Sherry Smith Named Greater Texoma REALTOR® of the Year for 2012


Shown, from left, are Ebby Halliday, REALTORS® Kim Burrough, Darla Thompson, Sherry Smith and Martha Elena Jackson.


The Greater Texoma Association of REALTORS® recently held its annual installation and awards banquet. Sherry Smith, manager of the Sherman and Whitesboro offices of Ebby Halliday, REALTORS® and the Texas Association of REALTORS® director for GTAR, was named the 2012 REALTOR® of the Year.

Sherry began her real estate career in 1998 after retiring from a successful 20-year career in United States Air Force negotiating for the federal government as a contracting officer. She has been recognized numerous times over the years with both sales and service awards.

In addition to honoring Smith, the Greater Texoma Association of REALTORS® installed Ebby Sherman Associates Darla Thompson as president, Martha Elena Jackson as secretary, and Kim Burrough as a director of the association.

The Greater Texoma Association of REALTORS® provides its members with the tools to achieve success, promotes and enforces the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and the value of REALTOR® services to homeowners, and champions private property rights within the community.

Congratulations to Sherry, Darla, Martha Elena and Kim! We are so proud of your representation of Ebby Halliday, REALTORS® in Texomaland.

To contact the Sherman Office of Ebby Halliday, REALTORS®, call 903-893-5921. To contact the Whitesboro Office, call 903-564-9686.

Dallas-area Home Prices Up by Largest Percentage in More Than a Decade


Steve Brown of The Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas-area home prices are up by the largest percentage in more than a decade in the latest measure of nationwide home values. And, Brown points out, more significant price hikes could be on the way this year.

Dallas prices rose 5.7 percent in November from a year ago in the most-recent monthly Standard & Poor s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

November was the ninth month in a row that local prices were up from a year earlier in the closely watched comparison of home values.

Local home inventory levels are at the lowest point since the early 2000s, and longtime industry analysts say that North Texas could be in for some even bigger price increases in 2013.

If you own a house and want to sell, it s probably the best time in years, according to Dr. James Gaines, an economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

The number of pre-owned homes on the market in North Texas last year was down about 20 percent. And inventories of new homes are at the lowest point in more than a decade.

With interest rates low and the economy gaining ground, the number of homebuyers in the market this spring is expected to climb significantly.

Gaines said that the Real Estate Center estimates that Dallas-area pre-owned home prices were up 7.6 percent in 2012 from 2011. It was the first year of median price increases since before the recession.

Gaines believes prices could possibly rise at double-digit rates this year if the supply of homes on the market stays tight.

Housing is clearly recovering, S & P s David Blitzer notes in the report. Prices are rising, as are both new and existing home sales. These figures confirm that housing is contributing to economic growth.

DallasNews.com subscribers may click here to see the full article from Steve Brown.

To learn more about the housing market in your neighborhood and how you can take advantage of the increasingly strong North Texas market, contact an Ebby Associate today. To find the right agent for all of your residential real estate needs, visit the Web site voted one of the industry s best by the Web Marketing Association, ebby.com.

It s a Seller s Market in North Texas


The following was sent to all members of the Ebby Halliday Companies by President & CEO Mary Frances Burleson. It was such fantastic news, we thought we would share it with you also:

Residential real estate in the Dallas / Fort Worth and North Texas area has become a “seller’s market”.

With fewer homes listed for sale – down from 36,000 NTREIS MLS listings in January 2011 to 22,000 in January 2013 – competition among buyers for well-priced listings has become heated, with multiple offers on listed properties common in many area sub-markets.

Average days-on-market, the time it takes a listed property to sell, has also fallen, from 97 days in January 2011 to 73 days in January 2013. Many real estate experts believe an average of 90 days on market represents a normal balance, and anything below 90 indicates a market that favors the seller.

In addition, the MLS median sales price in the DFW market has risen during the past 2 years from $140,000 to $162,000.

