Do You Want An Agent That… Puts The Hard-Sell On?

For the third entry in my series called “Do You Want An Agent That…?” I am addressing a style or tactic that some agents use on their clients… and that is being a “salesman” and putting the hard-sell on their clients for a particular property. Even though technically we as real estate agents are salespersons, I have never thought of myself as a salesman. I see myself as someone that guides my clients through the tedious process of selling or buying property. I feel my purpose is to provide guidance on particular properties and the process as a whole, to enable my clients to make informed decisions.

I have known other agents who look at the job as a salesman and approach it as trying to sell something to their clients and being more concerned with not having their time wasted and also steering their clients to properties that may be out of their price-range or offer a higher commission, or an agent bonus. The way I see it… the buyer is the one that has to live in the house, not me. Therefore the buyer needs to be informed on the pros and cons so they can make an informed decision. I just don’t feel that high-pressure sales tactics are the way to go when working with a client to make such a big purchase. Buyers are already stressed out due to having to make a decision on a huge purchase, they don’t need added pressure from their agent.

I go above and beyond in my effort to provide the best service I can and you can rest assured that I would never employ any strong-arm, hard-sell tactics on my clients. It’s just not in my DNA.

If I can ever assist with any of your real estate needs please don’t hesitate to contact me at (919) 889-1766 or at Stay tuned for the next blog installment in the “Do You Want An Agent That…?” series.

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Do You Want An Agent That… Answers, Even Though They Don’t Know The Answer?

For the second entry in my series called “Do You Want An Agent That…?” I am addressing a pet peeve of mine… and that is agents that do not know the answer for a particular question asked them, but still insist on providing an uninformed answer. We as agents are working for our clients and our clients depend on us for accurate, factual, professional and truthful answers. When an agent gets stumped on a question and spews forth half-truths, inaccuracies and non-factual replies, it hurts the integrity of the agent and the client-agent relationship. It can also be detrimental if the client uses that utterance in an attempt to make an informed decision. I would never want to lead my client in the wrong direction or lead them astray. I have been doing real estate for almost 15 years and I know a lot about the business, but I don’t know everything. I learn something new everyday. It is my strong opinion that it is always better to check before you speak if you are not sure of the answer.

If I am asked a question by a client and I am not completely sure of the answer, I will always say something to the effect like “I am not sure and I don’t want to lead you in the wrong direction. Let me me get back to the office and make a call or check the source and I will get back to you as soon as I can.” Of course the key is to actually do the follow-up, check the sources, dig to find the answer, and to follow-up with the client in a timely manner. All of these things have to happen to maintain credibility with the client.

If I can ever assist with any of your real estate needs please don’t hesitate to contact me at (919) 889-1766 or at Stay tuned for the next blog installment in the “Do You Want An Agent That…?” series.

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Do You Want an Agent That… Doesn’t Call You Back?

I am starting a series of new blog posts called “Do You Want An Agent That…? In this first post of the series, the answer to that questions is “…Doesn’t Call You Back?”. No matter what type of service provider you are dealing with, if they won’t call you back it can be infuriating! It is common courtesy… right? With regards to a real estate agent, if they won’t call you back or won’t call back in a timely manner, you can pretty much assume their lack of communication is systemic in their personality and I would suggest that you run away screaming and find another agent! 🙂 The processes of buying or selling a house can be way too complicated and stressful to have an unresponsive agent causing you more strife and stress. I see it all of the time when dealing with a buy or sell transaction and I can’t get the other agent to call me back. Very frustrating to say the least… and it is a disservice to their clients.

I always try to call back immediately. I feel it is my duty to keep as much stress off of my clients shoulders as possible. Being a Type-A personality doesn’t hurt either. 🙂 I always have been the kind that takes charge, gets the job done, tries to go above and beyond what is expected of me; and because I am also very conscientious, my main goal is to please my client and provide a level of service that is getting harder and harder to find in today’s world… and especially in the real estate industry. Life is too short to waste time and energy waiting for an agent to call you back.

If I can ever assist with any of your real estate needs please don’t hesitate to contact me at (919) 889-1766 or at Stay tuned for the next blog installment in the “Do You Want An Agent That…?” series.

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Is This Just A Summer Lull, Or Has Inventory Finally Caught Up With Demand?

Anyone who has been following the real estate market here in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area of NC, knows that we have had a severe shortage of houses considering the demand from folks wanting to relocate to this area. This shortage has caused a fast moving seller’s market that has been almost breathtaking! Meaning that… buyers and realtors and sellers have hardly had time to catch our breath because new listings were selling so fast and for 105%, 106% and even 110% of listing price! Whew!!!

Just in the past 3 weeks we have noticed that new listings are taking longer than 1 or 2 days to go under contract. New listings are sitting for a week, or two or three before selling. Even though the previous whirlwind was fun, it was also exhausting. It is nice for buyers to not have to buy in a frenzy and for sellers to have a little time to make plans for moving and relocating.

The real question is… has the inventory caught up with the demand or is this just a summer lull due to school being out and folks enjoying vacationing and traveling? It seems like every other week some town in the Triangle area of NC shows up in a top-10 list for something positive. The things this area has to offer seems to only get better, so I don’t think the demand has waned or quelled. Builders are building new homes like crazy and as more and more new homes come online, that certainly adds to the argument that inventory is catching up. Only time will tell.

