Agent Robin Real Estate

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Robin Brooks (AgentRobin)
cell: (512) 662-3550
email: robin@agentrobin.com
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Selling your Home


(512) 662-3550
Robin@agentRobin.com

Client Reviews
Your home is a huge part of your life, both financially and emotionally. So the decision to sell a house is not one to be made lightly. You need to determine a marketing strategy. Price the house to attract buyer interest. There are a million other details to sort out. Partner with your local agent. You can depend on Coldwell Banker to guide you through your house selling process with confidence. As a recipient of the Women’s Choice Award® as a “9 out of 10 Customer Recommended Real Estate Agency”, Coldwell Banker has been recognized as a real estate leader in customer experience and overall quality. The Women’s Choice Award identifies and promotes America’s most recommended brands.


We’re Changing the Way You Sell Your Home Marketing and selling a home has entered the future with the game-changing CBx app. Only Coldwell Banker® affiliated agents have access to this state-of-the-art app, helping to set the most accurate price for homes by combining big data with price adjustment tools that reflect the home’s unique features.


What is CBx?
CBx uses the power of technology to give your Coldwell Banker agent a distinct advantage over other agents in quickly selling your home. It gives them more accurate market knowledge, advanced pricing tools, and access to in-depth housing data to make the selling process quick, enjoyable and more successful for you, their client.


More Accurate Pricing
CBx uses data from Coldwell Banker Intelligence to give your agent local information on housing and home value trends, while data from Realtors Property Resource allows them to make customized price adjustments based on the home’s amenities. The result is the most accurate price for your listing.

Locate the Right Buyers Using Big Data
Big Data is the processing of massive amounts of information to improve analysis, and it’s at the heart of CBx’s advantage to you. Your agent can give you a detailed demographic breakdown by age, income, family size and more. Using sources such as U.S. Census Bureau data to give you a precise snapshot of the prospective buyer of your home.

Strategically Market Your Listing to the Ideal Buyer
Once CBx tells your agent who your buyer is, they can now design a targeted marketing plan that only focuses on the best prospective buyers. It’s more efficient, more effective, and in the end, the best way to sell your house quickly, at the best price. Put the power of CBx to work for you, call your local Coldwell Banker Real Estate agent today.

Information For Sellers

A skilled agent will make the selling process easy. I have the motivation, experience and knowledge to help you achieve your goals.

The Selling Process

An outline of the steps.

Listing Agent Services

What it means to "list" your home and the services I provide to sellers.

Pricing Your Home

No other factor has more impact on the successful sale of your home.

Preparing Your Home for Sale

A list of tips.

Staging

What staging is and example photos

What Is My Home Worth?

Let me help you determine your home's current value.

Resources

Links to useful websites.

1


"Making the decision to sell your home and begin the process can be very daunting. It's hard to know exactly where to start or what to expect when selling your home for the first time. You may have friends or family that can give you the benefit of their experience, unfortunately that also means you may have to listen to one or two "nightmare" stories. The process, with a little bit of effort and attention, really should go smoothly if you're educated, prepared and have a professional agent guiding you through it. Here are some basic steps outlining the sale process. I'd be happy to discuss it with you - even if you're not ready to sell right now."


The Selling Process


Step 1
When do want to sell? When do you want to move (not always the same as when you want to sell)? Are you willing/able to do any repairs? Desired terms of selling besides price, etc…

Step 2
Choose your listing agent. See Listing With An Agent for more information on how to choose an agent, what agreements you'll fill out with them and what services you can expect from real estate agents.

Step 3
Find out what your home is worth with a current Market Analysis. I'm happy to provide you a complementary Market Analysis. Just click on the link to fill out the form. Also see Pricing Your Home for much more information on this topic. Your agent will assist you in coming to a reasonable asking price for your home.

