Apex Properties Blog and News:

May 18, 2024

West Houston Market Update Summer

I am constantly amazed at the Real Estate Market here in Houston. I have been paying close attention for the last 6 years as an agent and every market has its cyclical times.

Yet, in terms of Real Estate, we do not appear to be slowing down as a city. Our cycle is still trending up.

Average sales price across the city has increased almost $20K to $437,198 and we actually saw 800 ADDITIONAL sales compared to last April.

Keep in mind, even though there are just under 9% more sales, there are also 32% MORE listings, so the competition is growing.

This means in order to take advantage of this environment of pricing, you most definitely have to stand out from the competition.

If you're thinking about selling and would like to have a ZERO obligation conversation, I encourage you to email or call me and we can chat about what upgrades are worth your time, so that when you go on the market, you have the best chance of selling for top dollar.

Get the value of your home here. Start your home search here.

West Houston Market Update

Posted in Market Updates
May 11, 2024

Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

I just showed a home to a buyer yesterday and I immediately knew I had to tell you this. If I can prevent one person from doing this it will be worth it.

It wasn't as bad as the photo above...but you get the idea. Sometimes, people spend money on their homes and they think they're making upgrades, but they're actually hurting themselves.

This was a 2,900 SF home in a great school zone with a HUGE backyard. At this time of year this type of house should fly off the shelf.

Unfortunately, the seller may have cost themselves at least $30-40K in market value because of the interior design choices they have made.

The irony is that I estimate they spent at least $25,000 to make these "upgrades."

There were updates made that were incredibly specific to their own tastes. Often it was expensive material but bold or personalized picks.

The work that was done wasn't done with high standards. The general person would want to redo most of the work. Additionally, there were significant cosmetic issues throughout the home too that were never addressed.

I'll spare you the rest of the details....but the key is that this person spent so much money...and all it has done is reduce their market appeal and ultimately their home's value.

If you are thinking of making some interior changes to your property, I urge you to call me, or call a reputable interior designer before spending tens of thousands of dollars in a way that could ultimately reduce the value of your house.

I am here to serve you if you have a Real Estate need.

If you are looking to sell get a home valuation here. Or start your Katy home search here.

Getting New Listing Ready For Sale

Posted in Market Updates
May 5, 2024

April Fresh Report Katy Texas

The April Fresh Report has hit and you can absolutely see the public trying to get in on the selling season. 

New listings are up a whopping 30% compared to last year. 14,793 Properties were listed for sale this April compared to 11,355 last year. 

Listing inventory is subsequently up to just over 26,000 properties for sale. Keep in mind we only move 9,000-12,000 properties per month, so there is definitely a multi month supply. 

The other good news is that list prices are up almost 4%. Sellers are optimistic about getting their values. Crazy to think that just 10 years ago the average sale price was less than $250,000. 

I think Houston is going to continue to be a great place to buy and hold Real Estate for the next 10-20 years. Search for property here.

Fresh Report from Katy Realtor

Posted in Market Updates
May 5, 2024

NAR Settlement - Realtor Lawsuit Details

The National Association of Realtors just settled an antitrust lawsuit and it will have some interesting ramifications for the national Real Estate Market later this summer.

Based on what we know about all the nuts and bolts of this business, the potential effects of this are complicated and it opens up a large list of new questions that no one can predict how "the market" of sellers and buyers will put this into play, but we definitely have some opinions.

Also, none of this will be in play until a federal judge approves the settlement which is expected by Mid July


The fact was, is, and will still be, that all broker commissions have always been negotiable. This won't change that.

You have tons of options in commission rates and service levels from Real Estate service providers today. This won't change either.

The basic impact of the settlement is that NAR has agreed that buyer's agent commission offers will no longer be able to be posted on the MLS listing.

They CAN be made anywhere else.

In theory, this could potentially change nothing. As it stands today, a listing agreement defines a total broker compensation between the seller and the listing agent, and then typically the listing agent discloses in the same agreement that they are going to offer some of that fee to the buyer's agent as a a way to market the property. I'm not using any numbers or percentages on purpose because that is literally the reason the lawsuit came about.

This is where things get interesting. The MLS is an extraordinarily useful tool for exposing a property to the market, and working with a community of agents allows for minimal days on market, and protects the seller from liability because all parties have representation.

Will some sellers decide they don't want to do that any longer? That's one of the big questions. If that happens, the listing agent will start fielding more buyer phone calls, arranging property tours, and ultimately handling the paperwork for both sides if necessary.

