The Other Agent Will Not Talk to Me!

REALTOR Code of Ethics

I recently closed a very difficult transaction. There were a number of problems and we had both agents, both clients, and the title company all involved in solving the problems and getting the sale to closing.

After closing I was talking with my sellers while we waited for the sale to fund. They related that they were disappointed that the other agent would not communicate with them. With all the email and phone calls that had taken place, everybody had contact information for everybody else. In an effort to be efficient, the sellers had tried to open a dialog with the other agent. They were kind of upset that she would not communicate directly with them.

I explained the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics to them. Article 16, Standard of Practice 16-13 states:

“All dealings concerning property exclusively listed, or with buyer/tenants who are subject to an exclusive agreement shall be carried on with the client’s representative or broker, and not with the client, except with the consent of the client’s representative or broker or except where such dealings are initiated by the client.”

My clients were surprised to hear we have and operate under a strict Code of Ethics.

REALTORS® Pledge of Performance and Service:

“The National Association of REALTORS® adopted the Code of Ethics in 1913, following the professions of medicine, law, and engineering. REALTORS® are real estate professionals who have chosen to join the National Association and abide by its strict Code of Ethics. What does this mean to you? It means that any REALTOR® with whom you work has voluntarily agreed to abide by a Code of Ethics, based on professionalism and protection of the public. REALTORS® are subject to disciplinary action and sanctions if they violate the duties imposed by the Code of Ethics.”

The Code of Ethics is one of many reasons to choose an agent who is a REALTOR®.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

New Contruction Townhomes at Chase Oaks

New Contruction Town Homes at Chase Oaks in Plano TX

CB JENI Homes is now preselling new contruction townhomes in Chase Oaks.

Located near US75 and Legacy, Chase Oaks is all about location with easy access to major highways and within walking distance to restaurants, shopping, movie theaters, and the golf course. Amenities include over 3 acres of landscaped common area, a luxury swimming pool, dog park, and a basket ball-volley ball court.

The first six units of about 40 are about half-way completed. The new building has five available 2 bedroom units ranging from 1412 to 1651 square feet. Floorplans include the Bridgeport and the Callaway. Prices start in the upper-$140’s. The townhomes will be completed and ready to go in late July or early August.

The builder is offering pre-sale incentives. Contact us for more information.

See Chase Oaks Village Plano TX Townhomes for Sale.

See Plano Texas Townhomes for Sale.

The Branch Team with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs is the exclusive listing broker for CB JENI Homes.

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.

You Did Not Change The Locks!

You did not rekey the locks

I received an email this morning from an agent who represented the tenant on one of my lease listings.

In his email, he noted that, “While the landlord changed the locks after the last tenant moved out, Texas Law requires the landlord to change the locks within 7 days of the new tenant moving in.”

This is common misunderstanding of the Texas Property Code.

“TPC 92.156 – REKEYING OR CHANGE OF SECURITY DEVICES.  (a)  A security device operated by a key, card, or combination shall be rekeyed by the landlord at the landlord’s expense not later than the seventh day after each tenant turnover date.”

“TPC 92.151 (15) – Tenant turnover date” means the date a tenant moves into a dwelling under a lease after all previous occupants have moved out.”

The period in which the landlord must rekey the locks starts when the last tenants move out and runs for 7 days after the new tenants move in. This concept is also part of the standard Texas Association of REALTORS® (TAR) Residential Lease. Paragraph 19A reads:

“Subchapter D, Chapter 92, Property Code requires the Property to be equipped with certain types of locks and security devices. Landlord has rekeyed the security devices since the last occupant vacated the Property or will rekey the security devices within 7 days after Tenant moves in. “Security device” has the meaning assigned to that term in §92.151, Property Code.”

The intent (implied in TPC 92.151 and spelled out in paragraph 19A of the TAR lease) is for the landlord to change the locks between tenants but no later than 7 days after the tenant moves in.

