BRIGGS FREEMAN Real Estate Brokerage

Times are changing in residential real estate. While a large kitchen with an island use to be the cat’s meow in a home, new properties must also be almost George Jetsonesque, equipped to tackle technology.

“With the wave of computers, the Internet and fiberoptics, new homes must be able to handle changing technology,” said Robert Briggs of Briggs-Freeman Real Estate Brokerage.

That means homes must be wired not only for phones, modem hookups and surround sound video, but for the next new wave of technology.

Today’s real estate market is a healthy mix of both buyers and sellers, says Briggs. Different areas of the Metroplex are appealing to different buyers.

Corporate moves and relocations make Colleyville and Coppell popular outlying areas, while the Park Cities and Preston Hollow continue to remain market leaders, marked by the continuing phenomenon of existing home tear-downs, which is driving the price of landing the market upwards.

’’In both of those areas land is the key factor, people are looking for large lots or acreage,” said Briggs.

With increasing concern about crime, Briggs is also seeing a trend toward moving to places where people feel safe with strong police protection, crime watch groups, off-duty police patrols or gated communities.

Briggs urges homeowners-turned-sellers to buy right and make improvements – not just upgrades in the property.

“One of the problems a seller gets into is they just upgrade, but haven’t changed it,” said Briggs.

“They really need to change the function of the house to further widen the market. A brand new bedroom or great den that wasn’t there or a revamping of kitchen and baths. Just upgrading adequate book shelves to beautifully milled book shelves you are not going to get your money out of it.”

In order to settle on the right price, Briggs often recommends a seller hire an independent appraiser to offer an objective third-party opinion on the total worth of the house.

Price it close to that figure, said Briggs, because today’s buyers are keenly aware of good value.

“If they perceive something to be of good value, they will act quick,” said Briggs.

“And when they act quick, you can stir up maybe two or three buyers and all of a sudden you have several buyers bidding against each other. And therefore you can get your best price.”

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