Commuting between San Antonio and Austin is a common question from our clients. Can I live in Austin and work in San Antonio? How long would it take me to get to work each day? With the Texas Metro-plex exponentially growing each day, traffic and the I-35 corridor that connect San Antonio and Austin can prove to be daunting if you choose to commute from one city to the other. Leaving SA takes at least 40minutes. Once you get on I35 everything opens up and is smooth all the way to downtown Austin, then it takes another 45 minutes to get through downtown. That is without calculating accidents, gas, and car maintenance.
If you are planning to spend a significant amount of time in either city, we recommend buying a home in New Braunfels, San Marcos, Kyle, or Buda. These are charming cities that rest in between San Antonio and Austin. They offer abundant amenities and are only a 30-45 minute commute to San Antonio and Austin. These cities are known for their parks and recreation, live music, festivals, tubing down the clear rivers or sailing across the deep, blue lakes. In addition, there is plenty of affordable housing, master-planned communities, and great schools.
Commuting between San Antonio and Austin would be a lot easier and less stressful if you lived in any of these great cities. Texas Dream Realtors has agents that are experienced in all of these bordering cities, as well as, San Antonio and Austin. Please contact us if you are considering moving to Central Texas and we would be delighted to provide you with more information.
Are we heading toward an era of small brokerages in San Antonio? Just recently the 2014 Swanepoel TRENDS Report noted that there is a trend moving away from the small mom and pop real estate brokerages and more agents are working for the large real estate firms across the country. However, the New York Times posted an article on “The Ascent of the Little Guys” stating that the credibility of the smaller firms are growing in popularity due to the attention to agent training, customer service, and low agent-to-manager ratios.
While large real estate brokerages with thousands of agents still dominate the market, I can’t help but wonder whether the clout of the smaller firms is a question buyers and sellers should consider when choosing a real estate agent. As consumers decide between a highly visible company with lots of agents and resources, they should also consider the idea of a smaller firm that caters to a niche market and to the client’s needs. For example, downtown living, condo specialists, luxury lifestyles, etc. In addition, smaller brokerages in San Antonio are more creative and nimble. They can be more responsive and customer service oriented in a changing market.
“One of the main things that any small business — whether an independent bookstore, a corner toy store or a neighborhood hardware store — would have customers believe is that service is better and personal attention greater at a little firm. Whether that is true in real estate depends — because the company name may be ubiquitous, but the client’s relationship is usually with a single person.” –HILARY STOUT, New York Times
The owners of Texas Dream REALTORS do not hire any agent looking for a place to hang their license. We have a small professional team that services our clients for sales, staging, photography, contract to close, listing management, marketing, quality control, make ready services, and technology. We know that you are busy, work hard, fight traffic, and have a life. Therefore, we come to you and proudly have a paperless company that makes our agents accessible and your transaction smooth and successful.
Buyers are liars. Fact or fiction? In several sales professions, namely, car sales and real estate sales, you will hear sales people say that buyers are liars. Normally, you would never hear me compare these two professions, but figuring out what a buyer really wants is something we have in common.
It is usually spoken by a resentful salesperson, as in, “Can you believe that guy? He told me he was going to show his wife, but, well, you know—once they walk out the door, they’re gone. Buyers are liars.”
Another scenario I hear about from more seasoned salespeople is that they have a pre-determined notion that the buyer is not telling them the truth. “If the buyer says they want an open floor plan on a cul-de-sac, with a view, don’t believe it. Buyers are liars. One of those might be true, but the others they’ll compromise on.”
In my opinion, buyers mix their “must haves” with their “wish list” and it takes a true professional salesperson to determine what they can compromise on and what they cannot. Many times buyers don’t know what they really want, they just saw it somewher and think they have to have it.
Salespeople hold a lot of power by virtue of expertise and this can be intimidating during the sales process. Buyers need to feel like they are making an educated decision without being sold to. Therefore, many buyers attempt to control the situation by limiting what they disclose to the salesperson. They want to avoid getting screwed over, so they resort to what feels low-risk.
Buyers are liars. However, usually it is the salesperson’s fault. Taking the time to get to know the buyer’s lifestyle, personality, and how they make decisions is imperative to closing the sale. Texas Dream REALTORS are trained to get to the point of mutual admission so that each party feels they are bringing something to the table in an effort to reach a common goal…homeownership.
Often times I meet people who tell me they just want to get a good deal when buying or selling their home. What does a ‘good deal’ mean exactly? For a long time, I figured my clients just wanted to walk away with more money in their pockets. However, after a recent trip to my hair salon, I realized that a good deal could mean different things to different people.
I told my hair stylist I wanted to remain blonde, but wanted to add golden and copper highlights for winter. He said, “Okay. What color is golden to you?” I showed him a picture of a celebrity’s hair in a magazine that I thought would look nice and he said, “Honey, that’s not golden, that’s light brown with honey-colored highlights.” I digress…
As I sat there with my head wrapped in foil, I couldn’t help but wonder how many times I was not clear on what was most important to my client’s needs when they said they wanted a good deal.
What does a good deal mean exactly? Does it mean you want to buy a home for less money than it’s worth? Does it mean you want more upgrades? Does it mean you want more closing costs or a lower interest rate? Or does it mean you want a colonial, not a ranch style house? Would a good deal mean closing in two months versus two weeks because the kids will be on spring break? I could go on and on.
Since my salon experience, I am determined to dissect and investigate what a good deal means to each of my clients. If I were to ask you what a good deal means to you when buying or selling your home, could you answer me? Is your idea of a good deal different from your spouses? Because what is golden to me, could be light brown with honey-colored highlights to you.
Sellers, here are some tips on what makes your home hard to show. If you want to sell your home quickly, avoid these What Makes Your Home Hard to Show no-n0’s:
No-no #1) Restricted showing hours. Generally, buyers have a window of when they can go house shopping. If you have restricted hours or need a lot of advanced notice, your home may drop off the list. If a buyer’s agent cannot get access to your home, they cannot sell it.
No-no #2) Combo lock boxes. I hate combo lock boxes. If a home has a combo lock box, it tells me several things. One, the seller’s agent is not member of MLS or was too cheap to buy a real lock box. Two, combo lock boxes are a royal pain in the you-know-what to get into. And three, combo lock boxes get rusty and hard to get into over time.
No-no #3) Smells. Most buyers can get past messiness or some clutter. No buyers can get past smells. With cigarette and animal smells being the most obvious, even good smells can be bad. You could have the best floor plan in the neighborhood, but smells will make your home hard to show. Get rid of the wall plug-ins and for goodness sake please no Febreze!
No-no #4) Tell a story. Why did you buy your home in the first place? What is it about your home that you love so much? Be sure to highlight those areas. Buyers can’t see your awesome game room if there is laundry all over the pool table or can’t walk into the “walk-in closet”.
No-no#5) Overall condition. If your home needs many updates and a lot of TLC and has several large projects that are obviously waiting to be completed, there is a very good chance that your home will be hard to show, and ultimately sell. Projects equal money and you could cost yourself more money off the sale price than the projects are worth.