Seller-Financing Licensing Exemption Reinstated

Great news for sellers who finance in Texas: Texas Department of Savings & Mortgage Lending Commissioner Doug Foster has issued a notice that allows the continuation of the de minimis exemption until further action is taken by the Legislature. This exemption, which was briefly repealed by the federal SAFE Act, means that a seller can once again finance up to five properties in a 12-month period without being licensed as a residential mortgage loan originator. The Texas Association of REALTORS® worked closely with the agency in its efforts to continue to allow the exemption to apply in Texas.

The de minimis exemption has not yet been recodified, but the Texas Association of REALTORS® will continue to work during the next legislative session to see that it is reinstated in statute. 

Source:  Texas Association of REALTORS®


Nations Home-Warranty August Newsletter

Maintenance of the foundation of the home is the August topic.

Because there are so many first time homeowners and people who have just moved to Texas, this topic is very important in the current hot dry weather. A foundation watering system is necessary. Walk the property to check the foundation for separation or concrete cracks.

Residential service companies do not cover foundations, but soil integrity around foundations can affect systems that we do cover. If the foundation shifts, it can cause plumbing leaks or breaks that are not normal wear and tear.


  • After you water the lawn, also water the foundation.
  • 1st and Best solution: Install a buried foundation watering system.
  • 2nd Best: Bury a soaker hose three inches deep and one foot from the edge of your foundation.
  • 3rd Best and most economical: Rotate a soaker hose around the perimeter of the home to maintain moisture in the soil around the house and foundation.
  • DO NOT place the hose against the foundation. If soil is dried and cracked, the water will drop to the lowest point of the cracks and accumulate at the bottom of the grade beam (the thick part that is under the exterior walls).
  • You need enough water to keep the deep soil wet all the time. If only the surface is damp, your watering program is not working.

Your water bill may rise- but you will be saving money by avoiding foundation or plumbing problems later.

Source:  Sharon Harrison – Nations Home Warranty


The Loyalty of the Customer

The Loyalty of the Customer

Patricia Kennedy’s blog titled, “‘Bad’ Behavior Doesn’t Always Violate The Realtors’ Code Of Ethics” struck a note with me.

Customers make an interesting study. It seems that they always want the very most for the very least they’ll have to pay. They are ruthless, selfish, demanding and disloyal.

You know the story. You’ve done business with someone for several years and they’ve been a good customer. You’ve given them the best service possible and you think they are your customer for life. But then some little thing possibly out of your control goes wrong, or they see an ad or get a call from a competitor, someone they’ve never met before, with a slightly lower price, and the next thing you know, they are gone, oftentimes without a single word to you.

At first you don’t notice it. But one day you realize that it’s been a while since you’ve seen or heard from that customer. When you find out what happened, you feel badly, because if they would have just called you, you might have been able to make a couple of changes and save the business. But it’s too late, they’re gone.

This scenario is repeated time and again with business owners from every company who sell every type of product or service. It is going to happen. To pretend that it doesn’t, or won’t happen, is simply deceiving yourself.

It’s incredible how many business owners just write off the loss of a good customer. But that’s not the thing you should do. Instead, now is the time to become even more proactive and go after that “lost” customer.

One of the best ways to minimize or cut down on the frequency of losing your good customers is to resell them on the reasons they bought from you in the first place. Regularly scheduled meetings or conversations with your customers to remind them of their motives can go a long way in helping insulate your business from the competition.

Remember that your competition has similar products, services and prices. Also remember that your customers’ reasons for buying are only 35 percent based on those products, services, and prices – the other 65 percent is for what you can do for them.

Spend the time with them. Review their needs, wants and concerns. Remind them why they bought from you in the first place. Reinforce their motives and their decisions for buying, and you will reduce your customer defection rate and develop not only loyal customers, but friends as well.

