3 Ways to Keep Your Family Safe When Selling Your Home

Summertime is right around the corner – and all the children roar with delight! With school letting out, families are now more apt to put their homes on the market to hit that prime selling time. (For details on that, be sure to read our post titled Timing & the Austin real estate market: does a perfect time exist for a seller to list?)

This also means it is time to beef up on your home selling security tips. Please make sure to follow these three steps to help ensure your kids’ and family’s safety while selling your home.

Take down those decorative names in your children’s rooms! I know, you worked hard on making your child’s room super-cute and those sweet letters hanging above their bed pull the whole thing together. But, the last thing you want is some predator seeing your home online, with your home address and pics of your child’s room with “Oliver” proudly displayed. So, please take down those letters before your Realtor’s professional photographer takes the MLS pics.

Don’t let strangers into your home without their Realtor. You are out playing in the front yard, enjoying the late summer sun and someone pulls up to your home, noticing the ‘For Sale’ sign in your yard. They put the pressure on you, “Oh, we really want to see it right now, can we please come in?!” You think to yourself, “Well, this may be the perfect buyer, I can’t say no, can I?” The answer is you can and you should say NO! Your best move here is to politely hand them your Realtor’s card and ask for them to schedule an appointment. Now, they may try to say things like, “it’s okay if it’s a mess” or “we’ll be real quick” to get that on-the-fly showing. But for your family’s safety, they should always be accompanied by a Realtor. If the home truly is the perfect home for them, they will respectfully understand and wait for that appointment.

Always make the Realtors sign in to the lockbox. This piggy-backs a bit on my last tip. The Board of Realtors in your city goes through many steps to ensure safety and integrity among its members. Their lockbox keys are special to them and Realtors can be fined heavily if they were to give them out, or lose their license completely. Also, almost all Realtors qualify their clients before driving them around, cutting down on the creep-factor of the clients. So, this lockbox system adds layers of protection for you and your family. I know it may seem cold to force a Realtor to use their key to log into a lockbox as you are passing them to leave for their showing. But, it helps ensure you are letting who you think you should be letting into your home, as well as it notifies your listing agent who has been in the home so that they can ask for feedback.

Do you have an important safety tip that you would like to share with us?  Please post a comment below!

I wish you all a safe and fun summer! For more home-selling tips, be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow our Facebook page.


Timing & the Austin real estate market: does a perfect time exist for a seller to list?

2009-2013 Market Trends for Austin residental real estate sales

Imagine if the housing market was just like Wall Street. Brokers stood on the street corners, wearing funny colored jackets, waiving MLS sheets into the air while yelling, “Buy, buy, buy! Sell, sell, sell!”

Of course, there is a lot of research going on behind the scenes and those stock traders have it down to a science on when a stock should be held or sold. I can say real estate is similar in that respect. Market data such as the number of sold listings, days on market and selling price provides critical information that we Realtors use so that we can properly educate our clients on when they should buy or sell their homes.

With more than 150 people moving to Austin every day, it seems like any time of the year may be a good time to sell your Austin home! As of the time of this writing, the city of Austin Texas has less than 2 months of single-family home inventory on the MLS!

In the city of Austin, there are currently 1279 active single-family homes in the Austin MLS and there were 709 single-family homes that sold in the last 30 days.

As we all know, life just happens. Of course people will need to sell their home 365 days of the year and there will be a buyer looking all of those 365 days. Surprise job transfers, loss of jobs, divorce, marriage, or maybe that perfect house pops on the market and you need to take action even though you didn’t think you’d move for another six months. All are reasons for moving and they can take place any time of the year.

“Is Now a Good Time to Put MY Austin House on the Market?”

It is a widely known fact though that most people buy and sell during the summer months because the kids are out of school and 1) if they have to transfer schools it is easier to do so during the break and 2) there are less activities going on for the kiddos during the summer, so parents have more time to devote toward the move.

Check out this chart that compiles the MLS data for the last five years here in Austin. As you can see, things start to pick up every April, with home sales peaking in May, June, July and August, and then they start to slow down in September. Last year, 2013, July and August were the superstar months in Austin.

2009-2013 Market Trends for Austin residental real estate sales


You may ask, “Not everyone has children, so why does the summer break affect everyone?” The answer stems from the Law of Large Numbers. Since there is a pool of people who find it most convenient to buy a home during the summer months, putting your home on the market during those months guarantees you a larger amount of potential buyers.

