Category Archives: Blog

Luxury Homes in Dripping Springs

I was looking at the website for a real estate agent I know in Beverly Hills.  He sells homes from $5M to $50M all year long.  As you can imagine there are quite a few homes to choose from in that price range in LA.  But what about Dripping Springs?




Luxury Real Estate sales in Dripping Springs are much different than what you would find in California.  You are more likely to find a well built home on acreage with a barn than you are to find a contemporary architects dream plan built with a helipad and a 2000 bottle wine cellar.  A quality luxury home in Dripping Springs might be $1.5M.  That same home in L.A. would be $5M.  It’s no wonder people are moving to Austin at the rate of 150 people added per day.

Selling Luxury Real Estate in Austin needs to take a different approach.  Texans tend to not be as concerned about how a property looks, as you drive up to it, as they are about the lifestyle of the property they live on.  An agent in the Hill Country needs to focus on selling the way a property will enhance your life and improve your lifestyle.

When we show our listings we don’t focus on the listing details (square footage, bedrooms, baths etc) we focus on how a property lives.  Instead of saying “This is a 600 square foot covered porch.”, I’ll say “Imagine sitting out here on a peaceful morning with a cup of coffee and the paper.”.  Or Instead of “This barn has 4 stalls.” I would say “You can keep your horses right here on the property and watch them in the pasture.”

Selling real estate in California is different and the same in many ways.  At the end of the day we all sell dreams to people.  It’s what makes this job so fun and so rewarding.


Steve Mallett

Steve has been selling real estate in Austin since 2003.  He has over 1000 transactions and can sell your home quickly.  He believes that his clients deserve top notch service and care and will go the extra mile for them.  (512) 627-7018


The Way You Pick Your Real Estate Agent Is Flawed

When I got into the Real Estate business in 2003 I could not believe how people picked their agent. They would tell me “my neighbor has his license.”, or “my buddy in Austin sells a couple of homes a year so I am going to let him sell it.” Worst of all was the “I am going to get my license and sell the home myself.”
Real Estate is one of the few professions where people hire people because of proximity, a relationship or because they don’t want to tell someone “NO”.
Imagine you are building a top notch NBA team to compete against the likes of the San Antonio Spurs or the Houston Rockets. Would you line up 100 people you know, put a basketball in their hands and then decide who to play, based on who you are most familiar with, or who cooks the best brisket or who last invited you over to play cards? NO!
You would go on a search looking for the most talented, committed, focused and experienced athletes you could find. You would look for drive and passion for the game. Just being able to hold a basketball (or real estate license) means NOTHING!
Real Estate agents are like athletes. Some approach the game in a casual and non committed way. Similar to an athlete happy to play for a few minutes a game because he’s “getting a check”. Other athletes show up at the gym early and stay late, they look at films, they work with a coach, the constantly strive to be better and more productive. They want to play and they love the game!
Why would you hire anyone less? You deserve to hire an agent that has the desire, drive, passion and enthusiasm to win and get the job done. There is no sitting on the bench collecting a check in Real Estate. Results get you a pay check.
Next time you need to buy or sell a home do your homework. Find the most talented agent with a business model and plan for success. Not just for you but for his/her business. That agent is a professional. Hiring any less will never get you to the playoffs and it will cost you time and money and cause you frustration.
Choose who you team up with like it’s important. Because it is!

The 10 Best Things About Dripping Springs, Texas

Dripping Springs is known as the “Gateway to the Hill Country”. It’s no longer a sleepy little, wide spot in the road, town.  Drippin’ has budded and grown into a thriving Austin suburb. Featuring lots of hot foodie spots, great music venues, fun local shopping and such a varied calendar of events your head will spin.
Here are some of the Best Things About Dripping Springs according to our distinguished panel of judges.  They include a bribed local goat farmer, a hyper caffeinated hipster, an exhausted and incoherent new mom and a tech CEO from Austin.

