Real Estate Industry

Austin Market Update

Every month we create an infographic, per the Austin Board of REALTORS, that summarizes key statistics in the real estate industry in Austin. As we can see, the real estate industry in Austin has been stable in January 2020 (in comparison to January 2019). While the average price of single-family homes decreased slightly (1%), there was a 2% increase in the number of single-family homes. One of the biggest changes between the years was the average days on market from 71 days in 2019 to 61 days in 2020 (a 14% decrease!). We see this trend reflected at Gene Arant, with many homes barely hitting the market before they are sold.

For our Steiner Ranch residents, we analyze the Woods at Four Points neighborhood specifically. The number of homes sold in Steiner...


What is TREC?

The Texas Real Estate Commission, also known as TREC, is the governing body over all Texas real estate agents, brokers, inspectors and even home warranty companies.  Since Texas law requires that the following information be readily available to all prospective buyers, tenants, sellers and landlords, we are posting to our blog so you can easily find it.

The purpose of this information is to assist homebuyers and sellers in understanding the terminology and rules that govern the industry. It is a code of ethics, if you will, and it is always advisable to familiarize yourself with the industry-specific rules and terms before entering into any transaction. The Gene Arant Team takes this code quite literally and we see this as the very basis of our duty to our clients. Our goal is to exceed our clients’ expectations and to ensure that...

New home buying legislation effective 10-3-15

Mortgages are complicated often causing confusion for many homebuyers. There are multiple disclosure forms, overlapping information and lengthy fine print. To reduce complexity and create transparency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is implementing new disclosure rules that will:

  • Condense multiple forms and requirements into two forms
  • Use plain language
  • Outline key points integral to the transaction from a consumer standpoint
  • Provide clearer understanding of associated costs

What does this mean if you are buying or selling a home? Primarily, this policy will ensure that consumers no longer review paperwork for the first time when sitting down at the closing table. Consumers will now receive final documentation three days before final closing providing sufficient time to review, understand and ask questions before signing.

Most of this new documentation will be done electronically and should, in theory reduce paperwork....

Roles of a Real Estate Agent

Statistics show that 80% of real estate agents go out of business in two years. What does it take to sustain and be a long time agent? Being adaptable and having a service-oriented mindset is key.

Common misconception is that real estate agents get licensed, talk to neighbors and work on the 3 P’s: 

  1. place a sign in the yard,
  2. put the listing on MLS,
  3. pray it sells.

All sarcasm aside, the real estate industry is competitive and underestimated in the amount of knowledge and effort that goes into selling homes – hence the high rate of failure. 

A longstanding agent needs to have a variety of skill sets to keep clients happy. To successfully navigate an average day, an agent will operate in multiple capacities including, but not limited to: a SME (Subject Matter Expert), Negotiator, Marketer, Investigator, Statistician, Fiduciary, Protector, Consultant, Advocate and Friend.

Some roles are obvious and need no explanation....

Trusted Resources

Technology facilitates many of today’s transactions. You can research a product, find the best price available, determine the location of purchase and even procure online. However, the more expensive the item or service, the more consumers want to speak to someone reliable before purchasing.

The Internet has a place in real estate.  Clients often ask about Trulia and Zillow. With realtor sites and the aforementioned commercial sites, the Internet is a good place to begin your search. It allows you to research neighborhoods, taxes, schools and pricing, on your timeline – 24/7.

Information is powerful and will impact your decisions. However, not all of the information found on the Internet is valid. Knowing the difference between the two is important. Research learned from the Internet should be verified and discussed with your real estate agent to determine accuracy.

For example, below are three different properties sold and listed on Zillow...

Affordability & Perspective in Real Estate

Inflation is presumable over a 25-year period. Historical observation of consumer pricing of basic goods/services shows that consistently, prices increase over time. That is a factually safe statement and typically true in all markets. Review the chart below. It reinforces that theory…until you read the last line: the anomaly being current mortgage rates.

Avg. Price                              1989                           2014

Car                                       $15,350                     ...

Economic Influences on Texas Housing Market

It is a new year and there is plenty of movement associated with the economy and the housing market. While we are still in the month of January, the past few weeks have seen a great amount of change.

As a quick recap, 2014 was a good year. The nation’s economy grew by almost 5% instead of the steady 2% we have felt for the past six years. Job growth is gaining momentum and we are seeing an increase in wages. Business investment is up nearly 9% and consumer confidence continues to rise with it.

For Texas, the drop in oil prices has a positive effect on consumers yet has a negative impact on business and local economy. While the nation’s economy will experience the benefits of lower oil prices (it cost less to fill your tank so you have more money to spend on other things) Texas is an oil/energy state and many jobs are dependent on the price of a barrel of oil.  During the recession, Texas – Austin in particular - has been one of the leading cities nationally in economic recovery and job growth adding 421,900...