How much more money can selling during the peak months mean to a seller? Tens of thousands, according to the median data of Austin home sales:

2013 Home Sales Stats - Austin Texas

If you would like to know what the statistics are based on your area or neighborhood, contact me today and I’ll be happy to provide you those numbers.

Do you fall under circumstances where you need to sell in the ‘off’ months? Do not fear! We have an outstanding marketing system that will get your home maximum exposure, no matter what the time of year.

In upcoming blogs, I plan to share tips on getting your home ready for the market. Check back often or better yet, call me today so you can get started!


How Important Are School Districts When Buying a Home in Austin?

With almost every buyer we represent, the topic of school districts is brought up. I would say the time when it comes up the least is when a buyer is buying a condo in downtown Austin. So, just how important is this question exactly?

Very important.

Here’s why:

There are neighborhoods in Austin that are divided by public school boundaries. Homes on one side of the street will feed into one school district, and the houses on the other side will feed into another one! To further complicate things, the home that you buy needs to feed into the “preferred” district by the majority of home buyers in that area or else it could adversely affect your resale values. If you are contemplating buying a home right now in the Austin area, we hope that you have you put considerable thought into the school district and how it could affect your property values.

(The new 2014-2015 Austin School Ratings guide is now available on our Austin Home Search by School District page!)

Typically, these are the scenarios that buyers fall into regarding their importance of schools:

a) The buyer care very much about school district, whether it is for the ratings or because they want their kids to be enrolled at a specific school. Our search will almost always be narrowed down right away by school district or even a single school by name. Sometimes getting into a particular school is more important to them than the finish-outs in a home!

b) The buyer doesn’t care about school districts at all because they do not have children that will attend. We quickly educate them about why the school district needs to be important to them because of resale value.

c) Buyer is buying a second home here in Austin. They don’t plan to live here year-round, so they will not have children going to school. However, they are concerned about the school district for two reasons: they could potentially move here full-time one day and regardless, there’s the resale value issue.  With so many of Austin’s neighborhoods going through a transitional period (older homes being bulldozed and newer ones replacing them), it is important to know more about the schools then just being in the “trendy” hot new location.

There are so many factors involved with choosing the right home in Austin besides just the school districts: a few of which include crime stat information, proximity to shopping, medical facilities, infrastructure, and so much more. It is vitally important for you to have someone representing your best interests that can help paint the full picture for you. Call me today and I will help get you started in the right direction!


4 Tips to Save Thousands When Selling Your Austin Home

Your home is probably the biggest purchase that you’ve ever made in Austin; you make it your own, become emotionally invested, and you build equity in it.   Hopefully after a few years, you are able to move up using that equity to purchase a bigger home, or a home in your dream neighborhood.  Inevitably when it’s time to sell, you’ll want to get as much money for your home as possible.  When you’re ready to contact a Realtor to market your Austin home, but before the professional pictures are taken and the virtual tour is created, you’ll want to keep the following list in mind to potentially save thousands of dollars:

1.       Clutter will consume your equity.

2.       Cleanliness will increase your equity.

3.       Paint will cost less than your first price reduction.

4.       Fresh carpet will make your home feel new and less lived in.

Let’s look at how these simple fixes can create excitement among home buyers, and how they can help to get you top dollar in a highly aggressive market.

  • Clutter will consume your equity—buyers can’t see through your stuff.  As soon as you decide to list your home, start packing up the non-essentials.  Clear off your counter tops of all unnecessary appliances (yes, even your coffee maker should be put up when selling your home) and if necessary, rent a small storage unit to store your excess items in.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken a potential buyer to see a home, and the seller hasn’t de-cluttered or they have, and they’ve put it all in the garage…potential buyers see a small garage with a home that doesn’t have ample storage space!  Clean it up and clear it out to increase your homes appeal.
  • Cleanliness will increase your equity—a dirty home will cost you money.  Buyers don’t like to walk into a house that is dusty, dirty, or has an odor.  Remember, when you decide to sell, you have to decide to detach yourself from the property.  Keep it clean and orderly; make sure that there are no dirty dishes, dirty clothes, dirty litter boxes, and unkempt yards.  Clean the gutters and trim the shrubs; make your home pristine to the point that it looks unlived in!

Bonus Tip: Hire a cleaning crew—This can save you time and for a little bit of money, add hundreds to your bottom line.  A professional cleaning crew is an investment that is well worth the money spent.  Have a crew come in to do a make ready, and once they are done, keep it that way throughout the sale of your home.

