Selling During The Holidays

7 Reasons to List Your Home During the Holiday Season

Long before I became a real estate professional, I had always heard that holidays were the wrong time to sell your home. WOW! Talk about being misinformed. Exactly the opposite is true. Given that the misconception is so popular, selling during the holidays gives you a competitive advantage. No matter what time of the year - folks need houses. If many people wait until after the holidays to list, then there are fewer homes available - and less competition!

I have also heard the one about not decorating while your home is on the market - keep it all clean and spacious. Wrong again! If you normally decorate for a holiday - go for it. It makes your "house" seem more like a "home". People expect that in my opinion. If you are worried about things being in the way - remember, you control the showings. If the time is not convenient, reschedule for a time that is. If the buyer is truly motivated, they will adjust. If they are in town for only a day or two, it is up to their agent to let your agent know that - so maybe you want to be just a little bit flexible when necessary.

Remember - if you want to sell seize the moment. There is a seller's market right now. Run with it

Home Sales Slowed by Lack of Listings

As we said above, this is a seller's market. There is simply not enough houses available to meet the demand. If you list now, it would be for a good cause!

Worried about finding a new house? My number one recommendation right now is - order a new one. When you are ready, let's talk about the reasons why

Access is Important in Getting Your House SOLD!

I have a great picture of two wrists in handcuffs that I thought about posting here. Maybe another time - but point made. If you are looking to sell, flexibility is key.

Of course there are some inconveniences but that is part of the process (I have personally bought and sold - I get it). The bottom line is the more restrictions on showing times, the longer it takes to sell

Your House Must Be Sold TWICE

You have heard the story about how much you think your house is worth, how much the tax man thinks your house is worth, and how much the buyer thinks your house is worth? And, don't forget the real estate agent who has an opinion too! But, unless the buyer is paying cash for your home, the BANK is likely to have a say in it as well.

Say you list on the high side - after all, prices are going up - right? Then along comes a buyer who is willing to pay what you want for your home. If they have cash, chances are it will be a nice straightforward transaction and everybody goes on with life. If the buyer has 25% or more down, something along those lines could happen too. BUT - when a buyer has less than that as a down payment, the bank is going to take a close look to make sure they are comfortable making a loan which would be secured by the value of the property. if not, then more money down, a lower price negotiation - or no loan.

So, what do we mean about selling your home twice. You need to sell it to a buyer - and then the bank (or mortgage company). Bottom line is let your real estate professional price it right. And, especially in today's market, if it is not selling, consider a price reduction. Remember, it is costing you money every month to stay there

San Antonio Lifestyles

We had to move the videos - so we are sharing once again.

And, for you dog lovers....

San Antonio Library

Well now, I have not had a library card in ___________ (a long time). With the advent of the internet and a Kindle, I kind of let that fall by the wayside. Somehow, I let get past me all the special services that the Library System offers. If you are a regular here, you may know that I am a Property Tax Arbitrator for Texas. Texas Tax Arbitration. Most of the time, I conduct Arbitration hearings by teleconference. Occasionally, I hold an in-person hearing and a meeting room is required. The San Antonio Library System offers use of a conference room to it's members. Depending on the size of the library, one or more rooms may be available. They offer so much more! Check out the San Antonio Public Library and find out what is available to you

Sellers Surveillance

This may be the first time I am sharing a link to the Texas Realtors Magazine. It is about what a seller can - and cannot - do.

Questions To Ask The Neighbors

If you are buying into an existing community, you may want to ask the neighbors a few informal questions. Here are three….

“How would you describe the area and what it is like living here” – opens the door to anything they may want to share without restriction including how long they have lived there, what they like, what they don’t – their version of helpful tips and warnings. Avoid asking about the specific house initially or risk setting the tone of the conversation (they may love the seller – or hate them). After listening, then ask about the house you may buy if they have not already covered it.

“If you could change anything at all about the neighborhood, what would it be?” – allows them to tell you what they perceive as negatives or there may be none.

