Real Estate Information Archive


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Explanation of Real Estate Titles

by Linnea Lavell

Recently I sat for my Broker exam and passed so I am now an Associate Broker.  The exam consists a State and National portion with a maximum of 4 hours to complete the exam.  

While updating my new title on my website and all of my advertising, I got to thinking "Do our clients and customers really understand the difference between a real estate agent,  Broker (Managing Broker or Associate Broker), Realtor, Real Estate Salesperson and an unlicensed assistance."  I wanted to take a few minutes and explain the differences in hope of giving a better understanding to our clients and customers we assist with buying, selling and leasing homes.

Each state regulates their individual requirements for licensure for that state but the titles you will come across in each state will be similar.

  • Real Estate Agent:  A person who has earned a real estate license can be called a Real Estate Sales Associate, Salesperson or Agent.  Requirements will vary from state to state but in most states you are required to take a minimum number of classes, submit an application, pay licensing fees and pass your test. For additional information on requirements in the state of Texas, visit the Texas Real Estate Commission website.
  • REALTOR®:  A real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.  Membership requires the agent to uphold the standards of the association and its Code of Ethics.
  • Real Estate Broker: A person who has additional education beyond the agent level as required by the State, has satisfied the experience requirement, submitted the application, paid fees and passed the state/national Broker exam.  Broker's can work alone or hire agents to work for them. The Managing Broker is responsible for the actions of agents they sponsor or manage.
  • Real Estate Sales Associate or Salesperson:  Same as a Real Estate Agent.
  • Real Estate Associate Broker:  A person who has taken the additional education to earn a Broker's license but chooses to work  under a managing Broker.

If you are planning to purchase or sell a home, it is important to schedule a face to face meeting with the agents you are interviewing so you can ask important questions to determine their knowledge, experience, skill set and personality of the Agent or Broker.  For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office.



For Buyers: Internet vs. In-Person

by Linnea Lavell

Don’t believe everything you see on the internet. You’ve heard that one before. It’s great to start out by conducting research if you’re interested in buying a home, but I strongly advise you to be conscientious of the websites you use to do your browsing.  

Here is an interesting article to read regarding online property portals.  

The internet can be a great source of information but it can also cause you to have more questions than answers when you research a topic. As an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®), I can lead you in the right direction and better explain the online property portal process. I look forward to working with you!  

Feel free to check out the buyer reports page on my website for additional information.



Season's Greetings from Our Family to Yours

by Linnea Lavell

Wishing you all a very Happy Holiday Season and a prosperous New Year!  

Dallas Cowboys New World Headquaters at The Star

by Linnea Lavell

Football season is almost here and the Dallas Cowboys are getting ready to move their headquarters from Valley Ranch to their new practice field in Frisco called The Star.

When completed, The Star will be a 91-acre mixed-use development that will include the Cowboy’s Headquarters building, an entertainment district with restaurants and retail, an Omni Frisco Hotel with convention center, a Baylor Scott & White sports medicine center and office space.

Here are some things you may not know about the new facility.

