In many ways, listing a condo for sale is similar to listing a house for sale. You must determine an appropriate asking price, prepare the home to go on the market, and then advertise the home to prospective buyers. Digging up relevant home documents such as the ones listed in this post, are helpful when selling a home or a condo. However, there are a few additional items you will also want to research prior to listing a condo for sale.
First, you will want to find out what types of financing can be used to purchase a condo in your complex. Why should you care what types of loans a buyer could use to purchase your condo? Well, not all condo complexes qualify for all types of loans. Let’s imagine you receive an amazing offer on your condo. You accept the offer and begin preparing to move. A few weeks go by and then you are notified that the buyer can no longer purchase your condo because the condo project does not qualify for the loan product the buyer planned on using to purchase your condo. In this scenario, it’s possible they may not be able to qualify for a different type of loan, and you will be back at square one. To make matters work, your home will have been off the market for a few weeks - valuable time you could have used to identify a buyer that is truly qualified to purchase your condo.
You can see how it makes sense to understand what loans buyers can use to purchase your condo. This example sheds light on the greater issue of making sure a buyer is thoroughly vetted to ensure he or she can qualify for the purchase. Whether you are selling a house or a condo it’s important to verify with a buyer’s lender that the buyer is truly qualified and that the property is eligible for their specific loan product. When selling a condo specifically, I would check to see if the condo building qualifies for FHA financing. You can check to see if your condo project is FHA approved on the HUD website. Additionally, I recommend determining if the condo is warrantable. This one is a little trickier; however, this post outlines some of the factors that influence whether a condo is warrantable or not. You should also check with an experienced mortgage professional.
There are a few other things you will want to know about your condo before listing it for sale. Understanding what your HOA fee covers and how much it is monthly will help you better market your condo for sale. You also want to find out how much the resale certificate costs and what the HOA charges for transfer fees. And, you want to find out how long it usually takes the HOA to provide the resale certificate. All of these items are on the sales contract. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, how can you intelligently negotiate an offer you receive? Contact your HOA for detailed information on these items.
Researching all of these pieces before you list your condo for sale ensures a smooth closing. As an experienced listing agent with a plethora of condo sales under my belt, answering all of these questions is part of my listing checklist. If you are interested in selling your Austin area condo, contact me today.
If you’re looking for a great investment opportunity in the Austin real estate market, you may be considering purchasing a property to use as a full-time vacation rental. With the rising popularity of websites such as Airbnb, VRBO, and homeaway visitors to the Austin area have simpler ways to identify places to stay besides hotels. Furthermore, renting out a property as a short term rental (STR) may be even more lucrative than a traditional long term rental.
Unfortunately, in order to use a home as a short term rental in the Austin city limits, you must have a permit. At this time, they are no longer issuing any more Type 2 permits. Type 2 permits apply to single family, non-owner occupied homes. Even if you find a home for sale that is currently operating as a STR with a Type 2 permit, that permit does not transfer with the sale of the home.
Thus, if you would like to purchase a property to use as a full-time short term rental in the Austin area, you have two options. Find a condo that allows short term rentals, or look for a property outside the city limits to use as a short term rental. Homes located in the City of Austin’s ETJ can be used as vacation rentals, and do not require a permit. Homes located in the LTD do require a permit; however, they do not have to pay City of Austin hotel taxes.
If you identify a property outside of the city limits that you would like to use as a short term rental, you must verify that there are no HOA restrictions that prohibit the use of the home as a vacation rental. You will also want to check that the home is not in another city’s jurisdiction. For example, the City of Lakeway has developed its own guidelines and regulations regarding short term rentals.
If you are looking for a property to use as a short term rental in the Austin Area, you may be interesting in reading these other posts.
SHORT TERM RENTALS- UNDERSTANDING REGULATIONS
FINDING AN AUSTIN INVESTMENT PROPERTY TO USE AS A SHORT TERM RENTAL
Contact me today for help finding the perfect investment property for your needs.
