It’s Still A Beauty Contest

Beauty ContestLast year I was telling sellers in the north Dallas suburbs that selling their home was both a “price war” and a “beauty contest.”  Their homes had to be in tip-top condition, properly prepared, and ready to show. Additionally, they had to compete with all the other homes in a “price war” in order to sell.

This year, the local market has rebounded nicely with the buyer’s markets of previous years yielding to a seller’s market in 2012. Properly prepared, staged and show-ready homes are flying off the market in days.

I was out showing homes today and I’m amazed to see how many homes have not been properly prepared and show very poorly. Many of these homes have been on the market for more than 100 days and have still not sold.

If you’re serious about selling your home in the shortest amount of time and at the highest possible price, you simply have to get the home prepared to show.

Take care of any deferred maintenance issues. I’m not talking about remodeling the kitchen, but touch-up painting, caulking, and a good deep-cleaning will go a long ways.

If you’re not comfortable with how to stage your home, hire a stager! While we provide 2 hours of staging consultation for our listing clients, not all agents do. A good stager in our area costs less than $300 for two hours of consultation. This is money well-spent and will be far less than your first price reduction.

Make the most of every showing with a show-ready home.  Most sellers know in advance that their home will be showing. When you get that call, it’s almost show time! Have a plan of action to get your home in show-ready shape. Turn on all the lights, open the blinds, and get some soft music playing!

Regardless of the market, It’s still a beauty contest!

Photo Licensed from iStockPhoto

Gina Branch Appears on Real Estate Talk with Willie Lambright

Gina Branch was a guest on Real Estate Talk with Willie Lambright on August 30, 2012.

Heard locally on KVCE 1160 and syndicated nationwide, Willie Lambright’s goal is to not only help anyone interested in the real estate market make smart, informed decisions, but to help them profit as well.

Gina covered topics including short sales, new home buying, first time homebuyers, and investing in residential real estate. You can listen to the show below.

Gina Branch on Real Estate Talk with Willie Lambright

Click here to see our other appearances in the news and media.

Photo and Audio Used with Permission

Five Sixty At Reunion Tower

Last night Gina and I had the pleasure of dining at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck. This fine dining establishment derives its name from its location in the 560-foot tall Reunion Tower, Dallas’ most notable landmark.

Five Sixty is located within the tower’s glowing ball and the dining room slowly rotates giving every seat a 360 degree view of Dallas and the surrounding areas. Reservations are a must in Dallas on Friday and Saturday evenings. The dress code is business casual but many of the men were in business attire.

We were surprised by the Asian-influenced menu (we should have checked out the menu online first, but that takes some of the fun out of it!) but the food was quite tasty. Like many finer restaurants, portion sizes are much smaller allowing you to enjoy several courses without being stuffed.

The Chrystal Chive Dumpling appetizer was playful with just a hint of spice. “Best Presentation” went to the Sea Bass which was brought to the table whole to be deboned and plated. My “Au Poivre” Filet was paired with a spicy wok-fried corn and a nice Malbec.

During our dinner we witnessed a wonderful sunset and watched as the Dallas skyline put on its lighted evening attire. The skies were clear and the views were spectacular.

No meal is complete without coffee (or an after dinner cocktail) and a nice dessert. Gina enjoyed the chocolate soufflé while I had a single scoop of the 50 Bean Vanilla Ice Cream.

Prices are on the upper-end yet similar to many other of Dallas’ best restaurants. The meal and the service were quite good and the views were incredible. Overall I’d give the experience an 8.5 on a scale of 10.

Don’t forget to have your valet parking receipt validated and to stop by the valet cashier in the lobby as they have your keys!

Top Photo Copyright 2012 – Tom Branch | Reunion Tower Licensed from iStockPhoto

The North Dallas Market is Hot, Hot, Hot!

The Branch Team Sold SignAs the Texas summer gives way to cooler fall temperatures, the North Dallas real estate market is staying hot, hot, hot!

