Springtime is the Ideal Time


pansies in front of stone home

 

After cooler-than-normal temperatures, it’s welcome news that we’ll be enjoying temperatures in 70s and 80s this weekend in North Texas.

 

And, you can bet that with our spring weather potential buyers will increasingly be out and about discovering homes for sale across the region. Not surprisingly, those with the best “curb appeal” are often the first to sell.

 

Buyers often pass quick judgment on a property based on its drive-up appeal. A small investment in time and money to spruce up your property’s appearance could mean fewer days on the market and a higher sales price.

 

Below are a few areas in particular on which you should focus:

*  For a burst of color, plant spring flowers.

*  Tidy up your gardens.

*  Remove glass from light fixtures around your home’s front door and clean thoroughly.

*  Wash down your front door. If the sun has faded the paint, consider repainting.

*  Clean and polish your front door’s hardware. Replace it if necessary.

*  Check your house numbers. Are they still in good shape and visible from the street? If not, replace them.

*  Wash the windows. If this isn’t your strong suit, hire a professional.

*  Check your roof to make sure no shingles are missing or damaged.

*  Remove debris from your gutters and drain spouts.

*  Clean your patio furniture. You want potential buyers to be able to visualize your outdoor living area’s potential.

 

If you’re considering listing your home, contact an Ebby Associate to learn more about how to prepare it to sell in today’s ultra-competitive market and how Williams Trew will market your home, both locally and globally, to produce the most-favorable results for you. To get started, visit williamstrew.com.

 

Record-Breaking Month Features $1 Billion in Sales


Beautiful home

 

With COVID-19 still wreaking havoc worldwide, July turned out to be a time to shine for clients like never before, and the agents of all three Ebby Halliday Companies brands — Williams Trew, Ebby Halliday Realtors and Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate  — did. They helped family, friends, neighbors, past clients and new clients get out of homes that no longer worked for them and into ones that did. In its 75-year history, the Ebby Halliday Companies have not had another month quite like it: 2,000-plus transactions translated to $1 billion in sales volume.

It’s not surprising given the leadership style of the positive, patient, compassionate and strategic President & CEO Chris Kelly. Agents know they have in him a champion for their corner, and have been emboldened to follow his lead.

“Really, really remarkable,” Kelly said, in a recent video call to the entire company. “This just doesn’t happen unless every single one of you are dedicated and getting the job done. Think back to three months ago, and imagine ‘we’re going to have the best month we’ve ever had in our 75-year history during a pandemic …’ It’s just unbelievable. But those transactions did not happen without each and every one of you. So, thank you!”

Not only was it a great month sales-wise, but the Ebby Halliday Companies outperformed the market once again in both New Listings and Pending Sales, according to North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, Inc.

“The past few months have been in overdrive with the North Texas real estate market ‘exploding,’ ” Kelly says. “Our team has risen to the occasion and worked days, nights, weekends and everything in between to serve the needs of our valued clients. I am so proud to lead this extraordinary group of individuals – it’s truly been a team effort.”

Celebrating 75 years of service in 2020 to North Texans and those moving to the region, the Ebby Halliday Companies are No. 1 in Texas by sales volume. The Ebby Halliday Companies were acquired by HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and the country’s largest residential real estate company based on transactions, in 2018. The Ebby Halliday Companies’ core-services brands include Prosperity Mortgage, Home Team Insurance and Texas Premier Title. For more information, visit williamstrew.com.

6 Tips for North Texas Home Buyers and Sellers


 

With a shortage of available inventory, numerous offers for the same property, hip-pocket listings shared only by word of mouth — it’s no secret that the North Texas housing market is very strong.

To help you navigate the home-buying and selling waters, we polled Williams Trew agents and collected their top tips for today’s buyers and sellers.

BUYER’S TIPS

Be qualified
Pre-plan financing by meeting with a mortgage lender ahead of time and receive a pre-approval letter that may be submitted when you make a written offer. “Less paperwork and more personal attention” is more than a saying at Prosperity Home Mortgage, Williams Trew’s affiliated mortgage source. Contact Prosperity Home Mortgage for a frustration-free experience from loan application to decision.

