An inside look at the residential real estate market in Southeast Texas including: the hottest neighborhoods, proven home selling strategies, home buying and negotiating tactics, median prices by neighborhood, average days homes are on the market, and professional advice on how to get the best deal when buying or selling a home.

Buying and Selling Tips

Selling a Home in Southeast Texas_What You Need to Know about Staging

Staging:  Why is it important when selling your home? 

Tips for sellers image

It takes a buyer 15 seconds to form an opinion about your home.

My goal is to not simply sell your home, but to help you realize the best price obtainable for your home in the shortest amount of time.  To help achieve this goal, Coldwell Banker has an exclusive Home Enhancement Guide.  

Let me help you make sure that first impression is a good one.  Contact me for your free Home Enhancement Guide.


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Selling a Home in Southeast Texas: Windstorm Certificates

If you are planning to buy or sell a home in Jefferson County, Texas, you will want to learn about Windstorm insurance.  Jefferson County is one of the Designated Catastrophe Areas by the Texas Department of Insurance.  Sounds scary right?  Here's a map showing the Designated Catastrophe Areas. 

Windstorm areas

In reality, its not that scary but you will want to know a few things before you buy or sell a home in Jefferson County.  First, does the home have a windstorm certificate.   You can find out by going to the Texas Department of Insurance Search for Windstorm Certificate page on their website.

If the home you are selling or buying has a windstorm certificate then breathe a sigh of relief.  It will be easier to get insurance and less expensive. 

Working with a local professional REALTOR can help you save time avoid many common mistakes.   If you would like more information about buying or selling a home in Southeast Texas, contact me.  I'm currently accepting new listings and would be happy to help you sell your home.

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How Many Days does it take to Sell a House in Southeast Texas?

2014 days on market

If you are thinking about selling your home in Southeast Texas it is a good idea to plan ahead.  Most homes on average take about 119 days to sell.  That's the time from listing in the MLS to the closing date.  Give yourself about three months on average to sell your home.  *Data from the Southeast Texas MLS.

Want to be moving in April?  Then January is the right time to list your home.  Keep in mind 146 homes sold in less than 30 days but 843 took longer than 120 days to sell. 

If you are interested in learning more about selling your home, contact me for a professional valuation on the price your home will sell for and the length of time it will be on the market. 


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Selling a Home in Southeast Texas, August 2014

How do you know how much your home is worth?  How do you know how long it will take to sell?  These are two important pieces of information when it comes to selling a home in Southeast Texas or anywhere for that matter. 

 2014 Aug Home Sales

As the chart above shows, it took 114 days on average to sell a home in August.  You can also see 13 homes sold in less than 30 days.  Why do some sell so fast?  The three primary factors that affect sales time are location, price and condition. 

What will your home sell for?  Well, the average sales price in the Southeast Texas MLS was $156,619.  There were 12 sales under $29,999 and 1 sales above $500,000.  The best way to determine the price of your home is with a professional valuation.  A REALTOR, like myself- with access to the local market data is the best person to call when you need to determine the value of your home. 

Other sources of value information that you can look at for guidance are your local appraisal district and internet valuation website such as Zillow.  However, take care when using either of these.  The value they place on your home could be off by a lot.  Its fun to look at other sources of information but when you are ready to sell, contact a professional.  Contact me.  I offer professional home valuations at no cost to you and no obliagation.  You can reach me on my cell at 409-504-9097.  

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Finding Homes with Owner Financing in Southeast Texas

The topic of owner financing is a popular one.  In fact, the posts on the blog that get the most responses tend to be the posts about finding homes that offer owner financing.  We all know the banks and big lenders are harder to work with than ever.  Qualifying standards haven't been this strict in years.  This has led to a group of potential home buyers that can't buy a home through the traditional lenders. 

The only hope for these buyers is Owner Financing.  From time to time, it is interesting to see just how many home owners that are trying to sell their homes are willing to offer owner financing.  Take a look at this chart.

Owner finance 

Out of the 2,700 plus homes that are for sale through the Beaumont MLS, at this time only 41 offer owner financing as an option for the buyer to purchase. 

"Just less than 2% of all homes listed offer owner financing at this time."

Here's 3 other noteworthy statistics about homes that offer owner financing in the Southeast Texas real estate market:

  1. The average price is $138,430
  2. The average days on the market is 153 which is a little higher than the overall average number of days on the market.
  3. You can buy new construction with owner financing through a few home builders.

Kelley Family Investments is building new homes in Wolf Creek.  This builder offers owner financing.  His terms are pretty reasonable.  Home prices are in the middle 100's. 