“What do you look for or hope for from new neighbors moving in to the area” – is an extension of your friendliness and willingness to be a part of the community. It also sets the stage to discover the open arm friendliness of the community toward new neighbors.

Those are just the basics. You may have questions to ask that are important to you. Just opening a conversation helps to get to know your future neighbors – and for them to know you. Great beginnings!
Housing Bubble? Industry Experts Say NOT SO!

I am not going to offer much on this one. Check out the post and see what the experts have to say. I do not see a bubble coming either. I see equity having returned and pocket areas where prices have climbed rapidly. But, I think those price rises are due to the supply demand aspect of our system. The market is not like it was prior to the crash. In those days one could say the requirement for being approved was simply "breathing" That is no more - thankfully

Home Sales Expected to Increase in 2018

Total agreement here. There is a backlog of sales due to the short inventory supply and there is a lot of rebuilding to do following all the disasters the country has suffered. I am looking to a strong 2018 and beyond. Real estate is back

Low Inventory Causes Home Prices to Grow

So many times we have said this - the low inventory is pushing prices up. If you are looking to sell - now is a great time in a seller's market. If you are looking to buy, I would not stand around waiting for prices to get lower. Prices are likely going higher

If You Are Thinking About Buying Know Your Credit Score

Credit prior to the crash was pretty easy. Things have changed and easy credit simply is not true today. Better standards are in place and there are safeguards to protect everyone. It makes sense to give mortgages to folks who can pay them don't you think? Having said that, mortgages are readily available. The way to begin is to find out if you qualify - and if you don't at the present time, find out what you need to do to fix that. Are you ready

Don't Let Fear Stop You - Apply for a Mortgage

In a way, I hate to use this comparison - but, yeah - it is true. If you want to win the lotto, you must buy a ticket (or have someone give you one). You cannot win without a ticket. And so, if you want a mortgage, you cannot get one without applying and starting the process (again, unless you know someone that will give you one without applying). Nothing to be hesitant about. You simply see a mortgage professional who will guide you along the way. If you do not know a mortgage person, we can help with that. And, NO, they will not being paying us a commission or a referral fee. It does not work like that. So, now - are you ready

Veterans Affairs Loans - Check the Numbers

Just a few words here - rather you look at the chart and the report. Veterans have borrowed almost 200 BILLION in 2017 - so far. You all have earned it. We have a huge veteran population in San Antonio. We would be glad to help you get going on your new home

Multigenerational Households - An Answer to Price Increases?

There are so many possibilities with family - and friends! A multigenerational household is very common around the world. Actually, it can help financially but it can be a lot of fun and an opportunity to learn. Seriously, think about it - for the more senior generation - an opportunity to learn more about what is happening today - you will be immersed! For the youngest of generations, you too have a great opportunity - to learn what life was like and from the experiences of those who have already been there. For that in between generation, who needs an empty nest? Seriously, everyone can share in being a part of the family nucleus in whatever way that unfolds. By the way, I have already done it

Reasons Homeownership Makes ‘Cents’

Cents or sense - in so many ways. Yes, owning a home is an investment (call it a forced saving plan) - and a unique one in that you can LIVE in it. It allows you to pretty much fix your basic cost, live for less than renting and avoid the rent increases of the future. It is pretty much spelled out in today's report, so why not have a look at it. It is worth it

Homes For Sale - WANTED

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling!

There are reasons we see certain specialist – Accountants, Attorneys and Realtors! All are professionals and well trained in their own discipline. The real estate professional must know the current market, know and understand pricing and be a skilled negotiator. There are more essentials but these basics have not changed. Today, regulations and paperwork make the typical real estate transaction complicated. Do you have the necessary skills to go it alone? A misstep anywhere along the way can cost you a lot of money. For more information, have a look at today’s article

The #1 Reason to List Your House, NOW!

