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Ronda Allen's Blog

By Ronda Allen | Agent in Amarillo, TX
  • What is a Referral Agent in Texas?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Prosper, Home Selling in Prosper, Rent vs Buy in Prosper  |  March 28, 2012 5:41 PM  |  2,762 views  |  No comments
    When the real estate market in DFW took a turn for the worse in 2008, we knew our time had come to feel the effects of the recession.  We (real estate agents) had to decide if we would ride this market out, like the typical waves of good times and bad times in this industry, or if we'd bail out of the industry altogether.  I watched very good real estate agents make both decisions in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. 

    There is a third option for agents, and I'm surprised that many of them don't know about this particular option.  In 2010, I had my own decision to make, as the recession was still going strong, and I was considering offers from corporate America that were looking much more attractive than carving out a living in real estate while the country continued to recover.  I opted to become a Referral Agent.

    A Referral Agent sends buyers and sellers to an awesome agent for a high level of personal service.  Referral Agents can make that critical connection for people, so they can feel confident that they're going to be working with a professional agent who really works the immediate area in which they're looking.  Haven't you noticed that many agents will claim to work everywhere, but they're not really an expert anywhere?  Referral Agents make connections.  They have no skin in the game on which home you choose, which loan you choose, and they won't be along for the ride when you tour homes.  Their area of expertise is matching sellers and buyers to the right agent.

    What are the benefits of being a Referral Agent?  Our real estate license is ACTIVE, and our fees are REDUCED (no showings = no Supra keycard or board dues).  We're in the business of people.

    Ever wish you could fire a real estate agent, but you are too uncomfortable with that prospect, so you just keep working with them (or hide from their phone calls and emails?).  Your Referral Agent can handle that for you, and then assess your needs and connect you with the right real estate agent.  Every agent cannot be a match for every buyer and seller.  There are just some personalities that don't mesh well.  You truly cannot please everyone.  So, it's important that someone know how to ask the right questions about what you want from your home buying or home selling experience. 

    Want an agent who specializes in buyers only, listings only, or a buying agent who will also be happy to help you lease a home instead?  The Referral Agent can weed through the list of agents on your behalf, so that you remain anonymous. 

    Referral agents, because they are fully licensed real estate agents, can accept referral fees from other agents.  Because of that, they can offer their services free of charge to the buyer or seller.  The agent lucky enough to earn your business is happy to hear from a referral agent.  Their marketing, or their reputation, or even the past transactional experiences with the referring agent helps them stand out.  Results matter.  Earning business through a referring agent is a high compliment in real estate.  It's one professional calling upon the services of another professional of equal measure.  Peer-to-peer referrals build trust between the agents and the clients.  When both sides are happy, nobody is looking for an escape hatch, and they can focus on the task at hand.  There are enough things to focus on when buying or selling a home.  Not knowing how to find/select the right agent can be taken right off your plate with one phone call to a Referral Agent.

    Have a blessed day!

    Ronda Allen, C.P.M., SFR, TAHS
    Referral Agents of Texas, LLC
    Phone:  972-816-4369


  • Open House Schedule / Ronda Allen - RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs 10/21-10/31

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Prosper, Home Selling in Prosper, Rent vs Buy in Prosper  |  October 20, 2010 12:19 PM  |  5,191 views  |  No comments

    Come out and visit me at any of these great homes in Collin and Denton County for the remainder of October, 2010.  Fall is a great time to tour and buy a home in our area.  The weather is gorgeous and these homes are ALL worth the trip!


    October 24, 2010

    2-5pm 4700 Canvasback Boulevard, McKinney, TX 75070 - 5 bedroom Toll Brothers 2001 built custom home on .72 acres in gated The Preserve at Mallard Lakes.  Study, gameroom, split formals, split staircase, 3-car garage, and Tahitian Pools backyard oasis! List price $474,900

    2-5pm 1421 Cedar Hollow Drive, Prosper, TX 75078 - 4-bedroom plus study, media room, gameroom, and complete outdoor living area.  This beautiful K Hovnanian home was built in 2007 and was their model home in Cedar Ridge Estates.  Owner occupied and staged to perfection! List price $429,000

    October 30, 2010

    1-4pm 2691 Lake Ridge Drive, Little Elm, TX 75068 - This 4-bedroom home was built this year and the owner has accepted a job in another state after just closing on the house this Summer.  Built by Horizon Homes, this home has more upgrades than any of the builder's spec homes and is a fantastic value at $214,000.  You can lease this home, if you prefer, at $2200 per month.