This is not unprecedented, but it's generally not advisable, because the buyer has no one guiding or advocating for them. People should have professional representation in a matter like a Real Estate transaction.

On the buying side, if a buyer wants to go look at a home that isn't offering any buyer agent compensation, will buyers then decide to write a personal check to compensate the buyer's agent to help them find and acquire that home? Will we go to an up front payment retainer model?

As a real estate agent, I have quite a few thoughts and opinions about how this will play out, and there are so many speculative directions this could lead.

So instead of trying to predict the unpredictable, the best thing we can all do is go to work every day, tell the truth, and give good advice that supports the client's best interests.

My prediction is that this will be a great thing for homeowners and the industry at large, and a bad thing for part time and low skill agents.

Buyer's agents will have to raise their standards and professionalism to justify a buyer's need to work with them. I think in a normal market where you NEED exposure, the majority of sellers will want to keep the same level of MLS exposure they have always had.


However, in a market such as the one we had in 2020-2022, I think a listing agent will have to become an auctioneer, which will require a whole different skill set to help the seller net the most money possible.

Based on what I have observed in agents over the last 6 years, I think a fair percentage of them may find the new dynamic challenging and I am thinking the agent population may decrease by 20-30%

 

Realtor Lawsuit Information Nar Logo

Posted in Real Estate News
May 3, 2024

Cinco Ranch Southwest Price Record Set!

There is a beautiful subdivision in Southwest Cinco with a picturesque lake surrounded by a 2 mile walking trail. There are only 30 homes there with waterfront views.

We just listed and sold one of the best homes ever built on that lake for nearly $300,000 MORE than any other non-gated home in the entire history of the subdivision.

Our buyer paid all cash. No appraisal necessary.

As you can imagine, those 30 homes don't turn over very often. So how do we amplify the value of a home with few comparables? It's really about 40 things, but I'll tell you the big 4!

We help the seller prepare the home, going room by room to set things up for photographic success.

We take world class photos and make a compelling video tour.

We promote that house to every top producing agent, as well as talking to every neighbor in the subdivision, asking if they have any friends or family that have been thinking about moving into the subdivision.

Finally, I answer my phone, build rapport, and field every agent question, while encouraging them to write a great offer.

We make it EASY to work with us.

Agents on the other side appreciate that as well.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have someone representing you that will actually spend time representing you!

If YOU are thinking about selling a home in Houston in the next 12-24 months, please reach out to me.

I can help you prepare your home for sale to maximize your home value.

I also have wonderful vendor contacts I can share that have helped me and my team get more than 400 homes ready for sale over the past 6 years.

While we can't control buyers or the market in general, I can guarantee you, that whatever the highest possible market price for your home is... I am the agent with the skills and track record to help you attain it.

Give us a call today about selling or buying your next home!

 

Cinco Southwest Price Record Pic

April 5, 2024

April Market Update For West Houston

One of my good Realtor friends made a facebook post yesterday.  It simply said:

"Real Estate prices are not going to come down. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk"

I am here to tell you I agree.

I have been looking for another rental property and the homes in the area I want to buy in have appreciated from around $280K 2 years ago to firmly over $300K now.

Every month I read the HAR Fresh report looking to see if we have any contraction in values, and here we are again... up 2.2% from a year ago.

Buying Real Estate is like planting a tree:

You wish you did it 20 years ago... but the next best time is right now.

So while we're in this interesting "flat" time in the market, if you've been considering diversifying your investments into Real Estate, I really believe this next year or two is a great time to do it... and I am practicing what I preach.

Check out our Katy Texas Homes For Sale page to get your home search going!

West Houston Market Update

Posted in Market Updates
March 30, 2024

Katy Texas Area Market Update

February sales report for the local market has been published.

I can tell the city is still growing, because despite the mortgage rates not being in anyone's favor these last 18 months, our prices are still creeping upward, and the monthly sales volume is still growing.

Houston had 7% more transactions in Feb 2024 vs 2023.

Average sales price is up from $384,000 to over $400,000.

We also have almost 1,000 additional pending sales going into this April vs 2023.

This time of year always tends to be robust as you have sellers making moves at the end of each school year. Empty nesters have the highest likelihood of moving in the 12-24 months following their youngest child's high school graduation.

So if you're considering selling, we are entering the best time of year to maximize your price. Call me if you want to have a conversation of any kind... even if you think you may be a year or two away.