Denton Texas Homes For Lease – 2000 Oak Tree

Denton Texas Homes For Lease - 2000 Oak Tree 

3 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2-Car Garage | 1621SF-Tax

Denton TX Homes For Lease – This is a cute 3 bedroom, 2 bath with private study.  Open kitchen with breakfast bar overlooks the living area.  Fenced backyard with open patio is great for entertaining.  Home sits on a corner lot and is close to TWU and UNT.  Pets are welcome on a case-by-case basis.

Click here for current status, pricing, photos, and a virtual tour.

Source: NTREIS | Photo Credit -Tom Branch

SUPRA eKEY for the iPhone – Technology Review

SUPRA eKEY for the iPhone

I had the chance to pick up and evaluate one of the first SUPRA eKEY adapters in Collin County. This device adds infrared capabilities to the iPhone so it can interface with the SUPRA iBox infrared lock boxes we use locally. 

The first thing I noted was the packaging states it is compatible with the iPhone, iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS.  We had to call SUPRA to confirm it is compatible with the iPhone 4. I’m using a 3G but will upgrade in a couple of months.

The first step is to install the eKEY software using iTunes.  I had to turn in my old Display Key and was issued a new companion Display Key to use with the old style AEII boxes.  Basically, the new Display Key is the same as the old one. 

The adapter costs about $60.  The other change is from annual billing of $180 to monthly billing of $17.50.


I placed the adapter on my key chain so I’ll always be able to open iBoxes. Afterall, are you ever wthout your keys or iPhone? 

The eKEY software allows one to program the iBox settings including shackle and CBS codes as well as many other settings.  As a heavy listing broker this was real reason to upgrade.

The eKEY updates over the air so there’s no longer a need to place it in the cradle or get out on the road with an expired key.


This would not be my first choice as a heavy buyer’s agent.  You have to insert the adapter into the iPhone to use it.  Personally, I’ll use the companion key when out showing.


All-in-all, I like the device.  Now if we could only talk Apple into adding infrared to the iPhone 5…

Having Problems Paying the Mortgage?

Having Problems Paying the Mortgage?

According to the Distressed Property Institute, more than 80 percent of distressed homeowners who go into foreclosure have never contacted their lender or a real estate professional for help. That’s a staggering number when help and relief are available.

Without fail, our phone rings off the hook near the end of every month from desperate homeowners looking for help. After checking the local foreclosure lists, we often find that the house is already scheduled for foreclosure the following week. At that point, it’s nearly impossible to get a Short Sale in place to stop it. If you are falling behind on your mortgage payments, don’t wait! For best results, please seek help from a qualified Short Sale Professional right away.

The easiest way to understand the Short Sale process is to think about qualifying for a mortgage. When you apply for a mortgage, the lender reviews your recent bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, etc. to determine your ability to repay the mortgage. When you apply for a Short Sale, it’s like undoing a mortgage. The lender will want to see the same documentation, along with a hardship letter, to determine your inability to repay the mortgage. If you can do this successfully, the lender will likely approve a Short Sale.  But first things first.  None of this can happen until your house has been listed for sale and a workable contract for purchase has been received.

If you’re having problems paying your mortgage, please do not wait to seek help and advice from a qualified professional.

McKinney Texas Homes For Sale – 2804 Colonial Circle

McKinney Texas Homes For Sale - 2804 Colonial Circle

3 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2-Car Garage | 2403 SF

McKinney TX Homes For Sale – Enjoy the country club lifestyle in this clean and well-maintained home in sought after Village of Eldorado. Home sits on quiet cul-de-sac street surrounded by mature trees and lush landscaping. The open kitchen has lots of cabinets and counter space. Master suite has garden tub, separate shower and double sinks. Split bedrooms with walk-in closets. Recent interior and exterior paint and fresh carpet throughout. Numerous neighborhood amenities.

Click for current status, pricing, photos, and a virtual tour.

Source: NTREIS | Photo Credit -Tom Branch