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Laurie Flood is a Northwest Austin Realtor backed by Keller Williams Realty. She works with both home buyers and sellers.
ASKA FURNITURE EXPERT
SOME AUSTINAREA HOMEOWNERS HAVE RECEIVED TEXTS AND CALLS FROM INDIVIDUALS OFFERING TO PURCHASE THEIR HOMES. IS THIS A SCAM? WHAT IS THE TOP PRIORITY FOR SELLING IN TODAY’S MARKET? It’s not necessarily a scam because those people will buy their home (or know someone that will). Unfortunately, they are only looking for a ‘deal’ and have no intention of paying full market value for it. Now more than ever, sellers’ motivation should be doing everything they can to capture the highest sales price. Anything not over-priced sells quickly, but I’ve never seen such large sales price spreads between similar homes. Those homes that really capture the buyer’s attention get many oers and are bid up much higher than those that may only get one or two oers and sell for much less. Properly preparing the home, combined with excellent photography, staging and marketing can easily push the nal sales price up 10% over a similar home. HOW ACCURATE ARE MARKET ASSESSMENTS PROVIDED BY HOME INVENTORY WEBSITES AND PHONE APPS? HOW DO REALTORS WORK WITH INFORMATION LIKE THIS? Those assessments are further o than ever. In a very steady market those can usually be within 5%-10% of most home’s value. In this dynamic market, home prices are less predictable. If a home for sale gets ve competing oers, then the sales price is likely to be higher for a similar property that only received one oer. It’s not unusual to see 10% sales price dierences for similar properties. Computer algorithms can’t predict what caused the
disparity the way an experienced Realtor can. Realtors don’t spend too much time dealing with these automated values. It’s just raw data and an objective opinion. The home is where people spend most of their time and have a much more subjective value. An experienced Realtor can not only understand why one property may be more appealing to buyers than a similar property but they can also help the seller prepare their home in a way that will appeal to the most buyers. AUSTIN’S REAL ESTATE MARKET IS EXPERIENCING RECORD GROWTH, BUT ARE THERE WARNING SIGNS OF A “HOUSING BUBBLE” AT RISK OF BURSTING? WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT? There is always concern about a ‘bubble,’ but the cause of this run up—more people wanting homes than there are places for them to live, and builders unable to keep up with demand—is not going away anytime soon in fast-growing Austin. Because of this, I expect it to be more of a plateau of prices or slight drop as opposed to a major drop in prices. I recently looked at the last 30 years of Austin home prices and the largest year-over-year drop in prices we saw was just over 1%. This included the dotcom bubble and subprime real estate bubble, which were both signicant events in Austin. Because of the recent run up in prices, I expect to see a deceleration of prices going forward. Also, within the last week or so, there has been an increase in inventory in Northwest Austin like we have not seen in months—so there is a bit more for buyers to look at. The competition for available homes is still challenging, but it’s not as intense as it has been.
Brian Morgan is co-owner of three Austin’s Couch Potatoes and The Furniture Mall of Texas.
WHENBUYING FURNITURE, HOWSHOULD SOMEONE DETERMINE THEIR STYLE? Start with one piece and build out the room from there–sometimes we have a sentimental piece of furniture or a favorite chair, and that piece’s style can give you a springboard for the room. Another thought is to start with the largest piece– the sofa. Fall in love with the feel and look and then customize your size of the sofa or sectional. GIVEN THE ECONOMY, HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD SOMEONE PLAN THEIR FURNITURE PURCHASE? The whole world is moving to Austin, and that means demand is far outweighing supply. In addition, so many bottlenecks are aecting the manufacturing process of home furnishings–freight rates have tripled, foam shortages, soaring lumber prices, factories can’t get employees back to work, and ination rearing its ugly nose. At traditional furniture stores, plan to wait anywhere from 2 to 8 months for your furniture to arrive. For faster lead times, buy from locally-owned stores, and if possible, purchase furniture made in your own city–locally made furniture lead times are 4 to 6 weeks. HOWMUCH SHOULD SOMEONE INVEST IN A FURNITURE PIECE? WHAT IS THE HIGHEST PRIORITY WHEN DETERMINING PRICE POINT? A good rule of thumb is to match your current stage in life. For instance, if you are in college and in a temporary living situation, buy something that you can
ooad at the end of the semester. You don’t want to keep moving a sofa around and paying storage fees. Fifty-ve percent of Austinites live in apartments; they change their furniture every time they move. That’s becoming the norm. From $800-$1,200 is the average sofa spend on entry level furniture in our stores. If you spend less than that, expect short-term comfort and minimum quality. Highest priority when choosing price point is asking yourself the question “how long will I be keeping this sofa?” If you just bought a home, get it right; don’t settle for quick and cheap. You more than likely will be in that home for years, so invest in something that will be timeless and cater to the needs of those living under the roof rst—pets, kiddos, friends, fam. If you live under the roof you are decorating, don’t skimp on comfort and happiness. WHAT ARE SOME INNOVATIONS IN FURNITURE FABRICS? WHAT IS RIGHT FOR ME? My daughter is turning 5 this summer—we are getting a new puppy! So excited, but with that means new puppy messes. In addition to the kid messes and spills, sofas become art pieces, not to mention from my coee spills. We just ordered a sofa with a performance fabric. With this, we can unzip the cushions and throw them in the wash. We can spot clean with bleach even! This sofa is going to be a tank because we need to match the wear and tear it’s going to get with the strongest fabric on the market.
Laurie Flood Keller Williams Realtor 1215-8 Research Blvd., Ste. 100, Austin 512-576-1504 email@example.com www.laurieood.com
Brian Morgan Austin’s Couch Potatoes and The Furniture Mall of Texas co-owner 12901 N. I-35, Austin 512-886-1266 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thefurnituremall.com www.austincouches.com
NORTHWEST AUSTIN EDITION • JULY 2021
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