RE/MAX Website Number 1 Among National Brands

RE/MAX Website Hitwise Rankings

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The RE/MAX Website is the most visited real estate website among the national brands. The data comes from the March 2011 Hitwise Report of all U.S. websites in the “Business and Finance – Real Estate” category.

The Branch Team is proud to be associated with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs and the RE/MAX® brand.

It’s another reason, “Nobody Sells More Real Estate Than RE/MAX®!”

Plano TX Home For Sale 8713 Isaac

Francesca - CB Jeni Homes

3 Bedrooms | 2.1 Baths | Study |2-Car Garage | 2474 SF/Building Plan

Plano TX Home For Sale – New floor plan in Frisco ISD. Large island kitchen with granite counters, stainless appliances, and custom cabinets. Master bath with separate vanities has garden tub and huge walk in closet. Nice covered back patio. Designer touches include crown molding, bull nose corners, and art niches. Many energy features. Ready in July or August. 

Click here for Current Pricing, Details, Photos, and Virtual Tour.

See all Homes For Sale in the Estates of Willow Crest.

Source: NTREIS

Foreclosures Make Dramatic Drop in June

Foreclosure Notice

I was interviewed by Danny Gallagher with the McKinney Courier Gazette as part of his story on the dramatic drop in foreclosures in June 2011.

According to the Foreclosure Listing Service (FLS), July 2011 foreclosure filings are down 28 percent across the Metroplex, the fifth straight month of decreased filings.

The real question is “What’s driving this change?” I agree with the FLS that while our numbers continue to decline, it’s hard to pinpoint the reasons.

As I dug into the MLS statistics, I note that North Texas continues to buck all the trends. Housing prices are up 3.5 percent year over year and Collin County prices are up 5.4 percent. Higher housing prices allow people to sell, if needed.

Additionally new listings are down 17 percent and home sales are down 14 percent. What these two numbers tell me is that the number of available homes is getting smaller since there are more sales than new listings. This has a positive impact on housing prices because the supply is actually getting smaller.

Other good news is that the North Texas economy is doing well. People who are working are far less likely to default on their mortgages.

Are we out of the woods yet?  Perhaps–but there is still too much economic uncertainty at the national level.  While some areas of the country are experiencing the “double-dip”, our housing market appears to be relatively stable.

If you are a homeowner having problems paying the mortgage, help is avaialable. Contract your lender or local real estate professional.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

Are You Show-Ready?

Are You Show-Ready?

I was reading a blog post written by Leslie Ebersole titled, “Is Your Home Listed to Sell or Listed to Sit?” Leslie writes about making the most of every showing.

I often talk about having your home in Show-Ready condition. 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!


Frontier Communications Moving 300 Jobs to Allen

Frontier Communications Inc is setting up a nearly 84,000 square-foot Regional Operations Center at the Allen Office Center. According to the Dallas Business Journal, the rural communications company will take more than 300 jobs to Allen and create an additional 300 jobs within 24 months.

The northern suburbs of Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney continue to see commercial growth and businesses moving into the area. This is not only good economic news but good news for our housing market as well.

Search for Homes For Sale in Allen Texas.

Source: Based on a story in the Dallas Business Journal, June 9 2011

When Does a Texas Contract Become Binding?

Delivery of Earnest Money

I read an interesting post on Facebook the other day. There was a discussion about the delivery of the earnest money being required before a contract becomes binding.

I’m going to argue that a Texas contract becomes binding when it’s signed by all parties, executed, and all parties have received notice.

I base this on several things:

The rules of the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) in Paragraph 535.159(I) requires delivery of the earnest money by the close of business on the second business day after execution unless otherwise stated in the contract.

The delivery of earnest money to the escrow officer is a performance issue under the contract. This is clearly spelled out in a Texas 1 to 4 Family Residential Resale Contract. Paragraph 5 reads, “If Buyer fails to deposit the earnest money as required by this contract, Buyer will be in default.” I don’t know how you can be in default if there is no contract. You can only default on a binding contract.

Both TREC Rules and the Texas 1 to 4 Family Residential Resale Contract support the concept that delivery of the earnest money is a performance issue.

Additionally, Texas has no “right to rescind” the contract within a certain number of days. Once signed, executed, and notice is delivered to all parties, it is binding.

Updated to correct TREC Rule sitation

Plano TX Home For Sale 8709 Argentine

8709 Argentine Way Plano TX Home For Sale

3 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2-Car Garage | 2086 SF/Tax

Plano TX Home For Sale – New construction on corner lot in Frisco ISD. Spacious island kitchen includes beautiful granite countertops, 42 inch cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances. Extensive ceramic tile flooring. Extra large family room with wall of windows. Available in June. Must see! 

Click here for Current Pricing, Details, Photos, and Virtual Tour.

See all Homes For Sale in the Estates of Willow Crest.

Source: NTREIS