With rising sales prices and a seller’s market, plus historically low interest rates available for most potential buyers, today’s market conditions may make the first quarter of 2013 the ideal time to sell a home in the Dallas / Fort Worth area.

Mary Frances

Just Listed: French Beauty in North Dallas Lake Forest Community


Today s edition of Fresh Listing Friday takes us to the four-bedroom home at 6923 Preston Glen Drive in the gated and guarded Lake Forest community. You re invited to discover this great new listing this Sunday, January 27, from 1 to 4 p.m.

This stunning French beauty by Ventura Custom Homes features an ideal floor plan for entertaining and everyday living.

Just a few of this fine property s many amenities include handscraped hardwoods, a game room, a study with a fireplace, a media room, a wine closet and two master suites, one downstairs and one upstairs. The well-appointed kitchen offers granite countertops, a Viking gas range and a Sub-Zero. The backyard includes a large spa with fountain and this is elevator-ready.

The Lake Forest Community is a private retreat conveniently located in North Dallas, between Central Expressway and the Dallas Tollway. This gated community has 68 acres of park-like grounds filled with winding creeks, lakes, waterfalls and majestic towering Oaks.

See more of this beautiful new listing now at 6923PrestonGlen.ebby.com and mark your calendar Sunday s open house: 1 to 4 pm, on January 27.

To see all the other homes that came on the market this week (even if they aren t listed with Ebby Halliday), click here.

And, be sure to check ebby.com next Friday to see where the next Fresh Listing Friday takes us!

Taking the Temperature of the North Texas Housing Market


Days on Market or the number of days a home is on the market before it sells can be a very effective thermometer to gauge the temperature of a housing market.

Based on fourth-quarter 2012 Days on Market numbers for North Texas, the Dallas-Fort Worth market is very active and quite robust. Multiple Listing Service data reveals the average Days on Market of a listing in North Texas in the fourth quarter was 73 days. (In 2011, that number was 107 days; in 2010, it was 106 days.

Of course, a significant factor to consider when discussing a home s Days on Market is price point. Historically, more-expensive homes are on the market somewhat longer than less-expensive properties. Below we have broken down North Texas MLS data (including Number of Active Listings, Closed Sales, Supply and Days on Market) for the fourth quarter of 2012 by price range:

$100,000 to $199,999

Active Listings: 7,524

Closed Sales YTD: 30,225

Supply: 3.0 months

Average Days on Market: 64

$200,000 to $299,999

Active Listings: 3,759

Closed Sales YTD: 13,988

Supply: 3.3 months

Average Days on Market: 70

$300,000 to $499,999

Active Listings: 3,393

Closed Sales YTD: 8,708

Supply: 4.9 months

Average Days on Market: 71

$500,000 +

Active Listings: 2,453

Closed Sales YTD: 3,796

Supply: 8.2 months

Average Days on Market: 81

These numbers reinforce what we have been hearing from Ebby agents in the field for some time now: Available housing inventory in North Texas is continuing to shrink. They also verify that, regardless of the price range, now is a great time to offer a home for sale in North Texas given the region s increasing home values and the decreased competition for sellers. If you re considering listing your home, call an Ebby Associate to learn more about the real estate market in your neighborhood and to find out what your home is worth in today s market. To find the right agent for your residential real estate needs, visit the Web site voted one of the industry s best by the Web Marketing Association, ebby.com.

Just Listed: Spectacular Southlake Home in Gated, Guarded Community


Today s edition of Fresh Listing Friday takes us to the five-bedroom home at 801 Huntington Court in Southlake. This exceptional residence in the gated and guarded Estates of Monticello community is situated on a wooded and landscaped cul-de-sac lot that backs to a greenbelt.

Just a few of this fine property s amenities include a dramatic entry, a curved staircase and hardwood flooring in the formal living room and dining room. The well-appointed kitchen offers granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances, including a built-in refrigerator and double ovens. The master suite offers a fireplace, an exercise room and access to the backyard oasis with a pool, spa, outdoor fireplace and two built-in grills.

