austin real estate: Texas Real Estate Mediation - When the Contract Goes out the Window - 11/03/17 12:33 PM
Real Estate is hard. No transactions are easy... though the consumers think so many times, as we try our hardest to hide the hard parts. 
What makes it so hard? You're dealing with people's emotions. When I represent a Seller, I try hard to remind them that this is like a "business transaction" and to keep emotions out of it. When I represent a Buyer, I try hard to remind them to keep their emotions in check, otherwise the Seller could use them against us in negotiations.
There are only two truths in Real Estate; the Seller wants to sell and the Buyer … (2 comments)

austin real estate: Selling Your House isn't just another DIY Project - 11/03/17 11:32 AM
Do you think buying or selling a home can be just your next DIY project? Think again! Many things can come up that a Professional, with years of experience, can help you through to the closing table. 
As a Seller, getting a buyer under contract is just the first step in a long process. Keeping the Buyer under contract is hard. A buyer has so many "outs" in a contract. If you treat selling your house as just another project, you might end up losing the buyer.
What are some of the outs? Inspections. Repair requests. HOA docs review. Survey review. Deed Restrictions … (3 comments)

austin real estate: Austin Texas Real Estate - Moving Up - 11/03/17 11:20 AM
Many people buy a house and think it's their "forever" house. I mean, who wants to buy a house thinking they're going to do it all over again in a few years. However, that's just what happens. People obtain 30 year mortgages knowing they will not be in that house for 30 years.
There are several reasons why people move. One of the main reasons is that they bought a house that was right for them at the moment, not for the future. Possibly, they bought without kids and now have kids running around, and need another room. Possibly, they bought when … (0 comments)

austin real estate: Donna Harris - Donna Homes - powered by JP and Associates Realtors - 11/03/17 08:56 AM
Over the years, October always seems to bring a lot of changes for me. Back in 1988, my Grandfather died in October. In 2000, I received my real estate license in October. In 2005, I got married in October...
In 2017, it was announced my brokerage was merging with another. Private Label Realty is now part of the JP & Associates, REALTORS® family of over 1000 agents strong.
With the change of brokerage comes a new logo that I'm excited about! I never, in a million years, thought I would use some bright color like hot-pink in a logo, but when different choices … (0 comments)

austin real estate: Austin TX Job, Economy, and Population Growth Equal Good Real Estate - 12/13/12 01:01 AM
The Forecast for Austin is looking good with continued growth. Projections had Austin Texas creating a mere 19,500 jobs for 2012, but actually created 25,000 jobs. The projection for 2013 is 29,000 jobs and 2014 is 30,000 jobs.  The Austin TX propulation is set to grow and expand 7% by 2014 and absorb these jobs.
This is great news! I've heard many people say that Austin can't sustain the growth we're having, but it is and will. More an more companies are moving here. More and more companies already here are expanding here. Austin Texas is a great place to be … (0 comments)

austin real estate: Is Your House Really For Sale? - 11/02/12 06:46 AM
Is the house for sale or not? Just because there is a For Sale sign in the front yard, a lockbox on the front door, and a listing in the local MLS, doesn't mean the house is actually For Sale.
A couple of weeks ago, I had an appointment scheduled to view some houses with a buyer. We got to the last one, and it was the buyers' favorite, on paper.  It was tenant occupied and the tenant mentioned he would be home during our appointment so I knocked on the door and rang the doorbell. I repeated... I then took … (7 comments)

austin real estate: Austin Real Estate - 21% Increase in Sales Year Over Year 2012 - 09/25/12 04:51 AM
Austin TX Real Estate is having a great year! Prices are going up. Days on the Market are going down. Inventory is going down. Demand is going up. Rates are low and buyers are buying. Can that be said in every market across the Country? Can that be said in every market across Texas? No, as real estate is local. Real Estate is not the same in every market.
For August 2012, there were 7262 Active Listings on the market. In August 2011, there were 8705 Active Listings on the market. That's about a 17% decrease in inventory. Did we have … (4 comments)

austin real estate: Austin Real Estate Investors Association Expo at Barton Creek Resort - 07/27/09 07:27 AM
Saturday, August 1, 2009 is not a date to be missed! Please read below, and come to the Barton Creek Resort from 9am-5pm for the Austin Real Estate Investors Association Expo.  If you can't make it, there is a live radio broadcast from 1-2pm that would be worth listening to; 1370 am The Common Sense Real Estate Investor Radio Show.
This expo is for everyone involved in some kind of real estate, investors, brokers, agents, first timers, seasoned professionals, anyone...

