By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

Title companies in Texas all offer the same basic services. And since title policy premiums are regulated by the state, there isn’t much difference in cost from one to the next. What makes one title company better than another? What keeps agents going back to their favorite escrow officers time after time?

I thought I’d survey a few Realtors. After all, they are the ones who usually choose which title company to send their real estate contracts.

After surveying dozens of agents and lenders, the No. 1 answer was great communication. To win their business, the title agency and closer must communicate quickly and frequently. This was at the top of the criteria for agents like Robin McCoy (Keller Williams), Chris Suwannetr (JP & Associates), Sheri Stout (Ebby Halliday), Erik Hargrave (PrimeLending), Kerry Slaughter (Keller Williams), Mary Anne Collins (eXp Realty), Vanessa Bamback (Haute City), Nichole Vilchis (Keller Williams), Kay Wood (Briggs Freeman Sothebys) and Phillip Walker (Keller Williams).

“They’re communicative with all parties and always one step ahead,” says Amy Timmerman (Local Resident Realty) about her favorite title company. “Updates, reminders, clear and prompt responses,” are what Lori Hudson (Ebby Halliday) appreciates about her preferred title agency. 

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Every Thursday we select a few great open houses for our readers to check out over the weekend. This week in CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week, we’ve even found one that was featured on Houzz.com! They range in price from $369,000 to $825,000. Which ones will you visit?

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Some familiar faces in Dallas real estate are hanging out a new shingle. As of April 1, Local Resident Realty, a new brokerage serving Dallas with a emphasis on Lake Highlands, opened its doors for business. The new venture pairs C+N+T Real Estate Group with the pickaperch team – a package that partner Amy Timmerman describes as, “Six Realtors for the price of one.”

The six, specifically, are C+N+T’s Glen Christy, Robin Norcross, Jason Thomas, and Nicole Thomas together with pickaperch’s Timmerman and Beth Arnold. After years of working together informally, the six got together and decided to “do something great together.”

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The old soul Victorian at 4317 Worth St. is one of our five featured open houses this week.

The old soul Victorian at 4317 Worth St. is one of our five featured open houses this week.

Every Thursday, we bring you the CandysDirt Open Houses of the Week roundup. It’s your insider’s view of the market, and the open houses you just have to make that weekend.

This week, our five houses range in price from $329,900 to $949K. This is an exceptionally splendid group of houses, from the magazine-worthy Victorian pictured above, to the M-Streets Tudor with picturesque good looks. Let us know what you think of our choices, and if you know of any we should feature next week!

 

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4917 Wateka a

Neutrals can get a bad rap as boring and bland. But that’s not the case in our Thursday Three Hundred.

The cottage at 4917 Wateka Dr., near W. Lovers Lane and Inwood Road in the Greenway Village neighborhood, is a vision of cool neutrals and serene spaces. Everything about it looks relaxed, planned, and elegant.

It has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and 1,248 square feet on one story, built in 1946. In terms of location, this cottage has it nailed, just around the corner from Inwood Village, some of the best shopping and dining in Dallas. It’s also close to Love Field Airport and the Dallas North Tollway, making getting around a snap, too.

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White Rock ForrestOur Thursday Three Hundred is a White Rock Forrest home with unmatchable views of trees and nature.

Located at 7640 Goforth Rd., this 3-2 has 1,928 square feet, built in 1956 and tastefully updated with modern amenities. As you can see from the map below, the great outdoors is at the doorstep of this home, including the White Rock Greenbelt, White Rock Creek Trail, White Rock Creek, and Flag Pole Hill Park.

White Rock Forrest

Courtesy of Google Maps

It was listed March 9 by Amy Timmerman with Nathan Grace Real Estate for $389,900, and went under contract four days later! Wow!

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Nathan Grace Frisco Office

Sponsored By Nathan Grace Real Estate.

Thanks to its dedication to client services, Nathan Grace is one of the fastest-growing brokerages in DFW.

Created By BlankSlate

Six years ago, Vickie Parker set her sights on changing the residential real estate landscape in North Texas.

With a professional background in hospitality and home building, Parker was an unlikely figure to blaze a trail in the industry, but she has done just that as President of Nathan Grace Real Estate.

“What I bring to the table is a different way of looking at the business,” Parker said.

Her fresh perspective has helped make Nathan Grace one of the fastest-growing brokerages in DFW. In April alone, agents representing $100 million in volume joined Nathan Grace.

“We are very quick and nimble and can open an office very quickly, and we doubled our number of agents in 2014,” Parker said. “That growth is great, but retention is more important—when people choose to join us, we take their business very seriously. Every single agent who has joined us, their business has increased.”

Nathan Grace Frico Office

The lobby of the new Frisco office of Nathan Grace Real Estate. All photos: Nathan Grace

“Our business model is the traditional brokerage turned upside down—we are service providers.” Parker said.

“The agents are small business owners and we are a business services provider—we provide what they need to be successful, from branding and consulting, to brokerage services and business planning,” Parker said. “If this were a clothing boutique, we would be their personal shoppers.”

“Boutique” is a key concept for Nathan Grace. While doing business studies before opening shop, she looked at what was missing from the residential real estate market in North Texas and found there was a lack of these kinds of brokerages.

“Boutique to us means offering high-touch and high service to clients,” she said. “The common thread is that all our people have the heart of a servant—we look for agents who love to serve others, be it their community, peers, or clients.”

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9229 Ferndale Front

Cute and sweet from the curb, this 1958 traditional ranch packs quite a punch once you walk inside. Truly, this is one of those homes where you take notes on the remodeled spaces, as the sellers have really made the most of every square inch of this beautiful Lake Ridge Estates house.

Not only that, but it’s on one of the best streets in the neighborhood — Ferndale Road — and is inside Richardson ISD. Jump for more on this adorable home from Nathan Grace agent Amy Timmerman of PickaPerch.com.

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