tiny homes after the first year? How much do they cost? These are questions you need to ask before you consider purchasing a tiny home.


What Does A Tiny Home Cost?

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Pros and Cons of the Probate Real Estate Market

How to Navigate the Probate Real Estate ProcessThough they are no longer the largest generational population, the Boomers – who are heading into their sunset years – will continue to possess the most wealth. That is until they pass their assets onto either their Gen X children or Millennial and Gen Z grandchildren. According to a report by Deloitte, $24 trillion in bequests will be transferred over the next 15 years.

Enter the probate real estate market. Due to many factors that will be discussed below, probate real estate is a virtually...

Be Smart When Buying a Foreclosed Home

How to Buy a Real Estate ForeclosureA Foreclosure Does Not Equal a "Good Deal" By Default

With the events of the past few years, it's understandable that the home-buying public equates a "foreclosure" to a "good deal". But the fact is, that a foreclosed home deserves a much higher level of scrutiny - not only in terms of the market value, but also the property's condition.

You should never approach the possible purchase of a foreclosed home as though you are getting a "good deal" - that is unless the numbers truly indicate it is in fact a sound investment, compared to other homes. Always, be smart when buying a foreclosed home!

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Holiday Home Buying: Shopping For Homes During the Holidays

How to Buy a Home During the HolidaysBuying a home during the holidays - sounds crazy, right? You have about a million tasks on your to-do list and none of them checked off. You have relatives coming into town, the local bake sale needs more holiday cookies, and the cat just crawled-up the tree - again. In the midst of all this holiday chaos you may think the last thing you really want to do is search for your new home. However, you might be missing out. The holiday season can be a fantastic time to buy real estate!

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Make Small Repairs To Raise Your Home Sales Price

Home Repairs To Raise Sales PriceIf you're preparing to list your Leander home for sale, please resist the temptation to make major home improvements. Major home improvements can end up costing you more than double your original budget. Additionally, you will be dealing with the mess yourself, and more importantly, delaying how soon your home is shown to potential home buyers in Leander. Rather, for a better return on your time and money, focus on minorprojects instead - especially your "honey-do list." It's the smaller projects that tend to have a bigger, long-term payoff.

Start Thinking Like a Home Buyer!

So, how do you determine which projects are the "smaller ones"? It's obvious when you think back to being a home buyer. You're...

House Hunting? Real Estate Terms Every Home Buyer Should Know

Your Guide to Common Real Estate TerminologyWhen looking to buy (or sell) a home, some of the terminology can get confusing.

While it's of course your real estate agent's job to know the ins and outs of all things real estate, it's also very helpful to the Austin home buyer during the search. With all the different terms and acronyms, property listings and real estate jargon, it's hard to focus on what's important. Below is a list of a few important terms you are likely to hear during your house hunt.

Sale-to-List Ratio

More commonly used by sellers, this is potentially an important...

Home Buying Guide: Separating Housing Wants from Needs

How to Determine Your Home Buying Wants and NeedsIf you've come across this website, you've probably been searching for homes!

We applaud your decision, our website features a wide array of properties for sale at any given time, including single-family homes, Austin condos, townhomes and luxury homes.

The number of available properties available can be a bit overwhelming, so w'll let you in on a little trick. It involves clearly separating your housing wants from your needs well before you start your home search.

What Do You Really Need in Your New Home?

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Counting Days in Real Estate Contract Contingencies

CalendarHow do we count the number of days for contingencies in home purchase & sale contracts? it's not too terribly complicated to answer, but misunderstandings regarding the "Computation of Time" in real estate contracts are unfortunately very common.

While all contract contingencies are important, arguably, the most critical contingency in any real estate purchase and sale contract is the Financing Contingency, which is typically 20-30 days. All parties, especially the home buyer and their real estate agent, need to accurately count the number of days - and to adhere to any related terms of the contract. The inspection contingency is just as important. Wait too long after the inspection to negotiate any repairs, and you may find you just...

What is an Inspection Contingency?