The Westlake area is home to some of the priciest residences in the Austin area. The convenient location with a close proximity to downtown coupled with the exemplary schools makes this area highly desirable for many families. Unfortunately, many home buyers may find this neighborhood to be at the top of their budget. Last year the median home sales price for residences in Eanes ISD was $860,000. However, as prospective Westlake home buyers know, there are many homes that sell for far more in this neighborhood.
Fortunately, now is a great time to buy in Eanes ISD. Historically, home prices in Westlake tend to soar in the late spring/early summer. Since this area is family oriented, most buyers prefer to move in the summer months when the kids are out of school. However, if you are willing to move in the fall/winter, you can get a much better deal on a home in Eanes ISD. Historically, the median home sales price tends to be the least in Westlake between September through January.
That means now is a great time to be looking at homes if you want to get a fantastic deal on a home in Eanes ISD. There are currently 69 homes under 1 M for sale in this great school district. There are two definitive clusters of moderately priced home in Eanes ISD; homes in Lost Creek and homes in Cuernavaca. However, there are also homes at this price point scattered throughout Westlake.
If you are willing to consider a condo for your residence, there are many great options including the new construction condos at the Walsh, the condos at Davenport Ranch and condos on Lake Austin off Westlake Dr. There’s also this great modern condo in Lost Creek with beautiful views and a plethora of energy efficient upgrades.
Thinking about purchasing a home in Westlake? I highly encourage you to consider buying in the “off-season”. Click here to view all homes for sales in Eanes ISD for under one million.
If you’re thinking about buying a home, you may begin your search by looking at a diverse array of properties. Even if you know you want a move in ready home, you may be comparing new construction homes to remodeled homes built in the 70s. There are pros and cons to both; however, more and more buyers are gravitating towards new construction communities as the prices of existing homes continue to increase. Below you will find eight great reasons to consider a new construction home.
1. Energy Efficiency
New homes are much more energy efficient than older homes. First of all, new homes are well insulated. They also come with brand new HVAC systems. This means not only is the system designed to be more efficient, but there is less energy waste because the home is well-insulated. Additionally, new homes have brand spanking new windows. In older homes up to 30% of your utility bill may be going straight out the window. Furthermore, we’ve come a long way in terms of creating more energy efficient appliances. In a new home it’s likely that almost all of your appliances will be energy star certified. Even if they’re not, the appliances of 2018 are simply more efficient than older models. All of these items add up to serious savings on your utility bills. I wouldn’t be surprised if you compared two homes of the same size, one built in the 1970s and another built this year, and the 70s home utility bills are twice that of the brand new home.
2. Modern Finish Out
With a new construction home, you will likely have more modern finishes. You may or may not have something that matches your exact tastes (I’ll touch on that point later), but you certainly aren’t going to have mustard yellow formica countertops. You will also have a modern floor plan that meets the needs of today’s buyers. Builders are listening and creating homes with open floor-plans, larger closets and bonus-spaces for the kids. In older homes, you may not even have a master bedroom, and if you do, the bath may be quite small.
One of the biggest lures for buyers thinking about buying a brand new home are the warranties. When you buy a new construction home, there is usually a builder warranty. There may be additional warranties from sub-contractors for items like the HVAC and plumbing. Also, you will likely have warranties for all of your appliances. At minimum, most new homes offer a one-year builder’s warranty. This will cover almost every aspect of your home. If something stops working or doesn’t look quite right, you have peace of mind knowing you can call someone to get it taken care of with no cost to you.
4. Less Maintenance
Similarly, new homes require less maintenance. When you purchase an older home, it may be filled with surprises, and I’m not talking about the good kind. Things like rusty pipes can lead to costly repairs, and it’s often quite difficult for an inspector to evaluate all elements of a home when he or she is simply doing a visual inspection. When you buy a new home, you have a pretty good idea of the lifespan of the various aspects of your home. You know the AC should last for about 15 years and the roof should be good for about the same amount of time. With an older home, you can have sudden unexpected repair costs that happen in the first year turning your dream of installing marble countertops to dust.