  • In a partnership between the Cowboy’s, the City of Frisco and the Frisco ISD; The Ford Center at the Star is a 12,000 seat indoor stadium that will house high school operations on one side and Cowboys operations on the other with the turf shared between them.  This is a first for an NFL training center.
  • The Cowboys will have a members-only club. The Cowboys Club at The Star will be similar to a country club only instead of a golf course, members will have the availability to watch the Cowboys practice.  Members will also have access to: a terrace overlooking the practice; the Cowboys Fit Club, where members of the Cowboys cheerleaders will train; talks given by coaches, players and owners; multiple dining options; private and corporate meeting spaces; billiards tables and a roof-top swimming pool. The initial 800 memberships are currently sold out. A family membership costs $4500 plus $350 per month.
  • Scheduled for completion the summer of 2017, the Omni Frisco Hotel will be a 16-story hotel that will have a two level connector between the hotel and the practice field.  There will be two restaurants that are open to the public in the hotel.  For a fun touch, some of the fabric used for the hotel will have a nod toward stitching on a football.
  • The Cowboys coaches offices overlook the practice field.  This setup allows the coaches to watch practice from a raised level and to diagram plays on a mini turf field outside of their offices.
  • The technology is amazing!!  The Cowboys are working with A T & T to install features in the war room (a 40 ft. by 30 ft. room) which include an interactive video wall made up of three rows of five 55 inch LCD narrow bezel displays; two 98 inch multi-media touch displays that will be used for side by side comparisons of players;  the Cowboys will be able to stream up to sixteen different video applications at the same time; and the room will include six secure phone lines for draft day for conversations with drafted players, the NFL, other teams, etc.
  • The team’s locker room, which will have walls are curved in the shape of a football will also have custom designed lockers which are being built off-site and will be delivered later.
  • One of the first events at The Star will be a quadruple header featuring all eight high schools in the Frisco ISD on August 27, 2016. For information on the Kickoff Celebration click here.

As Frisco continues to grow, we look forward to welcoming all the new businesses and residents to the area.

City of Frisco.

Frisco ISD.


Latest List of the Ugliest Paint Colors

by Linnea Lavell

Every year we have a new list of the ugliest home paint colors but after extensive research the Australian government thinks it has come up with the world's ugliest paint color. The lucky, or unlucky, winner is Pantone 448 C which is a lovely shade of greenish-brown bile called Opaque Couche. This color has such a negative impact that the Australian government is considering using this it to discourage people from smoking and other governments may follow suit.

When people choose paint colors they want to feel happy and uplifted however Opaque Couch misses that mark by a long way.  It might not be bad as a color for a pair of slacks or a jacket but that would be it. For a color in your home, it would be best to just say "No thank you".

Other colors that interior design experts have included on their worst possible colors you could have in your home include Peach Fuzz, Orange Popsicle, Blazing Yellow, Poppy Red, Parfait Pink and Revere Pewter.

If you are considering doing some painting at your home, do yourself a favor and do some research, test sample colors or consult an interior design specialist to see what colors will work best in your house.  Also don't forget if you are painting the outside of your home, many Home Owner Associations (HOA)  have specific regulations about colors of homes in their neighborhood so check with your HOA before purchasing your paint.






Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Yard

by Linnea Lavell

Many people enjoy having hummingbirds around their yard and garden.  The delicate little birds are fun to watch flit here and there and enjoy a drink of nectar from a flower or feeder.

If you are putting out a new feeders or are having issues attracting hummingbirds to an existing feeder, here are some tips that may help.

  • Hummingbirds are attracted to red which is why many feeders you purchase are red and it is recommended to color the nectar you use to feed them red.  If the feeder you are using does not have red on it, simply tie some red ribbons on the wire that it is hanging to and they will find it.
  • Hummingbirds like a clean feeder.  They will quickly abandon a neglected feeder for a cleaner alternative.  The nectar can spoil in as little as 2-5 days depending on outside temperatures causing fermentation and mold.  Keep feeders in shaded areas when it is extremely warm out and offer quantities of nectar that can be consumed in a few days.  When you refill your feeder, make sure to thoroughly clean it with hot, soapy water and rinse before refilling it.
  • Diffuse territorial behavior.  Hummingbirds, especially males, often display territorial or aggressive behavior around nectar.  Offering multiple feeders may squelch this behavior and provide a source of nectar for all in the area.
  • Add a mister to your yard.  Hummingbirds love to bathe.
  • Hummingbirds spend most of their day perched in trees or shrubs.  However, to maintain their high metabolism, they must feed every 10-15 minutes.  If you provide perches for hummingbirds, they are more likely to stay in your yard.
  • Attract hummingbirds to your yard with by planting flowers that attract them.  Hummingbirds have no sense of smell so scentless flowers that are tubular and bright in color such as orange, red or yellow are good choices.   Columbines, fuchsias or hollyhocks are some options.