  • Paint will cost less than your first price reduction—Neutral, neutral, neutral!  Fresh paint goes a long way in making a home feel newer and worth more.  You may love that fuchsia wall, but a majority of buyers won’t; don’t give them a reason to offer you less!  While you’re at it, make sure that you have the front door and trim-work spruced up…remember, it’s the first thing a home buyer will notice.
  • Fresh carpet will make your home feel new and less lived in—Buyers want move in ready.  They don’t want to think about having to change carpet, but if they do, they will certainly offer you less!  If you invest in new carpet, you can almost guarantee a 100% return on that investment and then some.  I once had a seller that insisted their carpet didn’t need replacing, and we languished on the market for weeks.  Finally he relented and put in 2,500.00 of new carpet…within 5 days of the new carpet, we had an offer on the property that was 5,000.00 over asking price!

Wondering what else you can do to add value to your home easily?  Call me today to find out how!  When you hire me and Team Ensor Realtors, together we will help you earn top-dollar for your home; we provide a professional home stager who will walk your home and help you figure out what needs done to increase value.  Check out our sell a home page to learn more about our home selling program and how we can help you sell your Austin home faster and for more money!


Austin MLS FAQ: What Do The Property Status Abbreviations Mean?

As an Austin Texas Realtor, I get the opportunity to work with the MLS on a daily basis. As in all industries, we real estate agents have our own jargon.  Recently, I had a client ask me what all the letters next to listings that I’ve sent her mean, and it dawned on me that if one client had that question, how many others did, but didn’t ask?  I’m going to break down what the status letters mean in the MLS for all of you potential home buyers out there.

A – Active:  A property that is marked as Active in the MLS means that it is on the market, offered for sale, and has no pending or contingent contracts.

AC – Active Contingent:  The property has a contract on it; however, the contract is contingent upon certain criteria being met.  Most often, a contingency is in place because the potential buyer of the property has to first sell their current home in order to proceed with the purchase of the new home.  The property is still on the market.  If you choose to submit a contract on an Active Contingent property, and that contract is accepted by the seller, the primary buyer has a short window of opportunity to remove the contingency or they can terminate the contract.  If they choose to terminate the contract or are unable to remove the contingency, your contract becomes the primary contract.

PB – Pending & Taking Backups:  The property that is listed as PB is under contract, but the seller is still interested in receiving other offers in case the primary offer falls through.  Usually a contract in Pending Backups status is one that is still in its option period.  If you submit an offer on a PB property and your offer is accepted, you will be placed into a backup position…if the primary buyer cancels, your contract moves to the front of the line.

P – Pending:  This property is under contract and is most likely outside of its option period.  If the buyer cancels the contract outside of the option period, they will most likely lose their earnest money, therefore, most contracts that are in Pending status are likely to make it to closing.

W – Withdrawn:  A home with a status of Withdrawn is removed from the market, but still shows in the MLS.  The owner has decided to withdraw, however, the expiration of the listing hasn’t occurred, so technically speaking, the Realtor still has the listing, however it has been taken out of the MLS database.

C – Cancelled:  The listing has been terminated by the Realtor and is no longer available on the market.  It has been removed from the MLS database.

E – Expired:  When a home is listed with a Realtor, it is listed for a certain time frame.  Once that time frame is up, the listing becomes expired unless the sellers agree to an extension.  Sometimes the home will be relisted with the same Realtor, a different Realtor, or taken off of the market entirely.

S – Sold:  The property has gone through the entire escrow process and is no longer available.

Looking for an Austin Texas Realtor specializing in assisting home buyers? 

Call me today to see how I can help you make your real estate dreams a reality; I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about the home buying process.


How We Sell Austin TX Homes During the “Slower” Winter Market

It’s no secret that the Austin Real Estate market is hot, we have a shortage of housing inventory and an abundance of new Austinites moving in daily. Those two facts paired together equal a booming housing market and a surging economy for us here in Central Texas. But even with a market as hot as ours, it tends to slow down in the winter months. The question is what can you do to quickly sell your Austin home in the colder, winter months?

Expose your home to every buyer in Austin Texas

Just because there aren’t as many buyers in the winter months as there are in spring and summer, buyers are out there. As a professional Realtor, I and Team Ensor aggressively market your home to every potential buyer we can find using our extensive marketing plan. We utilize social media, print media, professional photography, online tours, and more. Getting your home in front of as many people is the first key — it’s much more than just a sign in the yard!

