North Texas Real Estate Blog

May 21, 2020

How To Standout Online

5 Tips To Help You Shine

When I got into this business nearly eight years ago, the number one thing I learned was that over 90% of home-buyers begin their search online. That still holds today. However, the recent pandemic shifted the real estate model a bit, and now more functions of home buying and selling can be done virtually.

I have sold homes without the buyer even being in town. They viewed the homes online and through video, signed the papers online, and closed on the new home from a remote location. I have hosted virtual open houses and conducted practically every aspect of my job through alternate technical means.

How Can Sellers Adapt To Online Practices?

So how can sellers adapt and stand out in this new real estate realm? More than ever, a robust online presence is vital to selling success. When I list your home, I will make sure that a video walkthrough is available for online buyers. I provide 3D photos so that buyers can view a home virtually.

For any of these features to bring about favorable results, sellers MUST take steps to make their home stand out online. Here are my five pro-tips to help you do just that.

Curb appeal

This one is first on my list. It would be best if you prepared your home to catch the attention of online shoppers, but now you also need to capture their hearts when they drive by. Buyers have a more significant reason presently to drive by homes before they view them. Tend to your lawn, your trees, and your landscape. Lay down fresh mulch and add some color to your flowerbeds.

Neutralize Your Walls.

Gray. White. Taupe. Keep your walls a neutral color and avoid intense colors. If you have older-style wallpaper, remove it and paint the walls a neutral color. Neutral colors and clean walls make a HUGE difference in photos and in person. A fresh coat of paint is an easy way to boost your home's appeal.

De-clutter

A clean and simple environment is crucial for photos. Clear away everything from your bathroom and kitchen counters. You can have some simple decor items such as a bowl of soaps or a bowl of fruit. Remove those refrigerator magnets. Simplify the art and photo displays on your walls. Get rid of excess furniture. Focus on creating an open and inviting path throughout the home. Remove furniture that blocks movement or view to the next room or windows. Keep in mind - you are not setting each room up for your day-to-day living - you are setting up the spaces to look good on camera.

Stage Where It Matters

The most important rooms in your home are the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. It also would help if you spent a little time on the entryway to set the mood when a buyer enters your home. Make the decor current and eye-catching or removed altogether. During this time, we have been staging homes in three ways.

  • In-person staging where the stager comes into the house to set it up for photography.
  • Virtual stating sessions where the stager studies photos of the rooms, generates a list of instructions and meets with the owner in a video meeting to finalize the process.
  • Use of technology to add virtual furniture to an empty room.

Price It Right

The right price is so important these days. Take a look at all the homes in your price range. Consider yourself in a beauty pageant, and those other homes are your competitors. To win, you have to look the best and provide the best value. If all those other homes are prettier or more talented than you, then all you can do is adjust your price.

Are You Ready To Sell Your Home?

I am ready to help you get to the finish line. Start with a free home valuation and a virtual or in-person consultation on getting your home ready. Give me a call today to get started. 

Posted in Selling a Home
May 1, 2020

How Did One Month Of Quarantine Affect Housing?

After a full month of quarantine, we have some data

I ran reports today to see how the Collin County market is doing after a full month of quarantine. All month long my colleagues and I have been discussing how we feel the market is doing. Everyone agrees that the market seems very strong. The consensus is that the inventory is low and buyers are battling it out over the best homes that hit the market. 

Is this a fair indicator? 

Sure the inventory is low. And definitely the buyers that are out there are serious about finding a good home. They are fighting over the good ones. (read that as - multiple offers still exist) However, when you look at the data, the VOLUME is actually lower now than this time last year. Take a look below at the data. We have seen a decrease in the number of listings, the number of homes under contract, and the number of closings. The only thing we have seen an improvement on is the number of days on the market. 

What Can We Expect This Summer?

Many experts predict that once the restrictions are completely lifted, our summer market will be flooded with both buyers and sellers. As more of our communities get back to work and our economy picks up, we expect the housing market to take the lead.

