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Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

Our mission at Culhane Premier Properties is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Monday, May 22, 2017

How to Prepare Your Home for Sale With Pets


Today, I'd like to show you a few steps you can take to help sell your home if you are a pet owner.

If you have a pet and you're looking to sell your home, then read on for some helpful advice. 

The good news is, many homebuyers are looking for a pet-friendly home.

Two out of three of us have a pet, and 61% of pet owners say they have trouble finding a home that is a good match for their pet.

In fact, a recent survey estimates that 31% of animal owners frequently don't put in an offer because a home would not suit their pet.

This means that if your home is a good match for a pet, it will be attractive to a large pool of dedicated animal owners. 

On the other hand, 67% of Realtors also estimate that actually having a pet in your home can make it harder for you to sell.

So what can you do? Here are three things I typically recommend:

1. Repair any damage

Floors, walls, doors, the yard — these are some typical areas that pets love to chew, scratch, and dig up. 

Repairing this damage is an investment that will pay for itself many times over in terms of a higher selling price.


"Pet owners are less sensitive to odors in their home than prospective buyers are."


2. Get a professional to remove pet odors

Many pet owners are less sensitive to odors in their home than prospective buyers will be. 

That's why you should hire a professional cleaning crew to clean any carpets, rugs, or upholstery that have absorbed pet odors. 

Once you're done with the cleaning, ask a friend or your Realtor for a sniff assessment to make sure the job is really complete. 

3. Take your pet out during showings

Some people are afraid of animals. Others are allergic. And regardless of the time, money, and effort you've put in to clean and repair your home, many buyers will be prejudiced by knowing that a pet currently lives there. 

That's why I recommend taking your pet out during showings and also removing any pet objects such as toys, food bowls, or scratching posts. 

By following these three simple guidelines, you will be able to sell your home for top dollar, whether the buyer is a pet owner or not. 

If you’re curious what you could get for your home in the current market, check out my home value calculator on my site.

And in case you have any questions or concerns about preparing your home for a sale, give me a call. I’m here to help. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Key to Pricing Your Austin Home for the Highest Net Profit


You've probably heard that old real estate myth that when you sell your house, you should price it above market value to 'leave room for negotiation.' I have two examples today that show why that's a terrible idea.

When homeowners sell their house, one of the most common questions they have for real estate agents is how to price it properly to sell. I think many people believe the myth that in order to sell something, you need to elevate the price to 'leave room for negotiation.' It sounds logical on the surface, but it can actually be one of the worst things you can do.

When we help people sell their house, we analyze what's currently active on the market, home sales that are pending, and recent sales to give them a number or range for the current market value of their property. That's the first step. The second step is to determine the marketing and pricing strategies.

Consider West Lake and Lakeway as an example.

In Lakeway between the $1 million and $2 million price points, there have been 38 properties that sold in the last 365 days. Of those 38 homes, 17 elevated their price to leave room for negotiation and sold for an average of $1.358 million. The other 21 sellers were more aggressive with their pricing and averaged $1.329 million, which is $29,000 less.

Remember, the value of the property and the pricing of the property are two very different conversations. Just by elevating their price, those 17 sellers netted almost $30,000 more on average.

In West Lake, we can look at homes in the same price range and see that the sellers who priced their homes aggressively made $125,000 more on average than those who elevated the price of their home to leave room for negotiation. This is just a small example of what we see all around the Austin area.

In West Lake, sellers who priced aggressively netted $125,000 more on average last year.

As part of the selling process, we'll help you make sure you price your home well to maximize your bottom line. It's something we enjoy doing, and we know that the numbers don't lie. We even use special software that helps us analyze pricing to help you find the best price for your home. To boot, we've added a third office in San Antonio to help serve you at an even higher level.

If you have any questions about pricing your house to sell or you're thinking about buying a home in the Austin or San Antonio area, give us a call or send us an email. We'd be happy to help you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Have Lakefront Home Values Gone Up?


Have lake property values gone up now that Lake Travis is back to full pool? We’ll break down the numbers today. 

Thank you for sending us your questions. Today, we’ll answer Rebecca, who asked, “Have lake property values accelerated now that Lake Travis is full?” 

Lake Travis dropped to its lowest point in 2011 thanks to the drought. In May of 2015, the rains came, and the lake went back to full pool in about a month. 

Home values did slide in 2011, when the lake was at its lowest point. Then, home values proceeded to bottom out in 2014. That year, the median price for a Lake Travis waterfront property was $565,000. In 2015, the rains came and the median price rose to $675,000. At the end of 2016, home values made a full recovery with a median price of $774,000. 

The water levels in Lake Travis also impacted the number of home sales. In 2014, Lake Travis only had 63 closed transactions. That number went up to 93 home sales in 2015, and in 2016, 157 lakefront properties sold. 

So, lakefront properties are now back to pre-drought values. However, just because Lake Travis has seen an increase in home values doesn’t mean that your home has seen the same rate of appreciation. 

Lakefront home values have made a full recovery.

Home values vary from property to property and from area to area. The Austin area Board of Realtors says that from November 2015 to November 2016, home values in Austin grew by 7%. If you break that down, though, you’ll see that Williamson County appreciated by 12%, Travis County appreciated by 1%, and Hays County appreciated by 8%. 
If you have any other questions you would like us to answer or if you want to know what your home is worth in today’s market, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!