Step 4
The next step is to make your house ready to sell. Try walking through your house as if you're the buyer. View everything, from the front door to your bedroom closet through a buyers eyes. Check out a few open houses in your neighborhood if you really want to get a sense for the condition and appearance of other homes for sale. Get unbiased opinions from your friends or your agent. You don't have to do everything they suggest, it's just nice to have fresh eyes see your home. Get detailed information on getting your house ready in the Preparing Your Home for Sale page.

Step 5
Not only do you need to prepare your home to sell, but you should also prepare yourself, pets and family for having buyers coming in and out of your home. For example, if you have a rowdy dog, you may consider having a friend watch it for a couple weeks. You can generally set times you'd like people to view your house, but the truth is that the more viewing hours permitted the more exposure your house will get. While it isn't necessary that you leave for every showing, buyers feel more comfortable looking around if you aren't sitting on the couch watching them. Your agent will also generally set up some times to have open houses that you usually would not be at.

Step 6
Negotiate and accept the contract. I will assist you in understanding the pros and cons of particular offers. I will also handle all the negotiating and paperwork. The buyer's offer will most likely be subject to an inspection, so you will need to be flexible to let their inspector come into your home for a few hours. Their offer might also be subject to them obtaining financing and, in that case, their appraiser may need to come out to view your home as well. In either case, I will handle getting them into your home during the day. Part of negotiations can include doing repairs. In that case, you would need to have someone do the work (or do it yourself) and then allow the buyer to come back in to inspect the completed work.

Step 7
As soon as the purchase and sale agreement is signed by all buyer(s) and seller(s), escrow is set up and working in the background to get your transaction ready to close. See The Closing Process for more information on this process. A few days before your sale is scheduled to close, you will need to go into escrow and sign all the necessary documents to transfer title to the Buyer. You will receive a HUD statement detailing all your costs. See Example HUD for more information. Once the sale has been recorded with the County, your check or direct deposit will be delivered to you. You are finished!

Step 8
Time to move into your next home!

2


"Read below to find out what it means to "list" your home and the services I provide to sellers."


Listing Agent Services


What is a "Listing"? A Listing is when you create a written agreement with a real estate agent to represent you in the sale of your home. The Listing Agent then has the task of marketing your home, putting it on the MLS, being your advisor and advocate, negotiating on your behalf, completing Purchase & Sale contracts with you and walking the sales transaction through to closing. In exchange for their services, you agree in a Listing Agreement to pay the Listing Agent a specific commission if they bring you an offer from a "ready, willing and able" buyer. Commissions are paid at closing from the proceeds of the sale.

A very powerful tool that is available to real estate agents is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It is essentially an online database of thousands of properties for sale all across the country. Agents working with buyers scan it daily for new listings that meet the needs of their clients. When your Listing Agent lists your home on the MLS they essentially multiply your sales force. Now you don't just have your Listing Agent working to get your home sold, you have hundreds of agents in the area doing it. If one of those agents represents the buyer in purchasing your home your Listing Agent will generally split their commission with the buyer's agent.

What is a "Listing Agreement"? A Listing Agreement is a contract between the seller, their Listing Agent and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The Listing Agreement states all pertinent information about the property, including price it will be listed at, any personal property included with the sale, any real property not included with the sale, any special showing arrangements (i.e. hours), amount you agree to pay in commission, duration of Listing contract, permission for your agent to put your home on the MLS and internet, etc.

Can you sell your home without an agent? Sure. But generally it is harder, more stressful, will take longer and you won't get as high of a price. Over 80% of homes are sold through a Listing Agent. Out of the other 20%, some are sold within already-established relationships, like selling to a family member or a tenant. The rest are sold FSBO, also known as For Sale By Owner. Here are some reasons why homes have a better chance of selling if listed through a Listing Agent:

  • Since most homes are sold through agents, most agents representing buyers look on the MLS for homes. They don't seek alternative methods like newspapers - which is the primary avenue that FSBOs have to market their properties.

