Are you really a home buyer or are you just a contender? How do you know if you are a really a buyer or just a contender in today’s Austin market? We get calls all the time of people wanting to see properties because they are “in the market to buy a home.” My first response is usually, “How do you know you are a buyer?”
To be a true home buyer in the Austin market, you must meet the following criteria:
- Stop looking for homes on bad websites. Zillow, Trulia, and the 60+ alike are NOT ACURATE sources of information. In fact, 14% of current Austin single family homes are not listed on these syndicated websites. In addition, approximately 36% have outdated and/or incorrect information. If you are a serious buyer, then you would not reduce your search to these tire-kicking websites.
- Get your finances in place. I’m not talking about a pre-qualification letter. I mean find a mortgage lender that will help you get comfortable with what your monthly payment is and prepare you to close on a home within 30 days from contract. If you are a serious buyer, you would know exactly what your maximum price range is.
- Find a good Realtor®. Most buyers don’t realize that there are real estate agents and there are Realtors®. There is a difference. Real estate agents are not members of their local and national associations, often do not have access to the Multiple Listing System, and most importantly, do not abide by the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics. You are investing in one of the largest purchases in your lifetime. A serious buyer invests in a Realtor® who is going to look after their best interests.
- Be prepared to make an offer on the first day of viewing homes. The word on the street is correct. Inventory of available homes in Austin have dropped right along with the weather. The homes your Realtor® is showing you are what are available within your criteria. Currently, there is only 2.5 months of available homes for sale and homes stay on the market for an average of only 48 days. A serious buyer is ready, willing, and able to take a home off the market.
- Increase your chances in a multiple offer situation. Believe that other buyers want the same house you want. This is not the time to low-ball. This type of seller’s market changes the way you make offers on a home. If you are a contender, you make an offer on a home and wait for the counter offer. If you are a serious buyer, you compete for a home with your offer. This includes whatever is left of short sales and foreclosures.
At Texas Dream REALTORS® we qualify our clients according to these criteria before beginning the buying process. Why? Because we are in the business to help our clients buy and sell their home. We know what is involved in the buying process and set the right expectations up front. This ensures that our clients get the home they want and the transaction goes as smoothly and our clients are happy.
“I recently purchased my home in Austin, TX through Kelea Piper at Texas Dream Realtors. I was a first time home buyer and very unsure of what to expect. I had the most amazing experience with Kelea and TDR! Everything about the process was smooth and seamless- from the beginning of the showing/selection experience to the full closing process. I always felt that Kelea had my best interests in mind and went above and beyond. Kelea is extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and professional every step of the way. I had a TON of questions since it was my first home and she made me feel very comfortable and fully educated. I highly recommend Kelea and Texas Dream Realtors to anyone looking for a top quality home buying experience. Whether it is your first home or your 5th, Kelea fully delivers on expectations plus rises above them consistently! Thank you for helping me find my dream home in Austin!”
Christina Onori, Austin Tx