Shiner Real Estate News

Picking the wrong asking price for your home can cost you a lot of money. Here are nine don’ts when coming up with your number:

Don’t assume your house is worth the same as your neighbor’s

Your neighbor’s home sold recently, but it has a pool, an updated kitchen, and a cracked foundation. Your house doesn’t have a pool, doesn’t have a cracked foundation, and has an extra floor. Comparing the two just won’t work.

Don’t go way back in time

Real estate prices can move up or down quickly. Old sales have little to do with the amount you should ask for your home today.

Don’t look far away

A recent property sale that has the exact specifications as yours doesn’t mean much if the home is in a completely different neighborhood. Sometimes property values can even vary from one block to the next.

Don’t put a price on your memories

No buyer will pay more because the house was your first, your parents’, or where you raised your children.

Don’t start high to allow room for negotiations

Most home seekers don’t want to deal with unreasonable sellers, which is what they could think if you price your home too high. You may eventually have to lower the price below what would have attracted an offer if you had started out with a reasonable number.

Don’t think buyers will understand your financial goals

You may want to net a certain amount from the sale of your home to buy another property or pay down debt; unfortunately, that doesn’t matter to buyers.

Don’t assume your upgrades have a dollar-for-dollar return 

A remodeled kitchen boosts your home’s value, but by how much? It could be more or less than you paid.

Don’t rely on unreliable sources

You can find websites that tell you how much your home is worth. Look closely at what they say about their accuracy, though. 

What should you do? Hire a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® has the most accurate data for your current market and the aspects of your property that can affect your asking price. Together, you can come up with a pricing strategy for a successful sale.

Posted in:General
Posted by Debra Bartel on November 14th, 2018 10:30 AM

Selling a home? Make sure and avoid these common mistakes!

1. Choosing the wrong real estate agent (or trying to sell without one) - I made this number one on the list because it honestly affects all the rest of the potential mistakes you might run into. When sellers try and do FSBO or For Sale By Owner instead of using a licensed real estate agent, there are tons of potential pitfalls. But, when you have an experienced agent on your side, they will know exactly what to do, what to look for, and how to get through the process smoothly and quickly. They should be able to guide you through and help you avoid the rest of the seller mistakes you're about to read. Of course, that's assuming you choose the right agent. Often times, people just default to a friend or family member instead of picking an agent with the experience, success, or specialty that would be in their best interest.

2. Neglecting sales prep and curb appeal - Even when the decision to sell is well thought out, sometimes sellers ignore some of the most important things a potential buyer will see. Making sure your house looks good inside and out is often the first step in generating real interest with buyers. Having the inside professionally cleaned goes a long way. Make sure everything looks as organized and clean as possible before pictures are taken and before any open houses or showings. Anything could turn off a potential buyer - a bad pet smell, dirty floors or window treatments, or even just cluttered rooms. Of course, the outside of the home is extremely important as well. Make sure the landscaping is in good shape, any necessary repairs are completed, and the porch/sidewalk/driveway are cleaned off.

3. Mispricing the home - Maybe the most important aspect (and most common mistake) of selling a house is pricing! It's often how buyers start their searches. If you shoot too high, you may not even show up on someone's radar. If overpriced, it can be the reason a home sits on the market forever. If underpriced, you could be missing out on money. However, if priced right in the sweet spot, it can garner enough interest to sell quickly while still getting you as much as possible. But determining the best price can be difficult. A real estate agent is a huge help in this area. Often times people have an emotional attachment to a house that can unjustifiably inflate the price they want. A good real estate agent will understand the local market, be able to look at comparable sales in the area, and help you decide on the perfect price.

4. Withholding information from buyers - In real estate, honesty is the best policy. When it comes to supplying information to potential buyers, it might sound tempting to leave out a few details, but in the long run it's not worth it. Crossing your fingers and hoping a buyer won't notice the leak underneath your kitchen sink or the fact that your back yard tends to flood can lead to serious issues. It can make for a really ugly negotiation period, or even potential lawsuits after a sale. Besides, a home inspection is usually going to reveal most everything anyway. It's best to be up front with a buyer and work things out in an open, transparent, fair way.

