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Trying to buy a home in the Austin area? Here are some tips straight from a Realtor

A local Realtor shared tips for how to stand out in the aggressive Austin housing market.

AUSTIN, Texas — Finding a house in Austin right now is no easy task. Some homebuyers are offering well over the asking price and the houses that are available don't stay on the market for very long.

Ian Grossman, a Realtor with Keller Williams, has five tips to consider when looking to purchase a home:

  1. Start your search a minimum of six months early. Start asking lender or Realtor questions before that. 
  2. Focus on sold comps – don't focus on the list price. That can keep you from putting in a competitive offer if you're afraid of going over asking.
  3. Complete as much due diligence on the front end as possible before submitting an offer. Check the dates on the air conditioner and the water heater. It will keep surprises from coming up down the line.
  4. Be ready to waive your appraisal contingency and have the cash available to do it.
  5. Be open-minded, and explore surrounding cities north and south of Austin. It could end up being much more affordable.

"Austin is a booming city and people want to end up downtown next to the action, but keep in mind that a lot of the suburbs now there's commercial real estate. A lot of restaurants, bars, entertainment that you find downtown are opening locations in Buda, Kyle, up north in Pflugerville," Grossman said. "You can still get somewhat of an Austin experience even going outside the city, and it might even be more affordable."

Earlier this month, a Redfin report showed that from January to June, 1,500 Austin homes had sold for more than $100,000 above the asking price. At this time last year, 22 Austin homes had sold in that range. 

In March, KVUE reported that Austin-area homes are selling for the most above asking price compared to the rest of the U.S. A report in April found the Austin-Round Rock area is the No. 2 emerging housing market in the U.S.

An earlier Redfin report found that local buyers have an average budget of $644,771, but out-of-towners are coming with more money to spend – an average budget of $852,276 to buy a home.  

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