    2-4pm 1226 Gwinnett Ct., Savannah,TX 76227 - 4-bedroom D.R. Horton home in Sea Pines Village at Savannah.  Wrap-around front porch, split bedrooms, and a very open floorplan.  Sunroom off the family room connects to the master bedroom.  Nice, corner lot on the interior of the subdivision.  This home is a must-see.  List price is $200,000.


    Have a blessed day!

    Ronda




    Ronda Allen - Realtor

    Certified Purchasing Manager - C.P.M.

    Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource - SFR

    Texas Affordable Housing Specialist - TAHS

    CEO of comingsoonhomes.com since 2005

    Activerain.com #1 Realtor in Prosper, TX, Top 15 in Collin County, Top 130 in Texas! (10/2010)

    RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs #1 Office for RE/MAX in the North Texas region 2009 and 1st half 2010!

    Follow us on twitter:  www.twitter.com/comingsoonhomes and http://www.twitter.com/prospertxhomes

  • What the foreclosure freeze may mean to Prosper, TX home sellers

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Prosper, Home Selling in Prosper, Rent vs Buy in Prosper  |  October 14, 2010 7:31 AM  |  3,249 views  |  No comments

    In my humble opinion, the foreclosure freeze has been a long-time coming.  The foreclosures and short sales have been handled in such a way that (again, in my opinion), there isn't a big bank out there that should pat themselves on the back for the handling of these properties.

    As a home seller in Prosper, TX - what does the foreclosure freeze mean to you?

    1.  Those foreclosure properties are currently 'off the market'.  This creates opportunity for you.  Qualified buyers in our area look at foreclosures, but I've found them buy normal resale homes or new construction in higher numbers.  Some of your competition went away temporarily.  Supply and demand basic rules imply that we should see some positive outcomes for the homes where there is no lender involvement in the sale.

    2.  The media attention is causing a bit of a stall in home showings this month.  Bad news sells papers.  Consumer confidence was low already.  It's going to take people a moment to shake off all that fear and move on with their lives.  Buyers are very savvy.  They are taking in information from a variety of sources and then making up their own minds. 

    3.  There are even more opportunities for residential leasing.  When people hesitate on purchasing a home, or they can't get that foreclosure property yet that they thought they were about to close on, they will turn to temporary living solutions.  This is an opportunity that homeowners have to get a qualified tenant for a 6-month to 24-month period.  This moratorium on foreclosure sales is not going to last.  Real estate is a cyclical industry.  Freezing billions of dollars in home inventory is a big wake-up call and the banks are finally going to get off their duffs and pay attention to their broken processes. 

    4.  Also on the leasing of residential homes, sellers are going to have to decide if they are on board with the idea of leasing out their home.  Tenants are just as afraid that homeowners won't make their mortgage payment as landlords fear tenants won't pay the rent.  If you can get beyond the fear, and get tenants and landlords vetted to everyone's satisfaction, I can point to dozens of happy clients who are currently leasing their homes to good tenants.  Some of these tenants may actually become that landlord's buyer when the lease is over.  Some are just waiting for their current home to sell so that they can buy in Prosper. 

    5.  The eventual return of some of the foreclosure inventory to the market.  These folks were behind in their mortgage.  As each file is reviewed more closely, and banks decide what will be done with these homes (or someone decides for them), some of those homes will filter back out for final sale.  Many could be mitigated, which means the banks may work with the owners and re-establish their ownership rights if they qualify to stay and can reach an agreement about what to do with the back-payments. 

    I helped one family in Royse City, TX last year who was already four payments behind to a large bank.  We rented out their home (it took one day to get a tenant), and they began repaying back their payments to the bank with the extra $600 above their house payment that they received in rent.  That tenant renewed their lease this year and both tenant and landlord are happy with the arrangement.  The bank is also happy, and all threats of foreclosure are off the table.  People working with people got this problem solved.  Unfortunately, many people fall behind on their mortgage and just sneak out in the middle of the night and abandon the property.  There are other options if we can get in front of people to discuss those options. 

    I hope you have a blessed day!