  1. FOUNDERS DAY–  No other Dripping Springs event is as big and bold as FOUNDERS DAY! From the Friday parade where hundreds of pounds of candy are chucked at the thousands of people that line the streets, to the 100+ smokers cooking all weekend, you can’t forget you’ve been to Founders Day. The live music and food will have you tapping your toes and rubbing your belly all weekend. Held every Spring since 1986, Founders Day has grown into a huge festival drawing thousands of people from all over Texas.
  2. TIGER FOOTBALL–  Tiger Football is a spectacle.  In fact any High School football game in Texas is a spectacle but Tiger Football takes it to a whole new level.  Almost the entire town will turn out for a Friday night game.  The streets are deserted from about 6:30 to 10:30.  At half time you get to watch one of the best marching bands in Texas perform and when the team comes back on the field the sound from the stands is deafening!  You gotta love Tiger Football!football-week-3
  3. MAZAMA COFFEE CO.-  Up until about 2012 the best cup of coffee in Dripping Springs came from the Circle K at the main intersection in town.  On it’s best day it was adequate.  When Vicky and Bruce Lewis decided to open Mazama Coffee Co. that all changed.  All of a sudden the town was saying things like “robust flavor” and “nutty overtones” and “fresh roasted aroma”.  Mazama quickly became the best meeting spot in town.  It’s worth a trip just to see all the locals sitting around enjoying a fresh cup of joe and a muffin or breakfast taco.  And the coffee is AMAZING!  Look for an additional location in Caliterra coming in October 2017.roaster_and_bag_web
  4. DRIPPING SPRINGS RANCH PARK  DSRP has quickly become a hub for all kinds of activities in Dripping Springs.  On any given weekend you could visit DSRP and see a horse show, a wine and food event and a gala.  The facility covers 166,000 square feet.  It has a huge rodeo arena and stalls and a covered and air conditioned convention center.  The building is hard to miss as you drive south on Ranch Road 12.  It’s a massive structure located on the old Harrison Ranch.  Check out the calendar of events!
  5. SHRED DAY–   Shred Day has helped free up more space in storage units and attics than any garage sale ever could.  Shred Day was started by Michelle Lewis and Steve Mallett of The Mallett Integrity Team Real Estate Company.  Each year they hire a giant truck to come out to the Keller Williams office in downtown Drippin’.  For 4 hours a line curls around the parking lot with people dropping off boxes of tax returns, bank statements and other useless paperwork to be shredded while they watch.  Held every year in September, Shred Day is a local favorite.14358836_10154216020517935_7573384935508649210_n
  6. FLORES TACO SHACK–  If you were driving through Dripping and saw Flores you might just drive on by and think “I’ll pass on taking a chance on that place.”  But the locals know better!  Flores is tasty!  From staple breakfast tacos like sausage, egg and cheese to the popular chicken fajita, and the occasional fresh hot tamales, the food is fantastic.  You will not be disappointed and as you wait in line you’re sure to meet some of the locals.  Being friendly is a Drippin’ way of life.
  7. RUN BY THE CREEK–  Started in 2012 by a group of runners, the Run By The Creek is one of the prettiest running courses in the Hill Country.  The course winds along Onion Creek and crosses the water 6 times in the 10K race.  There is a 5K and a 10K race.   Runners of all abilities come out from Olympic hopefuls to weekend warriors.  Expect to run with about 500 of your running buddies in one of the most fun and exhilarating workouts you can find west of Austin.fullsizeoutput_dbd
  8. DRIPPING WITH TASTE– The 2016 DWT was huge with over 2000 people sampling local food, music and adult beverages.  Each entry ticket comes with a small sipping cup so you can taste local brews, spirits and wines.  Music is all local.  The atmosphere is fun and lively.  It can feel like the whole town turned out!
  9. THE BARBER SHOP– The Barber Shop Brewpub is located in downtown Dripping Springs in a historic building that began life in 1924. In its earliest life, the building served as a garage, then later a gas station, before becoming “The old Barber Shop”. Now the Barber Shop Brewpub is where the locals come to unwind after a long hard day at work.  In addition to a well-considered selection of popular local, national, and international beers and wines, they have a tap or two of their own special brews! Live music is always on tap, and if there isn’t, just bring your guitar or violin and start playing.img4
  10.  HUDSON’S ON MERCER– If you have been searching for the place to venture out to in Dripping Springs Hud’s is the place to go. Chad and Natasha Hudson have worked tirelessly to build the venue they have always wanted to perform in and visit. Chad and Natasha met in Nashville and dreamed of owning a place like Hudson’s on Mercer.  When Hud’s opened the whole feeling of Mercer Street changed.  What once was a dusty street with a feed store and a post office has become the center of Drippin’ nightlife.  Even though the feed store is still right next door…