Yet some are taking a more cautious approach. We've already seen many of the iBuyers halt home purchases in our area. We've also seen some major brokerages cut staff (Redfin, Compass) The main concern is how the unemployment will slow the recovery

Wondering What This Means For You? 

I think this is a great time to buy or sell. The inventory is still low and the buyers that are out there are making offers. Interest rates are low and buyers should take advantage of that. Housing prices are holding steady. If you are ready to make a move, give me a call. Let's discuss your goals and talk about the specific data for your area. 

April 14, 2020

The Texas Home Buyers & Sellers Report

Texas buyers and sellers report

The Texas Association of Realtors Report

Each year the Texas Association of Realtors releases a report of data pertaining to the demographics, motivations, and opinions of Texas homebuyers and sellers. I love to review this report and see what the latest trends are in the market. Check out the full report right here.  

This year, I found it interesting to compare some key statistics against the Texas market from the previous decade. Take a look at the video below. Where are you first-time homebuyers? I can help!

 

April 7, 2020

The Hidden Dangers of Mortgage Forbearance

 

What is mortgage forbearance?

Have you received an offer to skip some of your mortgage payments due to hardship caused by COVID-19? If so, you NEED to watch this video... You may have gotten a letter in the mail with an offer to skip three or more of your mortgage payments. While this may sound tempting, make sure you read the fine print.

Forbearance or Deferment?

Depending on the circumstances and loan type, customers can request to defer their payments, and the payments would then be added to the end of their loan. In other cases, you may be approved to defer your payment but will be required to make a balloon payment just a few short months later. For example, if you skip 4 of your mortgage payments, in the 5th month, the bank would expect you to pay the prior 4 months in full, all at once.

Many are not aware of this fact and may not be in the position to make this large of a payout in the foreseeable future.

How do you know which hardship offer you can use?

Be sure you contact your lender to get all the facts before taking advantage of any relief offers. If you or someone you know is facing financial hardship, you may have additional options outside of deferring your payments.

Want to talk about all your options?

I am taking virtual appointments to discuss all your options confidentially and safely. I am proud to be your real estate partner and will continue to keep you updated on the latest.

Posted in Money Matters
April 1, 2020

Adapting To Change Amid COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak, we are now offering Virtual Services!


We are taking great caution to protect our loved ones during the Coronavirus, as well as yours. While our team is continuing to work remotely we've taken other precautions. We are now available for virtual meetings, showings as well as virtual open houses!! Of course, we can still do live showings with precaution. Click here to schedule a Virtual Tour of any of our listings!

 

March 10, 2020

7 Critical Questions To Ask Your REALTOR®

ℹ️ - Can you send me some information about yourself? Look for professionalism and consistency. Do an internet search to find out if they have a presence online. Check out their website, blog, Facebook, etc. 

🏠 - How do you approach working with buyers? Look for a business person that has a strategy to match the current market conditions. Find out if you will be working with the same person from start to finish or if you will be working with a team of people. You will want to meet all the team members if your agent passes you off to someone else to show you homes, or once you get under contract. 

🏘️ - How many homes do you close each year? You want an agent that is working full time and closes more than a handful of homes each year.

⏳ - How long have you been in business? Albert Einstein once said, "The only source of knowledge is experience." Longevity in this business does not always translate to success, but you should look for someone who has been around for at least three years. The fall-out ration for agents in business less than three years is 80%.

🗣️ - What will you do to keep me informed? Determine what you expect during the transaction and communicate that to your agent. Find one that will give you the attention and time you deserve. Make sure your agent has enough time for you. You want a busy, successful agent, but not one that does not have time to respond to your needs promptly. 

📲 - What is the best way to get in touch with you? You should know exactly how to reach your agent or your agent's assistant.

