Selling Your Home

In 2019 San Antonio area home sales were 2200 homes;  a 9% increase over last year.

Also the average price went to an all time high of $259,758, which represents a 6% increase over 2018. The Median price has also went up to $223,790 which represents a 5% increase.

With this kind of growth, you may be thinking that if this same percentage holds, it may be a good idea to "move up" to something (or somewhere) else, a bigger house or maybe a more prestigious community or a community near a favorite church or college. Maybe your wife just wants a bigger Master bedroom and Kitchen.

     There are so many reasons for a move they are unpredictable and are infinite in number.  Either you are ready to sell now - or you know it is always a possibility that you may someday have to sell. Our statistics show that the average family moves every 7-10 years. In any case it's important to already have an experienced real estate Listing agent/group in your phone book who knows the numbers and the options you have open to you. 

   Things can happen quickly these days;  maybe you will have a PROMOTION or a Job TRANSFER facing you very suddenly and then you want to have someone on your side who will give you advice in a moments notice. He can arrange another Realtor at your eventual destination in another city to start looking for you. To suddenly start looking for Realtor resources is not always a good thing. Lining up this person well in advance can mean the difference in a successful transfer as well as saving tens of thousands of dollars. The Wall Street Journal says "an EXPERIENCED realtor saves his client an average of $25,000..' I can go over that in detail with you some day.

To have met with such an Individual/group ahead of time is to have vetted them and properly and privately discussed what special personal issues would possibly be involved should the need to move present itself and to be mentally, emotionally, and financially prepared. Maybe you are ex-Military, or came from a Computer background, or similar line of work, or geographical location as your realtor. These common denominators often help you make a choice on someone you would like to work with.  I recently listed and sold the older homes of two different retired Colonels, and helped them with their move to the Army Residence Community (ARC).  They are people that I had already known through my association with the United States Air Force.  Both clients got exactly the price they had been looking for, went under contract within a week - and we prepared the house together with 'soft staging', certain movers, and my advice and direction. Both felt the process went along quite smoothly.  I even organized and held an "Estate Sale" for one of the families who had to sell many, many things because they could not take it all with them.

I and my group of helpers and realtrs at HOME TEAM of AMERICA are currently working with clients who are 4 (four) years away from making a move decision. I  keep in touch quarterly, and I place 2,000 'door hangers' on 2,000 homes each Spring advising homeowners in my market area how and when to Protest their property taxes.  I keep them abreast of the market situation, current interest rates, and pointers on keeping the county from charging too much on Ad Valorem taxes of your home.

If and when the time comes to jump into action,we are more prepared (on an instants notice) to be able to know ahead of time what kind of an offer we should be  willing to accept. For example what if the potential buyer is young and wants to use an FHA loan to purchase? That is a very stringent loan and benefits the buyer in most cases. Of course we can discuss financial situations and counter strategies all day long but until the day comes that you are ready to sell and want to counter an offer, there is no need to go into these kinds of details.

Some things have changed since the day when you originally bought your house.  It used to be that if the property did not appraise (after a flurry of  negotiating activity I got the seller more money but the Appraiser came along afterwards and said 'no'; the house is not worth $475k - it appraised at $462k". That action automatically killed that contract. The buyer can walk, get his earnest money back, and never come back.

Now in the example above, I don't know of a single deal that ever got lost because of this FHA rule. Usually I got both buyer and seller to submit another offer/amendment and re-negotiate the $13,000 difference where they either split it evenly or negotiate a 75%-25% or something that works out in favor of both parties. 

A new Addendum has come out where you can up front, ask the FHA buyer to sign that he will be willing to  'give up' that right to end the contract (because some buyers who REALLY want your house don't want to get out-bid in a bidding war by another buyer). And there are a few other things as well such as giving the buyer 3 days to change his mind prior to the closing date.  Things have changed since you bought your first house.

In the case of your property needing some updating or repairs it is nice to be introduced to some trustworthy and efficient carpenters and electricians and handymen whom I have known for the past 10 years, are commonly used by HTOA as trustworthy tradesmen.

If you need to sell, 2019 is a good time for selling your home in San Antonio. In just the beginning of 2015, San Antonio has moved from a 'buyers market' to a 'sellers market' where there is much less inventory left to sell, and in recent days the inventory has hovered right around the 8,000 properties for sale mark, which includes mobile homes to mansions, and everything in between.

Last year for example on 3/13/2018, there were 3,272 single family homes for sale versus 7,598 homes on 11/09/2015,  3 years before.  In 2013 some 5 years ago, there were over 15,000 homes available for sale.  This shows how dramatically we have moved from a Buyers Market into a Sellers market where homes are scarce. 

Suddenly the dynamics of the typical sales cycle changes. We are in a true 'Supply and Demand' situation.  The less supply, the more demand! An excited buyer sees/hears about a house they like on the internet, typically through Zillow, Trulia, Bing, - only to find out (usually through a  more reliable source, a realtor) that the house was already sold 1 week ago. If the house was 'nice' it probably went under contract within days after it was listed.

The problem with the 'Zillows' of the world is they can catch feeds off the MLS system immediately, and put a house on line as soon as it is listed - but they are  incapable of removing the sold houses from their internet inventory speedily like MLS.  So many times the excited buyer is disappointed and finally decides to use a Realtor who's MLS system is updated every 15 minutes and he will usually find the right house within hours after it was listed, and have a good chance at buying that house.

