Archive Monthly Archives: May 2011

Austin Rental Home Search – Zillow and Hotpads Worthless

If you’re looking for a home for rent in Austin TX, you are no doubt looking online. And a lot of you are using sites such as Zillow.com and Hotpads.com to browse Austin rental listings. I receive info requests from these two sites more than any other. There are approximately 30+ internet sites to which our listings are automatically fed. Most of the requests I receive are for rental homes (and sales listings) that are already leased or under contract for sale. But as a web searcher, you have no way of knowing status based on what these internet sites show you in the listing details.

For example, if you look at the current Crossland listings displayed on Hotpads.com, there are 10 listings total. Of these 10, half of them currently have a status of “Pending” in the Austin MLS, meaning they are under contract waiting to close (for sales listings) or have an accepted/approved application. We mark these listings “Pending” in the Austin MLS, so agents will stop showing them, but internet searchers don’t know the status and keep inquiring.

So, for the entire 30+ days a home is under contract, or the days that a homes is Pending with an accepted application but awaiting tenant move-in, these listings appear as “Active” or “Available” on the most popular internet search sites, when in fact they are not. In fact, ¬†half the Austin Rental listings that you see on Zillow and Hotpads are already leased, yet you’ll waste your time inquiring about these Austin rental listings because those sites show them as “Available” or “Active”.

What should agents and searchers do about this?

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Posted by Steve
5 years ago

Should You List Your Austin Home For Sale at Memorial Day?

home for sale

Memorial Day is Monday May 30 this year, less than two weeks from now. Austin home sellers may wonder if this traditional kickoff of the summer selling season in Austin actually produces offers. I have a listing for a home in Austin coming up that will be ready the weekend before Memorial Day. Would it be a waste of market time to list a home in Austin the Thursday before Memorial Day, right before everyone heads out for vacations, or should a home be placed on the market for sale as soon as it’s ready, regardless of holidays?

The potential downside could be that putting a home up for sale before a big holiday weekend will accomplish nothing more than earning it additional days on market with no hope for a fast offer. I mean, who spends Memorial day weekend looking at houses anyway, right? Might as well wait until the Tuesday after, if following this logic. But let’s see if the assumption is supported by data.


Listed Before Memorial Day Weekend
Year # Sold Med/Avg DOM % OLP
2010 218 47/65 92.78
2009 319 35/64 94.85
2008 361 39/69 93.42
2007 461 30/55 95.49


The chart above shows the stats for the past 4 years for homes sold in the Austin MLS with listing dates the Wed-Mon preceding and inclusive of Memorial Day for each year. In other words, these homes in Austin were listed for sale either just before or during the actual Memorial Day weekend.

The fist column is # Sold, the next is the median and average days on market before the home sold. The last column is the percentage of Original List Price for which the home sold. If the assumption that these homes suffered “holiday lag time” is correct, then that should be revealed in the next chart, which will show homes that were listed for sale immediately after Memorial Day weekend for the same 4 years.

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Posted by Steve
5 years ago