Make sure that the price is right

This is probably one of the most important aspects of selling your home…price it to high, and it will sit there getting stale…price it to low and people will think that there is something wrong with it. Our job is to help you find the perfect sweet spot for your home. We will do a comprehensive Market Analysis that is customized to your specific home and neighborhood to determine what the fair market price is. We do our homework so that you don’t have to.

Price it too high, and it will sit there getting stale. Price it too low and people will think that there is something wrong with it. Our job is to help you find the perfect sweet spot for your home.

Make it easy to show

If a buyer can’t see it, they won’t buy it. Make sure that you are giving access to your home to as many people that call on it. It can be a major inconvenience to have people wanting to wander through your home, to always have to keep it in showing condition, but it will pay off. I always advise my clients to “just say yes” when it comes to the question “Is your home available to be shown?”

Turn on lights, remove pets, and make the temperature comfortable

You’ll want to make sure that your home is bright and inviting…and this starts at the front door. Turn on all lights, including the porch light. Also, people want to see themselves living in your home, so take the dog with you if you can, and make sure the litter box is clean and concealed. Lastly, you want the potential buyer to stay as long as possible…the longer they are in the home, the better attached they may become, so make sure that if it’s a cold day, you’ve got the heat set to a comfortable setting, maybe a fire in the fireplace.

Offer incentives

Incentives work especially well in a lower priced neighborhood; buyers can be enticed with closing costs paid, mortgage rate buy downs, refrigerators, and washer/dryers. Contact me today to find out the specifics of incentives and if they could be used as part of a strategy to sell your home.

Check out our website to find out why our homes sell faster and for higher prices than other listings in the Austin area. Call me today to set up your free consultation.


Multiple Offers: How to Deal with the Competitive Austin Real Estate Market

You’ve been watching the market and paying attention to how the houses in your neighborhood are performing, so I’m sure you’ve observed the “multiple offer situation” that we’ve been seeing a lot of lately in Austin and in many of the surrounding areas.  A multiple offer situation is usually good news for a home seller, but it’s definitely going to cost you more as a buyer so I thought it would be beneficial to you to know a few things about this subject!

When a closing price jumps unexpectedly, it could (and usually is) due to something we call the ‘Notice of Best and Final.’  The Notice of Best and Final is a tool that can be utilized by the listing agent and is almost always used when there is more than one offer on the table.  An experienced real estate agent will use this strategy in order to win the best price for their client, the seller.  The notice instructs all buyers who are interested in the property to submit their ‘best and final offer’ or ‘highest and best offer’ by a deadline which is usually 24 hours.  We in the business like to call this the ‘multiple offer sudden death’ and here is how it works:

  • The Sellers have a home on the market with an asking price of $420,000.

  • Buyer 1 is interested in the home and makes an offer of $410,000.

  • After a few rounds of negotiations, the seller and Buyer 1 near an agreed price of $416,000 when all of a sudden……

  • ….Buyer 2, not knowing that the Seller is nearing an agreement with Buyer 1 submits her own bid for the property.   (Keep in mind that at this point, the Seller and Buyer 1 have not yet signed any agreements, therefore the seller is under no obligation to Buyer 1.)

  • After discussing options with his agent, the Seller decides to initiate the ‘Notice of Best and Final’ and gives both Buyer 1 and Buyer 2 a deadline of 24 hours to submit their last bid.

  • Buyer 1 begrudgingly ups her offer to the full asking price of $420,000.

  • Buyer 2 is aggressive and raises her offer to $429,000—and her offer is the one that is finally accepted.

In this scenario that I’ve just painted for you, Buyer 2 not only paid $13,000 more than Buyer 1 was about to pay, but she also paid $8,000 more than was needed to beat Buyer 1’s top offer.  The Seller has some great news to celebrate, while both Buyer 2 is feeling less excited since what started out as a great deal has just become so-so in their eyes…and Buyer 1 is completely let down!

Seeing this happen multiple times has taught me a valuable gem of wisdom, and I try to impart it on my buying clients…do your best to remain emotionally detached from the house until it is signed, sealed, and delivered.  I suggest that my buyers work closely with me and determine a value that they believe the house is worth, decide ahead of time what they are willing to go up to, and stick to those numbers, no matter what happens.

Housing Markets Recovery Tempts Sellers—why it is important to have a Real Estate Professional on your side

The housing market’s recovery is still establishing itself, it’s not in its infancy but it still has a way to go until we can call it mature; the majority of professional predictions remain mostly positive for the rest of 2013, and this young housing recovery is being supported by low mortgage rates.