  • Another reason that buyer's agents just look for homes on the MLS is that homes listed on the MLS have an agreed-upon commission stated up front. In other words the buyer's real estate agent knows they will get paid for their efforts. Bringing a buyer to a property listed in the Seattle Times is risky for an agent because there is no contract binding the seller to pay them a commission. They could be working for nothing...not very motivating for most people!

  • Yet another reason that buyer's agent don't bring clients to FSBO properties is that the homes listed on the MLS have a lockbox (a box that contains the house key that agents can access) while FSBO properties do not. It is much easier for an agent to view homes with their clients if they can just get in with their own key. Making appointments with owners who will have to be there to let them in is a hassle. You'll miss out on potential buyers because their agents will just skip your home.

  • Being a buyer's agent on a FSBO property always ends up being more work for the buyer's agent as well. Not only are they educating their own client, many times they end up educating the seller on contracts and the escrow process. And they have to handle every detail from both sides - not just for their own clients. They suddenly doubled their work for the same commission.



An alternative that alleviates some of the above issues is using flat fee listing services. This is where you pay approximately $500 - $1,000 to rent a lockbox and have your property listed on the MLS. With this option, you would still agree to pay the buyer's agent commission - typically 3%. This allows your home to be marketed in the MLS. However issues still exist with this option as well.
 

  • Some buyer's agents have a very poor image of flat listing fee services and will not take their buyers to those listings, so you will still be missing out on some of your market. These agents think they will still end up doing twice as much work. And agents may think that if the seller is so cheap that they aren't willing to pay for a regular listing then they will be difficult to negotiate with and a hard person to work with.

  • Unless you thoroughly understand all the contracts and escrow process, you can really make drastic mistakes that could cost you lots of money or a sale since there is no one advising you on what to agree to and what to negotiate on the purchase and sale agreement. Beyond signing the wrong thing, even saying the wrong thing in front of the buyer's agent could end up being a liability. It's a risky position to be in.

  • Unless you hire an agent or an appraiser to give you an estimation of your home's value, you could price your house too high or too low. That can be a lot more devastating than you think. See Pricing Your Home. I've seen it time and again where a seller lists with a flat fee service, their home doesn't sell because they don't have the marketing or pricing experience, they end up listing with an agent eventually anyway and then (since the house has now been listed twice and sat for a length of time) prospective buyers assume the seller is desperate and they offer a low price. Listing information stays on the MLS for two years - even after the house has sold, cancelled or expired. All agents will see the history of your home and your attempts to sell it.

  • You have no one negotiating for you or looking out for your best interests. The buyer has a professional in the field of real estate and negotiating and you are on your own.

Commissions may seem like a lot, but you are paying for the education and experience of a professional. If you pay a lawyer $200 an hour to prepare a form for you, you may think that seems like a lot just to fill out a piece of paper. However, that lawyer has had years of education and experience that tells him the advantages and disadvantages of filling it out in a particular way. He knows exactly what to do, say and write that is in your best interest with the law in mind. I don't know about you, but I'd rather pay the lawyer than personally read thousands of pages of law books to learn what they knows and still risk making errors. In recent years, the process of selling a home has become much more complicated. With the 1997 change in Washington State Agency Law, ALL agents, except the Listing Agent, represent the Buyer in a purchase transaction unless specifically stated to the contrary. Have someone on your side too - there are rarely any buyers without agents on their side.

Invest in a professional and the whole experience can be easy, stress-free, exciting and net you more money than you could get if you attempted to do it yourself.

Services I provide to get your home sold:


  • Assist you in determining the most marketable price for your home. To get a free Market Analysis right now, just click the link and fill out the questionnaire.

  • Suggest improvement tips to enhance the positive aspects of your home. I'm in numerous homes every single day and have the experience to know what stands out (good and bad) in a home from the buyer's point-of-view.

  • Professionally market your home.

  • Develop extensive internet exposure for your home.

  • Arrange immediate installment of a For Sale yard sign with a flyer box.

