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Friday, September 9, 2016

Maintaining Your Heating and Cooling Systems

With summer nearly over, I’m sure you (like me) have been reminded just how much we use our air conditioning. Soon, in the winter, you’ll also be reminded of how often you use the furnace, too.

It’s one of the major systems in your home, and a surprise issue with one of these systems can be a nightmare if handled improperly. That’s why I wanted to share a video from Angie’s List that I recently saw about proper maintenance of your heating and cooling systems.

If either unit is having issues, did you know you can actually hire technicians who are specially trained to work on certain brands? For example, if you have a Trane system, you can find a tech who is trained specifically to work on Trane products.

Secondly, always remember to get a second opinion when someone recommends that you replace a system because oftentimes a repair will do. You want to be certain when it comes to a part of your home that should last 20 years, especially considering the cost of a replacement.

" proactive with service on these systems."

Unfortunately, as the video points out, there are a lot of people out there in that deal in these systems and prey on customers that don’t know any better. If you’re hiring a company, you should investigate them by checking out their web reviews or social media pages. 

Also, be proactive with service on these systems. If you wait until the system is broken down and needs repair to get it checked out, you’re now at their mercy.

As always, for any real estate questions, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to answer them for you!

Friday, May 6, 2016

How to Handle Appraisal Issues

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On average, about 1 in 10 real estate transactions will have an appraisal that does not meet the home’s market value. That can be a messy situation when you have certain deadlines and contingencies involved. Luckily, there are a few options for buyers and sellers in this situation.

It’s important to know there’s not an exact science for appraisals. You can hire 10 different appraisers and get a 10% to 15% difference in value on either end of the spectrum. The appraisal is only another person’s opinion of your property’s value, anyway.

A buyer will pay true market value for your home. However, a bank can’t lend on whatever a buyer is willing to pay. The bank needs some way to protect itself in the instance a buyer defaults on the loan and can not make the payments. Appraisers are hired mainly to protect the bank.
Here’s an example of an appraisal gone wrong.  A few weeks ago, an appraiser valued a property much lower than the actual market value should have been according to the comparable homes in the neighborhood. The appraiser was from Dallas and trying to appraise a property in the Austin area. That doesn’t make any sense, does it?

   "True market value is what a buyer is willing to pay."

There were plenty of comps in the neighborhood and he used comps outside the neighborhood. In this case, the buyers had to switch lenders and get a new appraisal done. There are other options if something similar happens to you.

As a buyer, depending on the loan, you can make up the difference, renegotiate with the seller, or terminate the contract. On the seller side, you can’t terminate the contract. However, you can negotiate or drop the purchase price down to the appraised value. You can also decide to proceed with the agreed upon price.

Sometimes we can get the appraiser to correct the report if something is blatantly wrong. Other times, the appraiser won't admit a mistake. I’ve seen an appraiser not include the value of a pool on the property. That’s a lot of money that went unaccounted for. Sometimes, the bank will reject a report that is obviously wrong, but more often than not, they’ll go ahead and accept the appraisal.

There are some things we can do up-front to prevent any appraisal issues, so give us a call if you’re concerned about appraisal issues or if you have any other questions. We would be happy to help you!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Key to Presenting Your Home in Its Best Light

Buying an Austin HomeSearch all Homes for Sale
Selling an Austin Home? Check out our FREE Home Value Report

You may think that the first showing takes place the moment a buyer pulls in to your driveway, but this isn't the case. The first showing takes place on the Internet, which is where the majority of home buyers begin their home search.


The quality and effectiveness of your photos online is absolutely crucial when listing your home. The first thing you need to do is get your home show-ready. We help our clients do this by sending out a professional home stager and designer. The stager will make the home look its absolute best!
Once the home is looking fantastic, we send out a professional real estate photographer. They will ensure your home looks as best as it possibly can in the photos that are eventually posted online.

If you follow these two steps, you shouldn't have too much trouble attracting buyers to your home. If you have any questions about getting your home ready for the market, or if you would like our assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to hear from you!