Oct. 15, 2021

Pricing Your Home in Today’s Market

Here are three pricing strategies you can use when selling your home.

 

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A lot of people have been asking me how they should be pricing their homes in this market. The first step is to get a comparative market analysis, also known as a CMA. It’s a report of the sales activity in the surrounding area in the last six months and gives you a great idea of what your home is worth in the current market. After receiving their CMAs, homeowners typically use one of three pricing strategies:

 

1. Price a little higher than your CMA. The idea here is that you can aim for the stars and negotiate the price down if need be. I don’t recommend it, but it is an option.

 

2. Price the home right in line with its CMA. This is the most common way to price.

 

3. Price the home slightly below the CMA. This invites more buyers to make offers and may very well result in multiple offers for you. This is the strategy that we recommend using in this market. You could end up with more offers and money than you anticipated.

 

If you have any questions about pricing, selling, or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Oct. 1, 2021

4 Tax Deductions for Homeowners

Here are a few of the tax benefits homeowners can take advantage of.

 

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Homeownership comes with a myriad of tax benefits. They’re one of the many reasons homeownership is the way to go. Here are some of the most important ones:

 

1. Mortgage interest is all tax-deductible. However, the limit is up to $750,000. Anything above that is not deductible.

 

2. Property taxes are deductible.

 

3. A home office. Ever since COVID, the home office tax deduction is becoming more common. That’s right, a portion of your home can be deductible if you use it as a home office.

 

4. Home sale profit. When you sell your home as an individual, up to $250,000 of profit is tax-exempt. For couples, that doubles to $500,000.

 

If you have any questions about the tax benefits of homeownership, please feel free to reach out to me by phone or email. I’d love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.

Posted in Current Events
Sept. 14, 2021

Why You Should Consider Buying Before 2021 Is Over

Here’s why you may want to reconsider putting your buying plans on hold.

 

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Buying before the end of the year is one of my favorite things to suggest to frustrated buyers right now. There are a few reasons for this. While we don’t experience a true slowdown in Austin, the market relaxes in November and December because of the holidays, resulting in less competition for homes. 

 

If you buy before the end of the year, you get the tax benefits of homeownership for the entire year. The Homestead Law allows you to declare a property as your homestead and save on property taxes as a result. You qualify for that exemption for the entire tax year as long as you purchase before December 31. 

 

If you have any questions for me about purchasing a home before the end of the year or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in Home Buying Tips
Aug. 26, 2021

The Difference Between a Pre-Qualification and a Pre-Approval

Here’s the main difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval.

 

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
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A pre-qualification is where a lender obtains your credit and income to determine what kind of home you can afford. The pre-approval process goes further. The lender will verify your employment, tax returns, and bank statements. 

 

A pre-qualification will let you know what you can afford, but a pre-approval is what actually will get you through the door when making an offer on a home. 

 

If you have any questions about the pre-qualification process, pre-approval process, or anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Aug. 12, 2021

The Best Practices for Purchasing a Home

Here are the four things that every homebuyer should do in this market.

 

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
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 Here are a few things that every homebuyer should be doing:

 

1. Get pre-approved. This will give you an idea of what type of home you can afford and what your monthly payments might look like if you’re obtaining a loan.

 

2. Do your online research. Look up the area of town and the price point you want to be at. Pick a few items that are important to you and emphasize those.

 

3. Get an inspection. Once you’re under contract, you want to have a home inspection done on your behalf, even if it’s a new home.

 

4. Stay in touch with your lender and agent. This will help you stay on top of everything should any hiccups arise.

 

If you have any questions for me about buying a home or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Home Buying Tips
July 29, 2021

Will Your Home Appraise?

Here’s why we don’t have to worry as much about appraisals in this market.

 

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
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 What happens when the home you’re buying or selling doesn’t appraise? With multiple-offer situations and homes selling far above asking price, this has come up quite a bit this year. Homes are typically currently appraising at or above asking price. That wasn’t happening a few months ago, but appraisers have adjusted expectations and pricing and are looking at more specific data.

 

A couple of reasons why a low appraisal isn’t as much of an issue anymore is because many home sales are in cash, and even if they aren’t in cash, people have very strong equity positions. Meaning that if someone’s offering above asking price, we’re frequently seeing down payments in the 30% to 40% range. So if the home doesn’t appraise, the buyer has the wherewithal to make up the difference between the prices.

 

If a low appraisal happens, there are a few options for how to proceed. First, the buyer and seller can negotiate a different price. Second, if the buyer has a clause in their contract about this, they can walk away from the deal, though we aren’t seeing much of that right now. In fact, we’re seeing the opposite; appraisal waivers are being written into contracts saying that the buyer will buy the home no matter how it appraises.

 

"Homes are typically currently appraising at or above asking price."

 

In a highly competitive real estate market, appraisals just don’t mean as much. Also, in a high equity market such as ours, homes are simply selling for what people are willing to pay for them. The usual conditions where we would see appraisals have a large impact on the ability of a home to sell just aren’t there these days. Frankly, I think our market has been undervalued for several years. 

 

Buyers are now coming in aggressively, making strong offers, and closing the deal. Three years ago, I would have said that about 20% of homes under contract don’t close, many for appraisal reasons, but that number is far below that today. This is a healthy sign that our market is robust. 

 

We’d be glad to share more information and stats if you have any questions or real estate needs. Call or email us; we’d love to help you.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
July 13, 2021

Austin Real Estate Market Update

Answering the question, “How is the market in Austin right now?” 