  • Create a highly professional MLS listing with beautiful photos of your home.

  • >Saturate the real estate community (agents, brokers, appraisers, etc) with information on your home.

  • >Bring you qualified buyers.

  • >Host a broker open house (for agents only) and public open houses.

  • Provide you feedback on how many people have viewed your home and what they thought of it, as well as how many agents have viewed your listing on the MLS.

  • Represent your best interests and consult with you regarding negotiation on all offers.

  • Assist you with calculating your proceeds from the sale.

  • Foresee, mitigate and handle any issues that come up throughout the listing.

  • Oversee the entire closing process.

  • Listen to you and do my very best to alleviate your concerns and achieve your desires.

  • Communicate as much or as little as you like - and in whatever fashion you prefer (in person, phone, email).

  • Educate you on any aspect of the process that you care to know more about.

  • Build a trusting, respectful, educational and fun relationship with you.

3


"So, you're thinking of selling your home? Determining its value is one of the early steps in the selling process. And it is VERY important to get right. See below for a discussion of why this is so crucial. There is a narrow margin between getting the most for your property without asking too much and getting what's appropriate for your property without asking too little. There are several ways to determine the value of a home:"


Pricing Your Home


  • A Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) is an estimate of market value performed by a real estate agent based on similar homes' sale prices. Other factors such as how long it took similar homes to sell, originally-listed-price to actual-sale-price ratios, condition and asking price history will all be taken into consideration when preparing a CMA and determining an asTravis price for your home. A good agent will spend several hours worTravis on your CMA. If you are interested in obtaining a free CMA I would be happy to provide you one. Just click the link or call to provide me some information about your home. I can also give you listing information for houses that are currently on the market for sake of comparison - although these should not be relied on too heavily since a sales price is not yet established. An asking price is a seller's advertised price, a figure that usually is only a rough estimate of what the house will actually sell for. Some sellers choose an asking price higher, lower or close to what they hope to get. See below for a few pros and cons of each approach.

  • You can also use Public Records to try to determine your home's market value on your own. In the Seattle area there are a number of website that provide public information about home selling prices and basic stats all derived from Travis County's public records. Please see my Resources page. When someone buys a home the property is deeded from the seller to the buyer and the deed is recorded with the Travis County's Recorders Office. These records usually contain sales price, house and lot square footage and number of bed and bathrooms. However many times the square footage is stated incorrectly - sometimes including basement square footage and sometimes not for example. The online county records also lag 1 to 2 months behind actual home sales. These sites also provide very limited information and do not tell you about the condition and quality of the comparable properties. You can drive by and view the exterior, but only a real estate agent or an appraiser would have access to information about the interior. This information is contained in the MLS - a database of active and sold properties with pictures, descriptions, correct square footage and many details about the home that you cannot find elsewhere.

  • An appraisal is a professional estimate of a property's market value based on recent sales of comparable properties, location, square footage and various other factors. This service is performed by a professional appraiser and generally costs $300-400. Lenders require appraisals as part of the loan process. When you are selling, your buyer will generally need to have an appraisal done of your home. They will pay the cost for this.

No matter how much investigating you do yourself, when you're ready to sell you should get a professional opinion about your home's value. Agents and appraisers have experience doing this as a business and know the market and nuances about value. Again, I'd be happy to provide you a Comparable Market Analysis.


**************************************
Price - The Crucial Factor

No single factor has more impact on the successful sale of your property than pricing. The price at which you choose to list your home will determine whether or not your home sells in a timely fashion, or sits on the market. It's a given that every home seller wants top dollar for their property, but determining a realistic asking price up front will ensure a quick sale and a great price, and there will also be a greater likelihood of competing offers. A home that's priced too high will sit on the market and after a while people start to wonder "What's wrong with that house? It's been on the market FOREVER!"

