Austin’s weather may be unusually moderate, but the housing market couldn’t be hotter.
The influx of companies and working families from the west coast has driven the median home sale $575,000 in June. That’s a record high which has been broken the past five months in a row, according to the Austin Board of Realtors.
To learn what hopeful home buyers can do to improve their odds in this market, we interviewed Ryan Rodenbeck, owner of Spyglass Realty.
Rodenbeck is a widely-respected Austin broker with an optimistic view of the market, and a positive outlook for Austin’s future.
EM: How would you describe the Austin market at this time?
Ryan Rodenbeck: It’s a strong sellers market. We’ve gone through a decent amount of appreciation, and we’ve slightly slowed down now due to buyer fatigue, plus many people are now traveling during summer. Buyers still need to put their best foot forward and should be prepared for multiple offer situations.
EM: If you were speaking with a first-time buyer, what are the top three things you’d recommend they do a few months before entering the market?
Tip one: Get access to excess funds, above what they plan to bid.
Tip two: Work with a real estate agent that has available all the tools needed for a multiple offer situation, and is familiar with how to present those. Things such as knowing how to write an aggressive offer. Ninety percent of other offers are written poorly, so buyers are mostly competing with the top ten percent of agents.
Tip three: Get in touch with a local, well known, reputable, mortgage loan offer. This is important, because the loan officer can have a call with the listing agent and give them confidence that the buyer is fully approved. That’s a really big tip that lets listing agents feel better about a buyer’s offer.
EM: How long before a planned home purchase should a buyer get in touch with a real estate agent?
Ryan Rodenbeck: Find an agent immediately, right when you start looking at properties. Don’t find an agent when you’re ready to actually make offers. That’s at least 3 months before you intend to close, because you need to get their ducks in a row with the mortgage, and plan all their options.
EM: It’s clearly been a seller’s market for the past while, and that now seems to be easing. When might you predict a return to “normal” levels?
Ryan Rodenbeck: That’s hard to say, but I think we’re going to start seeing that in about a year. That’s contingent on builders keeping up with inventory, and interest rates going up which will stabilize the market. Austin has unique market conditions different from most cities. We have new industries moving here by the day.
Even when things go back to normal for the rest of the country, we’re still going to be doing better because we’re employing people in droves. For example the planned $1 billion Apple campus hasn’t even been built yet, and the same thing with Tesla. So I can see a long future for Austin’s real estate market.