These are some common questions we get asked by people who are considering buying and/or selling property. If you have any other questions, please contact us.
We are always happy to help.
Why do you need a Realtor when selling?
- Not only do we have the means and experience to professionally market your property, but we will walk you through the entire selling process.
We will meet with you, view your home/property and discuss your families needs. The we will do a market analysis and find listed and sold properties that are comparable to your property. This will help us get a realistic idea of your property's value. After we establish your homes value we will market the property using both traditional methods along with the modern resources that put your property in front of all the online property hunters. We are members of both the Austin Board of Realtors and the Highland Lakes Association of Realtors MLS services, in addition to all the most used property search tools such as Truilia, Zillow, Realtor.com and landsoftexas.com.
Even without this extensive marketing, this is a very desirable area and there will be a lot of phone calls and emails to field and showings to schedule.We will handle all of this, making sure we know who views your home and follow up with everyone who takes a look. Once the offers start rolling in we will help you during the negotiations and make sure that your best interests are taken care of.
- Why do you need a realtor when buying?
If you are buying real estate, professional representation costs you nothing. Our commission is a percentage of the total commission paid for by the seller. Because it is easy for anyone to search and find their dream home, some people make the mistake in thinking a real estate professional is only important if you are selling property. However, if you contact a realtor that has a property listed (referred to as the listing agent), you become a CUSTOMER. They must disclose certain things, such as known defects, but make no mistake they are working for the seller. The seller is the realtor's CLIENT and they have an obligation to represent the sellers best interest. It is their legal duty to try and get them top dollar for their property and move the property as quickly and easily as possible. There is nothing wrong with this, but when viewing a property or drafting a contract, wouldn't you like a professional representing you and your best interest helping you?
-What factors determine land value?
The old real estate adage "Location, location, location!" still holds true and will always be a key factor. However, there is a lot more to the big picture than just location, and true value is usually a mixture of different factors. Take a waterfront lot on Lake Travis for example. Generally, a lakefront lot has a high value because of location and scarcity. What if 80% of the lot is in the flood plane and building a house becomes impossible or cost prohibitive? Say there is enough room to build a house but no city sewage and you have room for a septic system due to county regulations? You can see how property value can vary case by case. Some of the biggest determining factors are condition, access, water (lake, river, creek, tank), utility availability and mineral ownership.
-What is an agriculture/wildlife exemption?
Land that has a agriculture or wildlife exemption makes an excellent investment. Depending on what improvements have been done to the property the difference in property taxes can drop from THOUSANDS of dollars a year to HUNDREDS of dollars a year. The exemptions vary from county to county but generally, an Ag exemption requires a minimal number of acres and you must maintain a certain number of animal units on the property. A Wildlife exemption also requires a minimal amount of acreage and usually a yearly biologist report on the wildlife and its habitat. If purchasing property that has an exemption and you plan on changing usage however, be careful. You can be subject to 5 years of rollback taxes at the property's new tax rate plus interest. An example of this would be a developer buying a cattle ranch to build tract houses on. It is always best to know what you are planning to do with your property, and talk to the county tax office BEFORE you buy.
-What is a 1031 tax free exchange?
When selling one property in order to buy a different property a 1031 exchange is defiantly something you will want to look into. When you sell property you must pay a capitol gains tax. 1031 is a section of tax code that allows you to defer that tax as long as you are replacing is with "like-kind" property. The money you save will go into your investment instead of the federal government, substantially increasing your purchasing power. The tax is differed and not forgiven however, so when you cash out your investment you will eventually pay a capitol gains tax. We highly recommend using an intermediary during this process because when dealing with tax code a small mistake can cause be a nightmare. We have represented many sellers/buyers during the exchange process and have worked with some great intermediaries. They are worth every dollar. Check out our resources page for some intermediaries contact informtion and give them a call if you would like to know more.