Act quickly
In a hot market, acting slowly or sleeping on it may cost you the opportunity to buy the home of your dreams. If you’ve found a home you’d be thrilled with, don’t wait to submit an offer — other buyers will likely be doing the same.

Offer a compelling price
Sellers often price their homes based on historical sold data or appraisals, and in a strong market where prices are rising rapidly, homes may sell for the listing price or higher. Study the sold comps, but also compare the house you want to other homes on the market, and ask yourself, “What price am I willing to pay, and at what price am I willing to lose this house?”

SELLER’S TIPS

Market to everyone near and far
You have the best chance of selling your home for the highest price by exposing it to the largest number of potential buyers. When you list your home with Williams Trew, it will enjoy worldwide exposure on williamstrew.com.

Respond and keep momentum
There is an old adage that time kills deals. A buyer’s interest is at a peak level at the time he or she submits an offer, so keep the momentum going, choose the best offer, and respond promptly in writing.

Don’t be greedy
If a buyer offers an acceptable price and terms, sign the offer and your Williams Trew agent will schedule a closing appointment and expertly guide you through the home inspection and closing process.

Have a buying or selling question not addressed in this post? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can.

 

Pick the Perfect Paint Color


Photo of 3 paint cans with paintbrush

 

If you’ve ever had to pick a paint color you know this major truth, the options are endless. Choosing the right paint color can be an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these 10 tips and you’ll have a new sense of confidence next time you’re in the paint aisle.

 

Bring Inspiration: Take along an existing pillow, piece of fabric, or photo of your space. This will help you make more informed decisions.

 

The Right Light: Make sure to view your paint or paint chips in natural light to assure you’re seeing the color correctly. Paint looks different under artificial light, so try holding the chip near a window or painting a sample on your wall first.

 

Take Home Testers: All the major paint retailers sell paint in small, tester sizes. These are perfect to take home and try out before committing to a full gallon of paint. The small amount will provide you with enough paint to give you an idea of what it would really be like to live with the color.

 

Try Multiple Shades: If you’re having trouble choosing, buy multiple testers and paint side-by-side squares on your walls. Live with them for a few days so you get the chance to see how the colors look morning, noon, and night. Make sure to mark them with identifiers so you’ll remember which one you liked best.

 

Choose Your Drama: Look to the color wheel for inspiration. Colors close together will make a room calm while those farther apart add drama.

 

Do What You Love: Start with a color you love, even if it’s not popular at the moment. Doing this will assure you’ll love the color for years to come. Just remember, your favorite color comes in a range of hues.

 

Lighten Up: If you’re afraid a hue may be too dark, ask the mixer to do a 50 percent tint of the color to lighten it up. Custom colors can also give a room a designer look, but make sure to jot down the specifics of your color for future touch-ups.

 

Room to Room: If you have rooms that are open to one another, avoid choosing radically different colors, which will make the spaces feel chopped up and small.

 

Go Bold: Small rooms that are visited more rarely, like a library or half-bath, can be done in stronger colors that make a statement.

 

Spraying vs. Rolling: Rolling may be the most popular choice, but it’s also the most time consuming and requires touch ups more often. On the other hand, spraying results in a more high-end, professional look that also cuts painting time in half. You can rent high-volume, low-pressure sprayers at most home-improvement stores. With both options make sure you properly cover the areas you don’t want painted.

Delightful Dog Treats to Make at Home


Photo of dog with milk bone on nose

 

Home is where the heart is, and for many of us, our hearts are also shared with our furry best friends.

 

Making dog treats at home is a great way to reward your dog and keep an eye on what he or she eats. Here are some quick and easy recipes that make safe snacks for your pooch.