    Ronda 

    Ronda Allen - Realtor

    Certified Purchasing Manager - C.P.M.

    Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource - SFR

    Texas Affordable Housing Specialist - TAHS

    CEO of comingsoonhomes.com since 1995

    Activerain.com #1 Realtor in Prosper, TX and Top 15 in Collin County (10/2010)

    RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs #1 Office for RE/MAX in the North Texas region 2009 and first half 2010!

    Follow us on twitter:  www.twitter.com/comingsoonhomes and http://www.twitter.com/prospertxhomes

  • Private homes for lease in Prosper, Texas: September, 2010

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Prosper, Home Selling in Prosper, Rent vs Buy in Prosper  |  September 10, 2010 9:37 AM  |  761 views  |  No comments

    Right now is the leanest the residential leasing market has been all year in Prosper, Texas.  There are only seven (7) homes available for rent.  The rentals range from $1195 per month to $5500 per month.  The majority of the homes are over 3,000 square feet of living space, and built after 2003.  Two of the seven are sitting on 1.5 acres.  All seven are in the renowned Prosper school district.  Three of the homes are also offered for sale.  And, one isn't currently in the MLS system. 

    By comparison, we've had an excellent year, so far, of matching landlords and tenants in Prosper, Texas.  We've leased 30 homes, ranging in rental rates from $975 per month to $7,000 per month.  We've leased starter homes, luxury properties, acreage estates, and homes ranging in year-built from the 1960's to 2009.

    If your Prosper home hasn't sold, it's an excellent time to discuss whether leasing may be the right option for you.  Sometimes, a home just doesn't get selected for purchase, because the buyer pool is just too small to make a match.  That hasn't been the biggest factor in Prosper this year.  In more cases than not, the tighter lending restrictions are the culprit.  Or, the home may sit in a partially finished neighborhood, where the builder is your biggest competition for every buyer.  We're Prosper, Texas.  We're in demand.  So, if a home isn't getting showings, there is usually a very valid reason and it's pretty easy for a trained eye to detect. 

    Many of our leases are still taking tenants in under 2-4 weeks.  So, a home that needs to be occupied quickly can usually convert to sale-or-lease on their listing and become a rented home in around a month.  If you live locally, you've seen it happen time and again this year, in every Prosper neighborhood.  You've also witnessed a great many new home starts, and the sale of more than 160 resale and spec homes in 2010.

    We're enjoying the last of our Summer days and looking forward to cooler weather and lower humidity as the last of tropical storm Hermine has now cleared out of Texas.  Have a blessed day.

    Ronda

       


    Ronda Allen - Realtor

    Certified Purchasing Manager - C.P.M.

    Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource - SFR

    Texas Affordable Housing Specialist - TAHS

    CEO of comingsoonhomes.com since 2005

    Activerain.com #1 Realtor in Prosper, TX (2010)

    RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs #1 Office for RE/MAX in the North Texas region 2009 and first half 2010!

    Follow us on twitter:  www.twitter.com/comingsoonhomes and http://www.twitter.com/prospertxhomes

    Friend me on Facebook:  Ronda Wise Allen

    Your client referrals in Prosper, TX R always welcome!

  • 2010 outlook for Prosper, Texas residential sales and leasing is bright!

    Posted Under: Rent vs Buy in Prosper  |  January 25, 2010 6:04 AM  |  843 views  |  No comments

    Prosper, Texas is starting off 2010 very lean in housing inventory.  The home builders have scaled back on the number of spec homes they're building at any one time to just a few, and our resale numbers are the lowest they've been in the MLS in two years.  From a residential leasing inventory standpoint, Prosper, Texas is down to almost bare bones. 

    Homes for sale in Prosper, Texas:

    As of this morning (1/25/10), there are only 131 homes for sale in the North Texas MLS in Prosper, Texas.  The homes range in price from $129,900 to $21,000,000 (the latter of which is a celebrity home, that, although it skews the market a little bit, I will show you it doesn't adjust the stats much when it is removed from the picture). 

