Wylie Texas Homes For Sale – 2001 Highland Dr

Wylie Texas Homes For Sale - 2001 Highland

4 Bedrooms | 2.1 Baths | 2-Car Garage | 2639 SF

Wylie TX Homes For Sale – Beautiful Horizon home on oversized lot. Open kitchen overlooks family room with fireplace. Downstairs master looks out on lush backyard. Master bath has garden tub, separate shower, dual sinks, and walk-in closet. Upstairs living could be game or media room. Vaulted ceiling in livings and bedrooms. Woodbridge amenities include PGA golf course, club house, 5 resort-style pools and 8.7 miles of trails. Easy access to 190 and Firewheel Mall.

Click www.2001highland.info for current status, pricing, photos, and a virtual tour.

Source: NTREIS | Photo Credit – Peter Roos (Used with Permission)

Copyright Infringement – How Bad Can It Be?

Laura McDaniel’s blog titled, “Google Images – Do you use them in your posts?” caught my attention and sent chills up my spine.  By now I hope most of us realize that lifting images off the web is Copyright Infringement. But lifting photos is not the only way to wind up in trouble.

Let me tell you a story that will change the way you think about it.

We purchased a website template for a small website we ran as a lead generator.   The template included a really nice image that suited our needs so we kept it and went live with the site in February of that year.  Come July I get a Cease and Desist letter from a law firm and along with an invoice for $1000 as liquidated damages in lieu of a suit being filed.

That kind of letter will back you up.  I figured I could handle this on my own since I purchased the photo as part of a template so I faxed off a letter to the law firm telling them how this occurred and that we purchased the photo as part of a template.  I even included a copy of the receipt and contact information for the company who sold it to us.  I figured that was taken care of and went back to work.

A few days later I get a return fax telling me that the company who sold us the photo had not licensed it.  They wanted us to comply with the Cease and Desist and pay them the $1000.  At this point I gave in and called my lawyer.  This was the start of a serious lesson in US Copyright Law.

Lessons learned:

– US Copyright Law does not recognize innocent infringement. I had it on our site and regardless of how it got there (with a few exceptions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act – none of which applied to me) I was considered a Copyright Infringer.

– Since the photo was not registered with the Federal Copyright Office, I was liable for the actual loss and any profit attributed to the use of the photo. They sell the photo for $49 and we had not generated any leads from the website so there was no profit to go after.

– Had the photo been registered, we would have been in far worse shape.  The minimum award is $750 plus reasonable attorney fees.  Awards can go substantially higher based on the situation.


Our lawyer sent the law firm our check for $49, a letter from our CPA that we actually had a YTD loss on the books, and that we would comply with the Cease and Desist portion of their request.  They never cashed our check and we never heard from them again. I paid my lawyer for three hours of his time.  Total cost about $1000 plus all the time and effort.

We went back through years of blogs and every website we owned.  If we could not find the receipt for the photo it was removed.  Now we only use photos that we have taken or purchased from reliable sources. We use iStockPhoto for most everything these days. 

I never want to go through that again.

Susan L. Johnson Joins The Branch Team

Susan L. Johnson

The Branch Team with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs welcomes Susan L. Johnson as the newest member of the team.

In today’s market you need a strong advocate working for you. Staying in tune with her clients’ needs is Susan’s primary focus. Whether you’re buying or selling, Susan’s unparalleled commitment to maximum results shines through!

“Susan was there for us throughout the entire process and has been available ever since. She truly cares about her clients. We would highly recommend her services.” – Shirley Hobbs

Licensed since 2000, Susan continually seeks advanced accreditations to better serve her clients. She currently holds the Accredited Buyers Representative (GRI) and Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designations.

Susan has served on the ALC (Agent Leadership Council), as Chairman of the MLS Committee, on the Board for NTREIS (North Texas Real Estate Information Systems), and is actively involved in the local community.

Susan grew up a Navy/Air Force brat moving nearly every two years, but finally anchored in Dallas. She writes poetry, plays softball, and loves animals. Susan never meets a stranger and always keeps a positive outlook. For that same “positive” real estate experience, please contact Susan L. Johnson with The Branch Team.

Susan can be contacted at 214.227.6626 or email to susan@thebranchteam.com.

Posting Phantom Listings to Internet Sites – Is It Legal or Ethical?

I received an email this afternoon from a potential client.  He had found a listing on Zillow and had emailed me for more information.  The listing did not have an address but an ID number in Plano, Texas. The listing had been posted by a local agent with a large brokerage.

I dropped over to the MLS and brought up all of her listings.  She had 7 active listings and none in Plano. I went back over to Zillow and noted she has over 170 active listings.  I dropped her an email and asked her for the MLS number or listing information if this was a non-MLS listing. She emailed back that, I could look it up myself on a local new homes sales site.

What’s she’s done is to copy new home listings and put them up on Zillow as if they are her listings. I see some resale listings as well.  I’ll bet those have been poached from other agents.

I see three issues–legal, ethical, and copyright.

I can’t find the rule in the Texas Property Code, but offering a property for sale without the consent of the owner rings a bell with me. 

This is a clear violation of Article 12 of NAR’s Code of Ethics.  SOP 12-4 states, ” REALTORS® shall not offer for sale/lease or advertise property without authority. When acting as listing brokers or as subagents, REALTORS® shall not quote a price different from that agreed upon with the seller/landlord.

