East Dallas real estateDave Perry-Miller Realtor Scott Kaserman thought the sale on his East Dallas listing at 6051 Penrose Ave. was a done deal when they inked a contract yesterday. But today brought bad news.

“It went into multiple offers and under contract yesterday, only to come back on this morning because the buyer got cold feet,” he said.

So that means this darling Burghers Ballard cottage, located near Mockingbird and Skillman, is back on the market. Kaserman has scheduled an open house for Sunday from 2-4 p.m. and said he hopes to get multiple offers again. East Dallas real estateBuilt in 1939, this house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, 1,506 square feet, and loads of personality. Think delightful curb appeal with mature trees and landscaping, arched interior doorways, hardwood floors, a renovated kitchen and bathrooms, and lots of natural light. The house is within walking distance to Greenville Avenue and White Rock Lake, and is listed for $435,000.



You are selling your home, you want to sell it as quickly as possible for as much as possible. How do you find the best possible agent?

Get one who knows how to catch a whale!

In one of his more entertaining sessions, Brad Iman here at Real Estate Connect 2015 brought in Larry Altschul, senior vice president of customer development at MGM Resorts International. He’s the guy who is charged with bringing the “Whales” to Vegas – whales being the term used colloquially in business for high net worth rollers. In Vegas terms, it’s folks ready to bet at least $100,000 at casinos. Guys who, as Larry said yesterday, drop $100,000 on a weekend for fun and do not blink an eye.

He told us he brings them in, and also makes sure they pay. (more…)

Hip Pocket

Update: This is a mobile app only open to licensed Realtors. Another tool to help Realtors communicate with lightening speed on their mobile devices, where let’s face it, we all live with each other. Download HipPocket on thebApple App Store today http://hppkt.co/GetHipPocket

You know about The Unlisted, and Facebook Friends, the private real estate social networks we have told you about here on CandysDirt.com… and will continue to tell you about. We think there is such a presence and need for off-market listings that essentially a whole second market is being created. Most of these properties are selling at the highest end of the market, where sellers are more concerned with knowing who is touring the property than getting the largest number of buyers through the door — what MLS has traditionally done. Because of low housing inventory, these sellers are not shortchanging their pricing, either. It’s a matter of speed: agents want to get the word out quickly, and guess what can do that? Technology!

Today a new site launches called HipPocket, the brain child of Dallas broker extraordinaire Clay Stapp and James Bohan-Pitt. How cool is this: the company was just featured in Tech.co. and scored as the hottest local startup. Fourteen startups strutted their stuff at The Dallas Entrepreneurial Center  to more than 100 people —  HipPocket & HedgeChatter snagged the titles of Hottest Startups in Dallas! Hip Pocket is so easy to use — when I played with it I had my home listed in about 30 seconds. Plus the software allows for commentary on the property, sharing, and instantaneous agent contact. (more…)

Geline Spinks and Carla LaPointe

Carla LaPointe used to tote her daughter, Geline Spinks, to courthouses in the early days of her career in the title business. Today, Carla works for Geline at Community National Title, keeping the family in the business.

When I sat down with Geline Spinks and her mother, Carla LaPointe, for coffee, I had to admit to both of these women that I wasn’t exactly well-versed in what title companies do exactly. I knew that there was some research involved, that examiners looked at a property’s history of ownership before a sale could close to make sure that there were no liens and other debts that could halt the sale of a house. Just a very, very general idea.

Both Carla and Geline graciously took the time to explain what they do at Community National Title, a woman and minority-owned title company based out of Uptown. The firm, headed by Helen Epps and helmed by a team including Philip Postel and Johnny Collins, is building a staff of strong, knowledgeable title professionals. It just so happens that some of them share the same genes.

Carla has been in the title business since 1976, and started her own title research firm in 1988 when Geline was just a wee one. Carla and her husband, Pete LaPointe, would tote little Geline to courthouses as they did research. “She was an angel,” Carla said of her daughter, who often colored and drew and charmed everyone she met.

In fact, it was one of Geline’s drawings that helped prove a contentious battle over a property’s title. When a courthouse clerk was asked if she could prove that Carla and Pete had been there to discover the provenance of the land in question, she handed over one of little Geline’s artworks.

