Home Buying in Austin>Question Details

Jon Huffingt…, Home Buyer in Austin, TX

As a buyer, looking for a home, what is the best way to tell realtors that you are looking for a specific home?

Asked by Jon Huffington, Austin, TX Wed Feb 5, 2014

I am pre-approved and ready to buy. My agent and I have been looking for a few weeks, but the inventory is just so low that there hasn't been much out there. I have a pretty specific area and price point I'm looking at, so I thought it might be helpful to let agents what I'm looking for so I if they have a client that meets that criteria and is looking to sell we could possibly make a deal. One of the advantages I have is that I don't need to be in the home at any specific time; if they needed 6 months to rent the home, I'm fine with that. Would the mass emails to agents be something that would be worthwhile, if it were coming from a buyer? My agent says he doesn't look at them much, but wouldn't be opposed to doing it. What's your take? Any other ideas?

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That is what a GOOD buyer agent should be doing anyway. In a market with few homes for sale, you need to go find those willing to sell that have not made the plunge to list yet.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 5, 2014
Hello Jon, First, I wish you great success with your home purchase. Austin is a challenging market for Buyers in certain areas. It is common in Austin to see "Coming Soon" signs in the yard, so driving the desired area might uncover opportunities. There are about 9000 Agents in the Austin area,perhaps only a few that might list a home in your desired area. Your Agent probably knows of the "usual suspects" and might contact them to let them all know about your criteria. Perhaps one thing to remember about getting to homes prior to them entering the general market is, as a Seller, would you expect to receive more, the same or less for your home if a Buyer approaches prior to entering the market? In a Hot market area, I would suspect that a Seller might expect to receive a higher amount for their home from such a situation. I have witnessed a situation that the Seller had an offer in hand, then entered the market to "shop" for a better offer knowing that they had at least a certain price from the 1st offer, they were able to leverage other Buyers into a higher price. It appears that you can be patient, which provides you with flexibility. Concerning mass emails to Agents, since the local board sells our email lists, I receive many, many solicitation emails so one more might not be noticed. Depending upon the size of your desired area, your Agent may be able to investigate our system for homes that have previously sold (3-5+ years ago) that are of the desired size/# of bedrooms,etc, and send a letter to the owners indicating that there is a Buyer that might be interested if you are planning to sell in the next 6 months. I did this a few years ago and actually found a owner that had just been transferred and now needed to sell. All the best! Dugg
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 6, 2014
Thanks so much for the advice, I appreciate it.
Flag Thu Feb 6, 2014
I think an email from your agent to specific agents that specialize in that area is an excellent way to go.

Example: I just received an email from an agent yesterday, asking if I happened to know of any listings coming on the market in my area. Turns out I am listing a home next week that might work for them. They are going to be previewing it before it hits the MLS.

If your agent isn't willing to do these things, then maybe you need to find another agent.

Another thing I do for buyers (when we're not finding enough to choose from) -- I go through all the expired and withdrawn listings for that area from the past 1-2 years. It's possible there are sellers out there that gave up selling a year ago (when the market was not as good). Maybe they are thinking of selling again... who knows? It doesn't hurt.

I also send out letters to homeowners in that neighborhood saying I have a prequalified buyer, looking for XYZ, and would they be interested in selling?

In this Seller's market, it's not enough for a Buyer's Agent to just search the MLS and wait for listings to come up. We have to go the extra mile.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 5, 2014
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