Selling a House as Part of An Estate

How To Sell An Inherited Property

Losing a loved one inevitably stir up a wide range of emotions and even create a sense of overwhelm, particularly when it comes to the issue of inheriting property.  It’s not uncommon for a beneficiary to choose to part ways with an inherited home, but this type of real estate transaction will vary a bit from a typical home sale.


What To Do When You’re Ready To Sell An Inherited Home


Step 1: Wait For The Estate To Go Through Probate


Even if you’re confident that the home has been left to you, the will must be probated before any action can be taken to sell the property.  This is the process through which the court determines the validity of the will, thereby permitting the executor act on behalf of the document’s terms.


Only after a will goes through probate is a beneficiary able to claim inherited property.


Step 2: Contemplate How You’d Like to Move Forward As The Home’s Owner


If you share ownership of the property with others, discuss your plan for the home together.  Even if you have no interest in occupying the home, you may prefer to rent it out or to simply sell.  Regardless of what you decide, you’ll need to explore these options with the rest of the home’s owners, if the property isn’t exclusively yours.


When siblings inherit a home from deceased parents, for example, there are often disagreements surrounding whether or not to keep the house.  If you would prefer to sell, but your siblings want the property to stay in the family, they can buy your portion from you as a way to compromise.


Before making any final decisions, however, meet with an accountant who can explain the potential tax implications that you may experience whether you choose to occupy the home, rent it out, or sell.


If you’re leaning towards selling the home, give yourself ample time to think about this decision and make sure you’re comfortable with the idea of parting with the property.


Step 3: Prepare To Put The Home On The Market


Prior to listing the property for sale, you’ll want to walk through the home to get an understanding of its current condition.  If the home has significant clutter or damage, you’ll need to decide whether you’d like to hold off on listing the property or accept a lower selling price than if the property were in pristine shape.


It’s not a bad idea to hire a home inspector as well; even if you don’t intend to make repairs, at least you can determine a realistic asking price.


Alternatively, if you’re not in a hurry to sell the home and can afford to spend the time and money on improvements, consider some simple cosmetic upgrades to increase the property’s curb appeal.


Once you’re confident the home is ready to put on the market, the next logical step is to find a Realtor who’s familiar with the neighborhood.  Whether your goal is to sell the home for the best possible offer or to simply make a quick transaction, make sure you communicate this to your agent.


Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions before you decide which Realtor to hire.


Are You Ready To Sell Your Home?


If you own a home in the Houston area and would like to discuss your options as a seller, we should connect!  Please contact me today for assistance with your listing, and feel free to send me a note with any questions you may have.


Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel on YouTube for more information about the local Houston market.

How To Make An Offer On A Property For Sale

How To Make An Offer On A Property

You’ve chosen your new neighborhood, looked at several homes for sale, and now you’ve found the perfect place.  You can’t picture a better home for your new start, and you can already see yourself moving in.  Before that can happen, though, you’ll need to make sure you can put together an offer that’s both fair for you and attractive to the seller.


Of course, the first step you must take before creating your offer is getting pre-approved for a mortgage (if you don’t intend to pay for the property in cash).  A bid from a potential buyer who’s already secured financing will inevitably be more appealing than a bid from a buyer who has not done so.  Sellers are simply more inclined to consider your offer when you can eliminate any doubts about your ability to pay for the home.


Additionally, try to find out what the seller’s motivation is for listing the property; while some sellers can afford to wait for the highest offer, others may be on a tight timeline and more willing to negotiate if it means a quicker transaction.  Consult with your Realtor to identify the best way to appeal to the seller’s interests.


Writing Your Offer Letter


Creating a compelling offer is equal parts art and science; every real estate transaction poses a unique situation, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to offer letters.  There are, however, some common components of an offer letter that you should be familiar with and include in your own offer.


7 Common Elements Of Offer Letters


1. Property’s address


Of course, the first piece of information you’ll want to include is the correct address of the property you’re interested in buying.