Another top reason that buyers gravitate towards new construction homes is the idea of customization. Having the exact home that matches your family’s needs and design tastes is a common aspiration. Unfortunately, many buyers have unrealistic ideas of the depth of the customization with new homes. Unless you are having a true custom home built, you won’t be able to customize everything. However, you often will have the liberty to make some design choices. With a new home, you often are able to choose your paint color, floors, tile selections, and countertops. You may be able to add an extra room or further customize selections such as bath and light fixtures. These choices often come at a price; but new homes do offer you the ability to personalize your house.
6. Builder Perks
Purchasing a new construction home may have economic benefits too. Oftentimes builders offer incentives to entice home owners to purchase one of their units. These incentives can come in many forms. Builder sales goals may provoke simple price drops, or the builder may offer more complex deals to make the purchase more affordable. Offering to pay for the title policy or other closing costs is common practice among many Austin area builders. Some builders offer free upgrades to make your customizations more luxurious, and other home builders even offer specific benefits for teachers, police officers and fireman.
When I purchased a new construction home last year, I immediately fell in love with this one thing that has become one of my favorite aspects of my new place: a USB wall outlet. I know, it sounds simple enough but this little piece of technology is so useful. There is one in the kitchen and a few more in the bedrooms. No searching around for one of those little white apple boxes in this home, we can plug our devices straight into the wall. In older homes, you may not even have enough outlets to charge all of your devices. New homes are much more tech friendly. They are wired to meet the needs of today’s buyers with multiple outlets, practical places for wifi routers and walls designed for flat screens to be mounted.
Last but not least, new homes are safer than older homes. New construction homes must be built to current building codes. Older houses do not have to be brought up to code. In an older home you may have lead based paint or asbestos siding. New homes are built with materials that are better for you, and in a way that minimizes the risk of accidents. There are safety mechanisms on almost every item that could cause harm. Outlets are all GFCI protected, there are mechanisms on your hot water heater to prevent over pressurizing or over-heating, and there are smoke detectors in every room.
If you’re considering purchasing a new home in the Austin area, I’d love to discuss the best communities for your needs with you. Alternatively, you can search all new homes for sale in the Austin area here.
Approximately five miles south of downtown Austin is an area locals are now referring to as St. Elmo. This area which has previously been referred to as East Congress encompasses the subdivisions of Greenwood Hills, Battle Bend and Colonial Trails. In recent years, Austinites have begun referring to this area as St. Elmo. The Yard at St. Elmo opened a few years ago- transforming a previously industrial space into a mixed use site with a variety of amenities including restaurants, a co-working space, and a fitness studio, as well as a distillery and brewery.
Additionally, the St. Elmo Public Market will open next year. The mixed use space will feature offices and retail as well as a large open indoor/outdoor market similar to the Chelsea Market in New York City.
With the commercial growth in this area, you would expect pricey homes. However, homes in the St. Elmo neighborhood are still relatively affordable. In the past year, homes in this area sold for approximately $315K on average. On average, these homes were 1,311 square feet, featuring 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, and were built in 1975.
Considering that the median price for a single family home in the City of Austin was right around $350K last month, the St. Elmo neighborhood is still relatively affordable. Many of these homes may need a bit of a face lift to bring them up to current design standards, but they also offer a great investment opportunity.
Developers of the Market at St. Elmo envision the space as becoming a must visit hot spot for locals and tourists alike. If the St. Elmo district explodes as expected, home prices will surely rise. Thinking about purchasing a home in Austin’s St. Elmo neighborhood? Click here to take a look at all St.Elmo homes currently for sale.
The July market report just released from the Austin Board of REALTORS® reveals a steady increase in sales volume and increasing prices across the greater Austin area. In both the City of Austin and the entire Austin-Round Rock MSA, median home sales price figures reached all-time highs last month. Within the city limits, the median single family home price rose to $390,000. In the greater Austin area, that figure reached $320,000.
According to Vaike O’Grady, Austin regional director for Metrostudy, “Housing construction is at an all-time high in Central Texas.” However, even with the steady influx of new homes, we’re still facing a major housing shortage in the Austin area. A balanced market shows a six month supply of housing inventory. I honestly can’t remember the last time we even came close to that amount. Last month, the housing inventory decreased to 2.1 months within the City of Austin.