The average Days on Market for properties under $500k is down to just 71 days–a level we have not seen locally since 2005. We listed a property in west Allen on Friday and had seven offers by Monday.

Last year we were telling sellers that it was a price war and a beauty contest. While pricing is less of an issue this year (as long as it’s not above market value), it’s still a beauty contest. Properly prepared and show-ready homes are flying off the market in days.

This is a great time to sell a home. There are plenty of buyers looking for homes and with a short supply of inventory, buyers are “all over” a good-looking property.

We have many resources on our website:

Home Value Request – What’s my home worth?

Seller Tips

Are You Show Ready?

Looking for an experienced team of agents with a proven track-record to sell your home? Click here.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions or need more information.

Base Photo Licensed from iStockPhoto 

Can Buyers Make Offers on Multiple Homes?

Woman Holding Phone in DisbeliefLately, many buyers have experienced the “multiple offer” notice after making an offer on a home. The notice usually asks the buyer to make their “highest and best” offer by a certain date.

One of our clients has been through this on three homes and by the time they received notice that the home was sold to another buyer, their second choice was also under contract. Talk about frustrating!

The buyer finally asked, “Can I make offers on more than one home at a time?”

Buyers can make offers on more than one home. While less experienced agents will argue that it’s not legal or the buyer could get stuck with more than one contract, there’s nothing illegal about making offers on more than one home.

The logical follow-up question was, “What happens if both are accepted?”

In Texas our state promulgated contracts contain a paragraph that allows a buyer to purchase the “unrestricted right to terminate the contract” for a certain number of days for a nominal fee. This paragraph is the key to buyers making offers on more than one property at a time. If more than one offer is accepted, the buyer can simply “opt out” on the property they do not wish to purchase.

While this is not a technique we encourage, in a hot seller’s market or when time is very limited making offers on more than one home may be a good idea as long as the offers include the unrestricted right to terminate.


Photo licensed from iStockPhoto

Tech Corner – Electrical Outlets with Built-In USB

Electrical Outlet with Built In USB PortsI was out staffing a model home yesterday. As I sat in the kitchen eating lunch, I noticed the builder had installed a special outlet that contained a pair of USB charging ports. I thought this was a nice way to avoid the little “wall wart” transformers that come with many of the newer devices.

Being a “techie” of sorts I wanted them for my own kitchen so I was off on the hunt. I stopped into the local Lowe’s store and scored three of them for about $23 each.

It took me about 30 minutes to install them in my kitchen and I was ready to go. While this is a simple task, you may want to consider hiring a handyman to install them properly and safely.

Click here for a list of local Handyman service providers.


Photo Copyright 2012 Imaged2Sell

Close Out Incentives – The Chateaus of the Settlement at Craig Ranch

Townhome in the Settlement at Craig RanchCB JENI Homes recently broke ground on the three last buildings in The Chateaus of the Settlement at Craig Ranch.  It’s hard to believe that they had their grand opening last October and are already closing out. Close out incentives range from $10,000 to $15,000 that can be used towards upgrades and/or closing costs.

These upscale single-level town homes are wonderfully appointed with site-finished cabinets, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops (kitchen and baths), crown moldings, tall baseboards, rounded corners, and many others.. We often say that these town homes prove, “that you don’t have to down scale in order to down size.”

But the beauty is more than skin deep with lots of energy efficiency built in including 16 SEER HVAC, polysealed joints, and radiant barrier in the attic.

These homes have a back patio and fenced backyard. Perfect for entertaining or your pets. The HOA includes use of most facilities, full exterior maintenance, blanket insurance, reserves, sprinkler system, and lawn care. I’d rather be golfing or at the pool than doing yard work any day!

Click here to see Town Homes For Sale in The Settlement at Craig Ranch.

Photo Copyright 2012 – Imaged2Sell 

New Home Rebate

Purchase a new home through us and we'll help you with your closing costs! We'll give you a credit of 1.5% of the price of the home at closing to use towards your closing costs.

Click here for our New Home Rebates page.