In a traditional market, a properly priced home should sell within 30 to 60 days of listing. Not only will an over-priced home take longer to sell, it is also likely to sell for less than it's actual value. Buyers tend to discount listings with longer than average market times. Typically, the seller realizes that it is fruitless and often times costly to continue asking for such a high price, reduces the price and eventually sells the home, sometimes for less than the revised asking price. Obviously, pricing your home to low will result in less money in your pocket. A balance between value and price must be found.

When pricing your home consider:

  • There is no such thing as an "exact price" in real estate.

  • An agent does not determine the "worth" of your home, the market determines the value. An agent just utilizes an in-depth knowledge of the market to reasonably assess what price the market will bear for your home.

  • The majority of showings by agents on a new listing occur within the first week or two that the house is placed on the market. Once this group has seen the property, showing activity decreases primarily to only those buyers new to the market. Therefore, it is important to position your home at the best price during its first market exposure. "There is no second chance to make a first impression."

  • Buyers decide what to purchase by shopping, comparing and selecting the best value they can find. If your home is overpriced, it may be used to make competing listings seem more attractive.


So how do you know what the right price is? Price is determined by several key factors:

  • Location

  • Condition

  • Style

  • Comparable Properties

  • Market Conditions and the Economy

An experienced real estate agent will take all these factors into consideration in determining a realistic asking price for your home. Remember, there is a narrow margin between getting the most for your property without asking too much and getting what's appropriate for your property without asking too little. Beware of agents whose opinion of value is considerably higher than others. They are probably just trying to get your business and will end up lowering the price once it's on the market anyway. It is important to make sure the price is attractive enough to still attract serious offers. You need an agent that will spend the time involved in getting the CMA right - someone who understands just how crucial that initial market price is. I'm happy to provide a complimentary Comparable Market Analysis for you. Besides, whether you're interested in moving now, three months from now, or three years from now, it's helpful information to have.

4


"I'm not one of those agents that will tell you that you have to paint your home before I list it. Never! All homes will sell whether they are smelly, run down, outdated, cluttered, you name it. The price it will sell for, however, is a different story. The final sale price will absolutely be a reflection of the quality, cleanliness and style of your home."


Preparing Your Home for Sale


Do you mind getting a lower price on the sale just because there is too much furniture in the house and the carpet smells like dogs? It's up to you - I'm not judgmental. My job is to represent you in the sale of your home while meeting your needs and objectives. I will provide suggestions and recommendations on how to maximize the value of your home but it is ultimately your decision. It can be very worthwhile to do some inexpensive little things that make a huge difference in improving the desirability of your home. Research shows that buyers look for very specific features. Your attention to these details will dramatically impact the speed and price at which your home sells.

Because I see numerous homes on a daily basis, I have experience in what sells and doesn't, what turns buyers away and what they 'ooh' and 'ahh' about. I can recommend specific things that will improve your chances of getting your home sold quickly and for the highest price. It is always up to you whether you would like to do those things or not. While in your home, I can quickly tell you what will stand out to buyers as a negative factor. As a starting point, below is a summary list of things to think about as you prepare your house for sale. These are only suggestions!

Note: If you are moving from your home before it goes on the market, I recommend staging it with a few of your own decorations and furnishings or having a professional staging company do it. It makes a huge difference to the sale. Home staging is a service that I offer - whether you are a real estate client of mine or not. See my Staging webpage.

If you are interested in learning more about maximizing the sale price of your home, see my Suggested Home Sale Preparation and Improvements webpage.

5


Staging is the art of getting a home ready to sell by arranging your living space to enhance its features and create warm and inviting rooms. Staging will transform your house into a home that buyers want to live in. It will result in a quicker sale at a higher price. It is important for vacant homes, but is also useful for a home you currently live in. Potential buyers decide within moments of seeing the photos or walking through the front door whether or not they like what they see. First impressions are everything!