Real Estate Euphemisms Used in Austin

Euphemisms are a big part of our lives whether we realize it or not.  I played in the water of a beach once in Spain where the brochure advertised “Watch the ships pass through the straits!”.  The beach was covered in oil blobs from the tankers that traveled just off the coast.

I traveled on a train through Europe once that was described as “Light and Bright”.  That meant that one of the cars had a hole in the roof.

Once I looked at a motorcycle for sale that was advertised “Engine is strong and chassis needs some adjustments.”  It has a cracked frame and needed extensive welding.

Life is full of sales pitches and word play to get our interest but nowhere is that more prevalent than in the world of Real Estate.

Here are some real estate euphemisms I have seen on the MLS over the years.  It’s not a stretch to think they could be from our local market in Austin and Dripping Springs:

“Original Owner” Smells like moth balls. And cats.  And something you can’t identify but you are pretty sure it might cause you to have an early death.

“Meticulously Cared For” Never updated. Owner is insane. Also smells like moth balls.

“Rustic Charm” Unsealed wood floors. Using a blowdryer may set the electrical on fire.  Was last painted when people were still asking “What is a Hippie?”

“Vintage Charm” Ugly Wallpaper.  Even uglier appliances and carpet.

“Retro Decor” Floors are Avocado-green. The appliances are Mustard-yellow. Bathroom is Pepto-pink.

“Country Living” 5 miles from everything. Smells like cows.  Buzzards typically circle overhead.

“City Living” Used to be a warehouse.

“Loft Style” Still is a warehouse.  Ladder is considered a “FIXTURE”.

“Interesting Layout” Yes because it’s very interesting when homes don’t make any structural sense.  Must go through master closet to get into kitchen.

“Easy Access to Highway”  Highway 290 is 24 feet away.

“Family Friendly” Screaming children, barking dogs, and nosy neighbors.

“Great Nightlife” You live next to a bar. Stock up on earplugs. Or Scotch.

“Architects Dream”  Needs a full remodel to the studs.

“Galley Kitchen” A hallway with a sink.

“Efficient Kitchen” Hotplate and mini-fridge.

“Custom Cabinets” Hand painted cabinets with handles that look like rabid bunnies.

“European style cabinetry” Sellers discovered Ikea.

“Built-In Cabinetry” Previous owner nailed book shelves to the

“Remodeled” Repainted.

“Almost New” Lived in by a family of 12 with 3 dogs and 2 cats for only 18 months.

“Sunny Lot” Nearest tree is 4 blocks away.

“Private Yard” Backs to a train track.  

“One of a Kind” No one in their right mind would design another house like this.

“Enchanting” Magic won’t cram a king-sized bed in there.  Light fixtures only work part of the time.

“Charming” Tiny. Possibly creepy.

“Quaint” Tacky.  May be condemned any day now.

“WOW” Bring a gun.  Bullets if it says “Hurry!  This one won’t last!” 

“Needs TLC” Current owners have never owned a paint brush, lawn mower or vacuum.

Needs Updating” Yes. Yes it most certainly does.

“Must See Inside” Because outside is just nasty.

“Gorgeous Landscaping” Inside is a nightmare.

“Must See to Believe” Seriously. You WON’T believe what you are seeing.

