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How to Find the Best Real Estate Agents in Austin

The Austin real estate market is hot — like hotter than a summer’s day on South Congress. And yes, we know the housing market is crazy across the country, but in our little corner of central Texas, it’s even crazier.

According to Bloomberg, Austin is one of the top 10 markets in the U.S. (and San Antonio is one of the top five). So, when we say “everything’s bigger in Texas,” that includes population size too. In 2021, 116 new residents moved to Austin each day, and all those new residents are driving up demand for houses.

As a result, trying to buy a house in Austin is harder than ever. Many Austin homes are selling for above listing price on the first day they’re listed. So, if you’re a homebuyer in the Austin area, you’re going to need one of the best local real estate agents to help you win your dream home. And if you’re a seller, an experienced agent can help you, too.

Below, we’ll show you how a real estate professional can help you navigate the Austin market — whether you’re a buyer or a seller. Plus, we’ll share tips to help you recognize a good agent and give you our top picks for real estate agents in Austin.

Should Buyers Work With Real Estate Agents in Austin?

real estate agents in austin: Black woman with house keys and folder

In short, yes. There are only advantages to working with a real estate agent as a buyer — you don’t even have to pay for their services. Both a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent get paid a commission based on the sale price of the home. It’s usually around 6% of the total sales price, with each agent taking 3%.

So, let’s say that you buy a home for $500,000. Each agent will receive a commission of $15,000, for a total of $30,000. This leaves the home’s seller with the remainder of the money, or $470,000. You pay the same $500,000 either way. 

And yet, in spite of the fact that your real estate agent gets paid by the seller, they work exclusively for you. (In the state of Texas, it’s illegal for an agent to represent both a buyer and a seller in a real estate transaction.) They ensure that the entire transaction is in your best interest, and they help you navigate the homebuying process from start to finish. Here are the things a good Austin realtor will do for you:

  • Help you get pre-approved by recommending reputable lenders
  • Send you home listings that meet your real estate needs
  • Arrange showings and point out any potential issues with a home or neighborhood
  • Compare home values to make sure you’re not overpaying
  • Draw up an offer on the home you want
  • Collect disclosures from the seller
  • Organize a home inspection to determine if the property needs repairs
  • Renegotiate the property’s sales price based on any issues found in the inspection
  • Complete a final walk-through of the home to make sure the previous owner hasn’t changed anything
  • Help you understand and finalize the closing paperwork

As a buyer, your real estate agent does a lot of work at no cost to you. Hiring one should be a no brainer — do it.

Should Sellers Work With Real Estate Agents in Austin?

sold sign in front of house

For buyers there are no disadvantages to working with an agent, but for sellers, there is one glaring disadvantage: the price. You will have to pay a 6% commission on the sale price of your home. And as in our example above, this could leave you taking home significantly less of your home’s value.

But, hiring a real estate agent to sell your home comes with significant advantages, too. For one, most buyers work with agents, and a buyer’s agent often won’t show a home that’s “for sale by owner,” which can seriously decrease your pool of qualified buyers. You may be able to get around this by guaranteeing to honor the buyer agents’ commission of 3%, which will still cut your cost of commission in half.

Still, there are other advantages to having a real estate agent sell your home that can make it worth the additional 3% commission. A seller’s agent will:

  • Answer phone calls, arrange showings, and host open houses, a process that would take you 10s of hours each week
  • Market your home so that it comes up in relevant searches and reaches more interested buyers
  • Qualify buyers before arranging a showing so you don’t have to disrupt your day to show your home to an unqualified lookie-loo
  • Prevent you from making emotional decisions, like overvaluing your home or rejecting offers without negotiating
  • Provide skilled negotiation that can increase your sale price
  • Review all contracts and reduce your legal risk

How to Recognize a Good Real Estate Agent

real estate agents in austin: couple talking with female realtor

So, now that you know what a real estate agent can do for you, the next step is to find one who will do all that and more. Vet your potential agent by asking for referrals. You can get referrals from friends and family, of course, but you should also ask real estate agents to provide referrals from past clients.

Also, look for a real estate agent or a real estate brokerage whose specialty aligns with the type of property you want to buy or sell. If you’re selling a condo, find an agent who specializes in condos. If you’re selling a single family home, find an agent who specializes in single family homes.

Many agents also specialize in specific Austin neighborhoods or Austin suburbs. Look for someone with hyper local experience because they will understand the pros, cons, and prices of the area. Don’t hire a Cedar Park agent to sell your home in Bee Cave, and don’t hire a Georgetown agent to help you find a house in Round Rock or Pflugerville.

Legally, all real estate agents and brokerages have to be licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). Some also choose to become members of the National Association of Realtors, which allows them to use the title “realtor” rather than just real estate agent.

In Texas, a real estate broker is required to have more experience than an agent — with a minimum of four years experience and 270 classroom hours. Real estate agents have to work under a brokerage. You might think this makes brokers better than agents, but there are plenty of highly experienced real estate professionals working under both titles. Some agents simply choose not to become brokers because they are happy as agents.

The best way to choose an agent is to arrange consultations with multiple local real estate professionals, ask questions about their qualifications and specialties, and select the agent who makes you feel the most comfortable.

The 5 Best Real Estate Agents in Austin

family talking with a realtor about a new home

Before you can start your house hunt, you need to complete your hunt for the best real estate agent in Austin. Here are the city’s top professionals to help you buy or sell:

Michelle Allen

Brokerage: Realty Austin

Specialty: Residential real estate, new construction, luxury homes, and vacation or investment properties

Experience: Over 20 years

Brad Pauly

Brokerage: Pauly Presley Realty

Specialty: Investment properties

Experience: Over 20 years

Clay Byrne

Brokerage: Byrne Real Estate Group

Specialty: Residential real estate

Experience: Over 15 years

Eric Bramlett

Brokerage: Bramlett Residential Real Estate

Specialty: Residential real estate

Experience: Over 15 years

Shaina Moats

Brokerage: The Moats Team at Keller Williams Realty

Specialty: Residential real estate and investment properties

Experience: Over 7 years

Your Austin Real Estate Dreams Just Got Real

couple in front of house with for sale sign

A qualified Austin real estate agent can bring your home buying or selling dreams within reach. Whether you want to buy a first home with a yard for your dog, or you want to trade in your family home for a cozy condo, a good agent will help you make your next move.

You can find all the help you need by contacting one of the best real estate agents in Austin. But, before you do, figure out which part of Austin feels like home — explore the best neighborhoods for families and for singles.

Author
Shari Lefler

Shari Lefler is a writer, traveler, and condiment enthusiast. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking with her dog and throwing shade with her cat.

Learn more about Shari