hintsandtips: Can I Give You the Shirt Off My Back...PLEASE? - 03/31/07 07:34 AM
I had to finally sit down and address one of my pet peeves in the real estate industry, but a little background first.  I spent 5+ years in a mid-sized law firm litigating cases and negotiating various settlements in lawsuits.  I quickly learned that negotiation is an art form and not a science, but also that many different styles of negotiation can be effective.  That said, I am constantly amazed when I read the listings of some real estate agents.  They are stealing their client's money, and they don't even seem to realize it.
Some agents believe that their job is to sell their clients' … (9 comments)

hintsandtips: A Real Estate Investment Plan for Beginners - 03/19/07 08:53 AM
The number of real estate investors that decide to purchase their first investment property without a plan of action in place is staggering.  It seems that every week or so you hear a story about an investment property that has been foreclosed upon or placed under short-sale status.  Real estate investing, however, is no different than any other type of investing.  It requires forethought, proper planning, and discipline to achieve the desired goals.  This article provides a simple yet proven effective plan for a beginning real estate investor wishing to invest for the long term to grow their initial investment into a sizable … (13 comments)

hintsandtips: Let's Get Personal...Real Personal!! - 01/27/07 01:06 PM
When I first got into real estate I really struggled with an advertising campaign that would focus on my strengths but also address perceived weaknesses.  As an attorney I assumed most people would assume my strengths in negotiation, legal knowledge, ability to handle complex closings, and the like.
I really wanted to accentuate these perceived strengths while countering the negative assumptions of an attorney and real estate agent: namely that I might not be creative, am also male and thus not knowledge of interior design, might not be able to be trusted (though I was surprised that many actually trust me more … (2 comments)

hintsandtips: Home Pricing in a Soft Market - 01/27/07 06:22 AM
This past fall in Dallas saw the market slow markedly and inventory rise as homes sat through entire listings without selling.  Though I do not believe the slow down is permanent, rather more like it was catching its breath before a big spring, I did notice that a lot of agents neglected a key element when pricing their listings.
Any agent can do a quick CMA on a property to determine a range of values in an area or subdivision with comparable homes.  Unfortunately, however, it appears that too many agents stop at the CMA and do not price according to the … (0 comments)

hintsandtips: The Secret to Success in Real Estate - 01/23/07 04:00 AM
Like me you probably hear lots of advertisements and infomercials where some man or woman in fancy clothes claims to have the "Secret to Success" in real estate or real estate investing.  Most of them seem to be about as phony as a Picasso dated in the early 18th Century, but for those who are interested there is a secret formula to success in real estate.  It can be summed up in the following stories that were passed on to me from a friend:
During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz.  I was a … (22 comments)

hintsandtips: Realtor® Rainman - 01/12/07 08:10 AM
In today's age of computers and technology, it seems we are losing touch with some common helpful calculations that are important even if you do have a laptop, smart phone and all the other gadgets and gizmos.  One simple valuation tool that all Realtors® who regularly deal with investors and investment properties should remember is a simple calculation that can be used to assess value absent any comps, though it still requires a certain amount of knowledge of the market and the area the property is located within.
All areas have their own range of market capitalization rates, but absent access to … (0 comments)

hintsandtips: Real Estate Investing 101 - 01/06/07 05:54 AM
I have noticed over the years, especially now that investing in real estate is such a hot topic, that many beginners to real estate investing can quickly get in over their head fast.  And though I am not a real estate investment guru by any means I have picked up a few tips along the way, first as an investor myself, second as the son of a homebuilder and builder of numerous duplexes and multi-family dwellings, and now as a REALTOR and agent for other investors.  If you want to get into investing or are a newer agent wanting to work with investors here … (2 comments)

hintsandtips: The Sweet Scent of Success - 01/04/07 02:43 AM
I have found that one of the most important parts of preparing a home for sale is the aroma that buyers smell when first entering a home.  The scent of a home when on the market is the very first impression that is made on a buyer, but it is often overlooked by both real estate agents and sellers alike.
Psychological studies have shown that scent can have a powerful subconscious effect on individuals, either positively or negatively.  When exposed to scents unobtrusively, people will even change their behavior or actions slightly, while also affecting mood or emotion.  This is not a new science, with numerous … (4 comments)

hintsandtips: How to Properly Hang...Yourself??!!! - 01/02/07 09:15 AM
Oops!  I just realized that I left out a word in the title.  It should read "How to Properly Hang Pictures...Yourself."  But I've heard that the most important part of any article is the title, so hopefully this one will grab a little extra attention.  Assuming that I am not placed on some type of federal watch list because of the title, I think I'll keep it.
I noticed over the holidays that I have officially been corrupted and warped by my upbringing.  Growing up with an interior designer for a mom and a home builder for a dad tends to do … (2 comments)

hintsandtips: Say NO and Your Clients May Say YES! - 10/27/06 01:31 AM
We've all stuck our foot in our mouth during initial negotiations with a client.  You know the drill.  You get a call from a potential seller, go on the listing appointment with your stellar marketing package...only to have them say that they wish you to discount your rate to half of the usual amount.  You then paste a sickly smile on your face while considering how badly you want the listing, thinking that the listing will get your sign out, might bring in buyers, etc., so you say yes...and then spend more money selling the property than you make in commission, … (12 comments)

hintsandtips: Why TOP Agents Don't Cry in BOTTOM Markets - 10/25/06 07:02 AM
I frequently hear agents in our office complaining about the marketplace during this time of year, or crying over lingering listings.  This year it is even more prevalent, as the media loves pushing the idea of the "Housing Bubble" (why do we always prefer disaster to triumph in the media by the way).  Not only does the negativity tend to bring everybody down which doesn't help anybody, but good agents should love it when the market goes a bit south.
What happens when the market slows down every year around the end of summer?  Pretty simple question, right?  We all know the … (49 comments)

hintsandtips: Negotiation Tips for the Real Estate Agent - 10/18/06 10:15 AM
One extremely important, but often ignored skill of top real estate agents is the art (or is it a science) of negotiation.  When I first got into real estate I was somewhat shocked at the lack of emphasis on negotiation as a part of the fiduciary duties of an agent.  I realize that I probably over emphasize this particular skill because of my background in litigation, but I believe all agents should consider the obligations they have to their clients to maximize their return in a transaction by effective negotiation.
Though I am not an expert negotiator I do have the benefit … (15 comments)


Steven Holcomb

Esq. - BBA, JD, GRI

Plano, TX

More about me…

Keller Williams Realty

Address: 3600 Preston Rd. #100, Plano, TX, 75093

Office: (972) 599-7000

Mobile: (214) 334-6454

Email Me

A place to learn, laugh and just plain marvel at the trials and travails of various real estate professionals and their clients. Brought to you by a Realtor and sometimes Attorney serving the Dallas area real estate market.



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