Many of the “photos” are artists renderings taken from the builders’ listings. This is a clear case of copyright infringement.

I dropped her broker an email letting him know about the situation.

I started to dig around and easily found another broker doing the same thing. I’ll email him in the morning. 

If they don’t take the “listings” down, I plan on going the distance with an ethics complaint.

I wonder how widespread this is?

Ms. Buyer, We Rejected Your Offer On Our House-It’s Okay Because We’re Not Going to Give It Away

Counterpoint to Cindy Jones’ blog titled, “Mr. Seller You Didn’t Accept Our Offer On Your House-It’s Okay We’re Not Heartbroken


Dear Ms. Buyer,

You made an offer on our property.  The offer was nowhere near our asking price.  We have a great listing agent and our list price is actually below the median sales price in the neighborhood.  We understand that we have not done some of the upgrades that a few of the other sales have made and we factored that into our list price.

We were not sure how you arrived at your offer so we had our agent talk to your agent.  While there are 12 comparable sales in the neighborhood, your agent pulled the two lowest sales (foreclosures) and averaged them to arrive at her estimate of market value.  You then offered ten percent less and asked us to pay all your closing costs plus leave the media equipment.

Our agent talked to your agent but she held her ground that her estimate of market value was correct. We eventually decided that this was going to be a waste of time so we rejected your offer.

The nice thing is our home is paid for and while we would really like to sell; this is not a distressed sale situation. If you’re bargain hunting, please move on down the line and find another property. There are some short sales and foreclosures from the down-line builder available in the neighborhood. We understand that you are relocating from an area where properties are selling for 50 percent of what they did a few years ago, but that’s not the case here. 

We wish you the best of luck in your home search and hope you find that bargain you’re looking for.

PS – This is a true story.  We sold the property a couple of weeks later very close to list price.


The Gulf War – 20 Years Later

I opened my mailbox the other day and saw an envelope marked, “Gulf War Review – Information for Veterans who served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.”

My mind flashed back. I was a 30 year old First Sergeant from Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas being sent to support another wing that was deployed.  Rather than a huge troop transport loaded with people, there were two of us (plus the aircrew) flying in a KC-135. The KC-135 is a tanker used to refuel other aircraft, but we were hauling cargo into the classified location.  After flying for 26 hours and half-way around the world, I remember walking off the aircraft onto the tarmac–what a strange mixture of apprehension and excitement.

Our wing was one of the few to lose an aircraft and three of her six crewmembers. I remember attending a non-denominational gathering to remember those we lost and to give thanks for the three who were saved.  I can still see it in my mind’s eye.  It was a bright, sunny morning. The air was calm, it was quiet, and there wasn’t a breeze.  It was eerie, almost like nature knew we were mourning the loss of friends and fellow airmen. As the third name of the deceased was read, the breeze picked up and three little birds flew into the large tent where we were gathered.  The crowd noticed and a low murmur broke out.  It was like our friends had new wings and had come to let us know they were okay.  We left that gathering with a renewed spirit.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years this August.  I opened the envelope and found a poster honoring Gulf War Veterans along with an 11-page newsletter primarily dealing with the 12 major health issues faced by Gulf War veterans and what the Veterans Administration was trying to do about them. I consider myself among the lucky-alive and healthy.


Are You Show-Ready?

Are You Show-Ready?

We were out showing homes and began wondering why so many occupied homes are not properly prepared for showings. The sellers knew we were going to show their home several hours in advance and yet most of them were not “show-ready” when we arrived.

What is “show-ready”? Here’s a little background before we answer the question.

Homes sell on either emotion or price. Homes that create emotion with buyers sell faster and at a higher price. Many sellers hire a professional stager to help create that warm and inviting atmosphere. While professional staging is a great idea, we’ve seen staged homes that would look even better if they were “show-ready.”

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:

• Open all the blinds and turn on all the lights including the garage and walk-in attic. Homes that are light and bright appear larger and more inviting. If you have ceiling fans, turn them all on low.

• Have some soft music playing. If you have a media room, leave a movie playing with the sound turned down low.

• Scents are important to creating emotion. In years past, we would leave a drop of vanilla on a light bulb. When the agent turned on the light, the heat would release the vanilla fragrance into the air. Times have changed and now we can simply purchase small air fresheners. While some fragrance is good, too much can be overpowering. If you can, burn a candle until you have to leave. Candles often smell more natural than the artificial air fresheners.

• If you have time, run the vacuum cleaner over the carpets. Buyers notice when the carpets look like nobody has walked on them.

• While you may love your pets, many people are afraid of them and they often get in the way. Taking your pet with you during the showing is the best idea. Some dogs are crate-trained and sit quietly in their crate. However, there’s nothing more annoying than listening to a dog bark the whole time you’re viewing a home.

• Don’t be there when the agent and buyers arrive. It’s awkward and makes the buyers uncomfortable. Buyers want to be able to peek into closets and kitchen cabinets. They want to be able to discuss what they like and don’t like with their agent and each other. If you’re there, it will be a short showing! Leave the selling to the agent.

Many sellers assume the showing agent will arrive ahead of time to get the home show-ready. If I’m only showing one home, I often arrive early and get the lights on. However, if I’m showing 10 homes, I have the buyers with me and we both walk in at the same time for that important first impresion.

Buyers decide in the first 60 seconds if they like the home. Get your home show-ready and make the most of that minute!