See all Lease and Rental Homes in North Texas

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

The Chateau at The Settlement at Craig Ranch

The Chateau at The Settlement at Craig Ranch

CB JENI Homes has broken ground on their latest development in The Settlement at Craig Ranch offering single-level upscale townhomes. Located in the heart of Craig Ranch, the townhomes will be priced from $195k to $230k. The three new floor plans are Camille, Julia, and Natalie.

Presales have begun and the builder should have the model and first building completed in late summer or early fall.

This is a small development of about 40 townhomes. We will post more information as it becomes available.

Townhomes for sale in McKinney, TX

The Branch Team with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs is the exclusive listing broker for CB JENI Homes.

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.

National Open House Weekend – 5605 Southampton

Open House - June 6 - 5605 Southampton

OPEN HOUSE – June 5, 2011 – 1 PM to 3 PM

4 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms | 2-Car Garage | 2743 SF/Tax | $229,900

Open single story floor plan with tall ceilings in Plano ISD. Secluded master suite has jetted tub, separate vanities, walk in closet, and patio access. Chefs island kitchen with built in desk features granite counters, double ovens and recent stainless steel sink. Living area has wall of windows overlooking extended covered patio and back yard. Walk to exemplary elementary school and Breckenridge Park. New high school opens fall 2011. 

Map to 5605 Southampton, Richardson, TX

Click for Larger View

Come out and take a look at this home during National Open House Weekend.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

Are Dallas Home Buyers Sitting On The Fence?

Home Buyers Sitting on the Fence

I was out working in one of my new home developments today.

As I chatted with the sales staff about how things were going, a common theme became apparent. Potential buyers are sitting on the fence waiting on home prices and interest rates to drop further!

This has been fueled by the reports of nationwide home price drops by many of the national media outlets. The old adage,”location, location, location” comes to mind.  All real estate is local!

I did an interview locally last week when this news was released discussing the local numbers.   Dallas Fort Worth is actually bucking the national trend with average sales prices up 3.2 percent in North Texas and 5.4 percent in Collin County. Prices are not going down here.

I looked deeper into the numbers and found that new listings are down 17 percent while sales volume is down only 14 percent. What these numbers indicate is that the market is absorbing inventory at a rate greater than new inventory is coming on the market. The supply of available homes is getting smaller. This helps keep prices stable or rising.

To be fair, values may continue to drop in other places depending on a number of factors.  Contact a local real estate professional to find out what’s going on in your area.

Mortgage interest rates are at 50 year lows. They may fluctuate slightly but I don’t see them trending much lower. The only reason they remain so low today is because the government is buying most of the mortgage paper and holding the rates low. Eventually the government is going to want to push this back into the private sector but the private sector is not going to get back into mortgage backed securities until rates climb.

What does all this mean for Dallas Fort Worth home buyers? Now may be one of the best times to purchase a home. Prices are stable in most areas and we’re seeing an upward trend over the past year.  Mortgage interest rates are at 50-year lows.

It’s time for home buyers in DFW to get off the fence.

Search the North Texas MLS

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

WSBA Interview – Rental Revival: Census Shows Shift Away From Home Ownership

For Rent Sign in Front of Home

I did an interview with Gary Sutton with WSBA in York, PA on June 1st.

It was a follow-up piece to an article published in USA Today titled, “More Than 500 Cities See More Homes Become Rentals.” The authors wrote, “In the aftermath of the nation’s housing-market collapse and recession, more than 500 midsize and large cities have seen a rise in the share of homes that are rented rather than owned”

Most of the cities with the higher changes towards renters were same cities hit hard by the mortgage meltdown and subsequent foreclosures. I saw another news story showing that home ownership peaked at 69 percent and had dropped to 66 percent .

Clearly this should not be a big surprise. Not only did we have a housing bubble, but a home ownership bubble as well. Further, the people who lost their homes to foreclosure still need a place to live and will likely be tenants for a number of years.

The good news is that investors are buying homes in these areas and rather than flipping them as they did in years past, they are converting them into income-producing rental properties1.  It’s a great time to purchase income-producing properties as prices have dropped, interest rates are low, and the demand for rental homes is up.

Contact us for more information on investing in income-producing real estate.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

1. See “Flipping Versus Income Producing Real Estate Investing