Posts Tagged ‘residential real estate’

Julie Provenzano’s Top Tips for Home Sellers and the Most Outrageous Homes She’s Ever Seen

Posted by    |    November 15th, 2012 at 11:45 am

YouPlusDallas has hosted the blog of residential real estate rock star Julie Provenzano for quite some time now. The beautiful and personable Provenzano is relatively new to Dallas, but that didn’t stop her from immediately making a name for herself in the Big D. She was awarded D Magazine’s Top Producer Honors in 2011 and has been featured on HGTV as a real estate expert for the past two years. Find out what this real estate maven loves most about Dallas as well as her top tips for home sellers.

1. How did you first get started in real estate?

I was a sports media producer working in Washington D.C. and wanted to make a career move into commercial real estate so I took the test and got my license in the summer of 2002. Frankly, it never occurred to me to try the residential route because I pictured a bunch of ladies in chunky jewelry and fur coats trying to convince buyers how much their kids would love playing in a particular backyard. That definitely wasn’t me and I had convinced myself I’d be better suited in the more corporate environment of commercial.

As it so happened, the commercial market at that time was really suffering with a high number of vacancies in the aftermath of the Internet bubble bursting, so when I started getting calls from residential brokers, I went in to see what it was all about. I ended up meeting a broker at Coldwell Banker in Alexandria, VA who was extremely professional and knowledgeable about the market and I decided to give it a try while I waited for the commercial market to recover. As it turns out, I spent about a month learning the ropes and never thought about commercial real estate again. Residential sales was the perfect fit for me and to this day I could never imagine doing anything else. It’s hard work and it’s non-stop but I just love the business and the people you meet through it.


2. What do you love most about Dallas real estate?

Having started my real estate career in Washington DC, I can tell you that the cost of living there was not welcome news to people who were relocating to the area.

In Dallas, I feel like it’s the complete opposite. I work with a lot of relocating families from the East and West Coasts and it’s a tremendous thing to see them on the positive side of the real estate lottery. By comparison, you can get a lot for your money in Texas and people really can live in houses they might not have dreamed of elsewhere. We may not have the sales appreciation that you see in other states, but we do have a significant amount of market stability and that’s a good side of the fence to be on.


3. One of your strengths is that you take the time to build strong relationships with your clients and maintain those relationships. How do you think this has benefited you in the business?

In my opinion, that’s really the whole point of being in residential real estate. It’s a business built on relationships and cultivating friendships and nothing has been more rewarding for me in the past 10 years than creating those bonds. You have an opportunity to play an important role in a serious life transition — whether the catalyst for the move is positive or negative — and I never take that trust for granted. I can honestly say that I probably spend more time talking clients out of properties than into them to ensure that it’s the right fit long term. It’s not about a quick sale or a fast turnover but making sure the investment is sound and the house will fit the client’s needs.


4. Your blogs are always helpful and often very funny. What would you say are the top three things not to do when clients show their home?

I definitely tell it like it is and I’m not one to mince words. Sometimes I try to get a blunt point across by softening it with humor but the message is always pretty clear. For sellers, I would drive home three points:

  • Don’t even think about being present for a showing. A buyer needs time to envision themselves as the owner of your home, cooking in your kitchen and waking up in your bedroom. That daydreaming can’t happen if you’re there — even on the sidelines — and your simple presence can translate as an “offer repellant”.  If there are important points you want to make, that information can be left for the buyer as part of a marketing packet.
  • The work that goes into selling a home should not be taken lightly. To get top dollar in a competitive market, it has to show like a model. You should spend 2-4 weeks ahead of listing just working through a “TO DO” list from your agent so that it’s in top condition when it hits the market. The tough part is continuing to live like that but it will translate into more money in your pocket, guaranteed.
  • Do not decline showings unless it is an absolute emergency. If you take buyer traffic for granted, you’re overestimating the likelihood that they will circle back. If you decline an appointment, you may not get a second chance. Buyers have busy lives too. Make it easy for them to see your property on their time.


5. Was there a home that stands out in your mind as being completely outrageous or beautiful? 

I’ve definitely seen it all. The homes that stand out as outrageous are the ones where you wonder if the owner actually knows the house is on the market for sale. Some people put little to no effort into staging or presentation and those are always the ones that sit on the market forever without interest. I’m not suggesting it’s easy but if you’re going to share your house with the public, you should be proud of what you’re presenting. Selling homes is essentially like matchmaking — you want people to fall in love. It doesn’t help your case if you show up in a dirty robe an acne mask.

As for impressive homes, we’re lucky enough to live in an area with a lot of architectural diversity and that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. What I react to most positively are homes with an open floor plan and lots of natural light where the yard feels like an extension of the house. Light and bright is the way to my heart.

The Magic Elixir of Residential Real Estate

Posted by    |    June 30th, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Back at Washington & Lee University, where I first met Dave Perry-Miller, there is a breathtaking colonnade built in the 1820s that never fails to impress. Perhaps that’s where Dave developed his love of architecture. After graduation he came to Dallas and started in the residential real estate business, and early on he focused on selling homes that were well-designed, historic, special. It paid off and the agent became a company: Dave Perry-Miller & Associates. Back in 2007, Dave got “an offer he couldn’t refuse” and sold his company to Ebby Halliday. He now had a permanent listing on Easy Street, but a funny thing happened: he went back to being an agent. You can see his story beautifully told here.

Perry-Miller is not alone. Ellen Terry also sold her company to Ebby in 1995, and the petite dynamo is full time selling property. Allie Beth Allman may have her name on the letterhead, but husband Pierce runs the company because Allie Beth can’t escape “the adrenaline rush” of closing a big deal. For years realtor Dan Mahoney and his wife Lindy had their own firm in Highland Park Village; they sold to Robbie Briggs of Briggs-Freeman and now prefer to sell. So, what some people see as a tough job with long hours and weekend showings, these “name” realtors (and I could add more, like Virginia Cook, David Griffin, etc.) can’t get away from the thrill of the closing. The sense of excitement each time a house sells must be intoxicating. While filming Perry-Miller’s elegant profile, we had to keep stopping because Dave’s phone kept ringing and God forbid he not answer it. Each time he would apologize, grab his cell, speak quickly in hushed tones, and then return out of breath. “So sorry,” he said. “Big deal cooking. Had to take that. But I’m ready to shoot now.” At least until the phone rings again.

Sheets Plead Guilty, Headed to Prison

Posted by    |    September 22nd, 2010 at 10:40 am

While you were away on summer vacation, one of Dallas’ high-flying real estate couples was having a much harder time. Nicky Sheets was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for tax evasion, and he was ordered to repay $2.4 million in back income taxes and penalties. His wife Eleanor Mowery Sheets pleaded guilty in July and faces up to four years in federal prison and at least $400,000 in fines. Her sentencing will be next month on October 12. Their $1.3 million Preston Hollow home was seized by the IRS this summer.