Kristi_Davis_cropped

Kristi Davis has managed the Irving/Las Colinas/Coppell office of Ebby Halliday Realtors for the past six years, and now, with her motivation and leadership skills, she’s taking the helm of the Flower Mound/Lewisville office, too.

“Kristi brings extensive sales and management experience, as well as a strong desire to assist our Flower Mound/Lewisville agents in taking their careers to the next level,” said president and CEO Mary Frances Burleson. “The recipient of the 2015 Easterwood Cup Broker/Manager of the Year Award presented by the MetroTex Association of Realtors, Kristi offers a long history of distinguished service to our industry and community.”

Davis is familiar with the area as a Dallas-Fort Worth native and University of North Texas graduate. Her 14-year career in real estate has led her through many realms as both a top-producing agent and now as a manager covering a substantial territory.

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The most honest and ethical professions

The most honest and ethical professions

Gallup released its semi-annual poll results where people were asked to rate, “the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields.” If you’re looking for real estate agents, save time and start at the bottom. In this poll just 20-percent of respondents rated real estate agents either “high” or “very high” in ethics and honesty.

Agents beat out car salespeople, telemarketers, and members of Congress, but lost out by one point to lawyers, by five points to building contractors, and were buried (pun intended) by a whopping 24 percentage points by funeral directors. The top three were in the medical professions.

Viewed as a ratio, real estate agents are viewed as having triple the honesty and ethics of lobbyists (often former members of Congress) yet less than a quarter of a nurse. It’s also worth noting that little has changed since this poll was first conducted in 1977.

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4610 Wildwood poolWe know that sales of homes priced at $1 million plus are out of sight and up 53 percent in North Texas from a year ago. I think my message from Luxury Portfolio last month in Las Vegas was clear: luxury and multi-million dollar properties are not just alive but selling well.

Sales of modestly priced houses in the area have slowed down about 25% less than they were a year ago, according to Steve Brown, who also says overall sales by real estate agents are flat this year.

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open-house-red-arrow-shapedA reader writes:

Candy, we have had our home on the market now with a top-name agent (according to the “Best” lists, not someone I have seen on your blog) who has held a few open houses. Two to be exact. Our home has been on the market for over three months, no nibbles. My question is this: how many people should you expect at an open house?

Isn’t a Real Estate agent’s real horsepower in networking and connecting to lots of other agents who know other agents and buyers who might be interested in buying my home?

We have had 15 people max at each Open House (two). One was cancelled due to the weather.

Is that normal? I really do not know. I wonder if other sellers think about this, too, and hope you can tell me what we should expect in terms of a good turn out that is indicative that our agent is working hard for us. We are inside the 635 Loop. Thank you.

Oh boy, that’s a tough one. It depends on your location, obviously, the further out one lives the fewer lookers you will have in the boonies, say. That’s why you usually don’t see agents jumping to take on far-away ranch properties.

I go to a lot of open houses. The weekend/evening events are the best, and many agents have food, wine, and entertainment. Some will have drawings for gadgets like i-pads, all to draw you in to see their property and spread the word.

I’m going to say that a good agent should be able to pull out 60 to 100 people per open house. Please pipe in and tell me if I am on base, off base, or if the base has taken off for Oz.

Update, 3:21 p.m: agents are calling to tell me I must distinguish between an EVENT for a home, with food, music, booze and maybe some kind of gift, and a regular Joe weekend open house. Depends on high rise or single family prop, too. For these 15 to 20 is an acceptable turn-out. But this discussion is only beginning. Feel free to text, call or email your thoughts.

 

 

Bill Petrey

Nearly 13 years ago, Bill Petrey moved to Dallas with his wife to hunt for investment properties.

After earning his real estate license, Petrey’s experiences as a Realtor in the Dallas market inspired him to create his own real estate consulting company, Agent Harvest — a performance-based real estate agent rating service that matches clients with top-ranking real estate agents — based right in the heart of Dallas.

Just for kicks, Petrey also developed the Really Rotten Realty blog, which is a whistle-blowing website of sorts that brings awareness to real-life agents across the country engaging in not-so-ethical practices, such as Million Dollar Listing New York’s Luis Ortiz using Photoshop to glam up his virtual listings.

Learn more about Bill Petrey and what ignited his passion for helping home buyers and sellers with his exclusive Candy’s Dirt Q&A:

CandysDirt.com: Where are you from?

Bill Petrey: Born on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay, raised in Jonesboro, Arkansas, went to college in Memphis, Tennessee and stayed there until I met my wife. We moved to Dallas in 2001.

CD: How did you get into real estate?

Petrey: My family always had rental properties so I grew up around real estate. When I moved to Dallas, while looking for investment properties, I decided to become a licensed real estate agent to get access to MLS. The longer I worked in the real estate industry, the more I liked it and wanted to make it more of a career than a passive investment.

CD: You specialize in lead-generation and marketing. Tell us: What are some unique challenges that realtors face in this market?

