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Texas cops say they can’t remove staging family from home

Showdown in Texas: an aggressive pit bull, yard crucifixes, and an aggressive house guest that police say they cannot remove.



Hiring a staging family

An increasingly popular trend in a tough seller’s market is to hire a staging family when a home is to be vacated, typically when homeowners are relocating. The idea behind paying someone to live in a house while vacant is to lend it the lived-in feel and allow buyers to have a vision of what life would be like for them in the home.

So when Realtor Robin Everly suggested that her client, Aji Philip hire a staging family so she could relocated to Boston to be with her ill mother while the house sold, Philip said “it actually sounded like a fantastic idea.”

[ba-pullquote align=”right”]The family has placed a crude paper plate on the mantle that says the home is occupied and no one shall touch anything in the house.[/ba-pullquote]Philp tells CBS Dallas that not only did the staging family bring a pit bull with them, violating their agreement, not to mention a truck parked in the grass leaking oil, a red sign in the yard, and multiple crucifixes, namely a ten foot tall cross that violates the HOA rules. The family has placed a crude paper plate on the mantle that says the home is occupied and no one shall touch anything in the house.

The failing eviction process

The homeowner contacted the company that had placed the staging family, who began the process of evicting the tenants, but while the two brothers have complied and moved out, their father who they “invited” to stay with them claims he has rights to remain and refuses to leave until all appeals have been exhausted.

[ba-pullquote align=”right”]”There’s nothing I can do to that property to really reclaim it or save it from these people who have really taken it hostage.”[/ba-pullquote]CBS Dallas reports that according to police and Texas state law, the man is allowed to stay on the property until the courts say he can’t. As a result, the homeowner cannot go onto her own property, and despite paying all mortgage and insurance on the home, “There’s nothing I can do to that property to really reclaim it or save it from these people who have really taken it hostage.”

The Realtor went with a police escort to remove the sale sign and take the lockbox until the man is evicted as it is unsafe for other agents to enter a property that someone tells visitors is his and claims occupancy.

“With regard to whether we put the wrong people into the house, the people who are on the lease I don’t think are bad people,” a company rep told CBS 11, adding that they pre-screen all tenants. “I think people outside of the tenants we put in that property are the ones causing the problems.”

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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  1. Emmy Basch

    June 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    A staging FAMILY????

  2. Loretta O'Banan Blendermann

    June 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm


  3. Brandon Begley

    June 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    That’s just plain stupid. It’s the sellers own fault for taking such ridiculous advice.

  4. AgentGenius

    June 8, 2012 at 1:38 am

    It’s not an uncommon concept, it just appears Texas laws allow squatters independent of short term leases.

  5. Mindwear

    June 8, 2012 at 11:09 am

    A staging FAMILY?  Why would you pay someone to live in your house.  I would rather show vacant houses 10 to 1 over occupied.  Buyers don’t have to look past all the sellers junk to see the house.  Vacant homes are a blank slate ready for the buyers decor.  

  6. abodograph

    June 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

    LOL. I didn’t even know staging families were even a thing. As a free service to the realtor community, I selflessly volunteer myself as staging food-eater.

  7. Jack Cassedy

    June 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Pit bulls are wonderful dogs! I am immediately siding with the staging family based on this person’s slight bashing of pit bulls. Also, this is ridiculous.

  8. Trust 2 Move - San Antonio Homes

    June 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    collect rent… home furnished and looking great! Wonderful concept, just poorly executed. Very Poorly Executed!

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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