The recovering market, coupled with lower rates could easily lull prospective home sellers into the assumption that they will have a simple selling process, but upturn or not, it’s no time to take your eye off the ball!  Home sellers should still take as much care as before—especially when it comes to choosing a real estate professional to represent their property and their best interests.  I recommend that sellers do the following:  Ask.  Watch.  Check.  I’ll explain now!

  • Ask:  Don’t be afraid to interview multiple candidates for the job of selling your home; ask each candidate for evidence that they have plenty of experience in selling housing that is similar to yours.  Experience will shape the direction of the marketing and all the other decisions that will be brought on your behalf.  Remember, your home’s sale is not the time to depend on trial and error…you want an experienced team of professionals on your side!

  • Watch:  From the minute you meet a potential candidate to sell your home and become your representative, look for the kind of confidence that will resonate with potential buyers; housing choices are important to each and every prospect and they are bound to feel more comfortable when the representation of their next home is being handled by an obvious pro!  If an agent isn’t displaying the skills when you interview him or her, how likely is it that they will do so later on?

  • Check:  If you’re satisfied with the answers to your questions, and like what you watched, check into the candidate’s community ties as the final decision making step.  A real estate professional who has established solid connections in their community will provide you with instant exposure when it does the most good; a lively website and active team are more evidence that you are headed in the right direction toward a solid choice!

Don’t be afraid to be inquisitive when you are looking for your real estate agent to sell your home…they will be your partner in business; the more questions you ask, the more you will learn, plus, you’ll demonstrate to your agent that you are a focused client!


Building a Home at Whitestone Oaks in Cedar Park – Part 1

After selling our home in South Austin in April, we decided to build our dream home at Whitestone Oaks in Cedar Park, TX. Since neither my husband nor I have ever built a home, we were a little apprehensive about the process.

The first step was to pick the floor plan and the lot we wanted to build on. That part was easy. We fell in love with the model home and a large lot on a cul-de-sac caught our attention & met all of our requirements. Next step was a four hour visit to the design center to make our selections for the carpet, tile, wood floors, counter-tops, cabinets, fixtures, paint, outside brick and stone. Whew…what a day that was. We discovered that making a selection from a small sample is very, very hard. Signing mountains of paperwork was the next step. And finally, a meeting with our Lender to make sure he had every piece of our financial picture that he needed to process our loan.

It is hard to describe the joy of watching your house being built from the ground up. Our connection to the house seems much more intimate than any other house we’ve ever lived in because we are observing the “insides” of the house coming together….kind of like a birthing.

Fantasizing about what we want to do with the yard has given us hours of pleasure.  We already have designated areas for our garden, chicken coop, fire pit, fish pond and dry river bed. We are so looking forward to creating an outdoor space that will make us say “ahhhhh” whenever we are in the yard.

Now, just in case this all sounds like puppy dog tails and pansies, let me set the record straight. Sometimes communication between the home buyer, builder, superintendent, design center and salesperson falls apart and mistakes are made. We’ve had some frustration in this area, but so far have been able to work it out. The Salesperson keeps telling us to have fun with the process, but some days we find ourselves searching for the “fun.”

Did I mention that my husband is a Home Inspector..LOL…he sees every mistake the framers have made and it drives him crazy. I’m about ready to ban him from the build site because he is driving me crazy with his anxiety.

In order to maintain a good relationship with our builder, we’ve decided to call in a structural engineer/inspector to inspect the work so far. He’ll provide us with a list of items that need to be fixed, and there are many. To avoid any ugly confrontation with the builder, we’ll give the builder the list and keep our emotions intact.

The most important thing we’ve learned is to call in the professionals to check the work. It may cost a little more, but provides the peace of mind needed to sleep well at night.

Stay tuned! As our home progresses toward completion, I will provide updates with important information about the home building process. If you are interested in building a home in Whitestone Oaks or anywhere else in the city, please contact me and I will provide you with some helpful tips.

EDIT: This post was written by one of our former team members who decided to retire from selling real estate and enjoy time with her family. For more information on Whitestone Oaks, call us today.


Should Sellers Preview Similar Homes in Their Neighborhood For Sale?

When you are considering placing your home on the market, there is one vitally important step that is often overlooked, but will tremendously help you and your Realtor decide on proper pricing: a face-to-face meeting with the competition.