“Priced to Sell” Will sell for food.  All the furniture can be bought for 10 cents on the dollar.

“Motivated Sellers” Will settle for a hug at this point.

“Make an offer today!” Just fork over what’s in your pockets and we’ll call it a day.

What euphemisms have you seen?

If You Love SPAM And Calls At Dinner Time Search For Real Estate Online!

Who is really calling you about your real estate inquiries?

Who is really calling you about your real estate inquiries?

The internet has changed the world in so many ways.  Some of them good, and some of them not so good.

You know what I mean.  It’s nice that we no longer need rows of dictionaries and encyclopedias to do our research and we can shop for an entire wardrobe in our underwear at the kitchen table.  Even better that we can communicate with people all over the world in seconds.  Having all of that information at our fingertips has opened the entire world to new possibilities and broken down barriers.  But there is another side to the internet that is usually discussed in hushed tones.

Data mining is huge on the internet and growing larger every day.  Whole companies are built on collecting as much data about your online activity as possible.  They then identify patterns about your online history and searches.  All of that information is gathered so they can identify ways to sell you things, or your data is packaged up and sold to other companies.  We all think it’s just how the world works and we live with it.  But do we really need to just accept that anytime we search online our information is dissected, processed and then sold to any number of companies?

Not sure what I mean?  Try this exercise.  Go to any of the Real Estate search sites so popular these days.  You know them;, Zillow, Trulia, etc.  Search for any property in the Dripping Springs or Austin area.  It doesn’t matter where really.  When you find any property at all click on the “Schedule a Showing” or “Request More Info” link.  Enter your information and within minutes your phone will start ringing and your email inbox will be filled with agents offering to assist you (Maybe one of them is Jonathon whose picture is above!).  Each one claiming to be the best agent in the area.  This may go on for days or even months.  Even if you are working with an agent, and you buy a house, the calls will not stop.   Those websites have your information and package it into multiple different ways to sell again and again.

If Google is your main search engine try searching for “Caliterra” or “Belterra” or “Houses for Sale in Austin” and see what happens to all of your ads in your browser for the next week.  You will be inundated with ads for subdivisions, agents, Real Estate websites and lenders.  Is this acceptable to you?  Not me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology.  Social Media is fun and productive for our business.  Companies like Evernote, Dropbox, Mail Chimp and Dotloop are changing the Real Estate world in very positive ways.  The systems we use to run our team now are light years ahead of how we did things when I entered the business in 2003.  In 2003 faxes were still sent daily, our MLS was just starting to work well,pictures online were limited to 8 and the resolution was terrible.  In 13 years Real Estate technology has gone from the Model T to the latest Tesla electric vehicle.

But really is ALL technology good?  Is the trade off of having all of your information sold all over the world worth it when you start to look for a house to buy or an agent to list your home?  Is being bombarded with unwanted calls and SPAM emails worth being able to see one house online?  There is a way to prevent some of this and that way that has been used and proven effective for years.  Ask some friends who they trust to help you buy or sell and then pick up the phone and call that agent.  It’s not fancy or complicated but it works just like “lefty loosy-righty tighty” works.  Simple is usually the best.  Why submit yourself to the madness of being caught up in the “Internet Lead” shuffle of nauseating calls and self promoting emails from agents that have no idea what your needs are.

That agent can streamline the whole process for you and insulate you from all of the unwanted calls and SPAM.  We set up searches for our clients so they see the latest listings as soon as they hit the market and no one else you are looking.  We schedule showings without putting all of our clients info online.  Everything you tell us is confidential.  Do you think that same standard is being met when you tell some agent, that contacted you online, what size home, price range, school district, neighborhood you want to live in?  God knows where all of your information shows up?  Maybe that guy in Nigeria that wants to send you $1.2M gets it!

Buying and selling a property or home should be simple.  Not easy, but simple.  It can be complicated to get a contract to closing but it’s even more complicated by the internet fog caused by companies and people collecting your information and selling it.

