Frequently Asked Questions

  • What items come with the property?

    The general rule is, “If it has to be removed with a tool, it stays.” However, some items are specifically included in the contract. The drapes, window treatments, & any pool equipment automatically stay. The refrigerator & washer/dryer do not come with the house unless written in the contract. The stove, dishwasher, & any attached microwave or vent hood will stay, along with all light fixtures. If you have a question about a specific item, please don’t hesitate to ask!
  • How do we determine what to offer on a property?

    To determine Fair Market Value, we will run a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on the property. This shows you what comparable properties in the same or similar neighborhoods have sold for recently, so tells you what the property is worth. After we have that information, we will determine what to offer based on the time the property has been on the market, if they’ve made recent price reductions, whether it’s vacant or occupied, & whether or not there are other offers on the property.
  • What is an appraisal & how does it affect me?

    Your lender will require that an appraisal is performed to verify that your purchase price is the Fair Market Value of the property. The appraisal is usually performed after we’ve had the property inspected, costs roughly $500, and is paid for at closing. The appraiser will use the same process we did when we ran a Comparative Market Analysis, so we very rarely have appraisal issues. If, however, the property doesn’t appraise for value, you have the option to terminate the contract. In many instances, we will try to renegotiate the price of the property to the appraised value. Sometimes, we get a bad appraiser (we’ve had an appraiser sent from Waco to Austin before) and we contest the value in that case.
  • When is the best time to buy?

    In general, there is more inventory to choose from in the spring & summer, but there is more competition. During the fall & winter, prices are generally lower, but there is less inventory to choose from.
  • What happens if there is more than one offer on a home?

    There are no laws governing multiple offer situations, but there is an industry-standard: Typically, the listing agent will notify all parties that there are multiple offers on the property and will ask for each buyer's "highest & best offer" by a certain time & date. We won't know what others are offering and they won't know what we're offering. You will want to put together your highest offer price & we will tighten up the offer terms to make the offer as attractive as possible, without compromising your protection. We have negotiated hundreds of multiple offers and have a strong track record of winning contracts for buyers.
  • Should I get pre-approved for a mortgage?

    While it’s not necessary to begin casually looking online, it’s definitely a good idea to get pre-approved before you begin physically looking at properties. Read more about pre-approval here.
  • How long does it take to buy a property?

    The searching process varies from buyer to buyer, but it takes 30-45 days to close on your property after you’ve gone under contract. Read more about the buying process here.
  • How much are closing costs?

    Most of your closing costs will be connected with your loan & pre-paid escrow charges (property taxes, insurance, & interest.) In general, closing costs are in the 1% to 2% range, but they do vary based on the type of loan you choose. This is one of the many reasons we recommend getting pre-approved early in the process. If you’re a cash buyer, closing costs are minimal; Generally less than $1000.
  • Are schools important for resale?

    It depends on the market. In the suburbs, where buyers value schools highly, school ratings are very important for resale. In central Austin neighborhoods, where schools have been poorly rated for years, school ratings don’t affect resale because the buyers for these homes don’t typically care about school ratings. If you do care about schools, GreatSchools.org is an excellent resource.
  • Should I get a home inspection?

    Absolutely! Your home inspector will go through the property with a fine tooth comb and tell you exactly what condition it’s in. You will find out if there are any repairs that need to be made immediately & what repairs you can expect in the future. Your inspector will check all major & minor systems: Foundation, plumbing, electrical, roof, HVAC, water heater, appliances, windows, structural integrity, & more. While not required by a lender, we do recommend getting a termite inspection at this time. While the price will vary based on the size of your home, the inspection is in the $500 range (and is paid at the time of inspection.) After we’ve reviewed the inspection, we will typically ask for the seller to make reasonable repairs or for a repair credit.
  • Are the sellers required to make repairs?

    Sellers aren’t required to make any repairs, but reasonable sellers will agree to a reasonable repairs request or a credit for repairs. It’s important to view repairs in context. If you’re purchasing a newer home, you would expect it to be in near new condition. If you’re purchasing a 50-year-old home, you would expect it to be safe & functional, but not to be new.
  • When and how much money do I need in order to make an offer & purchase a property?

    It doesn’t cost anything to make an offer on a property, but you need to be prepared to write a check for the earnest money & option fee. The earnest money deposit is usually 1% of the purchase price and the option fee will be dependent upon the sales price (usually $200-$500.)
  • What condition will the sellers leave the home in?

    Unfortunately, the standard contract is pretty fuzzy on this topic. Generally, sellers will have the property “broom clean” at closing. If it’s important to you that the property be professionally cleaned prior to closing, we can add that to special provisions.
  • What is a Home Warranty? Do I need one?

    In most transactions, a seller will credit you $400-$500 for a residential service contract (a home warranty.) If the property has a pool, they will credit you $700-$800, so that you get the additional pool coverage. A home warranty picks up what your homeowner's insurance policy doesn't cover. An insurance policy typically has a 1% deductible, so won't cover small items like a stove, dishwasher, or air conditioner. A home warranty does cover these items, and typically with a deductible in the $50-$75 range. Home warranties are great to have, but they're a hassle to deal with, should you call in a claim. They typically send a repairman out within 2 days, which can be a long time if your A/C goes out in the middle of August. Like any insurance or warranty company, they tend to try and cover as little as possible. So, when you Google different companies, you usually find bad reviews on all of them. If, after researching the home warranty, you prefer not to ask for one, we can always ask for a seller credit to your closing costs in the same amount a warranty would have cost ($400-$500.)
  • What is a Buyer's Representation Agreement? Do I have to sign one?