⚖️ - How will you best represent my interest? How will you serve me if I want to purchase a home where you represent the seller? Remember that finding the right home is the easy part; true representation begins when you sign a contract, negotiate terms, and close the deal.

 

Want to know MY answers to these questions?

👇 👇 👇 👇 👇 👇

 

Posted in Buying a Home
March 3, 2020

Did I Just Become A Tree Hugger?

My Interview With Arborilogical Services...

Commitment to Improving Your Home

I am continuing my pledge to bring you monthly tips on improving your home. This month, I've got tips on pruning and caring for your trees and protecting your home.

Last week, I had a great discussion with Dr. Greg Church from Arborilogical Services. He reviewed the importance of proper pruning for different types of trees. He talked about how trees heal and recover from the pruning process. He spoke about the appropriate way to prune crepe myrtle trees. Finally, he touched on how trees can affect the foundation of a home.

I hope you will take the time to watch the interview. I was blown away by all that I learned from Dr. Church. My favorite part of the conversation starts at minute 4:00, where Dr. Church explains tree wounds and healing. It has changed my daily walks - I will never look at a tree again without trying to locate its wounds.

Be sure to check out Arborilogical Services website for everything you need to know about your trees!

How Can I Help You?

I am more than just a tree-hugger! How can I help you buy, sell or invest in real estate? Give me a call today to discuss your plans. 

Posted in Home Improvement
Feb. 19, 2020

Do You Know About Caring Transitions?

 

Senior Relocation - Downsizing - Estate Sales

These are just a few of the services provided by Caring Transitions. I recently interviewed Donna Rea, the owner of Caring Transitions North Dallas Suburbs, and was amazed by the extent of services this company offers. They plan and execute everything. 

When downsizing, facing a lifetime's worth of items can be overwhelming. They help families avoid the stress of transitioning by handling the process from start to finish. They help with sorting, decluttering, and organizing. They help plan relocations. They pack, move and unpack and even make beds and help their clients settle in. 

Additional Services Provided:

  • Liquidation Services
  • Probate Solutions
  • Help with home repairs

They Make It Easy

Caring Transitions is a total solutions provider in senior move management. They are certified, bonded, and insured. They are part of a nationwide network so you can get help with both local and national moving. Give Donna a call today! 214-504-1650 or visit them on the web

Feb. 17, 2020

My tour of One Bethany in Allen

Last month I was able to snag a brief tour of the new One Bethany East building in Allen. This modern office building opened its doors last year. Several companies have moved into the new space including Boss Fight Entertainment, Thrivent Financial Group, and Credit Union of Texas also known as CUTX.

 

They have a fresh and modern look in the building, plenty of conference rooms and shared spaces, and an awesome fitness center for the building's tenants.

 

 

 

I got an up-close tour of the CUTX facilities as well as a general tour of the shared spaces in the building. This is the CUTX lobby. It is very impressive!

 

 

CUTX opened its doors in 1931 when a group of Texas educators founded it. They are a community-based organization dedicating time and resources to teachers/education, veterans, and first-responders.  Last year, CUTX moved their headquarters from Dallas to Allen and they have branches all over the DFW metroplex.  They occupy the 4th & 5th floors of the One Bethany building and will eventually open a branch in the lobby. 

 

Supporting the Community

 

All artwork in the One Bethany building is from Allen High School art students. The developers of the building purchased the art and honored the students at an unveiling event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Around Town
Feb. 1, 2020

Hold The Door

 

Entry Doors Remain A Savvy Home Improvement

Each year, the Hanley Wood Media Inc. releases its (www.costvsvalue.com) Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report. This is where they list various home improvements and score them on return on investment. Entry door replacement has always been a winner when it comes to improving your home's value. This year, they are giving it an 85% ROI!

Take a look at our latest installment on home improvement. We visited Seconds & Surplus in Lewisville to review the types of doors available and break down the pros and cons of each type. 

Watch it to the end! We had a LOT of bloopers for this one. 🙊