Save yourself some hassle.  Just pick up the phone and ask your good friends who they would use to buy or sell with.  Easy.  The internet search companies would have you believe that agents are old school, and you don’t need them, but in this litigious, crazy world we live in agents are needed now more than ever.  Do you really think selling your house yourself online is smart?  Even cars are not bought and sold that way?  Buy a car without a test drive?  I don’t think so!

The business model for all of those companies are flawed in that they only work when people are duped into thinking what they are offering is better.  People are starting to wise up and realize that the model of working with a local TRUSTED agent is the best way to buy and sell real estate.  The cat is not only out of the bag it’s tearing down the curtains and scratching the leather sofa!

Are you feeling bold?  I dare you to post on Facebook that you are looking for an agent on a neighborhood or community website.  218 posts later you will have 150 different Realtor names as well as horror stories and testimonials.  The other posts will be from agents saying they are the best agent in the area and more experienced than anyone else.  Save yourself the headache…Pick up the phone and ask some friends who they like.  You’ll be amazed at how much time and headache you will save yourself.


Steve Mallett is a Texas Real Estate Broker with Keller Williams Realty and the MALLETT INTEGRITY TEAM since 2003.  Located in South West Austin and Dripping Springs.

Zillow Sucks and Other Real Estate Truths!


Most Real Estate brokers would love for their clients to do a “Ride Along” with them one day to see how hard the business can be.  Similar to driving around with a police officer, you cannot appreciate the demands placed on Real Estate agents until you have seen them in action doing what they do, day in and day out.

Imagine how most people view the typical Real Estate agent’s day;  They wake at 8:30 on their country estate surrounded by chirping birds and the glorious smell of another new day.  After a full breakfast of eggs Benedict, English muffins, and expensive coffee they leave the house at 10:30 after a long hot shower.  They stroll out to the 3 car garage to get into the work car, a brand new silver Mercedes parked next to the weekend car,  a restored convertible classic Mustang.  Off to the country club for a quick round of golf with their other real estate buddies.  Around 1:00 after a long lunch including just a few adult beverages they saunter into the office to make 2 phone calls and check to make sure all of those commission checks, that just show up in the mail, are piled on their desk.  Answer a couple of emails from adoring clients then off to home to brush off the cares of the day.  At home they figure out how to invest the gross amounts of money they made that day.  Wow condo’s in Dubai sure look cheap!

Now the reality:  Mr. or Ms.  agent stumbles out of bed at 5:00 and grabs a quick cup of coffee as they head out for a quick 45 minute workout to start the day.  Real Estate is stressful and hurried.  If you don’t do something early in the day to relieve stress and take care of yourself it will never get done.  You roll back into the house to a cell phone and a quick bowl of oatmeal and another cup of coffee.  You look at your 286 emails and scan for ones that are important.  Mr. Bob Seller is telling you that his wife has decided she wants to keep the drapes in the house.  You need to contact the Buyer’s agent and get that handled right now.  Even though you told them 3 times that the drapes were considered part of the house they want you to fix it NOW!  Closing is tomorrow and gosh darn it they are not going to sell the house if they cannot keep the drapes!  Another email contains a threat of a lawsuit.  “I bought my house 2 years ago and you were the sellers agent.  I see my house is still listed on ZILLOW as for sale and you need to have that removed by 12:00 today or you will be getting a call from my attorney!  Do you know who I am?”.  Great…You call Zillow and push “4” when the message says “If you are an agent press 4.”.  Followed shortly by another message “Thank you for contacting Zillow.  As a real estate professional we value your input and business.  Due to high call volume the expected wait time is 6 days, 9 hours and 47 minutes.  Please continue to hold.”  What the heck!!  You email them again.  You  know exactly how to do that because 3-4 times a week you try and contact Trulia or Zillow to correct inaccurate info.  You know it is a waste of time and they will never fix it because they do not care.  The dirty secret of Real Estate is that all Zillow and Trulia are is advertisers. They are selling your phone number and emails address to 20 agents every time you contact anyone about a property.  Great…