Since then, Geline has come into her own in the business, working for several title companies including Capital Title and Hexter-Fair. “I started out with the documents, just doing the research,” Geline said, but she wanted to grow into the business. “I would tell people to throw me anything, I want to learn everything.” Now she is at Community National Title, where she was recently promoted to plant manager.


Here is the Realtor, Timea Edelenyi, walking down into the 'dungeon' of this Bolton, Ontario, listing. Can you guess what happens next?

Here is the Realtor, Timea Edelenyi, walking down into the ‘dungeon’ of this Bolton, Ontario, listing. Can you guess what happens next?

Yes, it’s finally happened. A Realtor has made a Fifty Shades of Grey-themed listing video. And it’s not bad, either. Jump to watch!


What do savvy sellers ask their agents in the pre-listing interview? About getting their home in the newspaper?  Ha! Only if it’s a nursing home! Smart sellers care about two things: internet exposure and —

“Do you belong to one of the top hip pocket Facebook groups in town?

Pre-sizzle seals the sale. In this white-hot market of low inventory, buyers need an agent with ESP, one who knows which homes will be listed even before their owners know it! Or at least before every other Realtor.

In Dallas, south of LBJ, that would be an agent who belongs to Real Estate Friends, a private, closed Facebook group of about 800 agents.

But now, there’s a new kid in town who wants to let ALL real estate agents join the pre-listing party.

Daylon Pereira is a top agent with Allie Beth Allman’s Urban team who has partnered with two Stanford MBA graduates to create a website for agents to share hip pockets called The Unlisted.  Already up and running in Dallas, Pereira’s team plans to open in multiple major cities from Miami to Chicago, LA, Austin, Houston, New York City, San Francisco, anywhere where real estate inventory is tighter than an East Texas tick.

“Our team has a deep knowledge of the residential real estate market. We see tremendous demand and not enough supply in the largest US cities,” says Pereira. “We see a market where privacy and exclusivity results in additional value for buyers and sellers. We see agents leveraging their networks and struggling with sub-optimal tools to find the right properties for their clients, and the right buyers for their properties. We want to give agents the modern and easy to use tools they need to be successful in this ever-changing, fast-paced environment. (more…)

Dallas Morning News building

If you didn’t know this in 2014, know it in 2015: the ways you reach consumers through marketing are changing, and changing fast. That is very important for anyone selling real estate — agent, broker or homeowner — to understand. Social media and online portals are flying light years over print for advertising new listings, especially in areas like our’s, where inventory is low.

So it is interesting to see that A. H. Belo Corporation, owner of The Dallas Morning News, just rang up three Dallas-based marketing companies: Distribion, MarketingFX and Vertical Nerve.

Looks like these companies —Distribion anyhow — creates ways of simplifying all the myriads of marketing channels small businesses have to navigate in marketing. That would be social media, online, even print for the following fields:  insurance, financial services, telecom, technology, biopharmaceuticals, hospitality and travel, business services, and franchises. Say they show results, too.

This kind of perked my interest to see if any of this could apply to Real Estate.

“The addition of these three new companies to our portfolio represents an opportunity for our advertising clients to take advantage of data-driven marketing automation technology and services,” said Jim Moroney, publisher and chief executive officer of The News.

Smart move for Belo, and interesting to see how the company will integrate existing clients. The acquisition is yet another way  A.H. Belo is diversifying, edging into the digital world and whittling down newspaper holdings. You may recall that in 2012, The News acquired Pegasus News and Speakeasy, a social media marketing company, as well as other digital marketing companies aimed at small local businesses.


Photo courtesy of the Dallas Morning News Kye R. Lee/Staff Photographer

Remember when we told you about Gabe Abshire’s Utility Concierge, the brilliant company that hooks up all your utilities and services when you move into a new home? Thinking of what a pain in the neck all that can be gives me a headache and makes me almost not want to move!

We told Realtors and readers how smart this company is, and how it’s free to the consumer. You move into a home, you call Utility Concierge, and within 24 hours a nice gentleman who speaks English calls you back. They are in Dallas, not Bangladesh, I have seen them with my own eyes. They handle all of your utility hook ups from the water to the high speed internet and security. Cost to you: nada.  And they get you the very best pricing. How? Easy: they have huge market share so they can lean on the utilities for the best rates. They come back to you with the best package rates, you decide what you want, supply a credit card or check, and it’s done. Gabe tells me that with most homeowners, all it takes is ONE call! (more…)