Making Smart Offers in a Seller’s Market

Home Buyers Sitting on the FenceIt’s a seller’s market in many places these days. The good news is buyers who have been on the fence waiting for interest rates and prices to bottom out are back in the market. The bad news for those buyers is inventory levels are at all-time lows. In Plano Texas, new listings are sold in hours with multiple offers. One new listing a few weeks ago had 34 offers in the first two days!

The impact is two-fold. First, buyers are driving up the prices of homes to the point where they will not appraise for the sales price. Second, for every buyer who manages to enter into a contract, many more are left dismayed that they cannot find a home. I had one buyer last week who offered $15k over list price on a $310k home and their offer was not the highest offer.

While it often would appear that the offer with the highest price is the accepted offer, that’s not always true. Sellers often consider other terms in addition to price:

Title Policy – In Plano Texas it is customary for the seller to pay for the title policy. On a $300k home, that policy costs the seller $1911. The buyer can make their offer look stronger by paying for the title policy. I recently sold my personal home and the offer I accepted was not the highest offer. I was really concerned about appraisal issues so I took a slightly lower offer that paid for the title policy (among other things) since those items added to my bottom line without raising the sale price of the home.

Possession Date – Typically the buyer takes possession at closing and funding. Many sellers are moving into new homes so being flexible with the closing date and allowing a seller lease-back can make a buyer’s offer stronger. I recently had a seller who was willing to move out of their home at closing and funding, stay in a short-term lease for 90 days, and place most of their furniture into storage. A smart cash buyer came in with an offer that included a 90 day lease-back. While it was not the highest offer, it was the accepted offer.

Residential Service Contracts and Homeowners Association Resale Certificates – These costs are typically paid for by the seller and can often add $1000 to the seller’s closing costs. Smart buyers are paying for their own residential service contracts and offering to pay for the resale certificates. This adds to the seller’s bottom line by reducing their closing costs.

Smart buyers can get their offers accepted in a tight market. It’s not always about the price!

Click here to search homes for sale in Plano Texas.

Tom and Gina Signatures

RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs Opens in New Location


RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs and The Branch Team have moved into our new location in North Plano. Our new address is: 3915 McDermott Rd, Suite 100, Plano, TX 75025.

The new office is on the northeast corner of Coit and McDermott adjacent to the middle school.

Map to RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs

Phone and fax numbers as well as office hours remain the same.

Tom and Gina Signatures

Base Map ©OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA | Photo Copyright 2013 Imaged2Sell

You Missed Your Chance to Steal!

You Missed Your Chance to Steal!One of my agents was out working in our Lexington Park sales office today. A potential buyer and his agent walked in to see one of our floor plans. After walking it, they “hated it.” We have several different townhomes available and so they were shown two other floor plans. They absolutely loved one of them. All seemed right with the world.

They walked back in the sales office and were discussing price. The model they like is just a little over $200k. They told my agent they wanted to purchase it for $150k! When asked why the offer was so low, they responded, “It’s a buyer’s market.” My agent politely told them that this was not going to happen and they went on their way.

Attention Buyers…You missed your chance to steal!

The buyer’s market in the greater Dallas area ended in January 2012. Prices have been on the way up and inventory levels are at record lows. Multiple offers are back as well.

The good news is that interest rates have remained low (they are creeping up) and you still have a chance to get a great home with low payments.

While you missed the bottom of the pricing cycle, you can still take advantage of the low interest rates to purchase a home.

Click here to search for homes for sale  in the North Dallas Suburbs.

Tom Branch, Broker

Photo licensed from iStockPhoto

Grand Opening – Quaker Steak and Lube – Plano TX

Quaker Steak and Lube, Plano TXGina and I attended a VIP Party and Ribbon Cutting for Quaker Steak and Lube last night. Located on the southeast corner of Parkwood and SH121, Quaker Steak and Lube is a unique sports bar.

They offer a LubeStation with over 20 different flavors of wings ranging from Ranch to Triple Atomic. I tried several different flavors and heat levels. Note to self…avoid the “insane” ones in the future!

Along with a full-service bar, they have a huge menu with salads, wings, sandwiches, hamburgers, appetizers, as well as steak and seafood.

If you’re looking for something new and different, stop in and give Quaker Steak and Lube a try.

Tom and Gina Signatures

Photo: Copyright 2013 – Tom Branch

Plano Texas – The Best Run City in America

Plano Texas Best Run City In America

Plano Texas was recently named “The Best Run City in America” by 24/7 Wall Street.

24/7 Wall St. has completed its second annual ranking of the 100 largest cities  in the U.S., based on local economies, fiscal management, and quality of life measures.  To evaluate how well a city is managed over the long-term, we looked at factors  like the city’s credit rating, poverty, education, crime, unemployment, and  regional GDP. The best-run city this year is Plano, Texas.

Plano was credited with the 2nd lowest crime rate and the 13th lowest unemployment rate among the 100 largest cities in the nation. 24/7 Wall Street also noted that 14% of Plano residents earn more than $200k per year while “a mere” 1.9 percent earn less than $10k per year. Plano, Texas is a great place to live and work!

Click here to see all homes for sale in Plano, Texas.

Contact us at 214-227-6626 if you have questions about Plano Texas real estate.

Tom and Gina Signatures


Photo: Licensed from Unique Exposure Photography

The Shops at Legacy Plano Texas


The Shops at Legacy in Plano, Texas has become one of the premier areas in north Plano for dining, shopping, entertainment, and urban living. Gina and I enjoy Sambuca 360, Nicola’s, Jasper’s, Taco Diner, and Seasons 52.

The holiday lights are spectacular. After enjoying a nice meal, we often stroll along Bishop enjoying the lights and stopping in for an after-dinner Irish Coffee or a nice glass of wine at one of the many local stores that line the street.

Click here to see Homes For Sale near The Shops at Legacy in Plano, Texas.

Tom and Gina Signatures

Photo: Copyright 2012 Tom Branch

Pool Homes in Plano Texas

Plano Texas Pool and PatioWhile we are in the middle of a cold spell in the greater north Dallas area, spring is not far off.

With arrival of warmer weather comes the start of our sales season. A number of our clients tell us they will be looking for a home with a pool this year.

We typically advise clients looking for pool homes in Plano to find a home with the pool already installed.  It’s far more cost effective to update an older kitchen for $15k than it is to have a $45k pool and spa built.

Click here to see all homes for sale with a pool in Plano, Texas.

Have a question about real estate in Plano or the greater north Dallas area? Contact us at 214-227-6626.

Tom and Gina Signatures

Photo: Licensed from Shoot2Sell