Around 8:30 you have gone through all the emails including the one from your best friend in High School saying “Hey man just bought a house down the street from you!  I know you are in real estate but figured we’d just work with the agent that listed the house!  Cool huh!”  Great…By then your phone is blowing up.  You have planned 2 hours of calling past clients to stay in touch with them.  Now you are a fireman!  Trying to put out fires faster than they pop up!  “This form is missing from the contract.”  “What is the $12.00 charge on my closing statement for?”  “I don’t like the color of the grass in my house photo!”  “Zillow still shows my house as 3 bedroooms and it is 4!  That is why it’s not selling!  Not because we overpriced it by $50,000!”   It is overwhelming and exhausting.   After 3 hours of that you can’t take it anymore and run out for a quick lunch.  While you are at lunch you get 8 texts and 3 voice messages.  You do your best to ignore them, so you can eat in peace and recover a little.  One of them is an agent demanding to know if they can show your new listing in 30 minutes even though it clearly says on MLS “6 hours notice for showings”.  After 6 texts from the agent, with each one getting more and more rude, you text her to let her know that it’s 6 hours notice.   Then she calls you 5 times in a row without leaving a message.  You wolf down a sandwich in 5 minutes and then head back to the office.  You call the agent on the way to the office and she says “we were just driving by and my clients wanted to see it.  Now we are headed back into Austin.  They decided they are going to live in Georgia”.  Wow good thing you jumped on that one!  Great…

Then in the afternoon you get a call from a client whose house is closing tomorrow.  She is moved out and the cleaners just left.  She’s checking in with you to see if there is anything else she needs to do.  You give her last minute instructions about the closing and right before she hangs up she says “Thank you so much for making this smooth and easy Steve!  You and your team went far beyond anything we ever expected when deciding who to use to sell our house.  I want you to know how happy we are.”  Hallelujah!  Now you remember why you do this!  At the closing the next day your client hugs you and says “I’m going to tell all my friends about you!” You feel like you just threw the winning touchdown in the Superbowl!  It’s all worth it when you have those clients that understand the job and how hard it can be to do right.

All of the long hours, the nasty emails and texts, the people taking bad days out on their agent, and the deals that blow up for no reason, are all worth it when you have one client that sees and understands how hard you work for them.

The average Real Estate agent in the US makes $44,489 per year.  Most work an average of 50 hours a week to get that.  Contrary to what most people think there is nothing glamorous about Real Estate.  It’s hard work and to make a decent living you need to 4-5 deals going at a time.  That takes lots of effort and persistence.  80% of new agents never make it past the second year!   Still, most of us love what we do and would never dream of another career choice.  We’d love it even more if Zillow didn’t suck though…


Steve Mallett has been a licensed since 2003.  He is a Real Estate Broker in the SW Austin and Dripping Springs area.  Call him at (512) 627-7018.

NIMBYism in Drippin’

It always amuses me  when a person moves into Dripping Springs and buys their little plot of land or home in Belterra, Sunset Canyon or Highpointe and then starts complaining about traffic and congestion or pollution and how we need to stop all the new development.  What never seems to dawn on them is that there were people in Drippin’ and Southwest Austin 10, 20, heck 50 years ago that said the same thing.  NIMBYism is NOT IN MY BACK YARD.  Or another way to say it is “I got mine now just go away.”

We are seeing unprecedented development in Dripping Springs.  Caliterra, Harrison Ranch, Poundhouse Hills and Founder’s Ridge are all online and Headwaters, Arrowhead Ranch and the Meritage Homes neighborhood (behind RBFCU) are all well on the way to seeing homes on the ground.  This is going to bring traffic and congestion but it also will bring retail, school jobs, commercial businesses that have available housing for employees and road improvements.  Sure the town will change but is it really only going to be for the worse?

1608 High Lonesome

Did these same people complain when HEB came?  Or Home Depot?  Probably not.