Definition: An Inspection Contingency is a clause in a home purchase & sale contract which provides the buyer an opportunity to conduct a home inspection, with the right to either terminate the contract, or attempt to negotiate repairs and/or terms of the contract, based upon the results of an inspection report.

What is an Inspection Contingency


Contingencies for home inspections vary from state to state, and the methods of negotiating issues can also vary by "local custom" depending on the market area. For example, in Texas, inspections are handled during the "Option Period" - typically a 10-day period in which the buyer pays a nominal fee in exchange for this option. In some areas, such as...

Home Buying: What is a Greenbelt? Buffer-Zone, Vacant Land Or...

asking questions when buying a houseWhat is a greenbelt? We get this question a lot - and it can have a different meaning depending on the circumstances and location of the home. More importantly, too many buyers become enamoured with the view & privacy - assuming it will always be that way. Home buyers coming to Texas from other parts of the country understandably may have preconceived notions as to what a "greenbelt" actually is... but they may be mistaken.

In Texas, a greenbelt or buffer-zone is generally considered by most homeowners and buyers alike, to be a vacant patch or parcel of forested land, behind, or to the side of a home. Typically, depending on the location, greenbelts can be partially forested with trees, but the landscape can vary - some may contain large open spaces, public parks or grassland. Some greenbelts...

Full Service at 1 Percent - Comparing Real Estate Agents Commission

Hiring the right real estate agent can be challenging enough as it is - but it's more so, when the cost of commissions becomes the primary focus in the decision-making process, and without considering other factors. Especially in a "seller's market" when home inventory is in short supply, for obvious reasons, the services provided by brokerages and agents offering "Full Service" for significantly reduced listing fees can become more appealing. And indeed, some "experienced" buyers & sellers may not need the full-scope of professional services provided by a "traditional" real estate brokerage. Regardless, when choosing a brokerage & an agent, it's important to look beyond the advertising claims and compare "apples to apples." Thus, we present to you Six (more) Things to Consider When Comparing Real Estate Agents...

10 Ways to Guarantee a Miserable Home Buying Experience

Anthony GilbertUpdated Introduction: A few agents have already commented in various places that this post may not be "a good idea." IMO, that's likely because they think an agent's Number One Priority is "lead generation" - and some believe it's "aggressive" lead generation. I completely disagree - I feel our Number One priority is "client service."

It is my belief the reason an increasing number of buyers are behaving in the ways I describe in this post, is because real estate (as an industry) has forced them to. Particularly due to internet marketing, buyers have been forced to lurk anonymously in the shadows, because they fear that the moment they give an agent their information, they won't be able to get rid of the agent - like an irritating skin rash.

And can I blame the home buyer? ...

Buying a Home Next To Vacant Land

asking questions when buying a houseLooking at homes which are adjacent to vacant or nearby undeveloped land? Avoid potentially nasty surprises! Investigate and verify the ownership, zoning and approved use of that land - before you buy.

Case in point... Several years ago I almost purchased a home in Bee Cave, TX (a west Austin suburb) which backed to private land. I appreciated the privacy, and the view was great. Coming from a typical suburban neighborhood, it was VERY tempting to write an offer, and be done with it. I asked my buyer's agent if she knew who owned that land, or what it was going to be used for - she said she didn't know. I later decided against that house. One of the primary reasons I decided against that home, was the uncertainty concerning the status of the vacant land...

Leasing Or Buying a Car May Affect Mortgage Loan Approval

Be Cautious When Buying a New Car Before Applying for a Mortgage

It is quite often the case, where a prospective new homeowner also decides to purchase a new car before buying a home. I have worked with several Seattle area home buyers recently who needed to purchase a car before moving to a new state. I always caution home buyers about the potential pitfalls of buying a new car where it concerns their credit and debt to income ratios. Surprising to most, there can also be a hazards when paying off a car loan before applying for a mortgage.

There's plenty of online material to help you choose your optimal path, but this 3-minute piece from NBC's The Today Show serves as an excellent summary. In it, you'll learn about the basics of leasing a car, and for whom leasing can be a great fit. You'll also hear reasons to avoid a lease completely.

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