Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New Blog Location

Thank you for stopping by my blog!  Please note that this blog has moved to a new location.  Click here to be directed to the new location. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Selling your home? Don't make these mistakes

I found, and want to share, this quick video clip (from the Today Show) of the top mistakes sellers make in the real estate market.

The statistics at the beginning of the video do not pertain to our local market, but I see the other issues mentioned over, and over again. I couldn't agree with Barbara more.

Check out this great MSN video - Selling your home? Don't make these mistakes

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Realtor: Preparing for the Hurricane

I always smile when someone tells me that they want to be a Realtor.  I think back 5 years ago...when I said the same thing, and got my license. 

Most people think that Realtors float around town, attend fun events, see nice homes, and work with nice clients that effortlessly pour into the office, on a regular basis.  We put a sign in a yard, show a buyer a house, show up to closing, and receive our paychecks.  It's easy right?

This assumption can not be farther from the truth! Well...part of the assumption is right...sometimes we do float around town, attend fun events, and see nice homes.  :)

But seriously, the truth is, real estate is nothing like what I thought it would be.  It is 100 times more challenging,  100 times more difficult, 100 times more expensive, and 100 times more rewarding than I could have imagined. 

I hope you enjoy reading about my experiences and adventures!


Preparing for the Hurricane
Today I was still not feeling well;  I have been sick for the past few days.  Sick or not, my clients still have homes to sell and need information on properties.  Tuesday's are my seller update days.  This is when I update my sellers on market conditions, progress with the marketing of their home, check up on feedback from showings that have occurred in the past week, and discuss concerns and questions.

The busy real estate season is almost upon us!  Spring is on its way!  I am doing my best to get as organized as possible before the "hurricane" hits!


Normally, I go to downtown New Braunfels each day and work from my office.  Today, since I am sick, I decided to work from home in the morning.  I check and sort email, follow up on any lingering issues from the evening before, and start my lead generation to get new business.


I went into town around lunch time to attend the Realtor open house/luncheon of one of my office colleagues.  The home that was open today is a beautiful custom home in Rock Wall Ranch.  I feel that it is important to attend these events to show support for my fellow agents, gain information on the home, and provide feedback to the sellers.  These events are usually fun - Realtors LOVE a free lunch and love to see nice homes.  It's also nice to see my Realtor friends and colleagues.  It is important to have a good working relationship with other Realtors.  Yes, we are in competition with each other for business, but we also have to work together to sell homes and make transactions happen. 

While I was in the area, I did a drive-by on an expired listing to check out the curb appeal, location, and neighborhood.  Most of my sellers are home owners that contact me when their home did not sell the first (and sometimes second) time with a previous agent.  I am meeting the owner of this particular home on Friday and will be running a full market analysis to see why this home did not sell and help the seller prepare a strategy to sell the home this Spring.  Its hard to get a full picture of the home, and why it did not sell, by only seeing information and pictures on the MLS. 


After my hill country excursion, I went back to the office to start preparing for appointments that are scheduled for later this week.  Another expired listing home owner called to set an appointment.  This time the home is located in Canyon Lake.

I started feeling bad again so I left to work from home for the rest of the day.  On my way home, I did a drive by for tomorrow morning's listing appointment.  From my couch and lap top, I spent the rest of the day, and part of the evening sending email updates to sellers, and preparing several market analysis (and blogging). 

Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow...I will be BUSY for the rest of the week!

Today was the calm before the hurricane...several of my sellers have had multiple showings on their homes and I have three potential new listings this week.  Things are about to get really busy and it will be a crazy Spring season. 

Real estate moves in waves.  January 2012 was the busiest month of my career.  I took 4 listings, closed my first short sale transaction, negotiated and closed a very fast transaction for an investment property, and negotiated a contract on another one of my listings (it closed as well).  After working 16 hour days for a month...the past few weeks have been relatively slow...a MUCH needed break to re-group and prepare for the next wave. 