Now, of course you will want your Realtor to provide a Comparative Market Analysis for your home so that you can see at what price homes have been selling that are similar to yours, and to get a snapshot of the competing active listings. There’s no question that it’s a great tool, but, a CMA is just numbers on a piece of paper (and sometimes a picture or two).

What I like to do is take it a step further and actually take the seller out with me to tour the competing homes that are actively listed or have recently went pending.

Why is this important? Because it is so easy when looking at things on paper to think, “My home is better than that home,” or “I have 50 more square feet than that home, so mine must be better.” By not seeing these homes in person you may not be able to realize that the competing home may show better than yours or that, even at 50 square feet less, the floor plan flows better than your home. What if your home is 50 or 75 sqaure feet larger, but your floor plan has oversized hallways or a slightly wider 4th bedroom? What if your master bedroom has a sitting area or your kitchen has a butler’s pantry that is not currently in demand by buyers in your current market? How should that affect your pricing decision?

Sellers can be biased toward their own home, and they usually are – which is only natural! Even when touring the comparable homes, I will still hear comments like, “Our home is better that this home because ours has ___ and this home has ___ ,” which may be true in your opinion…but the key here is to listen to your Realtor and learn what they are hearing from their buyers. As buyer demands and tastes change through time, it is essential to hire an experienced Realtor who has their ears to the ground and knows exactly what buyers are looking for. This information is crucial to preparing your home for the market, and for effectively pricing it.

If you are considering selling your Austin home, contact me today and let’s talk about finding the right value for your home. Rest assured that you will get an opportunity to meet your competition, and you’ll be glad that you did when we’re under contract and they’re still racking up days on market!


Tips When Buying or Selling Austin Homes With Foundation Problems

There are many areas of Austin where homes with foundation problems are commonly found (East Austin, Pflugerville, etc.)  I’ve learned from inspectors that this is mostly due to the type of soil that we have, but it can also be attributed to uneven watering of your yard near your home (or the entire lack of watering altogether.)

Selling an Austin Home with Foundation Issues

Sellers who are aware of the competitive market they face usually opt to repair the foundation before putting their home on the market.  Although, there are many homes in need of foundation repair on the MLS.

If you are about to sell your home and you feel that it has foundation problems, here are a few cautionary words of advice that you should think about before listing it:

  • Have the foundation work completed prior to listing it, if you have the financial means to do so.

Buyers are going to heavily discount your home if they see visible cracks on the interior or exterior of your home.  We have seen many instances where the general public’s perceived cost-to-repair far exceeds the actual cost.  Sometimes a buyer will walk through a home and think that it will cost $20,000 to repair the home, when in reality, it may really only cost about $5,000 or sometimes less to bring everything back into order.  As a seller, it’s often better to get things back into top condition prior to listing it to better your chances at receiving fair market value for your home.

When a seller has had the foundation repaired, a warranty, in most cases, is attached to the property and can be transferred to the buyer at closing.  However, one thing buyers need to be made aware of is that many of these foundation companies impose a transfer fee in order for the warranty to be valid.

  • If you cannot afford to complete the foundation repairs prior to listing, do your research and obtain multiple bids for the job.

There are quite a few foundation repair companies in Austin, and nearly all of them will come out to your home and provide you with a free bid for the work.  Get as many bids as you can, so that you can present the best ones to the buyers.  It’s best to be up-front with the buyers about foundation issues to ease their fears. In doing so, you should better your chances at obtaining the most value for your home.

If you “think” that your home might have foundation problems, you can hire a professional that’s called a “structural engineer.”  A structural engineer will come out and measure your home’s slab deviation and provide you with a detailed report on the structural integrity of your home.  The typical fee for a structural engineer’s report is between $300 to $500+ depending on the scope of the project.

Buying an Austin Home With Foundation Repairs or Damage

If you are buying a home in Austin that has already had foundation work, request to see the warranty paperwork and find out if you will be required to pay a fee to transfer the warranty into your name.

If the seller’s position is that the home doesn’t need foundation work but you feel that it does, it would be in your best interest to obtain multiple bids for the foundation work while you are in your option period.  It might also be a good idea to negotiate with the seller to subsidize the cost of an engineering report if the initial bids for work come back saying that the home needs substantial foundation work.

There are many surprises along the way when you are buying a home.  Being represented by a Realtor who has experience helps prepare you and will make your home buying experience much smoother. If you are looking to buy a home in the Austin area and are looking for a Realtor, contact us today and let us help you into your next home.