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Archive for the ‘Texas Real Estate’ Category

How to Deal With Inspection Reports Provided to a Seller

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Sharing a great piece from the Texas Real Estate Commission regarding a very common topic that almost every seller has faced.


New San Antonio Blue Tooth Lockboxes

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, November 17th, 2017

SABOR is going through their lockbox swap this month. (San Antonio Board of Realtors) We should have the new lockboxes in stock sometime in the next 3 weeks. These new boxes are manufactured by SUPRA and have a longer battery life than the previous boxes. (about 5-7 years worth of battery) The boxes will also have the double release shackle and allow access to any Realtor through the use of their Smart Phone. As before, they will also track who goes in the property, what time they went into the property, the phone # of the person who entered the property, and the name of their employing brokerage. The old boxes will no longer work as of early Spring 2018. (new boxes work immediately)



Houston Sellers – Harvey Flood Option added to the MLS

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, September 8th, 2017

HAR has added a non required field to the MLS concerning Harvey Flooding. If your home did or did not flood and you want this disclosed on your HAR MLS listing, please email us at info@congressrealty.com with the request and we will update the MLS listing for you. Please keep in mind this does not alleviate any state required disclosure regarding flooding and/or damage to a subject property upon sale.


CSS in Texas

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Monday, July 23rd, 2012

CSS stands for centralized showing service. Recently, new copycat companies have emerged to try and compete with CSS. Basically, what CSS does is simple… they schedule showings, request feedback on behalf of the property, and they email the feedback acquired to the owners. Pretty simple stuff. What makes CSS valuable is that everyone knows who CSS is. The term is as common as “Dallas Cowboys” around the DFW area. Thus, when an agent sees CSS on a listing… they know exactly what to do and how it operates. When they see a copycat showing service listed… they haven’t the slightest idea as to what to do. (Realtors(R) like things made as easy as possible for themselves)

The point I want to make is that as a seller you want to utilize CSS, not a copycat cheaper alternative. Buyer Agents from respected full service brokerages do not use copycat cheap alternatives, they use CSS. As a seller, if you are going to use a showing service, use CSS. This holds true in DFW, Houston, and San Antonio.

Central TX MLS and CSS linking together

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Monday, November 29th, 2010

Central TX MLS has partnered up with CSS to allow CSS to handle showings for Central TX sellers. Central TX MLS covers New Braunfels, San Marcos, and the surrounding areas. CSS is a showing service that allows local agents to not only schedule showings easily, but also supply feedback very quickly and efficiently. One of the advantages of CSS is that they are in constant contact with the seller in a number of ways. While CSS can schedule appointments via phone with the owner, they also provide email communication with the owner regarding future showings and past showing feedback from other Realtors.(R)

NTREIS increasing their photo limit in TX

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Thursday, November 12th, 2009

NTREIS MLS has announced they will now accept up to 25 photos for each listing. This is up from the previous #of 10. NTREIS is one of the larger MLS’s in the United States, covering a large portion of North Texas, including the DFW area.

HAR – Largest Association of Realtors in US

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Inman News is reporting that the Houston Association of Realtors(R) is now the largest association in the country. HAR has surpassed Long Island, totaling about 24,000 members. The positive of this for a seller is the centralization of so many Realtors(R) into one system. It allows a seller to expose their property to 24,000 different Realtors(R) by listing their property in one single MLS.  (HAR) My opinion is that this type of large single MLS system benefits the consumer much more than an area like LA, where you have 3 different MLS’s in one city.

So why wouldn’t a typical Realtor(R) prefer 1 single MLS as oppose to multiple systems in a given area? You end up with situations like NWMLS in Washington State. They have so much power they can essentially make up rules to increase revenue to the MLS anytime they wish. (forcing Realtors(R) to only use MLS lockboxes and assigning high dollar automatic fines to Realtors(R) for petty violations)

The timing of this makes no sense

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009


To summarize,  the city of Austin is requiring energy audits for home sales moving fwd. Sellers will be required to pay a few hundred dollars to have their home inspected for its energy efficiency. The findings are then provided to the buyer during the escrow period. The goal is to encourage sellers to make their homes more energy efficient.

I don’t think anyone will argue that we all want more energy efficient homes, however, why in the world are we hitting sellers with additional cost in Austin….. in an already slumping housing market? The timing of this is just dreadful. If you’re wondering how you can live in Austin and not have heard about this… simple… the city of Austin has done a terrible job of letting homeowners know about this new requirement. I would estimate that less than half of Austin Homeowners are aware of this.

DFW Tips

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

In the Dallas Fort Worth Metro area, sellers can do a few things to help move their propert quickly. The first thing I would recommend is not using  a For Sale by Owner sign. That being said, their is no rule that prohibits this within the NTREIS MLS system, however, I have found that FSBO signs do confuse buyer agents in the DFW area. Secondly, I would consider using CSS for my listing, even if the listing is appointment owner. The reason is that most all full service brokerages utilize Centralized Showing Service for their listings in the DFW metroplex.  By using CSS, your listing is blending in with all other Full Service Listings with respect to showing codes.  (The same listings that other sellers are paying 5-7% for.) Finally, I have found that agents in DFW tend to be more web savvy than most. They love to email offers and utilize the various attachment field of the MLS. Thus, if you have disclosures, plat maps, etc.. we can upload these for you and the other agents can actually pull these files straight from the MLS.

Midland, Texas

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Our Flat Fee program in the state of Texas has been an enormous success over the past 3 years. We have enjoyed working with Texas homeowners and landowners, as well as Texas Realtors(R). Midland, Texas is an area we added about a year ago to our coverage area. Through our experience, we have found that the Midland Realtors(R) do things a bit differently than all other Texas Realtors(R). As a result, I wanted to point out a couple things our Midland sellers can do to operate more efficiently through our Flat Fee Process. The biggest thing is to not use a FSBO sign or any other FSBO related marketing material. This has caused confusion for Midland Realtors(R). Secondly, if a Realtor(R) asks if you are represented, the answer is yes, Congress Realty is my listing brokerage. Finally, if the Realtor(R) wishes to write an offer, advise them to fax the offer to our fax # at 866 314 7201. We will get the fax and fwd this to the seller as a PDF attachment. There is absolutely no charge for this service and we are always available to do this. Attempting to force the agent to present the offer to you directly may result in the agent not writing the offer at all.

If you are in Midland and have questions, give us a call at 800 657 6579  and we can walk you through this process.