Today’s article will expand on that idea, but I am going to suggest the number ONE reason is – to get on with your life! Seriously, whatever YOUR reason for thinking about selling – moving up, downsizing, wanting a new neighborhood, change in family or work status – any of your personal reasons for considering selling is the number ONE reason. Now is good because the market is tipped in favor of the seller. There is a shortage of houses out there and now a shortage of construction workers and materials for new homes since those guys are occupied fixing or replacing homes damaged by one disaster after another. That won’t change any time soon.

You may be thinking about your next home if you do sell. Well, time to get out and look. Maybe, time to build (not all workers and materials are going to damage repair) – this is a wonderful time to build and have a home no one has had before – your home! Ready to list and ready to buy? Call me Al

Why Now Instead of Later?

This is a relatively easy question to answer. Think about the law of supply and demand. When demand exceeds supply prices tend to go up. Buyers are out there shopping. There are just not enough homes to meet the demand. Are you ready to take the leap

All In An Hour

What Difference Does An Hour Make In Real Estate?

Actually - a lot. Over 600 homes sold - per hour. Multiple that times 24 in a day. Almost 350 homes regain positive equity - in an hour! And, median home prices continue to rise. So, what does all that mean? It means a healthy market and increased wealth for those who own. Think about that - an investment you live in. And the market could be even stronger if there were more homes available for sale. Are you ready to own and live in your investment

Need An Apartment?

If you are a regular reader, you already know my view on owning vs renting. But, as with almost everything in life, there is sometimes a need for an alternative. A month or so ago I mentioned that right now I am in an apartment in Stone Oak. The house was sold and I had to move - fast! I have been a licensed Realtor for a long time and I help folks buy or sell homes so how hard could it be to lease an apartment? And then BOOM - a bit of an ego bruise but I quickly found that searching for an apartment was not for me. I needed a specialist. My rationale was simple - if I was a Gynecologist and I needed a heart bypass I would not attempt to do it myself. Extreme? Maybe, but it helped heal my ego as I sought out a professional with the right expertise.

That is a true story on how I got here and a way for me to introduce - and recommend - someone to you if you are in need of an apartment. Her services are paid by the apartment folks when she finds you the right place to live and your lease is approved. And right now, when she is paid, you receive a gift card for using her services. Folks - meet Terry Hiller of Top Texas Apartments. When I called Terry it was an emergency - I needed something in two days! She readily helped me. Be a little kinder and let me know how it goes.

Boxes And More

If you are moving or have any other reason for needing boxes, I found a great bargain. I Had heard about these folks before but had never been there. Now the need was a specialized box, rather large and not too high, and one that had a high weight rating. Found one! And, it was just over 10 bucks! Check them out - they are just west of Costco on 1604/281. 1/2 Price Boxes

26 People Went To Church

And never returned home. Yesterday was a sad day for Texas and a sad day for good people everywhere. Yesterday was an eye opener. We have learned that little towns have bad things happen too. We have learned that small communities are not immune from terror or death. We have learned that life is fragile. We have been reminded never to part from our loved ones unless all anger has been resolved – for they may never return. And the words can never be undone.

But one of the biggest lessons of all, we are reminded that we cannot control the human factor any more than we can control the elements or other forces of nature. People short circuit. Sometimes people do bad things – really bad things. Opportunist will say take their weapons away and that will solve the problem. Of course that is not true. Humans have an indisputable trait called determination. That resolve insures that bad things will still happen when the mind becomes irrational.

We are a free America. We accept that our freedoms brings risks. We have learned from this tragedy that an armed Texan was able to respond quicker than authorities ever could. Lives were saved. We learn to live with this. We go forward with our lives, for what else can we do. Like the folks who live in hurricane prone areas, or those where earthquakes or forest fires are common, or countries where terror and bombing is the norm, we go forward. We do not hide. What else is there to do?

We remember those who died and honor their memory. We grieve with those who lost loved ones yesterday. And we offer our sincerest condolences. We thank those who give of themselves during this dark time.