The best simple recipe for making hummingbird nectar is 4 parts water and 1 part sugar.   Simply boil for two minutes to remove impurities in the water and sugar, cool and fill your feeder.  It is not recommended to add red food coloring, itmay be harmful to the birds.  Make sure not to boil the nectar longer than two minutes as evaporation will cause the solution to be stronger which can be bad for the birds.  Any left-over solution can be refrigerated to use another day.

It could take hours or even weeks to attract your first hummingbird but if you are patient and follow these steps, you could be rewarded with hummingbirds visiting your yard throughout the season.





Popular Color Trends for Homes in 2016

by Linnea Lavell

A simple and inexpensive way to freshen up your home is by painting.  Changing the paint color can transform a dull, dreary room into a fresh and vibrant one without breaking the bank.

 Some of the most popular colors according to paint companies for 2016 include white.  There are many shades of white but the more popular shades of white include Benjamin Moore's "Simply White", Glidden's "Cappuccino White and Sherwin Williams "Alabaster.  

This year many people are looking to add white cabinets in their kitchen or paint the existing cabinets white. The white cabinets make the room look light, bright and may give the appearance of the room being larger than it really is.  By using pops of color for accents you can really make a striking look in your kitchen.  If you are going to paint the cabinets yourself, make sure to do your homework and know how the cabinets need to be prepared prior to painting so they turn out exactly as you want them.

Light gray, gray-green and gray-blue tones are popular as well.  Try to keep the color on the lighter side of the color spectrum to make the room crisp and clean looking.  Again accent the room with touches of color and textures to draw interest and show your style.

There is also some interest being shown in more dramatic colors for bedrooms.  Some people are opting for deep purples or midnight blues in their bedrooms.  Colors that mimic the hues of both dawn and dusk.  Include lighter shades of your main hue for depth, incorporate gold tones to elicit the light that is shown just before dusk and after dawn and finally use touches of white for contrast, 

For a quick update to an outside area, use a calming green tone that will fit in nicely with your outdoor space. Make sure to select a shade that will compliment the natural environments so it brings charm to your patio space.

Now is the perfect time to plan and execute a painting projects.  You don't have to do the whole house, you can select on room to start.  Once you have finished one room you are going to want to continue with another room,  then another and before you know if, you will think you have a whole new home.


Get Your Home Ready for the Market Place

by Linnea Lavell

Often the first step in selling your home is making sure it’s ready for the market in the first place. Some sellers rush a home onto the market without properly preparing it for the public. By considering early on improvements that you may need to make, you can save yourself future headaches.

The amount and kind of work that you should do depends largely on the price you intend to ask, the time you have to sell, and the current condition of the house. If your house is in good condition and you’re pressed for time, do the small things that can make a big cosmetic difference. New paint, re-grouted tile in the bathroom and kitchen, new carpet in the major traffic areas-these are the kinds of things that can be relatively inexpensive for you yet important to potential buyers.

As far as major projects are concerned, avoid making improvements that may come down to a matter of taste. For instance, most buyers will appreciate newly tiled bathroom floors or brand new professional roofing, but not all buyers will be swayed by an expensive swimming pool in the back yard. Make sure that the investment in time and money you make for any project will be recouped in the sale of your house. This HGTV article outlines which home improvements pay off.

Once your home is ready to list for sale, make sure you find a real estate professional that has knowledge of your area and how to best market your home.

Still have questions, check out this video by Consumer Reports for additional tips and information on boosting your home’s selling price.


As the temperature in North Texas continue to climb don't forget about our four-legged friends.  The summer heat can be uncomfortable and dangerous to both humans and pets.  

It is important not to leave your pets in a hot car, even with the air conditioner running, during hot temperatures. On an 85 degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows open slightly can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes.  After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.

