best time to sell your home

Advice for First-Time Sellers

You may have heard many different opinions about when the best time to sell your home is. Spring? Summer? Fall? The fact is there are several factors that determine when it’s a good time to put your home on the market. Below are the four criteria that are pretty solid cues that it may be time to sell


When Inventory is Low

During the height of the housing collapse, buyers had their pick of litter with an overabundance of homes for sale all across the country. It’s when inventory is low that sellers have the advantage. If you are one of only a few people looking to sell in your area, you could find yourself smack dab in the middle of a bidding war!

If you have been thinking about selling your home, ask your agent about the inventory in your area. What is the current rate of home sales where you live? How many foreclosures? Is demand high for new homes? If housing supply is limited, now may be the right time for you to sell.


When Interest Rates are Low

A drop in interest rates often spurs on-the-fence buyers to finally make their move. If you’ve been thinking of moving up or downsizing, you may want to put your home on the market soon so you can start your search for a new one and take advantage of low interest rates.

Depending on the type of mortgage you take out, you could lock in a very low interest rate. That could mean paying less than 5% interest on your new mortgage over the term of your loan.

That is excellent news considering that the interest paid on a 30-year mortgage is only second to the principal on your mortgage in terms of cost. Wouldn’t it be great if you could knock off several thousand dollars in interest over the life of your loan? Check with TRE to see just how much you could save with a low interest rate.

When Home Prices are Rising

When home prices are rising, it is great news for sellers, bad news for buyers. Unfortunately, the housing market can be very unpredictable. Trying to time your home sale with rising home prices could prove tricky. An experienced agent can best advise you about whether or not now is the time to list your house while your home’s value is on the upswing.


When the Weather is Nice

This is one that you may have heard before – spring is the best time to sell your home. According to a study by Zillow, this is good advice. Generally, in the early spring in warmer climates homes sell faster and for an average of 2% more. In areas where the climate is colder, the peak time to sell is late spring, early summer.

Combined with low interest rates and rising housing prices, if you time it just right, you could be looking at triple cherries right now. Could this be the perfect time for you to sell your home? Talk to the top agent in the Austin area now to find out!

all about cma and why do you need it

The importance of Comparative Market Analysis or CMA and everything about CMA that you need to know.

A Comparative Market Analysis or CMA is a report that agents use to help determine the proper value of your home. It helps them to price your home based on other similar properties in your area. It is not an appraisal. It does not require an official inspection to produce.

It is important to know how much your home is really worth because homes that are overpriced tend to linger on the market for months and months. When a home is listed for more than 90 days, buyers start to get suspicious about the reason why, which often produces a domino effect. If interest is low it will deter other prospective buyers from considering your property.

You could have a perfectly lovely home that would have attracted a stampede of prospective buyers if only it was priced right. That is why a CMA is so important. It should be done before you list your home.

Both buyers and sellers use CMAs to their benefit. Buyers often request one in order to determine whether or not your home is overpriced. Besides helping to ensure that your home is priced appropriately, the CMA can also help you avoid making unnecessary improvements before the sale. If you’ve been thinking about remodeling your kitchen or replacing the siding, the CMA will show you which improvement will net you a higher ROI in your area.

Before you begin knocking down walls and laying tile, have a CMA produced so that you spend your money wisely when making improvements or upgrades before listing your house.

Again, the CMA is not an appraisal. It is not done by an appraiser, but by the seller’s agent. Your agent will come to your house and do a general inspection of your home. It’s not as in-depth as a full inspection or appraisal. Your agent will just assess the overall condition of your home compared to others in your neighborhood.

Using market data specific to your location, your agent will analyze current market trends, assess how much similar homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and will use that information to set your asking price. Because your agent has access to listings that are not publicly listed and up-to-date market information, they are perfectly suited to produce the CMA for you.

Therefore if you are planning to make any upgrades or improvements, you should let your agent know when they come to assess your home. They can use that information to make a much stronger assessment and will be able to make recommendations about which improvements are most beneficial to you.

The CMA is not mandatory but it is necessary. Your agent’s job is to put you in the best position to get a good return on your home. There are many reasons to use an agent to help you sell your home. Using an agent to produce an in-depth CMA so that you can price your home to move is one of the main reasons why. Contact TRE now to discuss how they can help you set the right price for your home today!


The Importance of the Appraisal

One step that sellers often overlook in the home selling process is the appraisal. You can hypothetically list your home for any asking price you want (of course that’s not the best strategy), but mortgage lenders will only approve buyers for the amount of the appraisal – and if it falls short of the agreed upon sales price, this could result in the purchase contract getting cancelled.

Understanding this concept will help you to grasp the importance of the appraisal when selling a home. It will also help you to make the right choices when pricing your home, as you’ll want to use the same information the appraiser will – market data, recent sales, comparable homes on the market – to determine the market value of your home.