Are you trying to sell your house in a new commuity where the builder has not finished building yet?  That is a challenge, since you are competing with the builders 'new home' pricing, and it is not likely that you will sell very quickly.  However, an experienced Realtor has answers for even this kind of problem if you meet certain criteria. Call me at Home Team of America (largest Independent Brokerage in San Antonio - 500 agents) and let us know the details. We can't promise you we will have a good answer for you but we may be able to shed a little light on some alternatives you have.

While on the subject I think it is fair to briefly touch on the subject of those home owners who think they are capable of selling their homes by themselves .  Since 99% of those who have asked me this question have never personally undertaken this step ever before, I try to be as candid as I possible can. For those  who know me and have kept up with my Website they understand the risks:

1. Waiting 3 months at a time for the right buyer to call, knock, email, etc.

2. Wasting weeks and months answering 'knocks on the door' phone calls or promises from Credit Challenged 'buyers' in their hopes of getting a 'deal'.

3. Finding the 'right' buyer - only to have the deal fall through. The needed steps to take in a "contingency" situation where you need to get additional earnest money when your 'buyer' has his house under contract and he has 'promised' to buy your house.  Dealing with his aggressive agent who wants you to 'sign something'.

2. Not knowing enough about the process which involves working with Surveyors, 3rd Party State Inspectors, County tax, Loan people, Title people, Other Realtors, Real Estate Lawyers, etc etc.  And worse how do you know when you even need these people? How do you Draw Up a repair Amendment to the contract?  Plumbing codes, electrical codes,

3. Sometimes the motive is to  avoid the 6% realtor(s) commission hoping to save a few dollars, or even a philosophical objection to the idea of somebody making that much money! Certainly 6% is a lot of money for one individual, but what a lot of Sellers of homes do not realize is that 6% is a CUMULATIVE amount that goes out to 4-6 different entities and people - the listing broker, the listing agent, the listing processor, the selling broker, the selling agent and his assistant.  These are the people who who schedules the photographer, the advertising flyers, the open house flyers, the Signs in the yard, open house signs, contacts the title company, surveyors, updates the title company, and more. Then there is the selling broker who works hand-in-glove with the selling agent and the selling agent pays attention to keeping the buyer focused and interested, manages the continengency and payment details, CMA's the house to be sure it is not overpriced, ensures the contract protects his buyer and collects the $100 option fee and 1% earnest money and gets it to the Title company in the minimum 3days required by law. 

3% goes to the Listing Broker and he SPLITS that with his/her Realtor and their Administrative staff who do all the advertising and handling and screening of the many buyers. So when you do a SEARCH on the Internet using Zillow, Trulia, Bing, - guess who pays these entities for publishing those pretty pictures taken by that expensive photographer with the $1300 lens ?   

3% goes to the Selling Broker and he SPLITS that with his/her Realtor and their administrative staff who 'drum up' the buyers by qualifying those ZILLOW call ins, or doing their hundreds of phone calls to past customers they have been working with for years - so that they and their assistants can direct them to the right house - . 

Of course you say, now I understand. But what about the gentlemen on the radio ad who says Realtors make too much money, and he'll only charge 2%.  That person is really referring to a Listing agent, who instead of the normal 3% is charging 2% probably because he is doing quite a volume and will probably omit much of the things a good listing agent will do. He may only put a 'sign in the yard' so that he can take care of his volume customers. If you ask him about the 'other 3%' he may say, he doesn't know about that. That is up to the Buyers agent whatever he wants to charge. Well duh!  Of course the Buyers agent wants his commission and actually the Buyers agent  does not receive the full 3% That is up to his Broker.

So that is why when you LIST your house the correct way - and pay that 6% you can many times get the RIGHT buyer, at the RIGHT price, at the RIGHT time - as fast as you can, thereby in many instances selling your house in 2-3 days - over a weekend, because you did what 99% of us already do. 

As an experienced professional who has helped San Antonio  residents sell their home, I know how to handle every aspect of the sales process - from strategic marketing and advertising on the media, to having it Professionally Photographed and showcasing your home on certain websites and to make sure everything's signed, sealed and delivered by the closing date.  I can even talk with the Appraiser and 'fight' for keeping the price higher because I know how these men think and the pressure they are under these days.  Many times the Appraiser is from out of town - and doesn't even realize the neighborhood assets around him. Contrary to the way it used to be with the old Dodd-Frank Rules, today you CAN talk to the Appraiser as long as you know how to do it.  I will Provide you with some coaching about this, a comprehensive, high-quality listing service is my top priority, and even stage your home if you are required to move all your furniture.

When you decide to sell your home, please contact me via email at  Later you can call or text 210-860-6770 (Cell). I almost always answer my telephone but I have hard time identifying whether it is a Phishing call. Let me be of service and please talk to me about what's on in your mind and share your ideas about Real Estate with me. I'm a good listener and  I'm always learning. Maybe I'll learn something about you! 


Do you know how to work with the Appraiser?  Your Realtor/Listing Agent usually knows enough not to violate Dodd-Frank rules when talking to the Appraiser.  But does he know how to effectively communicate with him so as to help you get the MOST value out of your sale? I have  sold 5 listings in the last 2 years which had challenging Appraisal situations - and successfully 'worked' with 5 different appraisers  which resulted in me and my seller KEEPING the price at what it sold for.  Hint:  The key is in the preparation!


The following articles are a great place to start if you're looking for information about the sales process and how you can get more for your home when you decide to sell.

The Basics of Marketing Your Home How to Set a List Price for Your Home

Get Your House Ready to Show Buyers Why Use a Realtor when Selling a Home