Within the madness, I discovered that I desperately need help.  There is too much work for one person to handle (which is not a bad thing!).  In addition to my current business, I am also working on structuring my team so that some of the administrative work can be handled by someone else.  Currently, I have someone that works with me part-time, in the evenings.  We are working on expanding her responsibilities from prospecting to marketing listings and paperwork/file maintenance.  This expansion and training takes most of my weekends, and evenings.  GROWTH IS GOOD!!

After being in real estate for 5 years, I am beginning to understand the patterns of the business.  Spring is the start of "hurricane season" for real estate and the season will extend until Fall, where it will slow down again during the holidays.  Lots of homes need to be sold, and a lot of buyers will be out and about!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Don't Raid the Couch Cushions and the Cookie Jar

Don't Raid the Couch Cushions and the Cookie Jar

By Karin Beuerlein, | Published: 11/01/2007

Keep more than a few pennies of savings for the unexpected costs of buying a home.
When you're deciding how large a down payment you can afford, remember to leave yourself some padding. The home-buying process, moving and the first months of home ownership are fraught with unexpected expenses.
  • Appraisal fee. You often have to pay this fee out of pocket as part of the loan approval process. Depending on your location, the fee can run anywhere from $200 to $1,000.
  • Professional home inspection. Costs range from $300 to $800 for typical homes, but they can go higher depending on the age and type of structure. More specific inspections, such as those for structural engineering, mold and termites are additional costs.
  • Extra closing costs. Although the good faith estimate from your lender should be reasonably accurate, you won't know the actual amount you have to bring to closing until a day or two beforehand. Don't play it too close. You don't want to hold up closing because you're $100 short.
  • Homeowner's association fees. If you're buying in a subdivision, you may pay an annual or even monthly fee for upkeep of common areas.
  • Repairs, upgrades, renovations. Depending on the condition of the home you buy, remember to budget for the work it will take to make it move-in ready.
  • Moving van rental fees and boxes.
  • Termination fees for current services. Carefully check your Internet and cell phone contracts.
  • Appliances. Whether you'll have appliances included depends on the deal you strike with the seller. Be aware that brand-new houses usually do not include refrigerators, washers or dryers. If the other kitchen appliances are stainless steel, you'll need to spend some serious dough to buy a matching fridge or else live with the "eclectic" look.
  • Household items. As a renter, it's easy to forget that the move to a bigger space means you'll need more mundane stuff like trash cans, lamps and shower rods. New houses, again, usually don't include hardware like drawer pulls, bathroom mirrors or towel bars; you may think you can live without them for a while, but trust us, you'll crack after a week and pull out the credit card.
  • Lawn-care equipment. Buying a yard? Your new neighbors will prefer that you mow, rake and edge it.
  • Warm milk. Just for the first week of wigging out in the middle of the night, wondering if they still have debtors' prison. (They don't.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

The MOST Expensive Home Available in New Braunfels

The most expensive home listed for sale in New Braunfels is..... (drum roll)

1230 Sleepy Hollow

Asking price:  $2,199,999

What makes this home special???

  • 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms
  • 3300 sq feet
  • Situated on 2.12 acres, near Gruene
  • Sleeps 20 people
  • Approx 150 ft of Guadalupe Riverfront
  • Outdoor kitchen facility
  • Pool
  • Volleyball court
  • Comes furnished!

Please note: The Most Expensive Home in New Braunfels only includes single family residential properties.  It does not include multi-family, ranches, land, commercial, or resort properties. Data provided by Central Texas MLS is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.  Data does not reflect properties sold or listed exclusively through by owners or builders who have not listed in the MLS.  Data does not necessarily reflect Keller Williams listings and sales.

Friday, December 2, 2011

November 2011 Statistics - Residential Homes in New Braunfels

Here is a quick look at how the New Braunfels real estate market finished up in November.

