The Homes for Sale Drought Continues

Dought with Nice SunsetWe often talk about the drought and subsequent watering restrictions in North Dallas. While many of nature’s problems are caused by a lack of rainfall and Zebra Mussels, the drought being faced by North Texas homebuyers is caused by a deep lack of homes for sale.

Properly prepared homes that are professionally marketed and priced right are flying off the market in days.

We were out working with a first-time home buyer yesterday and we found two homes they liked. One had been on the market for three days and had five offers, the other had been on the market for one day and had three offers. Our clients made an offer above list price and their offer was not the accepted offer!

What does this mean for North Texas homeowners?

This may be the perfect time to sell your home. Many of our sellers are “waiting until the Spring Sales Season” to go on the market but now may be a far better time. Low inventory and high demand create the perfect storm for home sellers. This is the opportunity to get a far better price in far less time than any time in the past five years.

Homes for sale still need to be properly prepared, professionally marketed, and priced right. Get all of this right and pack your bags!

Thinking about selling?  This is one of the best times in years. Want to know your home’s value? Click here to get a free market analysis.

Are you looking for an experienced listing team? The Branch Team was named a 2012 Residential Real Estate Top Producing Team by D Magazine. Contact us at 214-227-6626.

Tom and Gina Signatures

Photo licensed from iStockPhoto

Sellers Disclosure In Texas

Texas Sellers Disclosure NoticeWe seem to receive questions about disclosure requirements in Texas on a weekly basis. Section 5.008 of the Texas Property Code spells out the requirements:

“A seller of residential real property comprising not more than one dwelling unit located in this state shall give to the purchaser of the property a written notice as prescribed by this section or a written notice substantially similar to the notice prescribed by this section which contains, at a minimum, all of the items in the notice prescribed by this section.”

Basically if you’re selling a single family home you are required to complete a Sellers Disclosure Notice. Note that, “a seller or seller’s agent shall have no duty to make a disclosure or release information related to whether a death by natural causes, suicide, or accident unrelated to the condition of the property occurred on the property or whether a previous occupant had, may have had, has, or may have AIDS, HIV related illnesses, or HIV infection.”

There are 11 exemptions from disclosure:

(1) pursuant to a court order or foreclosure sale;

(2) by a trustee in bankruptcy;

(3) to a mortgagee by a mortgagor or successor in interest, or to a beneficiary of a deed of trust by a trustor or successor in interest;

(4) by a mortgagee or a beneficiary under a deed of trust who has acquired the real property at a sale conducted pursuant to a power of sale under a deed of trust or a sale pursuant to a court ordered foreclosure or has acquired the real property by a deed in lieu of foreclosure;

(5) by a fiduciary in the course of the administration of a decedent’s estate, guardianship, conservatorship, or trust;

(6) from one co-owner to one or more other co-owners;

(7) made to a spouse or to a person or persons in the lineal line of consanguinity of one or more of the transferors;

(8) between spouses resulting from a decree of dissolution of marriage or a decree of legal separation or from a property settlement agreement incidental to such a decree;

(9) to or from any governmental entity;

(10) of a new residence of not more than one dwelling unit which has not previously been occupied for residential purposes; or

(11) of real property where the value of any dwelling does not exceed five percent of the value of the property.

When in doubt you should discuss the issue with your agent or an attorney.

What Kind of Deed When Gifting A Property?

Quit Claim or Special Warranty Deed

I answered an online question today. The writer was preparing to give a Texas property to his child and wanted to know if he should use a Quit Claim or Gift Deed.

While a Quit Claim Deed might get the property transferred, it will likely become problematic somewhere down the line when the child goes to sell the property. Texas title insurers usually will not accept a Quit Claim Deed.  If the original owner cannot be found or has passed away, it can create title issues.

While I would suggest a Special Warranty Deed, it would be best to speak with a title company or attorney about this situation.

See our list of Dallas Fort Worth Title Companies.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

Photo: Licensed from iStockPhoto

Lake Homes in North Texas

Lake Front Homes in Texas

I don’t know what it is about lake-front properties in Texas. Perhaps it’s because it can be hot and dry in the summer or maybe we simply like the idea of seeing water and the trees that usually call the area around our lakes home.

Water-front homes run from $30k for a small one bedroom cabin on a remote lake to several million dollars for a mansion on a large body of water close to one of the major cities. There is truly something for everyone.