As you can see, the day is broken up into segments so you can come and go as you please. … (4 comments)

austin real estate: Builder's Incentives Tied to Mortgage Companies No Longer... if passed - 04/12/09 07:03 AM
In my 9 years of real estate, I have helped clients buy their fair share of new construction homes.  I'm with them through the entire process, no matter where we start in the construction phase. 
Some buyers build from the ground up, and I'm there to help them pick the perfect lot.  Things to think about is to help your buyers realize why no one has bought "that" lot over there, and why "that" one has a huge discount on it... I help them realize which lots within the community will have the better resale value.
Then, you have some buyers … (13 comments)

austin real estate: Why is it a Great Time to Buy and Sell a House in Texas? - 02/08/09 12:53 PM
Why is it a great time to be a buyer or seller in the great State of Texas right now?  Because the rates are low, and values are stable!
"Donna, Did you say the values are stable?  But, I thought values were down across the entire country.  That's what the National news tells me whenever I turn on the tv!"
Yes, I said values are stable and, in many places, values are up.
According to the main Texas real estate magazine, Tierra Grande's January 2009 issue, home prices in Texas are UP 1.4%.  Granted, 1.4% doesn't sound like very much since 2007's values … (16 comments)

austin real estate: RE/MAX is Ranked #1 in Real Estate Franchises - 12/31/08 01:50 AM
RE/MAX was ranked the #1 Real Estate Franchise according to Entrepreneur and their 30th Anniversay Franchise 300 survey.  The results will be in January 2009 issue.
Among all Franchises in the country, RE/MAX ranked #44 with Subway and MacDonald's as #1 and #2 respectively.
With RE/MAX ranked #1 in Real Estate, the closest competitor is Keller Williams with a ranking of #71.  I wouldn't really call that a "competition" though with the distance being so far off.
In previous years, RE/MAX was ranked #10 among all franchises nationally in 2008 and #11 in 2007.  The only thing I can think about as … (11 comments)

austin real estate: Consumers Always Looking for A Deal - 11/20/08 02:38 AM

I was over at a real estate forum yesterday, browsing around like I do a couple of times a week to see what kinds of questions people have and to see if there is anything worth commenting on.
Yesterday, a lady posted a question that is summed up like this:
"I'm looking to buy a house.  I've bought two others before so I know what I'm doing and don't need any help, so I'm looking for a Realtor to rebate me back most of the commission. I have already sold my house out of state so there is no negotiating … (68 comments)

austin real estate: Do Buyers' Agents Actually Explain Negotiations to Their Buyers? - 11/17/08 01:50 PM
I sometimes wonder is Buyers' agent actually explain things to their buyers in terms that they'll understand.  If they do, why do so many things happen that don't make sense.
My latest example is this:  I have a listing under contract. The buyer did their inspections and presented an amendment to the contract.  My sellers countered back. 
The counter included agreeing to one repair, giving the buyer a $500 repair escrow, and leaving the $1200 fridge that is barely 2 years old.
When I presented the fridge, I reminded the agent to let the buyers know that if they feel they … (50 comments)

austin real estate: Cut Off Your Foot to Spite Your Leg - 10/15/08 01:17 AM
Here's another example of why it doesn't usually pay to use a discount broker just to save their fee.  I have some clients whom I sold a house to a few years ago.  For the past couple of years, they've been wanting to sell and buy something with a pool.  We finally accomplished that last month.
When it came time to list their home, I treated them like any other seller.  I went over and presented the new comps since I would run them every few months since they couldn't decide to sell or not.  I also showed them all my … (11 comments)

austin real estate: Shopping for a Mortgage like you Shop for a Car, TV, Dress... - 09/16/08 07:34 AM
Can you shop for a Mortgage the same way you shop for a Car or a TV or a Dress or anything else?
To an extent, Yes.  But, for the most part, NO!
When you shop for a Car, you go to a few dealerships and see what they have to offer.  You not only get their price of the car, but you get the price they're willing to take for your trade-in.  Getting the trade-in value is very important because they might be giving you an awesome price on the car, but cheating you out of hundreds or thousands on … (21 comments)

austin real estate: Should I Refinance or Move-up? - 09/11/08 04:05 AM
Should you refinance your home, or should you sell the current house, take the lower rate, and buy more house for your growing family, but still have the same payments as your current loan and smaller house?
Does this make sense?
When rates start going down, people immediately think about refinancing their home to reduce their payments.  Of course, having lower payments is always a big plus.  Who doesn't like to save money?
On the other hand, are you comfortable with your current payment?  Are you able to pay all your other bills, save money each month, and still have some … (14 comments)

Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR -

Donna Harris

Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Austin, TX

More about me…

Donna Homes, powered by JPAR -

Address: 5113 Southwest Pkwy #140, Austin, TX, 78735

Office: (512) 592-7127

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This blog is to help educate Buyers, Sellers and even other Realtors across the country.  Each market is different and the way Real Estate is done is different.  Austin Real Estate is completely different than Dallas, California and Florida and everywhere else in between.  Some times there will be other things besides real estate as I like to rant and rave as much as the next!!  Come back often!

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