Petrey: Realtors face several challenges; the biggest is proving their worth to the client. Realtors give away most of their value for free and only at the end do we charge for our services.  Clients don’t value the free stuff we do, and can’t understand why we charge so much for the rest.  It’s an obstacle that we need to overcome in order to prove our value to the client.

Another challenge is separating us from the Realtor masses. It’s hard to show why you’re better than the next agent, when most of the accreditations and titles an agent can earn to show why you’re better don’t even require an agent to sell a single property.  The industry needs merit-based designations to give the public an easy way to distinguish agents that sell from agents that can’t sell.

CD: Where is home for you in Dallas?

Petrey: North Dallas. It’s a great area near everything. All major highways are easily accessible from North Dallas.

CD: And you drive a … let me guess, Mercedes Benz?

Petrey: When it comes to driving clients and hauling real estate signs, nothing beats my Range Rover.  When showing a lot with a lake view, I love plowing through the brush right up to the lake.  And when showing farm and ranch properties, nothing’s more home on the range than a Range Rover.

CD: What’s your favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why?

Petrey: Bishop Arts and McKinney Avenue – lots of fun things to do and those areas are growing.

CD: What was your best/highest sale?

Petrey: My best sale is any sale that results in a referral, repeat business, or helping a client with an impossible situation that is stressing them out.

CD: Likewise, what was your most challenging or memorable transaction?

Petrey: Helping an out-of-town investor client avoid a foreclosure and helping them narrowly avoid a financial disaster.

CD: How quickly have you ever turned a house?

Petrey: I’ve had two houses sell in one day. The St. Joseph statue worked overtime on those transactions.

CD: How much did you sell last year?

Petrey: Since I work with referrals I don’t know if this number will be applicable, but I distributed leads last year that resulted in over $11.3M.

CD: What words of wisdom do you often share with clients?

Petrey: Never buy more than you can afford, and when showing a home, every detail, no matter how small, contributes to its appeal and price.

CD: If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…

Petrey: Work in the IT industry.

CD: Do you have a second home? If so, where?

Petrey: No, there’s no place like my first home. However, my wife often works the topic of “lake house” into various conversations, so a second home may be forthcoming.

As soon as the weather heats up, so with the Dallas real estate market. If you need to refresh your memory on the best strategies to use to get your home on the market and sold, veteran interior designer Margaret Chambers offers her advice.

To find out how to get your home ready for a professional photographer (which we absolutely suggest you invest in), check out what this seasoned professional has to say after the jump!

1223117-R01-002

If you’re having trouble selling your home, you might wonder what your options are. Home investors and real estate agents know that when you need to sell a home fast and for a profit, staging is the answer. A well-staged home will not only sell two to three times faster than an empty or unattractively furnished home, but turn a higher profit as well.

Not sure if the time is right for you to stage your home? Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Have you had potential buyers through your home, but no offers?

2. Have similar homes in your neighborhood sold, while your home is still on the market?

3. Have you been thinking about lowering your asking price?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, consider making a consultation with a home stager. Home staging is not a licensed profession, so it’s important to do your homework. Ask to see a portfolio and a list of references.

1223117-R01-009 (1)

Even if you don’t work with a professional home stager, there are many simple things you can do to give potential buyers a great first impression of your home. Keep the porch clear, and put a fresh coat of paint on the front door. Placing pots of flowers and keeping your lawn manicured will help bring prospective buyers to your door.

Make sure to clear your closets and shelves of excess clutter. Potential buyers want to imagine how they’ll use those spaces — they don’t want to see how you’ve filled them up. If your wallpaper is dated, remove it and apply a new coat of paint. If in doubt, choose a neutral color rather than a bold one.

1223117-R01-001

As a professional interior designer, I have worked with builders, condo developers, and home owners to stage their empty spaces and homes. I have seen first-hand what a differences it makes when a prospective buyer walks through a beautifully staged home. They get excited because they see the house at its best and can imagine themselves living there.

You might have heard that it’s better to show an empty home than a furnished one. Here are three reasons why that’s not true:

1. When a room is empty, potential buyers focus on the house’s flaws instead of falling in love with the overall space.

2. Many people have trouble visualizing how furniture will lay out in a room. If they are uncertain, they won’t buy.

3. When rooms are empty, prospective buyers start asking themselves questions. “Are they selling because they have money problems?” “Is this a divorce?” “Maybe we can put in a lowball bid and get this house.”

1223117-R01-011

If your home has been sitting on the market longer than you expected, staging is a wise
investment. Home staging is all about packaging a home to show off its best features. More importantly, home staging is about romancing the buyer and getting them excited about your home.

