Frequently Asked Questions - Bramlett Residential

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 into 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 than 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 protections. 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 connection 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 repairs 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 warrant 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!

Call 512-883-5445

Or please fill out the short form below & we will contact you via email or phone (however you’d prefer) to help you with your home purchase. We look forward to helping you!

*Don’t worry, we hate spam as much as you and would never sell or share your information. Our privacy policy is available here.

Buyer Resources
First Time Home Buyers CLICK HERE
Relocating To Austin? CLICK HERE

1200+ Client reviews!

Jaish S.

It was such a pleasure to work with Shaun Duffenbach at Bramlett Residential Real Estate! Shaun helped me to buy an investment property in Austin, Texas. Shaun explained everything in a way that was easy to understand from making the offer, to working with the mortgage banker. This made it really easy to buy a house within a month and that too during such tough weather in Austin, Texas in the last few weeks. Shaun never left any questions unanswered and always responded promptly. He is a very professional, experienced, and helpful realtor with excellent knowledge of the local market. I would highly recommend him as well as take his help for any future investment.

Christine P.

Tara McGuire at Bramlett is great! She is incredibly knowledgeable, responsive and got us well over our asking. We would highly recommend her!

Lewis cox

Bailey did a fantastic job. She was very good about keeping us in the loop about everything going on. She knows her job well I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you and your company for making this easy for us.

Jaish Kumar

I felt overall the transaction was very smooth and fast. I think communication was the key and he did pretty well. His excellent idea about the local market and communicating the same was very good throughout the process.I didn’t find anything missing as all went smooth. Hoping to get Shaun’s to help again in the future as well.

Jacob Noga

We recently purchased a home and used Bramlett. Katie was fabulous! She was hard working, very friendly, and communicative! We were moving from out of state, so Katie would go see listings that we were interested in and take videos. They were extremely helpful for us to help make a decision. She always kept us updated! We couldn’t have asked for a better experience! Thanks so much Katie and Bramlett

Steve P.

We worked with Lauren Yoder to purchase our new home in the Austin area. We could not have been happier with the work that Lauren did for us. Lauren was referred by a friend of ours and we are glad we gave her a call! She listened and understood our goals to ensure the homes we viewed fit our parameters and finances. Much of our home buying process was done virtually and Lauren did everything possible to make it easy for us and worked out better than we could have wanted. Lauren works extremely hard for her clients, she is thorough, responsive, and knows her stuff. Give her a call for your real estate needs, you’ll be glad you did!

Katie H.

Lauren came recommended by two completely separate friends to me and my fiancé when searching for our first home and we are so thankful that we got set up with her! Lauren was phenomenal to work with. She did all of the things you would hope for from a realtor in terms of timeliness and organization; AND she went ABOVE AND BEYOND for everything else! When we walked through houses Lauren was able to use her expertise to guide us to a house that would be within our budget, a smart investment, and a house that does not cause us an insurmountable amount of work.
Lauren was able to guide us through the incredibly competitive offer process to get a house.  She was able to get us moving quickly to see the house and put in an offer quickly. Even more importantly she was able to make sure we offered a competitive offer not only with knowing the market and prices but also by changing up our contract creatively to get the seller’s attention.
After the offer process Lauren was even more helpful by making sure we were coordinated with all of the folks we were working with and that we knew all of the tasks that we needed to get done.
And even when Lauren was temporarily unable to meet us at houses she made sure to set us up with Katie who was able to help us through the processes! It feels challenging to even sum up everything that Lauren did throughout the house buying process – we are so grateful to have worked with her and recommend Lauren to anyone and everyone who is interested in buying a house!

Steven Primm

Overall the transaction went great, but Lauren was the main reason it went well especially since we were out of state.  There were many follow ups and walk throughs for a new build and she was instrumental in helping with those. Lauren did everything well, but especially just owning the whole process and being persistent with the builder.  She had great insight to anything we asked and brought up things that we hadn’t considered and she clearly had our best interests in mind.  We’ve used many agents in the past and Lauren is above and beyond the best we’ve used.  She was a referral from a friend of a friend and I’m glad it worked out!

Jill Jeranko Primm

Lauren was over and beyond our expectations and was by far the best real estate agent we have had. Her detail to everything was amazing, especially since we were out of state. She is smart and knowledgeable and would highly recommend her to anyone.

Matt McDonnell

Lauren was superlative as always.  There’s a reason I’ve worked with her on a dozen transactions or so and will continue to do so.

Melissa Brierley

The transaction was easy as could be. Lauren is amazing and makes transactions so easy. She goes above and beyond to make sure everything runs smoothly and even helps to coordinate inspections, repairs ect. We have now bought two homes and sold one with Lauren and all three transactions have been a breeze. Not to mention that both purchases were highly competitive and she was great at strategizing and we got them both. Since working with Lauren we have also bought and sold homes in other states and both times we had to do so much more and it was a much bigger hassle. We often talk about how we need a Lauren in the other states we own in. We actually had a conversation recently about how we may as well keep investing in Austin because Lauren makes it so easy.

Zdenek Suda

We were in Austin in December 2020 for home leave from my assignment overseas, and had been planning to buy our retirement home in the summer of 2021 and just look around in the week before Christmas. I reached out to Bramlett – having had a very good experience working with them in the summer of 2016 (Tara McGuire was out agent then) to buy our first house (also in Austin). Our agent, Craig McGuire, did thorough research that he shared with us, and advised us – without pressuring us – to consider buying then, given that what we wanted would be well beyond our price point by the summer because of the conditions in the Austin market for the foreseeable future. Observing all the correct COVID-19 protocols, he showed us houses that fit what we were looking for, and once we saw one that we really wanted, gave us the advice needed to help us to win a bidding contest without breaking the bank. This was really important, as after putting in our bid we had to leave Austin and do everything at a distance. Craig was key to making that possible. He found us a good mortgage company that qualified us quickly and, thanks to all his efforts and consistent support, we were able to close in a little over a month – in the time of COVID, doing everything very long-distance, and in a crazy Austin housing market. We’re very happy with our home purchase, and with Craig!