    A Buyer's Representation Agreement is a written agreement between you and an agent that you will use that agent's services to purchase a property for a certain period of time. Some agents require their buyer clients to sign an agreement, but we don't require this. A common sales pitch is that "I only legally represent you if you sign a buyer's rep agreement." This is legally incorrect. As soon as we begin working together, we've created an implied agency, so we're obligated to act in your best interest (a fiduciary relationship.) Since we pride ourselves on our no-pressure approach, we don't require buyers to sign a Buyer's Representation Agreement. However, if you would like to sign an agreement with us, we're happy to prepare and sign the agreement.

WE WOULD LOVE TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR HOME PURCHASE!

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2100+ Client reviews!

Bramlett Residential, and more importantly Joe Gage were amazing at helping my wife and I buy our very first home. Bramlett & Joe made the whole process stress free, and really helped expedite the process for us. We had no idea we would find exactly what we were looking for so quickly! Joe was very knowledgable on numerous things such as market strategy, what things to look for while touring homes, and he quickly understood exactly what type of home my wife and I were looking for. He was also in constant communication with us throughout the whole process which helped us feel very comfortable in a situation that could have been stressful. I will confidently recommend Bramlett & Joe Gage to anyone in the Austin area going forward!

 

We worked with Crystal Hirst and she did an amazing job. She went above and beyond to make sure that we found the right property for us. Our search initially was all over the place and we didn’t even know what kind of property we wanted. Nonetheless, Crystal was incredibly helpful and patient while working with us to find our home. Crystal would point out all the pros and cons for any place that we would consider and we felt we could trust her. As first-time homebuyers we felt this was important because we did not know what red flags to look for in a property. Additionally, she was communicative and extremely responsive throughout the entire process. We were very satisfied with Crystal and would recommend her to anyone with no reservations whatsoever.

 

It was a pleasure working with Shaun, he is a very pro-active person and move things fast, communication was assertive and clear. As a first time buyer I could not have been in better hands and would recommend him a hundred percent.

 

Jan was wonderful to work with!  Bringing a toddler while house-hunting can be a nightmare, but Jan made it fun for all of us.  It felt more like exploring the area with family.  We didn’t feel any rush or pressure to buy, and we knew Jan had our best interests in mind.  She was always friendly, but when it came time to negotiate, she fought hard to get us the best deal.  I would highly recommend working with Jan whether you are buying or selling.  If we ever move, we’ll definitely be asking for Jan again.

Jan is fantastic!  We moved from out of town, and she was great about showing us around and researching schools and home-builders for us so we could make the right choice.  Jan showed us both rentals and new builds in a rainy, single-day house-hunting trip, and, despite the weather, her enthusiasm never wavered.  We have been in Leander for two years now, and Jan still keeps in touch and serves as a source for local info!  If we ever move again, she’ll be our first call!

Because we were first-time home-buyers, Jan was the wind beneath our wings while we worked with her.  She listened to what we wanted and made sure that we weren’t getting into something that would damage us in the long run.  She was passionate, caring, and very knowledgeable.  We were from out of town, and she taught us a lot about the area and gave us some insider knowledge that helped lead us to a great home.  She gave us advice for the future when we might become serious about homes, and she prepared us not just for purchasing our home but also for potentially reselling it years down the line.  Working with Jan was easy and enjoyable; she was on our side from day one.  She went above and beyond my wildest expectations and really raised the bar for realtors in my eyes.

Jan Daum is a realtor with panache!!!  When you sign up with her to sell your house, you can rest assured she will get it done fast, at the best possible price, and with all the tools in her toolbox put to use.  I’d no sooner signed on the dotted line than Jan showed up with a stager and a photographer.  My home went online with a very classy display and sold over asking in less than a week, and with multiple offers!  Jan did not even get a chance to hold the planned open house.  Jan was with me every step of the way and kept in touch constantly.  I would recommend Jan Daum as a realtor for any property and at any price point.  You will not be disappointed with the service or the results.

Corrine was a dream to work with. She kept us up to date and was transparent with us through our house hunting experience. She connected us with great people to work with to get our place to close quick and easy. Will definitely recommend her and was a great pleasure working with!

 

We had the pleasure of working with Elken Miller and we loved our experience working with her. She is knowledgeable in her filed and will give you her honest opinion and she held our hand the entire process and we bought in 2021 which was a very competitive market at the time and she was absolutely awesome in helping us secure the house we wanted!
She is warm and always returns your calls and is on top of things you may not have even thought of. I highly recommend Elken Miller!

 

I started working with Elken summer of 2020. I had just moved to Austin and had no idea where to start looking given my tight budget and all the bidding wars happening. Elken helped me navigate that process every step of the way with ease. She was able to find me a new built in Elgin that fit perfectly with my needs. She is incredibly knowledgeable in the housing market, has great business acumen and is very resourceful. Elken also assisted me in negotiating with builder, lenders, and third parties (e.g. alternative “buy before you sell” type of lender, etc.) and did not stop until I got a great deal. In addition, she is thorough and proactive ensuring that all your questions are answered and that your expectations are met. Lastly, she is friendly and kind and never ceased to go above and beyond for me during my home buying journey. I will absolutely work with Elken again whenever I am ready to find a new place.

 

We enjoyed working with Elken at Bramlett Residential Real Estate for buying our first home. She’s detail oriented, help us address concerns, and always willing to answer questions that we have along the way. Highly recommended and we would definitely work with Elken again when an opportunity comes in the future.

 

As first time home buyers and new to the area, Elken Miller was a true blessing. Elken went above and beyond to search for a perfect home for our growing family, before the baby’s arrival. She listened to our needs, wants and stayed within our budget. She walked us through each step and treated us like family. We are now first time home buyers of a brand new build, in a beautiful area with a large backyard where we can create memories with our baby! Elken is professional, knowledgeable, caring and will not give up on what you’re searching for until she finds it. She’s the best and we truly thank her for everything.