This information only represents homes in New Braunfels, it does not include lots, acreage, to-be-built homes, condos, multi-family, or commercial property.

As of December 2, 2011, there are 508 homes available to purchase.

Statistics for homes sold in November:
  • Number of homes sold: 50
  • Most expensive home sold:  $630,000 - Havenwood
  • Least expensive home sold:  $89,500 (not in a designated subdivision, located on Common St)
  • Highest number of days on the market: 457
  • Lowest number of days on the market: 22
  • Average number of days on the market:  149
  • Average sales price:  $225,013
Are you interested in selling your home, or purchasing a new home?  Contact me for a no obligation consultation and market analysis:  830-609-8877 or

Please note: This information only includes single family residential properties.  It does not include multi-family, ranches, land, commercial, or resort properties. Data provided by Central Texas MLS is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.  Data does not reflect properties sold or listed exclusively through by owners or builders who have not listed in the MLS.  Data does not necessarily reflect Keller Williams listings and sales.

Friday, September 30, 2011

6 Selling Myths Uncovered!

Myth #1:  You should always price your home high and negotiate down.

Truth:  Pricing too high can be as bad as pricing too low.   If you list too high, you'll miss out on buyers looking in the price range where your home should be.  Offers may not even come in, because buyers who are interested in your home are scared off by the price and won't even take the time to look at it.  By the time you correct the price and list your home at its fair market value, you will have lost that window of opportunity when your home draws the most attention from the public and real estate agents; i.e. the first 30 days that it is on the market.  A well trained real estate agent who looks out for your best interests will consult with you on your homes fair market value and different pricing strategies for the current market.

Myth #2:  Minor repairs can wait until later. There are more important things to be done.

Truth:  Minor repairs make your house more marketable, allowing you to maximize your return (or minimize loss) on the sale.   Most buyers are looking for homes that are ready for them to move into.  If your home happens to attract a buyer who is willing to make repairs, he/she will begin asking for repair allowances that come out of your asking price.  The amount of an allowance that you have to offer a buyer is usually more than what it would cost for you to make the repair (or hire someone to make the repair).  Remember, buyers are comparing your home to other homes that are currently on the market.  Your home should be inviting so that everyone who looks at it can see themselves living there.

Myth #3:  Once a potential buyer sees the inside of your home, curb appeal won't matter.

Truth:  Buyers probably won't make it to the inside of the home if the outside of your home does not appeal to them.   Buyers and their agents often do drive-bys before deciding whether a home is worth their time to look inside.  Your homes exterior must make a good first impression so that buyers are compelled to stop and come inside.  All it takes is keeping the lawn mowed, shrubs and trees trimmed, gardens weeded and edged, and clutter put away. Six Selling Myths Uncovered (continued)

Myth #4:  Your home must be every home buyer's dream home. 

Truth:  If you get carried away with repairs and replacements to your home, you may end up over improving the house.   There is a point where improving your home doesn't pay off.  The key is to consider what competing properties feature and look like.  A highly motivated real estate agent will consult with you on what competing properties have to offer  he/she can even show you competing properties so that you can make sound home improvement decisions.

Myth #5:  You are better off selling your home on your own and saving money on the commission you would have paid to a real estate agent. 

Truth:  Statistically, many sellers who attempt to sell their homes on their own cannot consummate the sale without the service of a real estate agent.   Homeowners who succeed in selling their home by themselves usually net less than if they had a real estate agent working for them.  The National Association of REALTORS surveys consumers every year, including homeowners who succeeded in selling their home without a real estate agent.  Over 70% of these homeowners say that they would never do it again.

Myth #6:  When you receive an offer, you should make the buyer wait. This gives you a better negotiating position. 

Truth:  You should reply immediately to an offer!  When a buyer makes an offer, that buyer is, at that moment in time, ready to buy your home.  Moods can change, and you don't want to lose the sale because you have stalled in replying.