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Five Tips for Selling or Buying a Home in Austin

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Emily Chenevert, CEO of Austin Board of Realtors, shares her tips for potential homebuyers and sellers in the Austin area.

By Shelby Woods, Photo courtesy of Emily Chenevert 

Emily Chenevert has a sign by her door that reads, “You didn’t wake up today to be mediocre,” and she never has been. After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in government, Chenevert knew she wanted to work in advocacy. She started as a government- affairs director and lobbyist for Austin Board of Realtors, later expanding her role to operations. Earlier this year, Chenevert became the first female CEO of Austin Board of Realtors, or ABoR. Despite her pioneering role, one of her favorite aspects of ABoR involves the significant community of strong, professional women who have mentored and supported her along the way. Chenevert is also a mother of two sons, ages 3 and 7. She feels lucky to work in an industry that understands and respects the challenges of balancing work and motherhood. Thanks to this community, Chenevert fell in love with the world of real estate. Here, she shares her top tips for buying or selling a home in Austin.

FIND A PROFESSIONAL.

“[The Austin] market is an especially hard one to navigate alone. Buying a home is one of life’s largest purchases and there’s a lot of meaning behind it. You should choose a professional that can help guide you so that you’re protected and can understand the steps along the way.”

HOLD OFF ON MAJOR RENOVATIONS.

“You should not spend lots of money making upgrades before you’ve talked to a Realtor. Sellers have a tendency to want to prepare their home before consulting a professional about what they could be doing. Sometimes they make changes that are unnecessary and will not offer the kind of return on investment they think they’re going to get.”

DON’T GET DISCOURAGED.

“There’s an ongoing trend in Austin of reduced inventory. We do not have enough housing for the demand across Central Texas. There are more aggressive negotiations happening around some properties. We have a strong and stable housing market but one that can be challenging on the buyer’s side. Buyers can get fatigued. Our recommendation is that you work directly with a Realtor so that you can access up-to-the-minute data so you can avoid looking at unavailable property.”

STAY ON YOUR TOES WHEN SELLING.

“Sometimes it’s a quick transaction and sometimes it’s not. It’s OK if that property doesn’t move immediately. Just stay in good communication with your Realtor.”

REMAIN REALISTIC.

“Talk to your Realtor about what your biggest bang for your buck is going to be. There are lots of factors that go into how you get the return on that kind of investment.”

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