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When NRT, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage, bought out Coldwell Banker United in several markets last April, many thought that big changes were on the way. Months later, our region is finally starting to see NRT tweaking the marketing and online presence of the brand as it will launch ColdwellBankerHomes.com in North Texas next month, after which CBDFW.com will go dark.

Our sources say that the new website, which serves only CB Residential companies (Not APEX or other Coldwell Banker franchises) in several states across the U.S., is already getting more hits than coldwellbanker.com. Now that’s something.

Here’s a breakdown of what NRT will say about the new site launch for Texas, which combines the websites of 25 different Coldwell Banker companies into one consumer portal on Dec. 2:

· It is expected to be the largest brokerage website in the U.S.

· It combines the websites of 25 different Coldwell Banker NRT companies – which together reached 50 million visitors last year – into one powerhouse site

· NRT will now focus its more than 60,000 search terms and search engine optimization on this one website, delivering more visitors and more leads.

Sold and For Sale Signs

As I mentioned in my live-blogging at MetroTex Association of Realtor’s annual “state of the DFW Real Estate union” that happened today, Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, told 300 plus DFW real estate agents that we might expect a slowdown in the frenetic market we are experiencing, to what he called a “new norm”: 2.3% growth instead of the 3, 4, or 5% we have been seeing.

So yes, I can see how Steve Brown wrote that “Dallas-Fort Worth’s runaway real estate market is likely to slow down in 2016.” But his headline was almost a shade of 2007 Debbie Downer days:

“Forecast for 2016 sees slower D-FW real estate, fewer job gains”


What will you be selling in the next three years? Is our market headed up or down?

Thanks to a bevy of wonderful sponsors, Dallas luxury real estate agents will be treated to a panel discussion featuring two local heavy-hitters –

scott Johnson

The Scott Johnson family

Scott Johnson of the Texas Economic Development Corporation in Frisco  &

TierneyKaufmanTierney Kaufman from the Trinity Trust, Development and Outreach

The topic will be growth in North Texas, north south east & west — where it’s coming from, who is buying, and what this region might look like in 2018. This will tie in nicely with our story on how 1,500 real estate industry professionals voted in Dallas and Fort Worth as  the very best places for money to be made, with our real estate having more potential than New York City’s! We are looking mighty bright to the rest of the country, and the rest of the world right now. Will it sustain? These guys can sure tell us.

Last year, we heard from Gail Thomas of the Trinity Trust, Neal Sleeper, president of Cityplace, and Jim Gandy, president of the Frisco Economic Development. It was a rockin’ good time loaded with factual information for everyone to take home and put to use.

Program sponsors for 2015 include Steven Pidgeon of Starfloors, Jim Marks and Charles Polansky of HUB Insurance, Linda Yo with Movement Mortgage, Keith Hall with NASE (National Association of the Self-Employed), and Ruth Darling of Lawyers Title Insurance. The event will be at the Dallas Country Club on Mockingbird Lane from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, and then we chat apres!

French Hill

So the House passed bipartisian legislation Wednesday afternoon to to help keep the mortgage process moving despite the noise from the White House about a veto. The bipartisan vote was 303-121, which is significant.

The bill, called the Homebuyers Assistance Act, gives companies working in good faith, trying their best to comply with the onerous legislation, a four-month grace period to escape steep fines and hand slaps. Which could also delay closings. The TRID is about 1,888-pages of rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that went into effect Oct. 4.

Realtors, mortgage lenders and title companies have been spending months in preparation and millions of dollars to comply.

“I have talked to lenders who tell me they have spent millions on extra staff and new software,” said Brit Fair of Hexter-Fair Title Company.

Does he think those extra expenses will ultimately be passed onto the consumer?

Absolutely. (more…)

The annual conference of the National Association of Real Estate Editors kicks off today with some really fabulous panels. Candy landed in Miami this morning and is already covering the Luxury Real Estate panel, featuring “The Apprentice” alum Katrina Campins.

Don’t miss the reports! Follow @DallasDirtCandy to get Candy’s perspective on hot-ticket panels on luxury real estate and second homes. You can tag along virtually, too, through the #NAREE15 hashtag.


Kevin Caskey, Dallas City Center Realtors director, talks to WFAA about how school ratings influence home prices.

Kevin Caskey, Dallas City Center Realtors director, talks to WFAA about how school ratings influence home prices.

With the Texas legislature set to approve a new letter grading system that adds more clarity and precision to the TEA’s rating categories, Realtors are wondering how the new approval guide will affect housing prices. The measure just cleared the Senate and is headed for the house.

Lake Highlands resident and Dallas City Center Realtors director Kevin Caskey weighed in during this report from WFAA (Channel 8) on the matter. Caskey and his husband have two children at Richardson ISD’s Wallace Elementary, and has seen how changes in demographics have influenced school ratings, and thereby impacting home prices.

“Those rankings are not always representative of what the school truly is,” he said. “I have two children at Wallace Elementary in Lake Highlands, and that school, particularly, has a huge population of Burmese refugees. When those children came in — of course, because of language barriers and such — the scores did go down… therefore the rating did go down.”

Jump for the video!


Bryan Hagan

Ya’ll know Bryan Hagen, who works with D.W. Skelton at Skelton & Associates. Those folks have been appraising Dallas Real Estate for a very long time, and for some very smart clients. We reached out to Bryan to help us zero in on the really hot neighborhoods, the sleepers, and give us the straight scoop on what he sees in his day to day life as a certified Real Estate appraiser in North Texas this month: (more…)