Staging


For a vacant house: Vacant homes can be hard to sell. They are uninviting and don't feel like a home at all. With hardwood floors they may echo like a cave. Without furniture, rooms can actually appear smaller. A stager can bring in furniture and accessories to make the space feel like a home. There is little to no ambience in a vacant home! (see example pictures below) For a house you live in: After doing a walk-through, I can give you a detailed analysis of your home's attractions, as well as the trouble spots - from curb appeal, to a room-by-room assessment. I can advise you on how to specifically show off your home to make a premiere presentation. Clutter elimination, organizing, colors, furniture layout, and lighting are just a few of the areas I consider. I can even suggest repairs or touch-ups that will gain you a quicker sale and higher profit. If you'd like to stage your home, I can recommend some professional staging companies. ** Food for thought: One of my real estate advisors once told me a story about when he was trying to sell all of the units in an 11-unit condominium building. He staged one of the units - the worst one - and it sold immediately. Then he moved the staging furnishings to the next desirable unit and it sold immediately. And so on. The catch with this story is that all 11 units were up for sale at the same time. Buyers just insisted each time on purchasing the unit that was staged. Of course, they weren't getting the furniture - they just fell in love with the feel of that unit. None of the units in that building sold before it was staged. Don't underestimate the power of what staging will do for your home! Staged homes sell faster and for more money than homes that are put on the market as is. A small investment in staging can increase the return on your most valuable asset. I believe that you will be amazed at the results of staging. Here are some pictures of a vacant home that I staged:

6


If you are thinking of selling your home and would like to know its current market value, please complete the following information. I'll get in touch with you to discuss.


What is my home's market value?



Optional Information

(The more information you can provide, the closer I can get to a correct value)



Links to resources on other websites:


Note: clicking on any of the below links will open a new viewing window in your browser and you will not lose this page.


Calculators:

Mortgage Calculator
Loan Payment Calculator
Debt to Income Ratio Calculator
FHA Loan mortgage-calculator
VA Loan Calculator
Which is better: Renting or Owning?


Important government websites:

Texas.gov Website (Driver's License / Vehicle Registration
Travis County Website
Travis County Tax Assesor (Property Tax)
City of Lakeway (Official Site)
Lakeway Solid Waste (Garbage Service)
City of Bee Cave (Official Site)
Rough Hollow HOA


Utility companies

ELECTRIC:
Pedernales Electric Coop

  • For emergencies and power interruptions: 888-883-3379
  • To speak with a representative: 888-554-4732
    Contact center hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • Automated payment system: 844-886-9798
  • Engineering/planning: 877-372-0391


WATER, SEWER, GARBAGE
Crossroad Utilities Service (Water/Sewage)
Contact Us

If you have questions about your bills, payments or need to submit an application for service please send to:

customerservice@crossroadsus.com

Office Hours: M-F 8am - 5pm

Crossroads Utility Services
2601 Forest Creek Dr
Round Rock, TX 78665

Phone: 512-246-1400
FAX: 512-246-1900

For Invoicing please send to:
invoicing@crossroadsus.com



City of Lakeway (Solid Waste)
You may call the Solid Waste Department at 512-314-7514 and set up new service over the phone or bring the above information to the Solid Waste Department located at 1102 Lohmans Crossing Road inside the City Hall building. The office is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


GAS
Direct Propane (Rough Hollow)
Phone: 512-276-7800
Fax: 512-276-7152
Toll Free: (800) 696-3493

POST OFFICE/MAIL
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1927 Lohmans Crossing Rd. Ste 102, Austin, TX 78738| BerkShire Hathaway Home Services. Equal Housing Opportunity.


All material presented herein is intended for information purposes only. While this information is believed to be correct, it is represented subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawal without notice. All property information, including, but not limited to square footage, room count,number of bedrooms and the school district in property listings are deemed reliable, but should be verified by your own attorney, architect or zoning expert. If your property is currently listed with another real estate broker, please disregard this offer. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real estate brokers. We cooperate with them fully.