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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2300+ Client reviews!

I cannot recommend Tracey Guttes highly enough! She has a broad and deep understanding of the local real estate market. She used her relationship with other realtors and builders to share properties that were coming soon to market. She gave me honest and insightful critiques of each property we looked at – and we looked at a lot of houses! She led me through the process with kindness and patience, expertly answering every one of my questions. After over five months of searching she helped me find the perfect home for my family, and then negotiated a final sales price below asking price. I believe it would be impossible to find a better, more qualified agent!

Elizabeth is an absolutely phenomenal realtor. She will make you feel like you are her only client. She’s also SUPER responsive by email/text. Go with her and you won’t regret it!!

Working with Meaghan Marks was a great experience! As a first time home buyer, I was oblivious to the process and she helped every step of the way. I would definitely use her again!

Prior to listing my house I was carefully guided on preparing the house to show at its best. We received immediate calls on the listing and sold the house in 2 days. Closing was a breeze. The experience could not have been better.

April was great, she made herself on a Sunday for a viewing and anytime of the day when we had any questions. As first time homeowners, she really helped make the buying process easier than expected. We felt she really wanted to help us get the home we really wanted and we did! She made sure we did everything we needed to get done on our end.

We jumped into the home buying process faster than we expected when the interest rates started to climb and the housing market shifted. April quickly setup viewings and coordinated with us. In the negotiation for the new home, April contacted the seller’s agent and any inspector services needed along the way. She also coordinated with our lender. We closed just 4 weeks after we started looking, and with April the process was simple and efficient. We will absolutely go with April in the future, and we recommend her to anyone looking for an agent.

April was the best!!! When we first spoke I told her that I had a few houses I wanted to look at in the Austin area and she built out a schedule for the day for us to see them all. I then ended up falling in love with one of the homes which would end up being my first house! Being from NC the process to buy a home is very different and April walked me through the process in detail and was there to answer any questions that I had… which were a lot! I was very thankful to have April as my realtor and able to find me my first home which I’m in love with! If you’re looking and want to be taking care of you need to work with April!

I recently had the pleasure of working with Patrick Hallett as my real estate agent, and I couldn’t be happier with the experience. From start to finish, Patrick demonstrated a level of professionalism and expertise that truly sets him apart in the industry.

Patrick’s excellent communication skills stood out immediately. He was not only responsive to my questions but also proactive in keeping me informed every step of the way. Whether it was a quick question or a detailed update on the progress of our purchase, Patrick was always just a call or message away. This level of responsiveness made me feel like a valued client.

His knowledge of the local real estate market was impressive, and he was able to provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the process. I felt like I was in the hands of a true expert.

Patrick’s dedication to his clients doesn’t stop when the deal is done. He’s the kind of real estate agent who genuinely cares about the well-being and satisfaction of his clients. His follow-up after the sale was not only professional but also heartfelt, reinforcing my belief that I made the right choice in working with him.

In conclusion, I would 100% use Patrick Hallett again for any future real estate needs, and I cannot recommend him more. If you’re looking for a real estate agent who is highly knowledgeable, incredibly helpful, and a pleasure to work with, Patrick is the one to call. Thank you, Patrick, for making my real estate journey a smooth and enjoyable one!

This was our first time selling a home and Tyson was incredibly patient with every single question we had about how things were done. Trust me, we had A LOT of questions. He gave us sound input and information to make educated decisions, but at the end of the day it was just that: OUR DECISION. Tyson let us make the calls on pricing, price-cuts, staging, etc. I can’t speak highly enough about Tyson. As friendly as he is, he lived up to his promise of being “a bulldog in negotiations”! He did not accept anything less than what he would’ve accepted for his own home. I truly believe that. There were several times he told agents and unrepresented buyers alike “no” and that their offers were unrealistic or “no, my clients will not entertain that”. Loved it!

Kasey Gilliam did a fantastic job of showing us around Austin and helping us select the right apartment to call home. We were only in town for the weekend and she showed us multiple apartments on the same day to accommodate us, each with their own character. She was extremely responsive and answered all of the questions we asked. We would most definitely recommend working with her if you’re looking to call the Austin area home!

I had the good fortune of meeting Ruth twenty-one years ago when she was my agent and I bought my first house. Her knowledge of Austin communities and surrounding areas was so helpful. Since then, she has been our realtor as we have bought and sold 4 houses. She has also helped us lease one of these houses for over 15 years. She’s very personable, professional, smart and her previous 14 year background in corporate finance and MBA is an asset to her clients. She’s very hard working and meticulous both in buying and selling. Her connections with trustworthy contractors, landscapers, stagers, , handymen, you name it, proved to be a great resource. She provides outstanding service and expertise throughout the entire process. Now that we’ve moved out of state and are looking for a house, we miss her tremendously.

Kasey Gilliam was a delight to work with! Our friends recommended her years after their home purchase and we will be doing the same with any friends or family that move to the Austin area. Kasey was prompt, professional, and direct throughout the whole process. We were working on a tight timeframe to find and close on a house, and Kasey was extremely responsive and helped us rapidly run thru many showings. Kasey helped us greatly filter down our preferences on neighborhoods and home types which was crucial to us quickly finding a home we loved. She helped keep us on schedule for our rapid closing by quickly preparing the various offers/documents/responses to the sellers. Overall we had an amazing experience and would highly recommend Kasey!

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