What Does an Appraisal Involve?

A home appraisal, at its essence, is the process of determining how much a home is worth. The appraisal in a home sale is required by the lender (the buyer pays for it) and it is an essential step in the financing approval process. It is used to determine the fair market value of your home.

Whatever value is determined by the appraiser is the value that the lender will use to determine the loan amount that the buyer will be approved for. A licensed appraiser covers the entire property, including the house itself, the land, and any additional structures on the property. Factors that affect the appraisal include:

  • Square Footage
  • Number of Bedrooms
  • Number of Bathrooms
  • Location
  • School District
  • Home Interior Features
  • Age of Home
  • Unique Features
  • Property Views
  • Improvements or Upgrades
  • Swimming Pools and Landscaping

If you fail to make repairs or improvements to your property or fail to point out upgrades and improvements to the appraiser, it could result in a low appraisal. Prospective buyers will use a home inspector to take a look at the property as well. It’s important to note that inspections and appraisals are two different processes, conducted for different reasons.

Different Types of Appraisals

You’re interested in buying a home, which means you probably have a lot of questions about the process. While there are dozens of questions that any first-time homebuyer has, this is a quick rundown of the most common questions about home buying. Below you will find the answers to those questions to help you get a better understanding of what to expect.


Preparing for an Appraisal

Preparing for an appraisal is a lot like staging for an open house. In fact, if you approach the appraisal the same way, you can maximize the reported value of your home. Remember as well that most buyers are more interested in buying a move-in ready home.

An appraiser is different from an inspector. They are interested in the nuts and bolts of your home; its best features and how it compares to others.

  • Clean the House
  • Make Repairs and Upgrades
  • Paint the Exterior
  • Trim Landscaping and Drive
  • Improve Curb Appeal

Weight Appraisers

  • In most cases, the buyer’s lender will select the appraiser. However, if you’re doing an independent appraisal, the decision on which appraiser to go with has lasting repercussions. Make sure to shop around before deciding on an appraiser – and make sure that whoever you choose is on the lender’s list of approved appraisers. Ask questions about the data that they will use to appraise your home:
  • Are they working from this year’s statistics?
  • What are some of the market conditions that affect pricing?
  • How many sources does your appraiser reference?
  • How thorough will the appraisal be?
  • Is the appraiser familiar with homes in your neighborhood?

Learn More

Too many sellers only realize the weight of the appraisal when it is too late. Don’t be caught off guard. Contact TRE to learn more about the importance of the appraisal and how to successfully navigate the process.


Home Selling FAQs

This is a quick rundown of the most common questions about home selling. Below you will find the answers to these questions to help you get a better understanding of what to expect.


First things first, you want to price your home as accurately as possible. That can be contrary to some advisors who suggest pricing high in a sellers’ market. Others suggest pricing low to spark more interest. It is a game to get into these types of price manipulations and someone inevitably loses. Avoid the risk altogether and set the price competitively for your particular area.


You will need to promote your home online in order to attract more house hunters. More than 90% of homebuyers begin their search online. They look at homes listed on national MLS portals or on local realtor sites. Some other things that you can do are:

  • Spread the word via neighbors, co-workers, and friends
  • Make furniture or quality appliances part of the deal
  • Share your listing on social media
  • Use a professional real estate photographer for listing photos
  • Hire an agent with an excellent track record


To renovate or not to renovate is a question all sellers have. The answer is that it’s really subjective, but a few tips will help you decide.

  • If you live in a part of the country that sees a lot of weather events like thunderstorms or snowstorms, storm windows and doors, roofs, and basements are good renovations if yours are lacking.
  • For the most part, minor improvements like paint or a new front door can do more to improve the value of your home than a complete renovation.
  • Fix the HVAC, repair floors, and clean out the basement or garage if you want to make a big improvement.


Do you design home interiors for a living? If not, you should definitely use a stager. Buyers form a snap judgment about your home if things are untidy and out of order, so you should definitely make sure it’s spotless. However, to truly stand out, you want better than just a clean home. You could have a perfectly tidy house but it’s the overall aesthetics that will make or break a sale.

Here’s how you can get started with sprucing things up if you don’t want to call a stager yet

  • Clear out the clutter
  • Cut the hedges
  • Hose the driveway
  • Plant fresh bulbs
  • Wash ceiling fans and light fixtures
  • Put away clothes and shoes
  • Add lighting and accents


If you want to negotiate the best price for your home, use a professional agent. Studies show that sellers who use an agent to negotiate the deal get a much better price than those who sell on their own. A seasoned agent knows the process best and knows exactly what your home is worth.

Using an agent will also ensure that you get the most out of online advertising. Shop around for agents whose listings are the kind that get attention. That is the agent that you want to list with. Make sure to ask about all of the services that your agent will provide throughout the home selling process.

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