The struggle to create more housing in Austin is similar to the fight against congestion on our highways. We add more lanes hoping to alleviate traffic and by the time the new lanes are completed the number of cars has increased so that the efforts are essentially futile. We build more homes, but then there are more buyers either moving to Austin or simply entering the market for the first time after renting.
As land prices become less and less affordable, so too do new homes. Coupled with cumbersome regulations and lengthy processes through an inundated city office it’s easy to see why new home supply continues to fall short of buyer demand.
In short, if you’ve been on the fence about selling your home, there’s no better time to sell than now. The universal rules of supply and demand show that sellers certainly still have the upper hand in Austin. Contact me today to see what your home is worth or click here for a free home value estimate.
Feeling discouraged as a prospective home buyer? Obviously, the market is tough for buyers right now. However, you must also consider that interest rates are rising with no signs of slowing down either. Your home purchasing power today is likely greater today than in it will be next month. Interest rates are up about one-half percent since last year. For every .5% percent increase in interest rate your purchasing power may be decreased by 4 to 5 percent (the percentage is smaller for lower loan amounts). Click here to view all homes for sale in the Austin area.
Just ten years ago, buyers had many more options when looking to invest $200 K in the Austin real estate market. The median sales price of residential homes in 2008 was only $192,000. You could buy a cute little Bouldin cottage, pretty much anything east of I35, or a modest sized home in Lakeway.
Today, options are far more limited. In my opinion, with a $200,000 budget in Austin you have four options: a condo, a home in the suburbs, a fixer-upper in a less desirable area or land.
If you’re thinking about putting that $200K into a condo, you’re in luck. There are quite a few condos available for that price today. Unfortunately, the majority of them are 1 bedroom units, and they average around 600-700 square feet.
Need a little more space? You will likely need to go farther out to find the right home. New construction neighborhoods in Buda and Kyle have three plus bedroom homes starting at under 200K. You can also find move-in ready homes at this price point in northern suburbs such as Round Rock, Hutto, Pfluggerville, and Leander. East of Austin in Manor, you can also find homes at this price point.
Considering going the fixer upper route? If you want to be as close to downtown as possible. Your search will likely occur mostly in the East Austin neighborhood of Montopolis. Approximately five miles from Downtown, you can’t find another pocket with this many homes for sale under 200K so close to the city’s center.
If you want to follow the wisdom of Mark Twain and buy land, you have a few options with a $200K budget in the Austin area. You could buy a tiny, postage stamp lot in Crestview or close-in East Austin. Or, you could have your money go a little further and get almost half an acre in Oak Hill. Take your money up north, and you can likely find an acre or more in someplace like Hutto or Liberty Hill.
On a slightly overcast morning, on the last day of July, I sat down with interior designer, Alyssa Rome to discuss design trends, life in Austin, and her company Studio Krewe Design. As Rome mentions on her website, studiokrewedesign.com, a “krewe” is a “an organization or association that stages a parade or other event for a carnival celebration.” As a proud LSU graduate, Alyssa has many joyful memories of Mardi Gras festivities. Now, Rome uses these memories as fuel for her design work as she sets the stage for celebration in ordinary spaces.
You’re fairly new to Austin, what brought you to Austin and what made you declare the ATX as your “forever home”?
My husband and I moved here about 3 years ago. We didn’t really move here for any particular reason. We both loved Austin, and were living back in East Texas when we decided [to move]. We were actually renovating his parents’ ranch house when I decided to go to nursing school for some crazy reason. I had some kinds quarter life crisis; that was short-lived though. Anyway, we were out there in his truck leaving the house, and we just were chatting about where we were gonna live next and I said, “How about Austin?” and he goes “okay!”
So, he just agreed, just like that?
Yep, that was that. He found a job working at a music management company, and actually moved down before I did. I was trying to find a job at an interior design firm, but I didn’t find anything right off the bat. I actually was going to nanny. I felt really bad about this, but the couple hired me to nanny their son, and the next day I found out I got a job at an interior design firm. So, I was like “I’m so sorry!”
And, where was that?
It was at Butter Lutz Interiors. They’re up in Tarrytown.
Ok, so now you have your own company, Studio Krewe Design. When did you start your own firm?