Three other things to think about before you buy a home with owner financing:

  1. Sellers are going to charge a higher interest rate than the banks.  On average expect to pay 7-10% in interest.
  2. Every seller can set their own terms.  For example, some sellers may finance for 20 years.  Others may want a payoff in 5 years with a balloon payment.
  3. As a buyer will you pay for an appraisal?  Its not a requirement with owner financing

There are a lot of things to consider when you decide to look for homes that offer owner financing.  .  With only about 2% of the homes for sale in Southeast Texas even offering owner financing, its not an easy way to find and buy a home.  It can be done but be prepared for the challenges. 

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March Home Sales: Median Prices and Average Days on the Market

Here's the top five things you should know about March home sales in Southeast Texas:

  1. 142 homes sold
  2. $119,500 was the median price
  3. 148 days is the average number of days it took for those homes to sell
  4. 47 of the sales were paid for with cash
  5. 43 buyers used conventional financing and 40 used FHA financing

Take a look at this:

March Sales 

148 sales for the month of March falls short of the 182 sales in March of 2010.  Even March of 2009 (183 sales) and March of 2008 (178) sales outpaced the month of March 2011. 

It continues to be a tough market for sellers in Southeast Texas.  Homes now average just two days shy of five months on the market.  Its more important than ever to price your home correctly from the start.  Homes get the most activity early on.  If there are no offers in the first two months adjust your price.  The longer a home stays on the market the less appealing it becomes to the buyers that are out there. 

Want more advice on how to sell your Southeast Texas home?  I serve all three MLS's in Southeast Texas.  Call me today for a complimentary market analysis and pricing strategy.

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Beaumont's Most Expensive Home Sales

Dollar bill house

Since January 1, 2011 the high end housing market has been anything but hot but there's something that might surprise you about the high end homes that have sold this year.

First, a quiz question!

 How many homes have sold so far this year with a price tag of $500,000 or higher?  Here's your choices:

  • A) 10
  • B) 17
  • C)  4
  • D   1

If you answered "C" or the number 4 you are right.  Pat yourself on the back.  Its a tough market for sellers with high end properties.  There are currently 48 homes for sale in the Beaumont MLS with asking prices of $500,000 or higher.  Now, if you do a little math on that it means we have an excess supply of high end homes in Beaumont, Texas at the moment. 

Four things to know about Southeast Texas' most expensive homes that have sold in 2011.

  1. All four are located in Beaumont.  Three were in the W 2 and one was in W4.
  2. One was new construction, built by Bill Little and it sold for the asking price of $529,000.
  3. Two seller's accepted offers more than 10% off their asking price.
  4. Three of the homes sold in less than 115 days.  The market average is about 115 days.

Of course, there is more data I could share about Southeast Texas's most expensive home sales but I'll save it for another day.  Remember, no matter what your home buying budget is you will get the best deal when you work with a professional who knows the local Southeast Texas residential housing market.  That's where I can help. Call me when you are ready to start you home search. 


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4 Model Home Tricks to Help You Sell Your Southeast Texas Home

Magic trick

If you have ever talked through a model home then you know they are designed to lure in buyer's with their appeal.  Builders hire interior designers and spend thousands of dollars making sure their model homes give off the best possible vibe. 

Did you know as a home seller in Southeast Texas you can use a few simple tricks of the professionals to help your home sell?

Here's four tips/tricks that will help you sell your home faster and for a better price:

  1. The First Impression!  Research shows that a buyer has formed a lasting impression of your home within the first 15 seconds.  Here's what to do.  Put effort into the first room the buyer sees when they walk in the door.  Grab them right away and create a favorable impression.
  2. Create a neutral environment!  The best way to make a buyer "feel at home" is to pay attention to the colors the buyer will see, the smells they will smell, and the sounds they will hear.  If any of these are distracting (ie: outdated or bold colors, odors, loud TV's or radios) they will distract the buyer from your home.
  3. De-clutter to Create Space!   Over the years homeowners collect an amazing amount of stuff.  You might not even notice how full your home seems to a prospective buyer.  Take this tip, de-clutter.  We have a saying in real estate "clutter eats equity".  If you home seems crowded it makes the rooms seem small.  When you are trying to sell, its time to box stuff up and put it away.  You might even want to move some furniture to storage. 
  4. Small Details Have Impact!  A house that shows poorly as a result of an overgrown lawn, peeling paint, or simply dirt and dust may create an overall feeling that the house has not been well cared for.  Buyers will start looking for other potential problems if they notice many small details that have been neglected.  Before marketing your home for sale take a good close look at how you can touch up, clean up the simple things. 

Southeast Texas home sellers are facing a lot of competition right now.  We have more homes for sale than we currently have buyers to buy them.  You have to assume the same buyer that looks at your home will have at least five or more comparable homes to look at also.  In order to sell your home at the best price in the faster time it has to stand out. 

If you need more professional guidance on how to sell your Southeast Texas home, contact me for a free home enhancement guide.  I'll work to help you get the best price in a time frame that works for your needs.  Call me today and let's get started.

Photo Credit:  "Magic Trick", Troy Holden


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