Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before. This week, we spoke with Beatrice Bunyan, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Anderson Properties.
Houston Agent (HA): One of our most popular articles this week discusses the recent trend of brokerages pulling their listings from major syndication listing services, like Trulia, Zillow and realtor.com. Do you list through these sites, and if so, what has your experience been like?
Beatrice Bunyan (BB): I am not familiar with brokerages pulling out of these syndications. I am a member of realtor.com. However, I have experienced that Trulia and, especially, Zillow’s information is not always up to date. Texas is a non-disclosure state, and information is not as available to these sites.
Also, the Houston market is so fast paced over the past 18 months it is almost impossible for these sites to keep up with current pricing.
HA: A recent report from Reis found that rents in Houston are continuing to rise. Have you notice this trend, and if so, how has it affected your business?
BB: It is a matter of fact: rents in the Houston market are increasing rapidly because of limited inventory. Buyers find more value in home ownership than in renting.
HA: One of recent features discusses how best to handle clients who are buying from out of town. Do you frequently handle out of town buyers, and if so, how do you, if at all, treat them differently than your in town clients?
BB: As a relocation specialist, I do work with many relocating clients. And yes, I do treat them differently because they may not be familiar with the current Houston market. I want them to be well informed before arriving to Houston.
Furthermore, a relocating client during their house finding trip is almost always on a very tight timeline. Houston, being one of the hottest markets in the nation, has inventory at its lowest level in years. Prior to arriving, I send my clients detailed information regarding areas, communities, travel time to their employment, etc. However, for families, school information is their priority.
Many of my local clients are aware of today’s market trends. It is important for any buyer to understand the specific area trends in various communities. As a Realtor, I want my clients’ needs to be fulfilled; information is key!