See all water-front homes in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex.

See all lake homes in North Texas.

Looking for that perfect lake home? Contact us!

Townhomes and Condos For Lease in Plano TX

We’ve had a number of inquiries about townhomes and condos for lease in Plano, Texas. 

Enclaves at Willow Crest Townhomes

While a suburb on the north side of Dallas, Plano is the ninth largest city in the State of Texas with a population of about 260 thousand people. Plano is home to many corporations and has plenty of dining, shopping, and recreational activities.

Plano has easy access to the rest of the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex using the North Dallas Tollway on the west side, the President George Bush Turnpike on the south side, the Sam Rayburn Tollway on the north side, and Central Expressway on the east side. DART’s Red Line offers light rail access to much of the greater Dallas area.

Rental and lease homes are plentiful. However, townhomes and condominiums are in limited supply.

Townhomes and condos began to be built in Plano over the last decade and are concentrated on the northwest side of the city although there has been some new construction in the old part of Plano near DART’s Downtown Plano Station.

You can search for leases and rental in Plano using the links below:

Single Family Homes For Lease in Plano TX

Townhomes and Condos For Lease in Plano TX

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or want to set up a time to view any of the homes for lease.

Photo ©2010 – Imaged2Sell

Texas Attorney General Halts Foreclosures and Sales of Foreclosed Properties

The Texas Attorney General’s office has halted all foreclosures, all sales of properties previously foreclosed upon, and all evictions of persons residing in previously foreclosed upon properties, until mortgage companies have completed a review of their processes, including whether employees or agents “robosigned” affidavits and other documents recorded in Texas.

The AG suspension notices were sent to 30 mortgage-loan servicers doing business in Texas including:

American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc.

American General Finance, Inc.

AmTrust Mortgage Corporation

Aurora Loan Servicec, Inc.

Bank of America

Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC

Cenlar, FSB

JP Morgan Chase & Co.

CitiMortgage, Inc.

EMC Mortgage Corporation

First Horizon National Corp.

Ally Financial, Inc./GMAC

Home Loan Services

HomEq Servicing, Inc.

HSBC North America Holdings, Inc.

Litton Loan Servicing, Inc.

MGC Mortgage, Inc.

Midland Mortgage Company

MorEquity, Inc.

National City Mortgage c/o PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

Nationstar Mortgage Company

Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC

OneWest Bank Group LLC

PHH Mortgage Services Corporation

Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc.

Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc.

Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.

Washington Mutual

Wells Fargo & Company

Wilshire Credit Corporation

Expect more on this developing story in the next few days.  We need to determine what impact this will have on existing sales contracts.

Source: Texas Association of REALTORS®

New Advertising Rule to Cost Texas Real Estate Professionals Millions

New Advertising Rule to Cost Texas Real Estate Professionals Millions

The Texas Real Estate Commission has proposed a rule change to 535.154. The new rule would require any advertising placed by a salesperson to contain the license number of the sponsoring broker. Brokers will be required to place their license number on any advertising they place.

Click here for the proposed rule change on the Texas Secretary of State website

The current rule requires the broker’s or brokerage’s name to be included in all advertising placed by a salesperson or broker.

While TREC rules require licensees to promptly file assumed business names (DBAs) with the commission, the concern revolves around DBAs not being searchable by consumers and other licensees.  As soon as the new TREC website is up-and-running, my understanding is that DBAs will be searchable.

If this is correct, adding a broker license number to advertising does not really add anything meaningful. I can see consumers calling in and asking about property number XXXXXXX (insert your broker license number) thinking it’s a property ID number of some sort.

The commission estimates that this will have no impact on real estate licensees. I disagree. 

Everything will need to be changed to accomodate this change–business cards, letterhead, websites, yard signs, brokerage signage, etc.  I estimate the cost will average close to $2000 per licensee or $240 million dollars in unnecesary costs to Texas Real Estate licensees. The proposed rule has a quick phase-in date of January 1 , 2012.  It’s basically a year to change everything.

The open comment period runs through October 9th. You can send your comments to:

Texas Real Estate Commission
Attn: Loretta DeHay
P. O. Box 12188
Austin, TX 78711-2188

You can also fax comments to her attention at 512-465-3910.

If we do not take a stand, this will likely be approved at the November TREC meeting and go into effect in 2011.