I started it last year. I guess officially in May, and that was sort-of a…I dunno. I wasn’t totally happy where I was at. I loved the designer I worked for… it was just me and her, that was the company. I was doing a lot of the design work, and just sort of feeling like I was ready to be more independent. But, since it was just me and her, and it was her business, everything was still hers. I was ready to have my own designs, my own clients. My mom is an interior designer and she’s been on her own for 15 years, wait no, it’s probably been more like 20 years. She was like I’ll help you get started. So, that was that. I don’t think I could have done it without her.
So, it sounds like your mom really inspired you to lead a career in interior design, probably from a young age.
Oh yeah, yeah.
So you’ve had bouts where you thought about doing other things. I think I read somewhere that you said you wanted to work with animals at some point, maybe in a veterinary capacity, and then you mentioned nursing school, and then ultimately you came back to interior design.
Yeah, I had always dabbled in interior design. I had worked with her growing up, and I always enjoyed it. But, it’s that feeling of not wanting to do what your parents do.
But, here you are, following in your mom’s footsteps, and you sound like you’re loving it.
Yes, I love it. It’s the perfect balance of an artistic release and also problem solving, and working with people.
Do you remember your first design project?
My first solo project, or my first…?
Sure, or even working with your mom for the first time, back when you were a kid
I remember the first time she asked for my help. I was back in high school and she was looking at fabrics for draperies and she was like, “do you like this one or this one?” She just had two fabrics, and I was like, “I really like this one better”, and she was like, “yeah you’re right”, and I was like yeahhhh!
That’s awesome. What was your first solo design project?
That would be Eleve Cosmetics. Well, that wasn’t the first one I completed because it took forever to actually complete it, but they were the first client to hire me.
Gotcha, how long did it take?
We started working on it last summer, and they opened this spring. So, almost a year.
Wonderful, What’s the style of Eleve?
It’s very girly.
Of course, it’s a cosmetic store
Yes, it’s a cosmetics store and a champagne and wine bar. It was such a fun project. It’s definitely transitional. They have two large big blue velvet chesterfield sofas in there and some gold accents, and lots of fun prints and wall paper and tile.
I love that, did you draw inspiration from their product design in any way or what do you think really inspired you in that space?
A little bit. A lot of it was just gauging their personality and what they love. But, they were also super easy. Everything I showed them they loved.
Well you must have just had a great sense of design and understood their taste and had good intuition.
Well thanks, I tried. It’s definitely a lot of my personal style in there too which made it fun.
What is the most frustrating aspect of your job as a designer? And the most rewarding one?
I think the most frustrating aspect is when people don’t listen to me- in a nut shell. I always try to have my clients’ best interests at heart. I’m not going to tell you to spend a ton of money on something that I don’t think is worth it. Or, I’m not going to come up with a design that isn’t feasible or isn’t going to look good. I think the only time the frustration really occurs is when people have a hard time visualizing things. A lot of times this frustrates me, which I obviously don’t let my clients see. You just have to think of different ways to show them and explain to them - this is what it’s going to look like, and it’s going to look awesome! That’s kinda what’s hard. You have to build rapport with your clients, build trust, and get to know them. Which I always do. Once you form that relationship, it gets a bit easier to you know, get them to listen to you.
And the most rewarding?
When I get to see a vision come to life. Like with Eleve. I mean I designed that place from the ground up. It was my vision, and it was just so cool to see that come to life. Now, that it’s like a working functioning business. I don’t know it’s just pretty cool.
Absolutely, and after so long too.
Yeah, for a while there it was like “is this even real???” “Is this ever going to happen?”
What’s your favorite new design trend?
Design trend? Well, I do love wall paper. I think everybody should wallpaper their powder bath. I think it’s such a fun way to add interest to a space and texture. I love grass cloth wall paper. One of the projects I did was a guest bedroom, and we did a grass cloth accent wall behind the bed. It had bluish tones, and I thought it was so pretty. It added some really cool texture and warmth.
Is there any style or trend that you wish would just completely disappear?