2. Offer price and financing method


Included with your offer price should be a breakdown of how you intend to pay for the home; you’ll need to state clearly how much money will be acquired through financing and how much cash you’ll be paying at closing.  The sum of these two amounts equals the final sale price for the home.


3. Earnest money requirements


In addition to your offer amount, the contract should also specify how much you will deposit as earnest money and the date by which this payment will be made.


4. Details surrounding title policy and survey


The contract should indicate whether the buyer or seller is responsible for the cost of title insurance.


There should also be clear terms describing who will pay for professional land surveying and when the survey is to be completed.


5. Contingencies


Contingencies outline the conditions that must be met in order for the transaction to take place.  As you’ve probably guessed, the purpose of including contingencies is to protect the buyer and minimize ambiguity in the contract.  If the deal is not completed for a reason outlined in the contingency clauses, these stipulations allow the buyer to recoup his or her earnest money.

There are many potential factors that could cause a deal to fall through.  For example, a buyer who’s been pre-approved for a mortgage may still be unable to pay for the home if the appraiser determines the value to be less than the agreed-upon price.  Including an appraisal contingency in the contract allows the buyer to walk away from the deal if this should happen.


Other common types of contingencies relate to inspections for property damage or safety hazards that may require costly repairs; for instance, many offer letters include contingencies for property inspections, so that buyers aren’t forced to complete a transaction that involves a home in need of significant work.


6. Offer expiration date


Including an expiration date and time for your offer is another way to help protect yourself as a buyer.  By making your offer valid for only a given period of time, you can avoid wasting time waiting for an answer if the seller is holding out for higher bids.  This strategy also gives you the freedom to pursue other options if you do not receive a response from the seller.


7. Closing date and requirements


The offer letter will also include information about when the deal will close and any final steps that need to be completed on either party’s end during closing.


Home Buyer Offer Letter Sample (Downloadable PDF)



Home Buyer Offer Letter Sample - Download

Still Have Questions About The Home Buying Process?


I’m here to help!  Send me a message if you’re thinking about buying a home in the Houston area.  I’m especially familiar with the Memorial, Uptown, Galleria, and Tanglewood neighborhoods.


If you’d like more information about the Houston market, please make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel as well!

How To Attract Talent From Other Cities

How To Attract Talent From Other Cities To Your Company

Thanks to popular job posting sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Zip Recruiter, it’s become increasingly easy for companies and talented workers to connect with just a few keystrokes.


One challenge that still remains, however, is being able to convince candidates from out of town that they should, in fact, relocate for a given position.  In today’s competitive job market, even glowing online reviews may not be enough to encourage jobseekers to pick up and move for work.


Here Are 4 Simple Ways To Attract Qualified Candidates From Other Cities:


1. Be transparent about salary and benefits


Many companies tend to post job descriptions without sharing information about the corresponding salary or benefits.


This strategy may attract local workers who can stop by for an interview on their lunch break.  Candidates who live out of town, however, are not likely to spend time and money traveling for an interview without first knowing if the opportunity meets their salary requirements.


In order to encourage talent from other cities to at least apply for a position, make sure the job description includes accurate information regarding benefit and pay.


2. Be familiar with your company’s online reviews

There’s no getting around the fact that candidates can and will research every prospective employer as much as possible before they apply to a job.  When it comes to candidates outside of the area especially, your company’s online image is going to have a significant impact.


Regardless of whether the majority of online reviews are positive or negative, it’s wise to make sure interviewers are familiar with the content of these posts and can address any questions or concerns candidates may have.  Before encouraging a candidate to relocate, it’s important to ensure that he or she has a clear, accurate understanding of the company’s culture and structure.

3. Provide clear information about the role and responsibilities

Additionally, before a candidate decides to relocate, he or she must understand what to expect in the new role.  Providing as much information as possible will help insure that the most qualified candidate is selected for the role.  At the same time, candidates will feel more eager and confident to relocate when they know exactly what’s expected of them.


