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Better to Rent or Own? It’s a question a get a lot. Again the answer isn’t a ‘one-size-fit-all’ type thing because it depends where you live and how expensive it is to purchase vs. rent. However, Trulia has a great...

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Selling in 2011? 5 things you MUST know. If you are considering selling your house in 2011 here are my top 5 things you need to know as a seller. This is one of my few longer posts, just so you’re prepared! Of course my standard disclaimer...

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Closing costs high in Texas

Posted on : 26-08-2010 | By : Sumina | In : Buyers, Education

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Tying into my previous article on the lack of affordable housing, according to bankrate.com, Texas ranks the second highest in closing costs. Way to go Texas.  Although in 2009, we ranked #1 in highest closing costs.

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Debating with a few non-real estate friends, the question was, if a family doesn’t have a few grand stocked away to purchase a home and are depleting all their cash reserves to purchase a home, should they really be in the home buying market? Any setback (loss of job, disability, auto emergency, etc) would put them in a very difficult position.

According to the general government funding programs, a household should not be spending more than 30% of the total household income on housing. I can say for a fact, that I have several friends who spend close to 60% of their monthly income on housing.

The question becomes, is it lack of affordable housing, or poor financial planning. Obviously, this is food for another post.

Buyers are happier, sellers are grouchier

Posted on : 29-07-2010 | By : Sumina | In : Buyers, Education, Sellers

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J.D. Power and Associates have been tracking buyer and seller satisfaction rates for the past 3 years, and since last year, buyer satisfaction has gone up while seller satisfaction has gone down since 2009. Makes sense to me. Most people having to sell in this market aren’t the the happiest frame of mind (loss of job, forced downsizing, etc).

Whereas buyers are able to take advantage of the large amount of available inventory and often desperate sellers, so why wouldn’t they be happier and more satisfied with the process.

imageOf course, seeing Keller Williams as one of the highest ranked companies across the board fills my little heart with glee. Here are a few things I think help make me a better agent for you, dear client.

  • Education: I know the emphasis on education (our office has at least 6-10 classes a WEEK) on various types of topics allows me ample opportunity to catch up on an issue I’m not familiar with.
  • Networking within the industry: chatting with other top producing agents across the city on a regular basis through the networking groups I belong to all help to keep me on top of my game
  • Local issues: meeting with local state representatives and city council folks helps me keep abreast of issues that may be trickling down the pipeline in the near future. This is a direct benefit to you if I know a water treatment plant may be coming in down the road, or that their are plans to turn that quiet country road into a 8-lane mega highway.

In my opinion, long gone are the days of the ‘lone ranger’ type of mentality that I see many agents subscribing to. Especially in a city like Austin, being connected and working together with my peers is a bigger and bigger part of getting transactions to closing. Yes, we are all competing for business in this city, but there is not only a lot of business, I need the expertise of my fellow agents to help me through some of the situations I run across.

I think that as clients get more savvy (as they should), and do their research online to find the right agent (as maybe you are doing now), doing their research by googling me, and seeing what they find, finding a good fit in an agent is going to rank pretty high. Looking for an agent that is knowledgeable, and informed about their industry is going to become more and more important. 

I for one, am glad that the bar is being raised for my industry, and I’m proud to be one of folks working hard to raise it.