Here are a few random thoughts to share about the market here right now. I promise that I'm not bragging about things - I'm simply blessed.
So, I think the real estate market is officially back, at least in the Austin, Texas area. This week has been a whirlwind of activity. I received two new listing referrals (both from current clients) and I sold three homes....so far.
Two nights ago, I listed a home at around 9:45pm. Yesterday, we sold it at full price to the first person who saw it.
Last night, I again listed a home at roughly 10pm. Today, I am expecting at least two offers from the 8 showings we've had scheduled.
Before you claim that I must have underpriced either of them, know that I suggested a higher price to the second house (about $15,000) but my client wanted to price it more competitively. The first one was simply priced perfectly, just under a large pricing point. If they had gone $1,000 higher, they would have lost significant interest.
This is not your father's real estate market.
Time is of the essence. It's a good time to buy a house, with interest rates at historic lows. It's also a good time to sell a house, assuming it's priced correctly and in good condition. Inventory is much tighter than it was a few months ago. In my own neighborhood, which has multiple sections and lots of homes, I noticed last year that the inventory of available homes for sale was typically around 50. Today, there are 28.
We have a number of potential clients who are interested in moving here, but they're considering renting first. Frankly, the rental market is even tougher. I have friends who have been looking for a few months for the right rental home. They contacted me Tuesday to ask about a home that was listed on Monday. I called the listing agent to inquire.
"Well, I'm sorry to tell you that you're too late. I have 4 applications ahead of you."
Needless to say, we didn't bother to go see that one.
While 2008 and 2009 were abysmally bad for us, the past two years were solid. 2011 was my third-best income year overall (out of 15 years of selling).
Almost all of my personal sales now come from my sphere of influence, referrals, past clients, and this blog. Today, I got a call from a really nice lady who is looking to relocate from Los Angeles to Austin. She wanted instructions on how to subscribe to my blog. This is a very good feeling indeed. We talked for awhile, and it turns out that she and both of her daughters are looking to move, so they will likely need THREE homes. I can help with that. :) She mentioned that she had spent the better part of the morning reading my blog. I think I'm pretty certain that she and I will be fast friends, needless to say.
I hope and pray that this trend continues through the spring and summer months. Feels like old times.
If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com. Thanks!