Of course, every new employee requires some degree of onboarding, but this, too, can be made easier when the employee already has a solid understanding of his or her new role.


4. Create a compelling offer with corporate relocation benefits


Any assistance an employer can offer to help ease the stress of moving will inevitably make the company more attractive to talent from outside the area.


If your company doesn’t already offer relocation benefits, I highly recommend looking into Kinetics, a program that allows Houston companies to create their own custom relocation packages.


Learn More About The Kinetics Corporate Relocation Program For Houston-Based Companies


I’m excited to share a brief Q&A with Kinetics director and fellow Realtor, Vanessa Hadrych.  Below, Vanessa has been kind enough to provide more information about the Kinetics program:


Q:   What makes Better Homes & Gardens – Gary Greene’s Kinetics program beneficial for employees relocating to Houston?


Kinetics was designed to help ease the stress of relocating, allowing the transferee to focus on arriving at their new destination city ready to hit the ground running.


The goal of Kinetics is to offer a seamless and rewarding experience for the transferee, whether they are looking to buy, sell, or rent. This commitment to service is paramount, and we pair that with our cost-saving offerings which include a cash-back benefit, zero standard mortgage closings costs through our preferred lender, Gibraltar Mortgage, and preferential pricing and services on everything related to the move. These services include temporary housing, business travel lodging, van lines and storage, pet transport, and more.


Whether a transferee is relocating from Seattle or Shanghai, Kinetics has leveraged Gary Greene’s 55-year legacy as a preferred relocation partner to ensure their relocation needs are met. We can assist transferees who are offered a lump sum, a managed relocation, as well as those moving at their own expense. Let our legacy work for you!


Q: What is the cost for a company to enroll into the Kinetics relocation program?


Kinetics was designed to benefit both the employee AND the employer. We offer our relocation and real estate benefits to employers at ZERO COST and with no contract.


Our goal is to knock it out of the park for your talent every time, so that you and your team WANT to work with us. We get paid when your talent buys or sells a home, and we give part of that back to your talent in their cash-back benefit. In addition to our services for your talent, we offer advocacy services for employers including: candidate tours, relocation policy advisement, networking opportunities (our professional network is highly curated and invaluable), and more.


While we do offer a level of premium services that have a cost associated with them, many of our clients find that our complimentary services are more than adequate to fit their company’s needs.


Q: Is Kinetics very complicated or difficult to work with from the employee’s standpoint?


Kinetics was designed with ease of use in mind! The process starts with a phone call or email to alert the Kinetics Houston team of your relocation needs. We’ll reach out to complete a needs assessment and then take care of the rest! You will have one point of contact for any questions, concerns, or needs. We’ll coordinate with our Realtors and vendors to ensure your needs are met and all necessary services are filled. Our concierge team will monitor your relocation from our corporate office and ensure all time-sensitive details are properly managed, all while keeping your HR team in the loop with custom reporting and update options!


Are You Ready To Start Recruiting Out-Of-Town Talent For Your Houston Company?


If you’re interested in receiving more information about the Kinetics corporate relocation program, please contact me today!


You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’d like to receive updates about the Houston real estate market.

2018 Houston Restaurant Weeks

Your Ultimate Guide to Houston Restaurant Weeks: 2018

It’s finally that time of year again: the 2018 Restaurant Weeks have officially begun!


Restaurant Weeks is a Summer tradition here in Houston.   During the Dog Days of August when so many people are winding down their Summer vacations, the restaurant industry has created this event to raise money for the Houston Food Bank.   Each specific participating restaurant has a special daily menu to choose from and a certain percentage of the tab goes to the Food Bank!   It’s lots of fun and has become a wonderful time to reconnect with friends, former clients, and prospects!


25 Of The Best Restaurants To Visit During 2018’s Houston Restaurant Weeks*

1. Willie G’s


  • Address: 1640 W Loop South Houston, TD 77027 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Seafood and Steak
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


Willie G’s is practically famous for their fresh seafood and delicious steaks.  The restaurant’s atmosphere can best be described as casual, yet elegant, and there’s even a great outdoor dining area!