    The average home for sale in Prosper, TX looks like this:

    4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, 3-car garage, 4098sf of living space, 1.9 acres of land, built in 2004, average asking price $673,886

    If I remove the lowest and highest priced homes from the inventory report, the average homes for sale in Prosper, Texas really don't change all that much:

    4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, 3-car garage, 3924sf of living space, .82 acres of land, built in 2004, average asking price $520,000

    Homes for Lease in Prosper, Texas:

    There are currently only eight (8) homes for lease in Prosper, Texas.  That's more than lean inventory on leasing.  That's downright skeletal.  Ranging in asking price from $1700 per month to $11,000 per month, the average home for lease in Prosper, Texas looks like this:

    4 bedroom, 3.2 bathroom, 3-car garage, 4011sf of living space, .64 acres, built in 2006, with an average lease list price of $4,094/month.

    The demand for residential leasing in Prosper has been great.  It's a sign of the times in other parts of the country.  People have jobs in DFW, and have moved here, but still have homes to sell in their originating city.  They have no choice but to rent when they arrive in Texas, and there is big demand to rent in Prosper, TX.  Why?  The tenants are saying that they want to rent in the town where they'd like to buy.  Not only that, but in many cases, the tenant is stating that they'd like to rent the house they intend to buy.  Nobody likes the expense and inconvenience of moving twice. 

    If you are a DFW local and drive through Prosper, Texas, you'll find activity in every neighborhood.  Slabs are being poured.  Framing is going up.  Spring spec homes are entering their final phase of construction. And, for sale signs have thinned significantly.  Our market is strong.  In fact, the three areas that have made my phone ring the most in the last 60 days have been:

    #1 Prosper, TX, zip code 75078

    #2 McKinney, TX, zip code 75070

    #3 Celina, TX, zip code 75009

    Have a blessed day!

    Ronda




    Ronda Allen - Realtor, Certified Purchasing Manager

    RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Keith Dobbs Team

    #1 Office for RE/MAX in North Texas 2009

    CEO - comingsoonhomes   Follow us on twitter:  www.twitter.com/comingsoonhomes

    BIO:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/rondakayallen66

    Friend me on Facebook:  Ronda Wise Allen

    Client referrals always welcome!

  • Prosper, TX: The trend toward residential leasing will continue in 2010

    Posted Under: Rent vs Buy in Prosper  |  December 28, 2009 2:06 PM  |  681 views  |  No comments

    As I predicted around mid-year 2008, the biggest trend in real estate in Prosper, Texas in 2009 was leasing of large square footage single family homes.  And, we missed a lot of opportunities to do even more leasing, as people tightened their belts to stay in their homes throughout 2009 or rejected the idea of leasing out their home.  

    In 2009, there were 29 residential leases in Prosper, Texas.  They ranged in terms from just a few months to a couple of years.  And, we're entering 2010 very light on leasing inventory.  We only have 15 homes for rent across all price points.  Here's the breakdown:

    Leases under $2500 per month:  7 homes

    Leases $2500 - $5000 per month:  6 homes

    Leases $5000 - $10000 per month:  1 home

    Leases $10000 - $15000 per month:  1 home


    You might wonder who would lease a home for $10,000 a month in Prosper, Texas?  Typically, it's someone moving to DFW from another state, where they are used to real estate costing a whole lot more than it typically does here.  But, as we've discovered in the last few years, that perfect candidate for leasing may just be someone who wants a nice home, but doesn't want to own it.  For example, we have a big hospital population in DFW.  There are surgeons and specialists who work on a contract basis to a variety of hospitals in different states or countries each year.  They don't typically buy homes in these places.  If their contract is long enough, many of them prefer to rent a home versus an apartment.  And, by leasing in Prosper, Texas, they can service hospitals in both Dallas and Fort Worth.  This type of freelance work is very lucrative, but the opportunities come up quickly, and those clients don't have the time or inclination to stay in one place, build equity, or put down roots.  They prefer a more spontaneous lifestyle and build their wealth outside of the real estate arena.

    Even though the news on the housing front is trending toward a more positive note at year's end, the economic situation hasn't improved for much of the country.  So, although I was the first agent to document the trend toward residential leasing for Prosper, TX in 2008, it doesn't take any great stretch of the imagination to know that 2010 will be another year of great demand for residential leasing.  In fact, I'd go so far as to predict the next two years will be equal to or greater than the 2009 leasing figures in Prosper. 

    As demand for leasing has risen, so have rents.  The renters are, in many cases, moving into a home that they intend to purchase when their current home takes a contract.  They are willing to pay for the flexibility to get into the right home in a tenant position, in order to avoid the expense of moving twice.  Don't close your mind to leasing.  Offer your home for sale or lease, and let the needs of the market determine which listing responds best. 

