Real Estate Information Archive


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5 Reasons to Work WIth an Experienced Agent

by Rebecca Shahan

Real Estate Agent​Are you planning on buying or selling a home in the Austin or Lake Travis Texas area? If so, get ready for an adventure. And as with any great adventure, you need someone to guide you on the journey. Buying or selling a home can be fraught with pitfalls. But some home buyers and sellers are tempted by instant gratification, so they may try to go it on their own.  This is called FSBO, or "for sale by owner." And some do have success, but not usually as much as they would if they used an agent. 

The reasons you should hire a real estate professional in Austin has not really changed, despite great changes in the industry. With the advent of internet marketing and home searches, many may feel more empowered to find a home on their own or sell one. But the fact is that projections of higher mortgage interest rates and home prices has made it even more crucial to have help when buying or selling a home. Here are 5 of the top reasons you need help when buying or selling a home in Austin and Lake Travis.

1. Do you want to deal with all the paperwork?

Texas has regulations regarding the contracts you need to buy or sell a home in Austin, and these regulations are constantly changing. A professional real estate agent is an expert in the Austin and Texas markets.  They know about all the paperwork that needs to be completed. Save yourself that headache and let a pro take care of it.

2. What do you do when you find your dream home?

Did you know that there are over 180 possible steps that need to take place during a successful real estate transaction. Do you know what they are? A real estate professional know all of these steps. Let them take care of the process.

3. Are you a good negotiator?

Many people don't know that it's necessary to negotiate with a number of people during the process of buying or selling a home in Austin. Are you familiar with this process or practiced in negotiation tactics? You need to negotiate with buyers, home inspection companies, all the way to the appraisers.  There are at least 11 different people who you will need to work with during the process. Again, this can be overwhelming if you're not familiar with the process.

4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?

Do you know what your home that you're buying or selling in Austin is really worth? Pricing a home or determining it's value is important to attract the right buyers and shorten the amount of time that it’s on the market. You may be emotionally connected to your home more than you realize. An agent is not. They can give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to a study by Collateral Analytics, FSBOs achieve prices significantly lower than those from similar properties sold by real estate agents:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

To get the most from your transaction, you need someone who's familiar with the Austin market and can set the best price.  And if you're buying, you need someone who can tell if a home is set at the right price and can negotiate the best price.

5. Do you know what’s really going on in the Austin, Texas market?

With all the information on the news and internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates, can you sort out what’s going on in the Austin area? An agent can competitively and correctly price your home at the beginning of the selling process. How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring a local agent in Austin who knows the market will make your buying or selling experience a successful journey. 

If you're buying or selling a home in Austin, Lake Travis, Lakeway, Beecave or the surrounding areas, you can count on Rebecca Shahan to guide you. You can search for the perfect home on our website using our powerful home search tools. You can also get free listing alerts of homes as they hit the market at And you can always feel free to call us at 512-657-4467​ to talk to an experienced agent today.

Prepare Your Home to Sell This Spring

by Rebecca Shahan

Are you thinking about selling your home in Austin or Lake Travis this Spring? If so, Springtime is one of the best times of the year to sell your home.  But don't wait until then to prepare your home to sell.  The more preparation, the more chance you'll have of selling your home faster and getting more money from the sale.  Remember that first impressions are lasting impressions.  When a potential buyer comes to your home, you need to make sure you've done all you can to peak their interest. So here are a few ways you can get your home ready to sell this Spring!

Here are 6 great tips to get your home prepared:

1. Get a Home Inspection.  Having a home inspection before you sell will prepare you for any potential troubles that could make your potential buyers turn around and go to the next house. You'll still need to disclose what the home inspection finds, but you'll have time to make repairs. 

2. Gather all your Warranties. Have all the warranties for any appliances in your home that have them. This gives the buyer confidence in the home.

3. Make all Minor Repairs. Walk through your home with a critical eye and check each room for any minor fixes. This includes patching of holes or cracks, painting, floor replacement, windows, closets, outlets and more. Make the repairs you can and get ready to negotiate for those you can't make.

4. Clear out Clutter. No one wants to see a mess when looking for a new home.  Store as much as you can in an alternate location or get rid of as much as you can altogether.  This makes your move even easier and makes your home even more appealing.

5. Sparkle and Shine. Clean your home as if an army sergeant was coming through with a white glove!

6. Stage your Home to Sell! Consider hiring a professional home statger Home Stagers are experts at presenting your home's best assets and hiding those that are not. They also create the best light and flow to showcase your home. 

For more Home Selling Tips, visit our website or give us a call for a personal evaluation. And make sure to check back on our blog for more tips!

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