Take a tour of this compelling property now at 801Huntington.ebby.com.

To see all the other homes that came on the market this week (even if they aren t listed with Ebby Halliday), click here.

And, be sure to check ebby.com next Friday to see where the next Fresh Listing Friday takes us!

The Dallas Morning News: North Texas Home Prices to Head Higher in 2013


Steve Brown of The Dallas Morning News reports that home prices in North Texas will head higher in 2013. The only question, Brown points out in his article in today s newspaper, is how large those price increases will be.

Pre-owned home prices were already heading higher in 2012, according to data from properties sold through the Multiple Listing Service.

Dallas-area prices increased an average of 6 percent in 2012, according to a year-end study of 45 residential districts by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. It s the first such rise since the recession. Eight of the districts included in the study saw double-digit percentage price increases. Some of the largest gains were in Oak Cliff (17 percent), Irving (16 percent) and Westlake-Trophy Club (13 percent).

Local real estate agents attribute the home-price gains to a sharp drop in the number of houses on the market and a decline in foreclosures. A growing number of Dallas-area neighborhoods have less than a three-month supply of houses for sale.

DallasNews.com subscribers may click here to see the full article from Steve Brown.

To learn more about the housing market in your specific neighborhood and how you can take advantage of the increasingly robust North Texas market, contact an Ebby Associate today. To find the right agent for all of your residential real estate needs, visit the Web site voted one of the industry s best by the Web Marketing Association, ebby.com.

Get Ahead of the Spring Home Market


What was once considered real estate wisdom the ideal time to list your home for sale is the traditional spring selling season may no longer be true for North Texas homeowners.

Year-over-year home sales for December indicate that now may be the best time in a long time to list your home for sale, says Mary Frances Burleson, president and CEO of Ebby Halliday Realtors. The latest numbers from North Texas Real Estate Information Systems make a very compelling case for those sellers who would like to get a head start on their potential competition.

A few of the highlights from the NTREIS numbers for December 2012 vs. December 2011 include:

– The average list price rose 4.7% to $226,801. That s in addition to an 8.2% increase in 2011.

– Days on Market were down 20.9% to 85 days on average.

– Percent of original list price received was up 1.7% to 93.1% of asking price.

– Months supply of inventory was down 34.3% to 3.9 months.

– The number of homes for sale was down 23.5% to 26,890.

– New listings were down 2.7% from December 2011, to 5,765 homes.

– Finally, pending sales were up 8.1% to 4,652 homes.

Taken together, these numbers paint a very clear picture, Burleson says. The time to list a home for sale in North Texas is now. My advice is simple: Don t delay. Take advantage of our robust housing market today.

If you re considering listing your home, call an Ebby Associate to learn more about the real estate market in your particular neighborhood and to find out what your home is worth in today s market. To find the right agent for your residential real estate needs, visit the Web site voted one of the industry s best by the Web Marketing Association, ebby.com.

Dallas-based Ebby Halliday Realtors is the largest independently owned residential real estate company in Texas and ranks 12th in the nation. The 67-year-old company, with approximately 1,500 sales associates and staff in 25 area offices, participated in almost 16,000 property transactions in 2012 with a sales volume of approximately $4.8 billion. Ebby Halliday is one of the oldest and most respected full-service residential real estate firms in the country, offering brokerage, leasing, mortgage, insurance and title services. To learn more, visit ebby.com.

Local, National and International Marketing Critical to Success


The newly listed home at 3561 Colgate Ave. in University Park is one of the many Ebby Halliday Realtors listings that receive substantial international marketing through Luxury Portfolio International s global network.

Ebby Halliday Realtors and its sales associates possess a unique understanding of the global real estate market. This understanding is a result of the locally-owned firm s affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a network of more than 500 premier real estate brokers in 30 countries, and its luxury division, Luxury Portfolio Internationalâ„¢.