    Have a blessed day!

    Ronda



    Ronda Allen - Realtor, Certified Purchasing Manager

    Prosper Resident Realtor

    RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Keith Dobbs Team

    #1 Office and #3 Team for RE/MAX in North Texas at mid-year 2009!

    CEO - comingsoonhomes   Follow us on twitter:  www.twitter.com/comingsoonhomes

    Client referrals always welcome!

  • Ronda Allen, Prosper Resident Realtor: Leasing - The Year in Review 2009

    Posted Under: Rent vs Buy in Prosper  |  December 8, 2009 7:29 AM  |  623 views  |  No comments

    In mid-year 2008, we began seeing a trend toward leasing of homes in Prosper that came on quick as the recession hit DFW.  As I have been saying all year, the demand for residential leasing in Prosper in 2009 has been astronomical.  I predicted a strong year of leasing, reminded the residents of Prosper throughout the year when we had greater demand than we had supply of leases, converted some homes for sale into homes for lease, and advised residents that this was no short-term trend.  It will continue into 2010.  Now that we're at year's end, we can and should look back to ensure that the prediction was correct:

    Current residential lease inventory (available homes in the MLS for North Texas in the Town of Prosper as of 12-08-09):

    16 homes

    Price range:  $1050/month to $11,000/month

    Average asking price on a lease in Prosper:  $.75 - $85/sf for a 4-bedroom, 3 bath home with 3-car garage and lot size averaging higher than .25 acres.

    Current residential leases pending full lease:

    1 home

    There is one 6-bedroom home on Chapel Hill that is currently in negotiation of a $2600 per month lease that took less than 60 days to receive an offer. 

    Current residential leased properties that went into leased status in 2009:

    53 homes

    Lease range of homes:  $1145/month to $5,000/month

    Average leased price of a home in Prosper in 2009:  $.70/sf

    Why the trend toward leasing?  The recession is over in DFW, right?  Not completely.  We can certainly see that some areas of DFW were barely grazed by the downward trend in the economy.  Some areas briefly dropped between Fall, 2008 and Spring, 2009.  We saw steady improvement in home sales all year across the region.  But, some neighborhoods still maintain higher than normal foreclosure and short sale inventory that has yet to clear out.  But, even those areas are seeing thinning of distressed inventory (and at a pretty rapid pace, too).  So, why would the trend toward leasing continue?  Because a big portion of the buyer pool in Dallas/Fort Worth each year is made up of people moving from other parts of the country who have homes to sell before they can buy here.  And, where do our buyers come from?  Other major metropolitan cities with large corporate bases, just like us.  Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York City, Tampa, Houston, and San Francisco's Bay Area are major target markets for Dallas/Fort Worth's housing market.  What do all of these cities have in common?  Their housing market is still trending downward or just starting to settle.  The recession isn't over yet. Until we see those markets rebound, the trend in DFW's housing market will be a continued demand for residential leasing.  

    If you are considering selling or leasing your home in 2010, the best advice I can give you is to list the house both ways and let the market dictate what works for them.  We've worked some pretty funky customized leasing arrangements in 2009 to make the situation work for both parties.  That's actually been challenging and exciting.  The strangest lease I did in 2009 was a 5-month fixed rate lease with a 7-month term of month-to-month leasing at a higher rate.  This allowed the tenant time to get through their purchase contract in California and then gave them time to decide whether to buy the home they were renting or time to view other home options during the back half of the lease.  The tenant ended up buying the home in the 4th month of the back half of the lease.  I believe it came down to the fact that they leased a house that they would consider buying, moved in, their family got settled into schools and the neighborhood, and the thought of moving again at the end of the year just wasn't that important.  A little flexibility by the 'seller/landlord' up front was rewarded with a purchase contract before the lease was up.  Pretty cool.

    Have a blessed day!

    Ronda

    Ronda Allen - Realtor, Certified Purchasing Manager

    RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Keith Dobbs Team

    #1 Office and #3 Team for RE/MAX in North Texas at mid-year 2009!

    CEO - comingsoonhomes   Follow us on twitter:  www.twitter.com/comingsoonhomes

    Client referrals always welcome!

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