Margaret_portrait_new-sm (1)An interior designer for the most discriminating clients, Margaret Chambers is able to achieve the exact looks that her clients envision for their homes. She has more than 60,000 hours of interior design experience to her credit, and her work has been published in more than 20 industry books and magazines. Chambers’ experience, innate talent, and European studies enable her to confidently mix different styles, techniques, and cultures. Her work has earned her state and national awards from the American Society of Interior Designers, and she has been named a Best Designer in Dallas by D Home for eight consecutive years. Sought after by clients who understand the value of superior professional design, Chambers and her team at Chambers Interiors & Associates, Inc. are beloved by clients for the spirit of collaboration that they bring to each project and their willingness to share in the creative process, not control it. You can view her portfolio at www.chambersinteriors.com

As soon as the weather heats up, so with the Dallas real estate market. If you need to refresh your memory on the best strategies to use to get your home on the market and sold, veteran interior designer Margaret Chambers offers her advice.

To find out how to get your home ready for a professional photographer (which we absolutely suggest you invest in), check out what this seasoned professional has to say after the jump!

1223117-R01-002

If you’re having trouble selling your home, you might wonder what your options are. Home investors and real estate agents know that when you need to sell a home fast and for a profit, staging is the answer. A well-staged home will not only sell two to three times faster than an empty or unattractively furnished home, but turn a higher profit as well.

Not sure if the time is right for you to stage your home? Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Have you had potential buyers through your home, but no offers?

2. Have similar homes in your neighborhood sold, while your home is still on the market?

3. Have you been thinking about lowering your asking price?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, consider making a consultation with a home stager. Home staging is not a licensed profession, so it’s important to do your homework. Ask to see a portfolio and a list of references.

1223117-R01-009 (1)

Even if you don’t work with a professional home stager, there are many simple things you can do to give potential buyers a great first impression of your home. Keep the porch clear, and put a fresh coat of paint on the front door. Placing pots of flowers and keeping your lawn manicured will help bring prospective buyers to your door.

Make sure to clear your closets and shelves of excess clutter. Potential buyers want to imagine how they’ll use those spaces — they don’t want to see how you’ve filled them up. If your wallpaper is dated, remove it and apply a new coat of paint. If in doubt, choose a neutral color rather than a bold one.

1223117-R01-001

As a professional interior designer, I have worked with builders, condo developers, and home owners to stage their empty spaces and homes. I have seen first-hand what a differences it makes when a prospective buyer walks through a beautifully staged home. They get excited because they see the house at its best and can imagine themselves living there.

You might have heard that it’s better to show an empty home than a furnished one. Here are three reasons why that’s not true:

1. When a room is empty, potential buyers focus on the house’s flaws instead of falling in love with the overall space.

2. Many people have trouble visualizing how furniture will lay out in a room. If they are uncertain, they won’t buy.

3. When rooms are empty, prospective buyers start asking themselves questions. “Are they selling because they have money problems?” “Is this a divorce?” “Maybe we can put in a lowball bid and get this house.”

1223117-R01-011

If your home has been sitting on the market longer than you expected, staging is a wise
investment. Home staging is all about packaging a home to show off its best features. More importantly, home staging is about romancing the buyer and getting them excited about your home.

Margaret_portrait_new-sm (1)An interior designer for the most discriminating clients, Margaret Chambers is able to achieve the exact looks that her clients envision for their homes. She has more than 60,000 hours of interior design experience to her credit, and her work has been published in more than 20 industry books and magazines. Chambers’ experience, innate talent, and European studies enable her to confidently mix different styles, techniques, and cultures. Her work has earned her state and national awards from the American Society of Interior Designers, and she has been named a Best Designer in Dallas by D Home for eight consecutive years. Sought after by clients who understand the value of superior professional design, Chambers and her team at Chambers Interiors & Associates, Inc. are beloved by clients for the spirit of collaboration that they bring to each project and their willingness to share in the creative process, not control it. You can view her portfolio at www.chambersinteriors.com

realestate-trust Pie Graph

A survey conducted by Choice Home Warranty last month found that more than 67 percent of the 1,147 adults who completed the questionnaire don’t trust real estate agents. The generations most likely to distrust real estate agents are Generation X, Y, and Millennials, while Baby Boomers and retirees are more likely to trust an agent — but not much more.

Another interesting trend is that rural homebuyers are less trusting of real estate agents than urban ones, and both men and women expressed equal levels of distrust when it comes to agents.

trust-age Bar Graph

Now, I’m not really sure why Choice Home Warranty conducted this poll, as I am sure most home warranty referrals come from real estate agents, and dissing agents won’t exactly get you a bunch of referrals. But the results are unexpected, to say the least.

And it’s too bad the survey wasn’t more specific about why the respondents distrust real estate agents, said Kevin Caskey, Director at Dallas City Center Realtors.

“It is sad that the general public does not trust their Realtor.  The results in that survey are not surprising but I feel it is reflective of the large number of “used car salesman” type agents, which are not typically your top producers in the industry,” Caskey said. “I wish the survey could be limited to agents that produce in excess of a certain dollar amount and I know the results would be much more favorable. Trust is earned and I do not feel many agents have the training or tools to gain the trust of their clients.”

What do you think of the results? And why do you think people might not trust real estate agents?