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Ever Wonder Why Those Homes Sell As Soon As They Hit The MLS? Gone in 60 Seconds?

[update 6/17/2013] It’s the same story two years later. While now that all of Austin is experiencing a nosebleed sellers’ market, Mueller has been feeling the crunch since I originally wrote this post over two years ago. So what’s changed? For one thing, the market has been chasing Mueller, and for another thing, Mueller keeps getting more and more popular as the amenities grow and announcements like the new Urban HEB opening in a month, and the Town Center kicking off in December 2013. None of this was announced when I wrote the “inventory starvation” post below.

The same rings true now as it did then for smart buyers looking to get a home in Mueller, and not get trampled in the multiple offer situations we’ve been seeing for years. Find the homes before they get to the MLS, or if they do come to the MLS, make sure you are carefully crafting offers that get the sellers attention:

  • Go offline. Work with an agent who specializes in Mueller Austin Homes For Sale, and knows about the new build release schedule in addition to the resale market. Don’t wait until something hits the MLS.

  • Write compelling offers. This can mean offering seller leasebacks, strong earnest and option fees, but primarily involves working with the listing agent to find what makes the seller tick. It’s not always financial. But that’s just negotiation 101, right?

  • Stalk houses. In 2012 / 2013, I’ve helped more buyers find homes which weren’t listed in the traditional sense, than typical MLS sales. Adapt to the market, don’t just run in and get lost in the multiple offer scenario.

So get in touch if you want us to find you your next home in Mueller.

[original post 4/18/2011]

For the last few weeks, the house hunt for my buyer clients has been tougher than ever. The market in the areas we are looking is turning – it’s short of quality inventory. A friend of mine summed it up best when he said, “Any house that’s any good is gone in a week, and everything that’s on the market longer than that has something wrong with it.”

So at times of low inventory, how do you find a home? Do you have to poised and ready to go see every home as soon as it hits the MLS, waiting for an email alert with the engine running in your Realtor’s car?

That’s certainly one way – your agent can set up searches to inform you when something matching your criteria hits the market. But in times of super low inventory, you have to do a little more: you have to know about homes before they hit the market.

Here’s an example – check out the timeline for this listing that my client was interested in:

The home was entered into the MLS on 11th April. It was immediately marked “Pending taking backups” and the date it was set as pending was April 10th. The day before it went into the MLS. So it was already sold before it hit the MLS.

So, how do you find homes before they hit the market:

1. Work with a Realtor who is an expert in that market. In the last eight days I’ve had emails from agents, buyers and clients all wanting to know when there will be a home available for them in Mueller? Luckily, I have five up my sleeve. Some are my own pocket listings, others are listings I know are coming up from other agents.
2. Drive around with or without your agent. Yes, last week while visiting one home, we saw a home with a dumpster outside. Upon approaching the door I found a City permit with the name of a remodeller I know on it. We called him, saw the home and wrote an offer before the home ever hit the MLS. We also found a For Sale By Owner sign, and checked that home out too. It didn’t meet my clients’ needs though.
3. Use the power of the network. Both your network and your Realtor’s. This means contacting all the painters, handimen and interior decorators who service your target neighborhood, and find out who is getting their home gussied up for sale.

Finding a home in a low-inventory market is tough without the right connections. Sometimes the most accurate and up to date information is unfortunately not on the internet.

Garreth Wilcock specializes in homes in Central Austin and Mueller. Call +1 (512) 829-1351 if you want to get the lion’s share of the homes for sale before the other buyer’s snap them up.

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