 

Photo of dog treats being made in kitchen

 

DOG BISCUITS

*2½ cups whole wheat flour (substitute regular flour or oats if your dog is sensitive to wheat)
*1 teaspoon salt (or less)
*1 egg
*1 teaspoon beef or chicken bouillon granules (can substitute beef or chicken broth/stock)
*½ cup hot water
*Optional: Bacon bits, eggs, oats, liver powder, wheat germ, shredded cheese

 

Directions:
• Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit
• Dissolve bouillon in hot water, add the rest of ingredients
• Knead dough until it forms a ball
• Roll out dough until ½ inch thick
• Slice pieces with a bone-shaped cookie cutter and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet
• Bake for 30 minutes

 

 

PUMPKIN BALLS

*½ cup canned pumpkin
*4 tablespoons molasses
*4 tablespoons water
*2 tablespoons vegetable oil
*2 cups whole wheat flour
*¼ teaspoon baking soda
*¼ teaspoon baking powder
*1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

 

Directions:
• Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit
• Mix pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil and water in a bowl
• Add whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon to the mixture, stir until dough softens
• Roll small scoops of dough into balls
• Set the balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet, flatten with a fork
• Bake for 25 minutes, until dough is firm

 

 

FROZEN YOGURT PEANUT BUTTER CUPS

*32 ounces plain or vanilla yogurt
*1 cup peanut butter (preferably unsalted and unsweetened)

Note: Check your peanut butter label to make certain it doesn’t contain xylitol, an ingredient which is toxic to dogs.

 

Directions:
• Melt peanut butter, combine with yogurt
• Pour mixture into ice cube trays
• Freeze mixture until firm (about a few hours)

 

 

FROZEN PB&J ICE CUBES

*About 12 strawberries, washed and rinsed
*3 tablespoons peanut butter (preferably unsalted and unsweetened)
*¼ cup cold water

Note: Check your peanut butter label to make certain it doesn’t contain xylitol, an ingredient which is toxic to dogs.

 

Directions:
• Mix ingredients together, scoop into balls
• Freeze mixture until firm (about a few hours)

 

Recipes courtesy of Cesar’s Way and Pawsh Magazine.

 

 

How to Protect Your Yard From Pests


Photo of Bee on flower

 

High humidity combined with warmer weather creates the perfect habitat for pesky summer bugs. Here are some effective ways to prevent common bites, stings and nuisances.

 

BEES

To prevent bees from establishing a colony in or around your house, it’s important to remember three things: food, water and shelter — bees’ keys to life.

 

As with any other summer bug, stagnant water must be kept to a minimum. Drain pots and repair any faulty irrigation systems. And if you have bird baths or pet bowls outside, mixing in 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water will discourage any bees from setting up shop near your house.

 

Plan an exterior inspection and eliminate any potential nesting sites. Cover holes, chimneys and animal burrows. Make sure windows and screens are tightly fitted and sealed. If you have any debris in your yard, such as old tires, cardboard boxes or old appliances, throw them out. Bees seek out such items for nesting sites.

 

Removing flowers as a source of food is not recommended. In fact, it’s very important for bees to pollinate many plants, including crops. If you have a colorful garden, not to worry. As long as you have their other two resources tamed to a minimum, you’re in tip-top shape for the summer.

 

GNATS

Although relatively harmless, these small creatures create quite the inconvenience with their constant swarming. Plus, you never know what germs they may be carrying as they travel from place to place.

 

If you garden, you want to make sure your fruits and veggies are staying fresh outside. If you happen to notice rotting or mold, act fast and pluck them out, then turn your soil or mulch to allow any moldy layers to dry out.

 

As with mosquitoes, be diligent in draining any standing water and drying out any moisture. With Texas humidity, the drying process may take a while. In this case, sprinkle a bit of sand on top of your soil, something very discouraging to gnats.

 

MOSQUITOES

Unfortunately, Texas’ No. 1 culprit is here to stay. Aside from the traditional insect repellants and home remedies, it’s best to treat this problem at its source — water.

 

Turn over empty pottery to prevent from collecting water, drain plant saucers and fix any leaking outdoor faucets. Mosquitoes often lay their eggs in stagnant water, so the less the better.