I’m personally not a fan of the minimalist look, but I know a lot of people are. I don’t like to walk into a space and feel like it’s sterile, it kinda freaks me out.
What places inspire you?
I love how much nature there is in Austin. If I’m having a stressful day, I’ll take my littlest dog down to the creek, and just look around at the beauty. It inspires me, and allows me to get centered again.
Ok, so this is a personal question of mine. I’ve had this come up. We touched on having disagreements with clients earlier. So this is a disagreement I had with a client of mine. How do you feel about rugs over carpet?
It depends on the carpet
And the rug
If it’s a very low pile carpet, and a neutral tone, and that’s your only option, then I think its ok. But, I wouldn’t purposely put carpet down and then a rug on top of it.
What’s one thing you think everyone should have in their home? It doesn’t necessarily have to be design related…
Dogs! No, I’m just kidding. A piece of art that you love.
Yes, that’s something I really need.
The piece of art we have in our entry is my favorite piece of art in our whole house, and it’s this painting by an artist I love that my husband got for me as a wedding president. He surprised me with it the night of our rehearsal dinner.
That’s something that I feel you shouldn’t rush into purchasing. It’s something that you have to find that’s right and it calls to you.
Yeah I have a cardinal. His name is Spartacus, he bangs into the window all day every day. Anyway…locally what are some your favorite spots to shop for home decor items?
A lot of it depends on budget. I do love all the vintage spots. I’ve been incorporating a lot of vintage pieces into my work lately. Uptown Modern, that’s a really cool mid-century place. Revival Vintage… let’s see I’m blanking on the others now. You’re putting me on the spot. But, you can follow a lot of them on Instagram and see what’s new. They’ll post new items daily, so I’ll check and see if there is anything I have to have. Sometimes, I even buy unique pieces and then I’ll store them in my garage so when the right project comes along I have the perfect piece.
If you are only going to splurge on one item for the home, what should it be?
Probably upholstrery… the sofa. Because you can buy a cheap sofa, but then you’re just going to have to keep buying cheap sofas every couple years. Especially if you have kids, or pets or whatever. So, I always tell my clients it’s better to just put down the money now. Buy a sturdy sofa that’s going to last you twenty years, and it’s going to be worth the investment.
That’s interesting. I’ve actually been wanting to take upholstery classes.
Oh that sounds fun! I’ll do it with you.
What differentiates you from other interior designers?
I can’t say this about all designers. But, I think that there are some designers out there that are doing it for different reasons. I would say that I definitely have a lot of heart into this. I know designers that markup 20% across the board, no matter what. They will charge you this price, if you can’t afford it too bad. It means more to me to make the client happy, and to make our vision, our project come to life, than to make a ton of money on a project.
Alyssa Rome lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Chris, and her three dogs Roux, Riley, and Chunk. She works with both residential and commercial clients to bring simple spaces into aesthetically pleasing works of art. If you are interested in learning more about Alyssa, and Studio Krewe, please visit studiokrewedesign.com
It’s HOT, HOT, HOT right now. With temperatures in the triple digits, the idea of jumping into a pool sounds absolutely glorious. But, does having a pool make your home more desirable to buyers? If you install a pool, will you recoup your investment? Does being able to make a splash really result in extra cash?
In 2017, homes in the greater Austin area with a pool had a median sales price of just under $550K. In comparison, homes without a pool had a median sales price of just under $300K. Looking at these stats, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that homes with a pool sell for more money than those without. In the luxury market, this is especially true. 2017 home sales in the 78746 zip code, which covers the greater Westlake area, showed that homes with a pool sold for almost half a million more than those without a pool. When you look at more moderately priced neighborhoods, the economic value of a pool is less extreme. In the south Austin zip code of 78745, homes without a pool had a median sales price of $300K in 2017. Those properties that allow owners to cannonball at their leisure show a median sales price of $350K.
Slightly less than 10% of homes sold in 2017 had a pool, and it doesn’t seem like people have been adding pools to their homes either. This percentage has remained relatively constant over the past ten years. Maybe, this is because a basic pool will start at around 25K. Start adding decking, waterfalls, and a hot tub and that number can easily reach 60K.
