What’s Real in Real Estate?

By Vicki White: Vickiwhitehomes.com

ImageI am sure it is no surprise that the market values in Forest Hills and Dallas as a whole has been in a downward trend for several years now. Even with many homes on the market in Forest Hills, only 8 properties have sold in the last 6 months. I have been monitoring this area for many years, and have been involved with 3 of the sales in the last six months as well as one of the buyers. I hear it every day, sellers want to recoup their investment in their property at the very least, or even better would like to make a profit. It has been difficult to be the messenger that the market is what it is.

The stats below go back for a six month period, (from August 9, 2011 to February 9, 2012) since six months is what an appraiser will use to evaluate or appraise a property. The good news is that property values seem to have flat lined. The monthly decline in value seems to have come to a stop. This is really GREAT news! I am optimistic that we will begin our slow climb back to higher values in the months and years ahead! With that said, I believe it is extremely important to be totally aware of the market conditions that we are living with right now. There is nothing to be gained from burying our heads in the sand and choosing to ignore the reality. Knowledge is power!


This report includes all homes in Forest Hills, all streets from Garland Road to Eustis. It also includes everything from distressed properties to new construction, so the actual value will be somewhat skewed using these MLS (Multiple Listing Service) comps.

Active Listings: (Per MLS as of February 9, 2012)

Number of Properties listed 21

Average price per square foot $199.63

Average price of listed homes $616,021*Notice the substantial difference between the LISTED prices and the SOLD

prices. Average number of days on the market 135* (see actual days on market below)

*The average days on the market shows to be 135 ACCORDING TO MLS. This is NOT real. Most good real estate agents will dig deeper to see what is real with regard to days on the market. Those figures get manipulated by putting a property on, then taking off, and putting back on in order to zero out the days on market. Currently, the true average days on the market for the active listings in Forest Hills is 250 days! That is 115 days on the market more than the comps show.

Sold Listings:

Number of sold properties in the last 6 months totals 8 properties sold (Including Belle Nora)

*However for the sake of the comps, I have removed Belle Nora to get a more accurate picture

Average price per square foot of sold properties $161.90

Average price of homes sold $390,400

Average number of days on the market: 231* (see actual days on the market below)

*The average days on the market shows to be 231 ACCORDING TO MLS. To find the real ACTUAL days on the market we have to go into the archive list which shows all the times a property has come off and gone back on. The ACTUAL days on the market for the sold listings was 346 days, far different from the stats that show 231. In addition to taking an average of 346 days to sell, in almost every case there were significant reductions in price during the listing periods.



Note: This is the major reason that a home should be priced right from the very beginning of the listing. It is stressful to have a property on the market for long periods, stressful to have to go though price reductions, and damaging to your chances of selling at a desirable price if it has logged many days on the market. Houses that show well and are priced at or below the average price per square foot will almost always sell!! Plus, you should remember that IF you get a buyer that is willing to pay more than the comps support, it is very likely you are not going to get a satisfactory appraisal from the Buyers lender. Many deals have fallen through this year because of homes not appraising for the negotiated price.

During the last 6 months there have also been 11 cancelled listings, 10 expired listings, 1 withdrawn and 1 temporarily off the market for a total of 23 failed attempts. I can already see this trend begin to change to the positive!

There are currently 3 pending properties with the average price per square foot being $91.89.

Indications are that some of the higher end and more expensive homes will start to sell over the next few months which will bring our averages up. I look forward to promoting Forest Hills for the fabulous neighborhood it is. Where else in the Metroplex can you live near a beautiful lake that people travel across town just to walk the trails and enjoy the many facilities? Where else in Dallas can you walk from your home to one of the most beautiful Arboretums in the country? The rich history, incredible architecture of both old and new homes and the home town friendly atmosphere will sustain this neighborhood. If you are planning on selling your home in the near future, be sure you choose an agent that has the knowledge and passion for this wonderful neighborhood forest!!

If you would like information as to how your specific property fits in to these stats, I would love the opportunity to go over it with you, just give me a call. Vicki White 214.534.1305

About Vicki S. White

Vicki White Lead Agent, REALTOR® Vicki understands the needs and desires of buyers and sellers alike. Her knowledge of residential real estate is extensive due to first hand experience. She has purchased and renovated more than 20 homes all over Dallas. Not only did she select the properties, she designed and implemented the renovations and staged them for sale. She has owned and operated a highly successful staging business working on properties from $100,000 to $3,000,000. She "set the stage" to make her clients homes appealing to buyers. Vicki has worked as a construction project manager acting as liaison between developer, contractor, buyers and residents. In addition to her experience, Vicki, a native Dallasite is highly energetic and enthusiastic. She has had a lifelong passion for the real estate industry. • Dallas Morning News Neighbors Choice Award: 2009 BEST REALTOR • Professional Excellence Award from Outstanding Woman of Today from Altrusa International • Junior League of Dallas • Junior League of Richardson - Past President • Richardson Medical Center - Advisory Board • Rape Crisis Center - Volunteer of the year • Network of Community Ministries • Charter member of The Greater Dallas Luxury Home Coalition • Consistent Multi-Million Dollar Producer
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