Because an influx of jobs is boosting Austin, Texas' economy, the housing scene has grown into a seller's market. Locals, newcomers and investors are rushing to snatch properties, often leading to bidding wars that cause homes to sell above the list price. Thanks to this low-inventory, high-demand area, real estate experts believe that every home, at the right price, can sell quickly in Austin.
Yet, if you fail to properly prepare your property, you won't be able to list at your dream price and enjoy a sea of offers. To sell fast at an excellent price, you need direction from a qualified real estate agent who can educate you on the market, explain optimal home condition and provide a clear online and offline marketing plan.
The Austin real estate agents listed below are among those who sold the most Austin homes in the shortest time over the past year.
Aaron Jistel, ListingSpark
Aaron Jistel tells his sellers that it comes down to price, quality of the listing and exposure. For almost 12 years, the broker, cofounder and owner at ListingSpark has sold single-family homes from the northern tip of Georgetown all the way south of Kyle, and says he prides himself on knowing about Austin's different pockets. Jistel says he enjoys helping his clients understand the selling process and embraces using technology in all facets of his business. His company also has a unique commission structure where clients only pay for the exact amount of service they desire.
Jistel's Advice for Sellers: "Price your home well from the outset. We're in a strong market, and if you price well, buyers will show up. This gives you the best chance of getting into a multiple-offer situation and driving up the price that way."
Adrienne Laosa, Castle Hill Investments
Adrienne Laosa says she believes determining property value is an art, and to price right, an agent must sell enough properties in a specific area to understand its market and demand. As director of client services for Castle Hill Investments, Laosa has sold duplexes, fourplexes and single-family homes in Williamson, Travis and Hays counties. She loves meeting new people and says her down-to-earth personality helps her work easily with a variety of clients.
Laosa's Advice for Sellers: "Have a niche agent who specializes in what you're selling, and listen to them. Also, educate yourself on the comparable sales for your neighborhood, and try to look at your property as if you were an unattached third party."
Ashley Stucki, Ashley Austin Homes
Ashley Stucki, broker, Realtor and CEO of Ashley Austin Homes, says picking the right agent for your area, making your home stand out and maintaining an open mind are key to selling your property. An award-winning real estate agent, Stucki says she takes time to understand her clients' exact needs before providing information to help them make the best decision. She specializes in selling single-family homes in West Austin, Southwest Austin, Lake Austin and Lake Travis.
Stucki's Advice for Sellers: "Be open-minded when it comes to staging, ensure you have a good agent and listen to them as far as marketing viewership is concerned. Make sure the agent also shows you what other homes are selling for, and tells you what's happening in the market right now."
Chris Watters, Watters International Realty
Chris Watters, Realtor, broker and owner at Watters International Realty, believes in a thorough marketing plan that maximizes exposure through online and offline initiatives. An Austin native, Watters says he knows the city well and has helped more than 2,000 families sell single-family homes. For him, what makes real estate exciting is the challenge of marketing a home and differentiating it from the competition. And by including an easy exit clause in his listings, which allows an unhappy client to cancel the agreement, he says he creates extra accountability for himself.
Watters' Advice for Sellers: "It's all in the preparation. Hire the right agent that's a marketing ninja, and complete the tasks that best position your home – like pre-inspection, getting an appraisal in advance and having a staging consultation."
Jaymes Willoughby, Metro Austin Homes/The James Willoughby Team
After 32 years working in real estate, Jaymes Willoughby says he still enjoys tackling new challenges every day. The owner, broker and sales counselor of Metro Austin Homes/The Jaymes Willoughby Team and his experienced team have sold more than 3,000 homes, primarily single-family, from Georgetown to Kyle and Lake Travis to East Austin. He works to stay on top of trends in marketing and customer service, and emphasizes the importance of hiring the right professionals.
Willoughby's Advice for Sellers: "Every showing is important. You need to have the lights on, blinds open, soft music playing, and the house needs to smell good. Photos are great, but when it's time for showings, the home needs to be ready for showtime."
Looking for a real estate agent in Austin? U.S. News' Find an Agent tool can match you with the person who's most qualified for the job.
Ellis graduated cum laude with a bachelor's in English from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) and is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Texas Freelance Association, Freelance Austin, and Women Communicators of Austin. You can find her on LinkedIn and her website, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.