 

SLUGS

Like humans, slugs seek out shade on sunny days. And like many other bugs, they love moist areas.

 

To prevent slugs from damaging your plants and leaving their slimy evidence, get rid of any hiding places. Think cool, dark and moist. Try irrigating your lawn in the morning instead of the evening, allowing plenty of time for plants and soil to dry before the sun sets.

 

To protect plants, spray surrounding areas with soap and water. You can also create barriers around your plants, such as rocks, wire or anything rough and abrasive to slow them down.

 

Lastly, slugs have no bones. Therefore, they can fit in any crack or crevice they set their eyes on. Seal any cracks and cover any holes you notice throughout your house. By doing so, you not only eliminate the potential for slugs, but for other bugs as well.

 

If you’re experiencing bug problems not addressed here, contact your favorite local nursery for expert advice.

 

Global Reach with a Human Touch


 

Being part of the global economy goes far beyond technology; it requires the human touch. Williams Trew and our professional residential real estate agents are proud to belong to the global network whose name says it all — Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Only the best of the best are part of this collection. Wherever you go, the LeadingRE logo is a symbol of the finest local real estate professionals.

 

“When you choose Williams Trew to represent your property, you’ll benefit from a local team of experts with unmatched global reach working on your behalf,” says Elizabeth McCoy, market area sales leader for Williams Trew. “In addition to the very strong local marketing for which Williams Trew has long been known, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World provides unmatched global marketing and resources, allowing us to provide the very best service to you.”

 

The result? The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World network produced more than $257 billion in home sales last year, representing over 1.1 million transactions.

 

By tapping into the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World network of 135,000 talented sales associates around the world, Williams Trew agents expose homes they represent to buyers on six continents, ensuring there are more eyes on every property. In addition, Williams Trew receives inbound clients from other affiliates around the globe who are interested in purchasing a home in North Texas.

 

“At Williams Trew, we understand the importance of global reach with a human touch when marketing our properties and delivering the highest level of service to our clients,” McCoy says. “If you’re considering listing your home for sale, you’ll find just the right agent — with just the right connections — at williamstrew.com.

 

PHOTO:  The four-bedroom home at 3716 Lenox Drive in the Monticello neighborhood is offered by Joseph Berkes for $735,000.

Serving You is Our Passion


 

Throughout 2020, the Ebby Halliday Companies – of which Williams Trew is a proud member – are celebrating 75 years of serving the real estate needs of North Texans and those relocating to the region. It all began in 1945, when one bold woman parlayed her wisdom, generosity, business acumen and endurance into what is today the No. 1 residential real estate brokerage in Texas.

 

“Long life is a privilege not everyone – or every company – gets to enjoy,” says Ebby Halliday Companies President & CEO Chris Kelly. “During this anniversary year, we acknowledge this fact with a spirit of gratitude.”

 

The legacy of Ebby Halliday, who founded Ebby Halliday Realtors in 1945, is carried out daily in North Texas through 2,000-plus agents and staff across three real estate brands and in-house mortgage, insurance and title companies. It is now amplified by the Ebby Halliday Companies’ affiliation with Berkshire Hathaway affiliate HomeServices of America, the country’s No. 1 residential real estate company.

 

Acquired by HomeServices in 2018, the Ebby Halliday Companies are modernizing homeownership services and are focused on ensuring that homeownership is available to everyone who wants to own a home in North Texas. Among the company’s primary business objectives in 2020 is furthering access to homeownership opportunities for historically marginalized communities.

 

The Ebby Halliday Companies include real estate brands Williams TrewEbby Halliday Realtors and Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate and core-services companies Prosperity Mortgage, Home Team Insurance and Texas Premier Title.

 

“Simply put, we offer one ‘door’ to everything you need to buy or sell a home in North Texas,” says Kelly.“Purchasing or selling in any other way would be like going back in time. Our complete offering of brokerage, mortgage, title and insurance homeownership services ensures you have the easiest and most secure real estate experience. In good times and most importantly, in challenging times, we have stood by North Texas and North Texans for over 75 years. It would be our honor to put our experience and strength to work for you.”

