house of nowThe Austin Real Estate Market ended 2012 with a low inventory and substantial supply of buyers.  January has picked up exactly where 2012 left off only with more buyers.  A common new year’s resolution is to buy a new home, which means that on January 1st my phone starts ringing even more.  Every buyer starts off on the same path in that they look at homes that entered the market in the past.  Whether the house was put on the market 2 days ago or 2 months ago, it is new to the buyer who has just entered the market.

The strange dynamic that I often see is when a house has been on the market say 70 days, which by today’s standards is kind of long, and all of a sudden on day 71 it’s in multiple offers.  For 70 days nobody wanted the house and on day 71 it is in a bidding war.  Some buyers pass houses by that have been sitting, because they feel like there is something wrong or it’s overpriced.  More often than not, buyers pass by a house because they think they have time.  Whether it is day 3 or day 70, they think the home is going to be around until they decide if they want to buy it.

I have had more than one client who has lost an opportunity to put an offer on a house that was on the market for 3 days in the last 2 weeks.  These clients are now referred to as my Zen clients because we are looking in the now. We have looked at every home that might be a possibility and are now looking at what comes on the market – when it comes on the market.  If a house comes on the market that might be the right fit – we go see it within 24 hours.  My Zen buyers are not only pre-qualified, but they have a thorough understanding of what to expect in terms of closing costs and pre-paid costs like homeowners insurance and escrows for taxes.  I can write an offer the same day my Zen buyer wants to buy the house because we are that prepared.

How to Buy a home in Austin now

If you want to buy a house in Austin you need to be a Zen buyer.  Understand, it’s ok to just look, but you are constantly going to be looking in the past until you are ready to buy.  The houses presently for sale are going to sell, so it’s kind of waste of time.  A better use of time is to get pre-qualified to see how much you can spend or want to spend and then get closing costs and pre-paids estimated in order to have a solid idea of you can afford.  It costs money to buy a house, but it costs a lot of time too.

If you are planning to buy a house now – you need to prepare now.