One of my favorite things to do is preview a listing well in advance so we can advise you on what you may want to do to prepare your home for the highest sale price possible, and still give you some time to do those things and enjoy them.

Interested in starting your home search? Check out our Katy Texas Homes For Sale here.

Katy Texas Market Update

Posted in Market Updates
March 8, 2024

March West Houston Market Update

If you've been paying attention you've noticed the prices around Houston have been largely flat over the past year. Part of me has been expecting some sort of decline at SOME point... and yet, here we are again with another month where prices are, again, slightly UP from last year.

Average list price rose to $413,508 across the city.

Inventory is still growing slowly, with more than 12,000 new listings this month, and nearly 24,000 total. We are now entering a "stable" market that favors neither buyers or sellers with this level of housing inventory.

That said...there are still lots of pockets where inventory is limited and if you have an amazing home and you price it correctly, you will still see buyers taking homes like that the first weekend.

That's the key; prepare the home and price it correctly.

In fact, we just listed the most expensive Cinco SW home ever at 1.5 million (non-gated) and it's immediately under contract so the market is rewarding properly prepared listings. *Property since closed for corresponding price record!

The longer I do this job, the more frustrated I get when I see homes that are simply not prepared

People simply aren't getting the guidance they need to navigate the market.

When you are ready to sell, give us a call! Start your Katy home search here.

March Fresh Report Market Update

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 17, 2024

West Houston Market Update

HAR has published the full report for the January sales in Houston.

 

You can dig into the full report HERE and my thoughts are just below:

 

Every month I anxiously await to see if we're having any changes in the prices year over year, but Houston just will not let go of the values! We're up 2.7% year over year in January.

 

Stability like this in the face of the elevated interest rates that we have experienced is wonderful to see.

 

We also had more than 400 additional transactions this January vs last January across the city.

 

Thanks to new construction efforts, our city grows by 20-25,000 homes per year so this makes sense.

 

Now... listing inventory is up to just over 38,000 active properties for sale so time will tell if the Spring demand that we typically see in March-May will absorb some of this standing inventory.

 

While there is no predicting the future for any one listing, we are STILL seeing houses sell the first weekend on the market.

 

This next week we will close on a waterfront 700K Bridgeland home that we listed last month. It was an all cash purchase, sold with multiple offers the first weekend we had it listed.

 

The seller had done a GREAT job preparing the home for sale, and we did our job marketing the daylights out of that listing to the neighborhood.

 

The end result:

Under contract immediately

Smooth transaction

Happy seller!

 

We are here to serve you when you have a Real Estate need.

 

Start your home search here - Katy homes for sale and Fulshear homes for sale

 

West Houston Market Update January 2024

Feb. 10, 2024

HOA Fees When Selling - Foundation and Cap Fee

If you ever sell a home is that belongs to a Homeowner's Association, one of the most common, and yet unexpected surprises you and your buyer may have when conducting that transaction, is that you find out there may be 2 closing costs you didn't anticipate.

 

They are the Foundation Fee and Capitalization Fee.

 

In 20 seconds you're going to understand both.

 

Depending on the bylaws of the Homeowner's Association, The Foundation fee is a .25%-1% deduction from the sales price of the home that gets deposited in an HOA Account that is dedicated to improving and elevating the community.

 

So on a $600,000 home sale, at .25%, you're looking at a deduction of $1,500 from the seller's proceeds that's going to the HOA account.

 

The Capitalization fee is typically an up front buyer side closing cost that is equal to one year's HOA dues. So the buyer has to bring an extra $1,200-1,400 to closing depending on the neighborhood bylaws.

 

This helps the developer keep enough cash on hand to keep the community looking great and offer events and activities.

 

These two costs can be frustrating to discover, but in a high end neighborhood these are one of the commonplace rules of the game.

 

The most annoying part of these fees is not necessarily that they exist, but that no one typically informs a new construction customer about them in a memorable way when they buy the home, and even if they did... most people plan to stay for years so they don't think it will be an issue. That's a problem for future you, not present day, thrilled to be buying a house, you.

 

But at $1,000-1,500 per buyer and $1,000-2,000 per seller....multiplied by 100-200 transactions per year in a large community, this becomes quite a sum.

 

This money ensures the common community areas should be world class and make it a neighborhood that holds and increases its value over time.

 

There could be a case that paying these very fees is part of what allows the values to stay so strong and stable.

 

Check out homes for sale in Cross Creek.

 

Give us a call to help you find or sell your home.

 

Cross Creek Clubhouse and Activity Center by Johnson Development