In addition to state-of-the-art marketing and advertising professionally developed in-house for a broad spectrum of media venues, Ebby Halliday Realtors taps the network of Luxury Portfolio International members and utilizes its website, LuxuryPortfolio.com, to expose North Texas listings priced at or above $750,000 to buyers across the globe. This far-reaching exposure is in addition to a listing s presence on ebby.com, one of the most-visited residential real estate sites in the country with more than 16,000 visitors daily.

Just what are some of the Luxury Portfolio-related advantages of listing a luxury home with Ebby Halliday Realtors?

• The 200 firms that comprise Luxury Portfolio are some of the most powerful independent brokerages and members of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. Your property will enjoy the benefit of Ebby Halliday Realtors connection to those firms and their sales associates.

• By showcasing high-end listings on LuxuryPortfolio.com, Ebby Halliday Realtors leverages the strength of a website that consistently ranks at the top of Google search results and has more $1 million-plus properties than any other luxury real estate network.

• Properties marketed on LuxuryPortfolio.com are translated to nine languages. As a result, the site attracts consumers from almost every country on the planet.

• The typical visitor to LuxuryPortfolio.com has a household income of $1.32 million.

• Luxury Portfolio is driving traffic to LuxuryPortfolio.com through a multimillion-dollar brand advertising campaign featuring compelling ads that showcase incredible properties in targeted publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Unique Homes, duPont Registry, Veranda, Smart Money, and more.

• Ebby Halliday clients also benefit from LuxeAnalytics, an exclusive reporting system that allows sellers to see how much traffic their listing is receiving and the origin of that traffic.

• As an Ebby Halliday listing, your luxury property will also be eligible to receive premium advertising placement in such national venues as Unique Homes Magazine, DuPont Registry, Country Life International, Luxe Interiors + Design and regional and international editions of The Wall Street Journal.

Choosing the right firm to sell your home is a critical decision that should be made with careful consideration, says Mary Frances Burleson, president and CEO of Ebby Halliday Realtors. I encourage you to explore further the benefits available to you at LuxuryPortfolio.com. Ebby Halliday Realtors, its Associates and the accomplished global network of Luxury Portfolio brokers are ready to assist with all of your residential real estate needs.

Learn more about Ebby Halliday Realtors, its Associates and all of its listings at ebby.com.

Ebby Halliday Companies Close $4.8 Billion in Real Estate Sales in 2012


The following was sent to all members of the Ebby Halliday Companies by President & CEO Mary Frances Burleson. It was such fantastic news, we thought we would share it with you also:

The final sales for 2012 have been tallied, and the results are very impressive!

Ebby Halliday Companies Associates closed $4.8 billion in real estate sales during 2012, marking the second-highest annual sales ever for the company.

In fact, since 2000, the Ebby Halliday Companies have averaged more than $4 billion in sales per year, despite the real estate downturn of the mid-2000s. That kind of consistently exceptional performance reflects the Ebby Halliday Associate s true professionalism, hard work and a dedication to providing exemplary service to their clients that is deeply appreciated by both the company s management and the clients.

We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank each and every one of you, and recognize your success during 2012. What a year!

As good as 2012 was, 2013 may be even better!

Many real estate experts are very positive in their projections for 2013, and expect that:

* Mortgage rates will remain near record lows, at least through the first half of 2013, and then possibly rise to about 4% by year end.

* Property values are expected to rise by 2 to 3% during 2013.
* New Household formation should increase by approximately 1 million nationwide, and housing starts are expected to rise to an annual rate of about 1 million per year.

* Foreclosure rates are expected to continue to fall throughout the year.

Together, these are strong indicators of an active, vibrant and healthy real estate market in 2013.

Thank you all once again for all that you do! Let s seize today s opportunity to make 2013 our best year ever!

Mary Frances