In reality, deciding to install a pool is a complex decision. First of all, you need to consider how long you will stay in your home. In order to break even on a pool investment, you will likely need to live in your home for at least 10 years. However, you also want to consider the lifestyle implications. Is having a place to relax after a long day in 103 degree weather important to you? Are pool parties with all of your family and friends going to add value to your life. Will being able to go for a quick swim save your sanity?
Lastly, you want to consider the characteristics of your property. Is your home located in an affluent neighborhood where pools are considered the norm? If so, you will most likely recoup your investment more quickly. Is your lot large enough for a pool? Does the general topography lend way to a perfect place for a pool.
All in all, having a pool this time of year is awesome. But, deciding if your home should have a pool or if you should just crash the neighbors is a personal decision. Dip your toes in the water before you plunge.
If you’re just sick of the heat and ready for a home with a pool, take a look at these Austin area home with pools.
If you’re preparing to put your home on the market, you are probably staying busy cleaning, de-cluttering, and starting to pack. You may also find time slipping away from you as you spend hours perusing Zillow searching for your dream home. However, have you even thought about gathering these important documents? By taking the time to locate the following items will make selling your home much easier. After all, you don’t want to find yourself unpacking box after box looking for that overstuffed home folder when you have a ready buyer prepared to purchase your home. So, do yourself a favor and gather these docs now; you’ll thank me later.
When you purchased your home, you likely obtained a survey for the property. If you haven’t made many structural changes to the footprint of your home, and it hasn’t been five decades since you purchased the property, you can likely still use the survey when you sell the property. When a buyer submits an offer on your home, they can select to use the existing survey or opt for a new survey. If you have an existing, reliable survey, it’s unlikely the buyer will ask you to purchase a new one. A new survey will cost at least a few hundred dollars, so do yourself a favor and find that survey today. It’s important to make sure the survey has the surveyors seal; however, you don’t have to have the original copy.
2. Floor plans
If you have existing floor plans for your home, find them. A prospective buyer may have different needs than you, and may want to alter the home to fit those needs. Floor plans make it easier for buyers to make an informed decision about the costs of remodeling. Floor plans also save buyers time and you the inconvenience of allowing them back into your home to take measurements. With a floor plan, a buyer can easily start imaging how their furniture would fit in your home.
3. Repair receipts
Did you install a new roof a few years ago? How about HVAC work? These big ticket items are often areas of interest to prospective buyers. If you can provide documentation that a new roof was installed just last year, buyers will find your home more appealing knowing they won’t have to incur roof repair costs in the near future. It’s also good to document bids for repairs you didn’t make. Maybe you thought about adding an external propane tank so you could install a gas stove but you never did. Buyers may similarly express interest in installing a gas stove, and this bid could be the last piece propelling them to put an offer in on your home.
4. Loan Statement
This one is muy importante! In order to determine how much you should list your home for, and to assess if an offer is acceptable to you, you must know how much money you have in the home. You likely receive a monthly statement from your loan provider and it will state the loan payoff amount. Keep this number in the back of your mind as you prepare to sell your home.
5. Utility Bills
Buyers often want to know about utility costs. This is another piece of the puzzle that makes up their monthly living costs. If you can provide documentation for your utility costs (especially if they are low) it will make it easier for a buyer to commit to your home. If you can find your statements for electric, water, gas, and trash for the last 12 months. You or your agent, can then average the costs to provide an estimate to prospective buyers.
6. Manuals and Warranties
If you kept all your manuals for your appliances, good for you! A buyer will find these documents helpful and you can put them all in an envelope with a pretty little bow to deliver to them at closing. Warranties will work in your favor, if they are transferable. Remember that fictitious roof repair I alluded to earlier. New roofs usually have a one-time transferable warranty attached to them. So if something happens to the roof after you sell the home, the new buyers will still be protected by the contractor’s warranty.
For other great tips on getting ready to sell your home take a look at these posts:
Prioritizing Upgrades When Preparing to Sell Your Home
Increasing Your Home's Value
Prepping Your Home Now to Net the Most Money on Your Austin Home Sale
If you’re thinking about selling your Austin area home, contact me today.
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.