My Air Conditioning Is Leaking

I received an email from a client this evening. It read, “My AC is leaking!”

It’s that time of year in Texas. We’ve had temperatures into the low 90’s and people are firing up their air conditioning systems for the first time. Some people never notice the water dripping from a pipe that exits over a window while other people think it is normal. I’ve ever seen one where the owner placed a large potted plant under the drip! Why waste water?

It’s not normal! If you see water dripping, most likely your primary AC drain is plugged.

Basic HVAC Plumbing

The water produced by the AC normally drains into the primary drain that is attached to the home’s plumbing. At the end of last season there was water in the trap that dried out leaving mold, lint, and other residue that clogs the trap. When that happens, the water overflows into the Overflow Pan and runs out through the overflow drain which usually exits the home over a window.

Don’t panic! It’s easy to fix. 

Pour a little chlorine beach into the primary drain (the cap on the top of the drain comes off), let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash it down with plenty of clean water. This usually clears out the trap and everything is fine again.

If this does not clear the clog or you’re not comfortable with this process, you should call an HVAC technician who can repair it for you.

Photo Copyright 2012 Imaged2Sell

Knock, Knock. Who’s There? Sellers Beware!

Door Knocker

I received a call this evening from one of my sellers. A potential buyer had showed up at her home, rang the doorbell, and asked to see the home. While this raised red flags for her, she let him into her home and showed him around.

The good news is that nothing happened.

It’s one thing to allow an agent with a keycard and who has scheduled an appointment into your home, but allowing a stranger off the street to do so could be a recipe for disaster.

Buyers off the street should always be referred to your agent. Agents generally qualify potential buyers before showing homes to them. This process tends to weed out unqualified or “buyers” with other motives.

Sellers, I know you want to sell your home, but please do not forfeit your safety in the process.

Photo licensed from iStockPhoto

Thinking About a Short Sale? Tax Relief Ends in 2012

Short SalesYou may think Short Sales were created in response to the housing market meltdown in 2007, but they have been around for years.

As Gina and I wrote in our book, The Field Guide to Short Sales, “They have not been widely used in the past for two reasons:

1. The lender could seek a deficiency judgment against the borrower for the amount of the loss. Laws vary from State to State, but the lender was able to garnish wages, engage a collection agency to collect the debt, or seek other legal relief.

2. The lender can elect to forgive all or a portion of the mortgage balance. However, until 2007, the amount forgiven became taxable income. The lender simply issued an IRS Form 1099 to the borrower. The tax implications were dramatic. If the lender forgave $100,000 and issued an IRS Form 1099 to the borrower for the same amount, the borrower potentially wound up owing the IRS tens of thousands of dollars depending on their tax rate.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act was a major piece of legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush. The Act offered relief to homeowners, who, after a Short Sale, owed taxes on the forgiven mortgage debt. This relief is great news! Most homeowners no longer have to pay taxes on that forgiven debt. The Act applied to debts forgiven between 2007 and 2009, but was extended through 2012 by the Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.”

Unless Congress takes action to extend the Act, the relief from paying Federal taxes on forgiven debt will expire on December 31, 2012. This could end up costing a distressed homeowner tens of thousands of dollars in Federal taxes.

If you are considering a Short Sale, you may want to get started quickly. Given the time it takes to get the sale approved and the buyer to close, time is quickly running out.

Want to talk to a real estate team with a proved track-record and knows how to get them done? Contact us at 214-227-6626 or visit our website at

Photo licensed from iStockPhoto

McKinney Texas Home For Sale 3402 Los Alamos

3402 Los Alamos Home For Sale McKinney TX

3 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2 Car Garage | 1906 SF/Tax

Single level brick home with pool on treed lot. Open floor plan with lots of windows provides natural lighting. Island kitchen with light oak cabinets and ceramic tile flooring. Two living areas share see-through fireplace. Split master suite overlooks the backyard pool while the master bath has separate shower, dual vanities, garden tub, and walk-in closet. Fresh paint throughout, new hot water heater, new carpet, and recent laminate flooring.

Click here for more details, photos, virtual tour, status, and pricing on this McKinney TX Home For Sale.

Click here to see all homes for sale in McKinney TX.

Contact us at 214-705-2470 for more information or to schedule a showing.

Photo Copyright 2012 Imaged2Sell

Allen Texas Home For Sale 1404 Kenya

Allen Texas Home For Sale 1404 Kenya

4 Bedrooms | 2.1 Baths | 2 Car Garage | 2456 SF/Tax

Nice single-level home in Lost Creek Ranch. Open floor plan with high ceilings. Kitchen has 42 inch cabinets, tile backsplash, walk-in pantry, and ceramic tile floors. Large family room with fireplace overlooks the pool-sized back yard. Split master suite has jetted tub, separate shower, dual vanities, and walk-in closet. Stacked formals. Extended patio and sprinkler system. Recent exterior paint. Minutes from the Shops in Allen and US 75.

Click here for more details, photos, virtual tour, status, and pricing on this Allen TX Home For Sale.

Click here to see all homes for sale in Allen TX.

Contact us at 214-705-2470 for more information or to schedule a showing.

Photo Copyright 2012 Imaged2Sell

25 Billion Dollar National Mortgage Settlement

Foreclosure Notice

The Federal Government and five large loan servicers (Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Ally, and Wells Fargo) have reached a settlement over the “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents. The 25 billion dollar settlement provides relief to distressed homeowners and direct payments to states and the federal government.

The Attorneys General on the Executive Committee that negotiated the settlement have created a website at that provides information on the settlement.

Don’t be scammed by people offering to assist you with filing a claim for a fee. Filing is easy and free to borrowers.

Below is a link to a video produced by TBWS Daily that covers this in detail.

Your Portion of the $25 Billion Settlement

We will post updates as more information becomes available.

Photo Licensed from iStockPhoto

How’s the Market? North Texas is Hot!

The Branch Team Sold SignLike many real estate professionals, I typically wear my name tag or some other logo apparel when I’m out and about. When people notice it, the opening question is usually, “How’s the market?” My answer these days is, “Hot!” Homes under $200k are flying off the market almost as fast as we can get them listed.

We listed seven properties in April–four of them are already under contract. As soon as a properly prepared, priced, and marketed property hits the market, the showings start and we have multiple offers in days.

Preparation, pricing, and marketing are the keys to generating traffic and emotional appeal.

As part of our pre-listing work we often recommend punch-out items and staging of the home. While punch-out costs vary with the amount of work to be done, it averages about $500. A couple of hours with a professional stager costs about $200. This is money well-spent and will be far less than your first price reduction.

Pricing is also important. Homes that are properly prepared will bring a higher sales price but homes that are more than 5 percent over market value tend to languish on the market. Price it right up-front.

Marketing is the final ingredient. Now that the house is prepared and priced right, it has to be well marketed. We use professional photography in all our listings. With over 90 percent of local buyers starting on the Internet, quality photography and well-written marketing text is critical to driving buyers into the home.

There has not been a better time to sell a home in the past 3-plus years!

If you’re looking for a professional team to sell your home in the North Dallas Suburbs, contact us at 214-227-6626.

 Base Photo Used With Permission