Watch for humidity too.  Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If humidity levels are too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their body temperature will skyrocket dangerous levels - very quickly. Taking a dog's temperature will quickly tell you if it is a serious problem. A dog's temperature should not be allowed to get over 104 degrees.  If your dog's temperature does, follow the instructions for treating heat stroke

Take care to limit exercise on hot days.  Adjust intensity and duration of exercise on hot days in accordance with the temperature.  Snub-nosed pets are more susceptible to temperatures that could cause breathing issues.  White colored pets or pets with white ears are more susceptible to skin cancer.  Don't forget that asphalt gets very hot and can burn the pads on their feet so walk your dog on the grass if at all possible.  Always carry water to keep your pet from getting dehydrated. 

Pets react differently to heat than humans do and so don't count on a fan to cool your pet down. They may not be as effective as you expect.

Any time you take your pet outside, make sure to protect them from heat and sun.  Provide plenty of fresh, clean, cold water. Add ice to the water if necessary to keep your pet cool inside as well as outside. Shade from trees or tarps provide good air flow so they are good ways to stay cool.  Dog houses may not be a good choice in the heat and may make things worse since they do not provide air flow or relief from the heat.

It is important to keep your pets cool on the inside as well as the outside so whip up a batch of peanut butter popsicles (you can use peanut butter or another favorite food flavor).   Again fresh, clean, cold water is always important to have available for your pets when the heat starts to rise. 

If baths don't stress out your pet, see if they would enjoy a cool bath or a small pool to help keep them cool.  You can always wrap a cool wet towel around them to help cool them off. 

In the case of a summer power outage, make sure you have an emergency plan in place for your pets as well as the rest of your family. 

Please be a responsible pet owner and get your pet spade or neutered. Finally make sure they have identification tag on your pet or they are micro chipped in case they get out of your yard. 

Enjoy your summer with the entire family and stay cool.


Real Estate Designations

by Linnea Lavell

Have you ever noticed that many real estate professionals have a list of letters behind their name but you have no idea what these letters mean?  These are acronyms for designations that the agent/broker has earned to better service their clients needs. 

According to The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, REALTOR® Designations— The Mark of Expertise and Service has a variety of affiliates that provide designations acknowledging experience and expertise in various real estate sectors.

NAR also offers designations and certification programs to its members, including:

ABR® – REALTORS® with the ABR® (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) designation understand the special needs of buyers. By working with an ABR®, you’ll be working with someone who has gone the extra mile by completing specialized training in delivering the best in buyer representation services.

CIPS – The Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation prepares REALTORS® to service foreign investors, helping local buyers invest abroad, or serving an immigrant buyer locally. It is awarded to practitioners who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria.

GRI – A REALTOR® with the Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation is trained in many areas, including legal and regulatory issues, professional standards, the sales process and technology. A minimum of 90 hours of training is required to achieve the GRI designation.

e-PRO® – e-PRO® certification indicates that a REALTOR® has been trained on social media strategies and technology tools required throughout the real estate transaction.

SRES® – When looking for a real estate professional that will respond to your specific 50+ real estate needs, look for a Seniors Real Estate Specialist® Designee.

SFR – REALTORS® who have earned the Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR) certification are trained to help buyers and sellers maneuver the complexities of these transactions.

GREEN – A REALTOR® awarded NAR’s Green Designation is trained on a variety of sustainable topics including green materials, energy-efficient technology, green ratings, green design, green living, green incentives and more! If you are overwhelmed by going green, an NAR Green Designee can help you.

There are also other certifications that can be achieved outside of NAR.  For example, Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) which is defined as a real estate professional with a thorough understanding of the complex issues in today’s turbulent real estate industry and knowledge of foreclosure avoidance options available to homeowners.

So, when you see the list of acronyms after a real estate professionals name, know that they have taken additional training to earn designations and educate themselves so they are better prepared to navigate the complex real estate market place. 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 11

Contact Information

Photo of Linnea Lavell Real Estate
Linnea Lavell
Lavell Realty, LLC
P.O. Box 1243
Little Elm TX 75068
Fax: 877-488-1740