 

For more information about brokerage, mortgage, insurance and title services, visit williamstrew.com.

 

Tips for Flawless Outdoor Entertaining


 

Summer is here, which means longer nights and warmer weather. What better way to spend a summer day with family and friends than at an outdoor gathering? If you’re hoping to host a backyard soirée, here are some tips that will help things run smoothly.

 

PREPARE YOUR YARD

Tidy up your yard before hosting guests. Mow the grass and pick up any tools, hoses or toys.

 

CHOOSE THE RIGHT SEATING

Patio furniture with thick, comfy cushions are the best option for homeowners who frequent their outdoor space. When hosting a gathering, make sure you have enough seating. Benches and tree stumps are a casual, rustic way to add seating to your outdoor space. Make sure all the seating is clean of debris before your guests arrive.

 

KEEP GUESTS COMFORTABLE

Guests will be more inclined to stay for the duration of the party if they are comfortable. Have ample shade coverage and consider running a fan near the dining area to keep guests cool. You may also want to set out a basket with warm-weather essentials for guests to grab — think sunscreen, insect repellent, handheld fans and iced spray bottles.

 

PLAN A SIMPLE MENU

Opt for recipes that can be prepared in advance and will withstand crowds and heat. Fresh grilled vegetables, pasta salads and guacamole are all popular (and colorful!) choices.

 

ADD LIGHTING

Outdoor globe lights, lanterns and LED candles are all great options for setting a relaxed summer atmosphere. Setting out candles with an open flame is a bit riskier — instead, use hurricane lanterns or jars to shield the flames.

 

PLAY RELAXED TUNES

Set the right tone with a playlist that is easy and laid-back. You don’t want to overpower any conversations among guests. Create a long enough playlist to avoid repeating songs too many times while guests are there.

 

DISPLAY FRESH CUTS

Use flowers and foliage from your own yard as centerpieces. Arrange your fresh cuts in jars or buckets and set them out to brighten up your display.

 

OFFER ACTIVITIES

Providing lawn games like cornhole or croquet will keep your guests occupied and happy. Use butcher paper as a tablecloth and set out crayons for creative people of all ages.

 

KEEP PESTS AWAY

Be sure to protect food with mesh food coverings and light citronella candles to keep bugs away. Eliminate any standing water in gutters or the bottom of flowerpots to keep mosquitoes from breeding there. Offer guests bug wipes and insect repellent.

 

CREATE A BEVERAGE STATION

Make sure your guests are hydrated by preparing a beverage bar or cart stocked with the essentials. Include straws and plenty of ice.

 

OPT FOR MELAMINE

Melamine is an affordable and durable option for outdoor dinnerware. Using the break-resistant plastic will help you reduce waste and also keep the area clear of lingering paper cups and plates.

 

Visit williamstrew.com to view all of the extraordinary outdoor patios on the market that are begging to have you as a host.

 

How to Create a Greener Home


 

There are many different ways to go green at home. Even if you do just one or two of the below five things, you can make a big difference for our environment — and you’ll see the results on your bills.

 

MONITOR YOUR TEMPERATURE

Nearly half of a home’s energy usage goes toward heating and cooling. Keep filters clean, consider a new/more efficient furnace, and make good use of ceiling fans.

 

UPGRADE OUTDATED APPLIANCES

It’s estimated that almost 20 percent of the typical home’s energy bill can be attributed to appliance use. By upgrading to newer appliances, you’ll consume significantly less energy.

 

SAVE WATER

Putting an aerator on faucets can cut your annual consumption by half. Consider installing low-flow toilets, which use just over half the normal amount per flush.

 

LET THE SUN SHINE

The cheapest and most environmentally sound heat and light source is just outside your window. Open blinds, drapes, and shutters to let solar energy warm and brighten your home naturally.

 

USE GREENER CLEANERS

There’s an abundance of green cleaning products available these days. A simple online search will reveal which products are gentler to the environment than others.