2. Bloom & Bee


  • Address: 1600 West Loop S Houston, TX 77027 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


Known for their extensive menu and beautiful atmosphere, Bloom & Bee specializes in fresh cuisine inspired by the local Houston culture.


3. Etoile Cuisine Et Bar


  • Address: 1101 Uptown Park Blvd Suite 11 Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: French and European
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 brunch and lunch, $45 dinner


Etoile Cuisine Et Bar is best known for their amazing French dishes, served in a European-inspired atmosphere.


4. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood


  • Address: 1151-01 Uptown Park Blvd. Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Steak, American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $35 dinner


McCormick & Schmick’s is one of the best restaurants to visit for seafood or steak.  They also have a wide selection of drinks, ranging from classic cocktails to more trendy concoctions!


5. Songkran Thai Kitchen

  • Address: 1101-8 Uptown Park Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Restaurant Week Special: $35 dinner


If you love fresh, authentic Thai food, you have to visit Songkran Thai Kitchen!  Not only are the meals delicious; there’s even a fun list of signature drinks to try, too!


6. True Food Kitchen


  • Address: 1700 Post Oak Boulevard Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: American, Farm-to-Table, Vegetarian/ Vegan
  • Restaurant Week Special: $35 dinner


True Food specializes in delectable options for health-conscious diners.  Whether you’re on a strict vegan diet or just prefer to eat clean, organic meals, this is a great restaurant for a fun night out with friends!


7. Le Colonial


  • Address: (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese, French, Contemporary Asian
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $45 dinner


Le Colonial is known for combining the flavors of French cuisine and Colonial Southeast Asian dishes for a truly unique experience.

8. Emmaline


  • Address: 3210 W Dallas St Houston, TX 77019 (Midtown/ Montrose)
  • Cuisine: American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $45 dinner


Emmaline describes itself as a “laid-back interpretation of an American Trattoria,” and is known for combining American dishes in a European-inspired atmosphere.


9. Fig & Olive


  • Address: 5115 Westheimer Road Houston, 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: French, Mediterranean
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $35 dinner


Despite having only opened earlier this year, Fig & Olive has already established a reputation for its authentic Mediterranean dishes, focusing on flavors from the coastal regions of France, Italy, and Spain.


10. Pappas Bros Steakhouse


  • Address: 5839 Westheimer Rd Houston, TX 77057 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Steak, American, Seafood
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


Pappas Bros boasts in-house dry-aged steaks that pair perfectly with their award-winning wines.  This fine dining experience is one you won’t forget!


11. Ouisie’s Table


  • Address: 3939 San Felipe Road Houston, TX 77027 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Southern, American, Comfort Food
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 brunch and lunch, $35 dinner


Named for chef and founder Elouise Adams Jones, Ouisie’s Table offers a wide range of award-winning Southern comfort foods and a fantastic wine list!


12. Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette


  • Address: 4224 San Felipe St Houston, TX 77027 (River Oaks)
  • Cuisine: Seafood, American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $35 dinner


Known for its Oyster Bar, Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette is another go-to seafood restaurant in Houston.  Some of the most popular choices here include grilled oysters, sushi, and seafood towers, though this restaurant also serves many delicious meals featuring local Texas Beef.


13. Toulouse Café and Bar


  • Address: 4444 Westheimer Suite E Houston, TX 77027 (River Oaks)
  • Cuisine: French
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


Toulouse combines French cuisine with imaginative recipes in a casual, elegant setting for a sophisticated dining experience.  They’re also known for their amazing desserts made completely from scratch!


14. Brenner’s Steakhouse on the Bayou


  • Address: 1 Birdsall Street Houston, TX 77007 (River Oaks)
  • Cuisine: Steakhouse, American, Seafood
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $45 dinner


Brenner’s combines an elevated, rustic atmosphere with mouthwatering American cuisine.  Make sure you check out the award-winning wine list when you visit!


