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Homes On Lake Austin2
1. Learn the search process. Many Austin Luxury Homes go unlisted to protect a seller's privacy. These properties are often found through the Realtor's personal connections as opposed to the MLS. Most Austin Luxury Agents network together and quietly share this information to a select group of their peers. We utilize private membership websites to display information to agents with buyers looking for a “special”  privately marketed property. 2. Go beyond the photos. Make sure you don’t dismiss properties based on their front elevation photos. Many large homes aren’t photogenic that way and you have to see them in person to appreciate. I recommend my clients do a search of the property and vicinity on Google Maps so you can see what’s around the home. Most Austin Luxury Agents will now provide video of the properties which not only rank better in searches but show the property in a more realistic presentation. 3. Work with a local expert. It’s critical to have a good buyer agent who is familiar with the area you want to buy in. There’s a bit more control on access to high-end properties in terms of significantly fewer open houses and more appointments have to be made to see them with the selling agent present. 4. Bank on your relationships. We recommend going to the bank you have a relationship with. They have your portfolio already and will usually be able to give you the most options on structuring your best financial deal. Also, know the difference between the pre-approval letter and the pre-qualification letter. We have relationships with private wealth directors at Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan among others and can make a formal introduction if necessary. We will need a letter of financial introduction sometimes before an appointment can be made and always accompanying an offer cash or finance. 5. Document everything. There is more scrutiny today in the high-end market. Financial documentation is critical. Anyone who is making a lot of money has a manager or an accountant and tries hard to shelter their money so it can be difficult to show the bank you have the income. 6. Hire smart, reliable advisers. A good Realtor won’t make the client’s decisions but will make suggestions. Pay attention to your financial planner and Realtor that you trust. They should agree on what you should be doing and if they don’t, arrange a meeting. We also work with several real estate attorneys who can help in complex transactions. 7. Don't forget about title insurance. “You need to get title insurance, so you’ll be insured against any problems that were forgotten about. You want to make sure you have a chance to have a look at the exceptions page of the title insurance process before closing time. Your agent should have a solid working relationship with a title company. This relationship plays a huge part in how smoothly the transaction goes and in making sure that any issues get worked through well in advance of closing. 8. Look into the future. Make sure you know what building is planned around you. What happens if someone pushes the bar and builds another structure even taller, blocking your view? Know the timeline especially if building. You don’t want to tie your cash up for a long period of time if there are any kinds of construction delays 9. Know what to expect with condominiums. Home Owners Associations (HOA’s) can be very expensive, but can offer some great amenities for their owners. Its a major consideration, so be sure you understand exactly what the HOA costs, plans to do down the road and what you get for the fees. Your agent should make sure there are no assessments coming down the pipe that could hit you unexpectedly. We often negotiate the approved assessment amount off the sales price, but you have to know about it during the option period to really negotiate it or face an angry buyer later if it hits them unexpectedly. The Seller “should” disclose it but that doesn’t always happen. 10. There's room to negotiate. It is difficult to accurately assess value to a super luxury home because the “comps” don't tell the whole story. Some properties are priced well above market and vice-versa, most homes have a “story” make sure you know it because it can directly effect the marketability and resell pricing down the road or cause major issues if a remodel is planned, especially if on or near Lake Austin. Its important to work with an agent who is experienced in luxury homes for a multitude of reasons but especially to help assess true market value. As we discussed a large percentage of homes sold never hit the MLS, unless the agent knows his market he cannot truly understand market value.
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