 

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Today I’m discussing what's currently going on in the market. Whether I’m out at the grocery store, at a party, or just talking to neighbors, the question, “How is the market in Austin right now?” comes up quite often.

 

It is still a very strong seller's market. There's not much inventory, but it's gone from being insane to just regular levels of crazy. Our high point lasted through March, April, and May, when every property was seeing multiple offers well over asking price. Our market increased 30% in less than a year.

 

All of my clients who are listing homes generally get multiple offers within a few days. Instead of getting 10 offers, they may get four or five. This will probably be the case for a while since interest rates are still so low and Austin's relocation market is as strong as ever.

 

If you have any questions about the Austin market or real estate in general, please feel free to reach out to me via phone or email.

 

Posted in Housing News
May 14, 2021

Planning on making a Tax Protest ?

 

 

I’ve had numerous questions about property taxes this year. Here are the things you need to know in Travis County.



AAn appraisal value is calculated based on the following:

 

Market value: This is the value based on what your property would sell for as of January of this year 

Assessed value: This is the reduced value of your property based on limitations provided by having a homestead exemption.

Taxable value: This is the assessed value minus any exemption amounts. It is the value used to calculate your property taxes for each taxing unit.

 

You should receive this information every spring and if you did not receive this, you can view your property’s values using the property search feature of the Travis County Appraisal District Website

 

If you believe the market value of your property is incorrect, you have the right to protest that value. The deadline to file your protest for the 2021 protest season is May 17, 2021. If you choose to protest the value of your property, you can initiate the protest in one of several ways:

 

Online

This is the easiest and fastest way to initiate and manage your protest. By filing online, you will receive an immediate confirmation that your protest has been filed. Additionally, you will be able to upload comments and evidence related to your protest, review evidence from the appraisal district, and accept/decline any settlement offer through your online account. 

 

Click here to file online.




 

By Mail

 

 

You can download this form send your protest by mail at:

 

Travis Central Appraisal District

PO Box 149012

Austin TX 78714




In-Person

You can stop by their office during normal business hours:

 

850 East Anderson Lane

Austin, TX 78752

 

Note: Due to Covid 19, the office is currently closed to in-person transactions. Property owners are encouraged to utilize online resources to conduct TCAD-related business.

 

The Informal Process

 

During the informal process, property owners who have protested their market value have the opportunity to receive a settlement offer from the appraisal district.

 

The informal process for the 2021 protest season is scheduled to begin on April 19, 2021 and end on June 18, 2021.

 

Click here to learn more about the informal protest process



The Appraisal Review Board (ARB) Process

 

The Travis Appraisal Review Board (ARB) is an independent group of citizens authorized to resolve disputes between taxpayers and the appraisal district. The ARB sits in panels of three to hear testimony and review evidence to determine property owner protests that were not resolved during the informal process.

 

The ARB hearing process is expected to begin in June 2021.

 

Click here to learn more about ARB hearings



Now that we know the process, we must remember these important dates:

 

April 19, 2021

Informal Process Begins

 

May 17, 2021

Protest Deadline

 

June 18, 2021

Last Day of the Informal Process

 

June 2021

ARB Hearings Begin




Are you under Williamson County? Click here to view their protest procedures.

 

 

 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
May 10, 2021

How CMAs Relate to Home Pricing

We’re using CMAs to look into the future instead of the past. 

 

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

 

A CMA, or comparative market analysis, is a report we use in the real estate industry to show what a home should be priced at by comparing other homes within a specific area and utilizing historical data. 

 

Ordinarily, we’d look at the last six months’ worth of home sales in a given area. However, in a hot market, we reduce that number to 60 to 90 days to reflect current pricing and sales. The intensity of the current market has caused us to use CMAs differently. Since we’re dealing with multiple offers and homes selling for far above their asking prices, the market has been flipped upside down in a way. 

 

So instead of using CMAs to look at historical data, which may be very inaccurate, we use them to determine what homes will sell for in the future. This could mean either 60 to 90 days into the future or six months down the road. Not only does this help sellers price their homes, but it also helps buyers know what the winning bid would look like. 

 

"The intensity of the current market has caused us to use CMAs differently."

 

As always, if you have questions about this or any real estate topic or are thinking of buying or selling a home soon, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m happy to help.

 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
April 23, 2021

The Best Home Showing Practices in This Market

Here are a few tips to help you show your home in its best light.

 

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

 

What’s the best way to show your home in a seller’s market? This question is coming up more and more because we’re starting to see sellers take shortcuts in our market during the showing process. We at the Jackson Hayes Group abide by the opposite philosophy: Although it’s a seller’s market, behave as if it’s a buyer’s market. 

 

One of the best things you can do is have a housekeeper come to your home either the day before or the day of its market debut. This will give it a nice, clean, crisp appearance when people are touring it. 

 

"Although it’s a seller’s market, behave as if it’s a buyer’s market."

 

We’ve also had some of our clients leave their homes for a few days while they’re on the market. This is important because your home will see the most amount of foot traffic its first few days after being listed. You can get as many as 10 to 15 showings a day, and if the home is vacant, people will be able to view it patiently and get a really good feel for it. 

 

Additionally, consider having an open house. It’s an open secret that Realtors often hosted open houses in the past to acquire buyer clients. In this extreme seller’s market, though, people are having a hard time getting into homes to see them, so an open house might be a good forum for two or three hours on a Saturday or Sunday. This will ensure the maximum number of qualified buyers will walk through your home. Remember, getting the maximum number of qualified buyers in your home is what will generate multiple offers and lead to your home selling above asking price. 

 

If you have questions about listing your home or any real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.

 

Posted in Real Estate Tips