I have never been scared of change.  Shaking things up can be difficult, and sometimes overwhelming, but many times the outcome can be great.  I think we are seeing that in our sleepy little town.  Like a teenager going through a growth spurt we are going to have challenges as we outgrow our shoes and pants.  We need to be smart about growth and be polite to people with differing views as we engage each other through the process though.

Let’s keep the small town feel that makes Drippin’ home.  Embrace the new folks…accept them as neighbors and invite them to the Barbershop for a beer or to your house for some home smoked BBQ.  We are growing but there is no reason we can’t stay Drippin’.

Steve Mallett has been a Real Estate Broker in Dripping Springs and the SW Austin area since 2003.  Offices in Austin and Drippin’



Why Do LOW BALL OFFERS Seldom Work?

Selling your house can be a series of extreme highs and extreme lows.

You meet the perfect real estate broker.  They go through extensive pricing info including comps, market data, and detailed sales info.  Once you sift through all of that you determine your best selling price.  Then the hard work begins.

You meet with the stager and get a long list of things to pack away and repair.  The repairs involve 3 trades and you having to take lots of time off work.  It’s all worth it as it will help you get top dollar when you sell.  So you plug away.

Then the day finally comes when you list the home on MLS and start to get showings.  The first low is when you do not get an offer 1 hour into being on the market.  Is this going to take longer than a day?  It almost always does unless you are in one of those super hot Austin neighborhoods everyone wants (Circle C, Tarrytown, Western Oaks, Shady Hollow etc).

But finally you receive an offer!…When your agent comes over they have a solemn look on their face…What could be wrong?  When you start going over the offer you are shocked to learn that not only is the offer 10% below list but the agent has written a letter telling you and your Broker why you are so wrong in how you priced your home.  You are insulted and tell the agent “Call that agent and tell them to take a flying leap!.  I would never sell for that!”

Your broker tells you that it’s common and you should counter offer but you find yourself hating this insulting buyer even though you have never met them and know nothing about them.  After much discussion you and the Broker decide that the best course of action is to counter at full price or close to it.

So what has the buyer and the buyers agent accomplished?    Nothing….except…They have upset the seller to the point that they do not want to sell to them.  What a bad way to start off a good faith negotiation!

A better strategy is to offer close to the price you are willing to pay for the property.  Give yourself a little wiggle room but do not insult the seller.  They will strongly consider your offer and probably move more your way than they would if you low ball.

Negotiating is a learned skill and not all agents are good negotiators.  Sometimes an agent has to low ball because the client wants them to.  If you have to low ball  it is better to just tell the seller “This is what we feel the property is worth” instead of telling them they overpriced the home, it smells and needs upgrading.  Of course they are insulted!

Some situations do call for low ball offers.  Bank owned distressed properties for example, that have been on the market for a long time, call for low offers.  But not a well priced, clean home that is loved by a seller.

Save yourself the headache of making someone mad for nothing.  Don’t write low offers on good properties.

For more info on effective Real Estate Negotiations call Steve Mallett at (512) 627-7018 or

Steve Mallett has been a Real Estate Broker in the SW Austin, Dripping Springs area since 2003.  Specializing in listing to sell and representing buyers in the local area. 


Fireworks Safety Tips

Each county, city and neighborhoods can have different ordinances in regards to fireworks.  Their use, possession, and distribution depend on current burn bans, ETJ locations, Homeowner Association rules and general common sense. Please make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby.

Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

Always have an adult supervise all fireworks activities. Children can suffer injuries even from sparklers, which parents often assume are safe. Sparklers can burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.

Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

To prevent a trash fire, douse spent fireworks with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding.




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Please join us at our Dripping Springs Keller Williams Realty office (behind McDonald’s) on December 17th from 4:30-6:30 pm to see Santa.  There will be pictures, cookies, ponies and crafts.  We are asking for donations to School’s Out, Food’s In benefitting our children in the Dripping Springs Independent School District.  Invite your friends and neighbors! Mallett Integrity Team would love to see you!