15. B&B Butchers & Restaurant


  • Address: 1814 Washington Ave Houston, TX 77007 (Heights/ Washington)
  • Cuisine: Steakhouse, Steak, Seafood
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $45 dinner


This upscale steakhouse is known for serving some of the finest Texas and Japanese Wagyu beef.  They even dry-age their steaks in-house!


16. Eloise Nichols Grill & Liquors


  • Address: 2400 Midlane Suite 100 Houston, TX 77027 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Bistro, Lounge
  • Restaurant Week Special: $35 dinner


Eloie Nichols is the perfect spot for a casual happy hour with friends.  This restaurant is famous for their American comfort food and exciting new cocktails!


17. Grace’s


  • Address: 3111 Kirby Drive Houston Houston, TX 77098 (Upper Kirby/ Shepherd Corridor)
  • Cuisine: American, Comfort Food
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $35 dinner


Inspired by Sunday family lunches, Grace’s specializes in comfort foods like fresh bread, homemade soup, and original sauces.  It’s the perfect casual dining experience!


18. Season 52


  • Address: 4410 Westheimer Houston, TX 77027 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: American, Contemporary American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $35 dinner


Season 52 specializes in seasonal dishes inspired by fresh, locally-grown ingredients.  In addition to the fantastic food, they also offer a massive wine list including more than 100 different international wines!


19. Brassrie 19


  • Address: 1962 West Gray Houston, TX 77019 (River Oaks)
  • Cuisine: French, American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


With an elegant atmosphere, Brasserie 19 combines French cuisine with American influences to create a one-of-a-kind experience.


20. Masraff’s


  • Address: 1753 Post Oak Blvd Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Seafood, Steakhouse
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


Masraff’s is the perfect place to visit for American favorites with a hint of Southern Europe.  Once you’ve eaten here, you’ll understand quickly why it’s a favorite spot among Houstonians!


21. Armandos


  • Address: 2630 Westheimer Houston, TX 77098 (River Oaks)
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Seafood, Steak
  • Restaurant Week Special: $35 dinner


Inspired by Spanish and French colonial Mexico, Armandos combines exquisite Mexican food with an elegant, sophisticated atmosphere.


22. Maggiano’s


  • Address: 2109 Post Oak Blvd Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Italian-American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $35 dinner


If you’re looking for Italian-American cuisine in a warm, casual environment, Maggiano’s is the place to go!  The menu ranges from classic to contemporary dishes, including signature salads, fresh fish, homemade pastas, steaks, and more.


23. Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House


  • Address: 5061 Westheimer Rd Suite 8060 Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Steakhouse, Steak, Seafood
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $45 dinner


Del Frisco’s is best known for providing guests with a truly luxurious fine dining experience.  With prime beef, seafood, and an extensive wine list, Del Frisco’s is one of the classiest steakhouses in the Houston area.


24. Peli Peli


  • Address: 5085 Westheimer Suite B2515 Houston, TX (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: South African, Contemporary American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


This award-winning restaurant combines South African delicacies with Southern hospitality and is even currently ranked the #1 restaurant in Houston by Trip Advisor!


25. Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina


  • Address: 9005 Katy Fwy Houston, 77024 (West Side)
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex, Mexican
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $35 dinner


Goode Co Kitchen & Cantina seamlessly blends authentic Mexican dishes with delicious Southern Texas cuisine.  It’s the perfect place to enjoy a few margaritas with friends or family!


Where Will You Be Dining During This Year’s Restaurant Weeks?


I would definitely like to reconnect with many Houston friends, so hit me up and let’s coordinate our schedules!


Restaurant Weeks


Planning A Move To The Houston Area?


If you’re thinking about buying a home near Houston, let’s connect!  Please contact me today for assistance in your home buying journey!


For more updates on fun and exciting Houston events, follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page!  You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel for updates about the Houston real estate market.



*Based on ratings from Open Table