These are just four of the many mistakes sellers can make, especially if they aren't working with an experienced real estate agent. I'd love to be your agent and help you make the selling process as pain-free as possible!

Wondering what your house might be worth? Click the button to find out!


What's my house worth?

Have questions? Give me a call at (361) 550-1070, or shoot me an e-mail anytime at

Posted in:General
Posted by Debra Bartel on June 12th, 2018 11:25 AM

Considering selling your home or property? Here are five important reasons you should use a real estate agent!

Selling your home can be an exciting time. Some people find it intimidating, but others decide they want to do it themselves. Sometimes sellers think it's a good idea to do a FSBO - For Sale by Owner. This is almost always because they think they'll potentially save money by not having to pay an agent's commission.

In all reality, selling your own house is a more difficult task than most people might imagine.

Here are five reasons why using a real estate agent is beneficial:

1. Listing at the right price - Deciding what price to list your house at can make a huge difference in your time on the market. A real estate agent will have an in-depth understanding of the local market. We also have access to all kinds of market data and statistics that aren't available to the general public. This helps us make sure you list your house at a price that ensures a quick sale while still getting a great price.

2. Better marketing and more exposure - Real Estate Agents have lots of ways to get your listing the most exposure possible. From our website, to the MLS, listing portals, open houses, social media, our list of existing contacts, other agents with buyer clients, etc. Rest assured, I will get lots of eyes on your listing. More potential buyers seeing your listing means a quicker sale and more offers.

3. Better showings - Showing homes is something we do a lot. A successful open house or single showing can definitely improve the chances of someone making an offer. Staging, lighting, highlighting the most important features and updates, answering difficult questions - these are all things we feel completely comfortable handling.

4. Get more offers - The things mentioned so far are important aspects of getting more offers from buyers. And more offers usually means a higher final price. We know how to handle multiple offer situations, and have the negotiation experience necessary for making it all as smooth as possible.

5. Reduce your time on market - As mentioned already, there are tons of factors in how long it takes for your home to sell. Nobody wants to sit around waiting forever while their house just sits on the market. This is especially important if you're buying another home and it's either contingent on the sale of your current house, or you'd rather avoid making double mortgage payments.

All things considered, the possibility of saving anything on agent commission fees isn't worth the risks of getting a lower sale price, sitting on the market forever, or not selling at all.

We at Texas Hometown Realty would love to help you navigate the market in this area and sell your home as quickly as we can for the highest price possible. If you have any questions, or if you'd like to discuss working together, call me, Debbie at (361) 550-1070 or Brandi at 361-484-1715. Or, you can e-mail us at or

Find out what your house might be worth!


What's my house worth?

Posted in:General
Posted by Debra Bartel on May 25th, 2018 2:18 PM

Do you know if your real estate agent is a REALTOR®?

Wait, what? Aren’t those just different terms for the same thing?

A lot of people think so, but the terms are not synonymous. Here’s the difference: All Texas REALTORS® are licensed real estate agents or brokers. However, not all real estate agents or brokers are Texas REALTORS®.


Once someone becomes licensed as a real estate agent in Texas, that person can voluntarily join an association of REALTORS®. If she doesn’t, she can’t call herself a REALTOR®. Not legally, anyway. 

OK. So what?

REALTORS® promise to follow a professional code of conduct that is more stringent than what’s legally required. For example, though federal fair-housing laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, and disability, the REALTOR® Code of Ethics also forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Through their local, state, and national associations, REALTORS® also get involved in issues important to residential and commercial real estate consumers. REALTORS® are fighting hard to maintain the mortgage-interest deduction that lowers millions of people’s federal income-tax burden, for example.

Those are just two reasons to make sure your real estate professional is not only a licensed agent or broker but a Texas REALTOR® as well.

Posted in:General and tagged: RealEstateAgentsvsREALTORS
Posted by Debra Bartel on May 16th, 2018 11:44 AM