You read all sorts of articles in the newspaper and online about the Austin real estate market. Some say Austin is a great place for home buyers. Others say we are in a bubble. Others say it makes sense for investors and some say not. What is really going on? Here we’ll share with your our 3 key facts for Austin home buyers and sellers in Spring 2018 based on what we’ve seen in the market this year.
#1: Sellers are Stubborn
After witnessing the competitive bidding we’ve seen the past few years, sellers expect that it is still that way now. They don’t realize the market isn’t quite as hot as it was then. They set prices at the very top of the market, often over the market and wait for the lines of people – that don’t usually come. When they don’t get their number, many refuse to adjust the price. Instead, they take their home off the market and hope to “try again next year.”
And, this is not just one or two stubborn sellers. One of the most interesting market trends we’ve seen in the past year is the increasing number of Austin homes taken off the market. Often times, it can be an over 30% increase in year over year numbers. Though some of these expired listings have to do with poor marketing, the majority of them are overpriced and owned by a stubborn seller.
Seller Tip: If you want to get top dollar for your home, set a realistic price and be overly accommodating for showings. Tour your competition. How can you make your home look better than what’s currently being offered? Make sure your home is in showing condition – sparkling clean, decluttered, fresh paint, smelling good – always. Have a plan to get out of the house quickly so you can accommodate the last minute showing request. Yes, it’s annoying, but the faster you find a qualified buyer, the faster you can resume your normal life. And, buyers today don’t buy homes they can’t see.
#2: Buyers are Patient
A few years ago, buyers were just looking to win. They would stand in line in front of a house, get caught up in the bidding war and throw money at sellers. They wouldn’t go through the house with a careful eye. If it was in the neighborhood they wanted and it was still standing, they would bid on it. Not anymore. Now, buyers carefully scrutinize each home. They tour more homes and they don’t just settle for anything with a sign in the yard. They take the time to decide if they like it and if it will work for their family. As such, time on market for homes in Austin has been increasing. It is still a seller’s market, but not to the extreme we’ve seen in years past.
Buyer Tip: Make a prioritized list of your needs and wants in a home. Scout new listings as soon as they are posted. Have a clear picture of what will work for your family and what won’t. Don’t be afraid to make offers early. You’ll beat the indecisive buyers and have less competition by knowing what you want. And – negotiate! If a house meets all your criteria, but is overpriced, tell them what you would pay for it. They might just say yes!
#3: Prices are Still Going Up
If you’ve been following our Austin real estate price reports, you’ve seen the 43 straight months of price increases. Long time Austin residents will tell you Austin is unaffordable. Yet, if you talk to the many transplants that have relocated from cities like San Francisco, New York and Boston and they’ll tell you Austin is dirt cheap.
The median price of a home in Austin is about $350,000. Five years ago the median price was around $250,000. We’re starting to see the increase slow, but it’s still on an upward trend, especially in areas close to Downtown where there is limited land for new construction. It will be interesting to see if this Spring’s market heats up as hot as it has the past several years.
Seller Tip: Understand your home is going to have to stand out beyond the other choices in the market to get top dollar and it is going to take a little longer to sell. But, buyers are still willing to pay more this year for a home than they did last year. Have some patience and you’ll be successful.
Buyer Tip: Waiting is no longer a strategy if you’re looking to pay less for a house. If you would have bought this time last year, you would have paid less than you will now. Will that continue indefinitely? Probably not. Will it continue for the foreseeable future? Based on trends we are seeing in the market, I’d say yes. Successful buyers are ready to make offers when they see the house they like. They have been pre-approved and their down payment is liquid. They also know they aren’t going to get every house they bid on. Whether that be from someone outbidding them or because they encounter a stubborn seller who isn’t willing to negotiate. They don’t let that stop them. They simply move on to the next house.
Considering Buying or Selling in Austin?
Our team of Austin real estate specialists can guide you through your next real estate transaction. If you’re looking to buy, let our Austin neighborhood experts help you find the best place for you and your family to land. If you’re looking to sell, our innovative marketing program targets qualified buyers who are ready to pay top dollar. We create a 3-D virtual walk through tour where buyers can tour the house like they were actually walking inside your house. This means buyers who take the time to view your house in person have pre-screened your home and you won’t get the buyers that walk in, turn around and walk out.
For more info about our team, check out our Austin Home Buyers and Austin Home Sellers section. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323, email us at info@11OaksRealty.com or fill out our Buyer Survey or Seller Survey to schedule a no obligation consultation.