After school starts back next month we will see if this is just a summer lull or if the inventory truly has caught up with demand. While we are waiting to see, keep in mind that we are still in a seller’s market, just not as severe as it was 2 months ago so sellers should enjoy that fact and take advantage of it while it lasts. If you are thinking of selling in the near future, I suggest not waiting much longer or you may miss the wave.

I cover the whole Triangle area, so whether buying or selling, I would love to assist you through the process. If selling, I offer a free (no obligation) comparable market analysis to help you understand what your home is worth in this current market. If buying, keep in mind that having an agent working on your behalf doesn’t cost you anything at all. You can always reach me at (919) 889-1766 or at Feel free to visit my web site for more information.

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Agents Need to Educate Their Buyers On How to Navigate The Current Market

In the Raleigh/Durham area we are in a severe seller’s market. This was caused and is sustained by very low inventory (available homes on the market). There are certain things potential buyers need to know about how to operate in this market.

In this fast-moving market most sellers will not even contemplate accepting a “contingent” offer. By contingent I mean that the offer is contingent on the selling of another property before the buyers can close on this property. Sellers that have an existing house and it has to sell prior to buying the next one need to go ahead and wrap their heads around the fact that it will almost be impossible to time it out where they only have to move once. In order to attempt to make that timing issue work out, the best thing to do is list and get the existing house under contract. While that house is listed be looking and have a couple properties in mind that you want to go for. When negotiating an offer try to get the closing date to be around 60 days out. As soon as the existing house goes under contract, submit an offer on the one you want if it is still available. Since it take about 45 days for a loan to close, you have about 2 weeks to find and get an offer submitted and accepted on the next house and still be able to close both properties on or around the same day.

They have to be pre-approved for a mortgage before starting to search for the right house. Pre-qualifying is not sufficient in this market. If they get into a multi-offer situation the sellers will take the offer that is pre-approved over one that is just pre-qualified.

They need to be aware of new properties as they hit the market and if they look good on paper, they need to get out to see the house in person the same day it hits the market.  Houses in this area usually sell the first day and with multiple offers. Buyers can not afford to wait until the weekend to go see a hot property. It will most likely be gone by then.

In this current market haggling on price is not recommended and may cause the sellers to take another offer. Buyers need to make their offers as “clean” as possible. By clean I mean don’t ask for a lot of trivial things that may cause the seller to accept a “cleaner” offer (like home warranties, high amounts of closing costs paid by seller on behalf of buyer, etc.) A clean offer is “here’s what I will pay, I don’t need any concessions and I am pre-approved for a loan”. Those types of offers will get accepted almost every time.

Potential buyers don’t know these things and it is up to the buyer’s agent to guide and coach them through this “low-inventory” buying process.

Happy House-Hunting!

For more information please contact me at 919-889-1766 or at

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Why Do We Have a Seller’s Market in the Triangle Area of NC?

In my market (the Triangle area of NC including Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill and surrounding towns) it is clearly a sellers market. The main reason for this is the severe lack of properties on the market.

In the Triangle market the reason we have a shortage of homes on the market is mainly the current economy. The people here that may want to sell and move up to a larger house and the ones that may be empty-nesters and want to down-size are all sitting tight, afraid to make a move due to this very sluggish economy. Basically they are paralyzed with fear that the economy could easily take another dive at any time and don’t want to take on any more debt. So all of the local movement (up and down) is not present like in a normal market.

The majority of listings on the market are from people relocating out of the area usually for work related reasons. Since the Triangle area is a hotbed of job opportunities, more people are actually relocating here than away from here. You can see how this “out” versus “in” discrepancy would easily account for the current shortage of homes on the market. With all of the job opportunities here we have more incoming than outgoing. Where are the incoming going to live?

Another problem contributing to the shortage of homes available is that at the end of 2007 when the housing market took a downturn, a lot of the builders in the area either went out of business or got out of the building industry. They are just now, 8 years later getting back into the market so their “new construction” inventory has not had time to add to the replenishment of home availability.

This is my take on why we have a seller’s market in the Triangle area of NC. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog entry about what sellers can expect when listing in a seller’s market.

For more information please visit for all of you real estate needs. You can also visit my Facebook page ( where I post daily real estate related articles and information that is useful for buyers and sellers. Be sure to “Like” my FB page while you are there. You can always reach me at (919) 889-1766.


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The Other Party Doesn’t Have Horns Growing Out of Their Head!

It always amazes me how personal things can get between buyers and sellers in a real estate transaction. I have been involved with a couple of nightmare scenarios lately and they have inspired this blog entry.

It should be fairly straight forward… there are two parties, one wants to sell and one wants to buy. A successful closing should be a shared goal between the two parties. It is a business transaction.

Unfortunately that is not always the case. Sellers get emotional and feel like the offer was too low and possibly so low that it was insulting. These feelings only get worse when the buyers submit a repair request after the home is inspected.

First let me address the low offer issue… if you are a seller and you receive a low offer, you do NOT have to take it. If after negotiating you are not satisfied with the terms you do NOT have to agree. I would rather for my seller to pass on a particular buyer than to bow to any pressure they may be feeling and accept an offer they are not happy with.

Regarding the repair request… the buyer wants the house to be in the best condition as it can. They are not selecting items found during the inspection just to upset the seller. And sellers, there is nothing that says you have to fix all or any of the items they have asked to be fixed. It is a negotiation. If one party is being way too difficult then let the deal fall apart. It is not worth your health and well-being to agree to something when you think the other side is being unreasonable. It just causes even more bad-will down the road.

I have had buyers and sellers so angry with each other that every decision is made with pay-back or vindictiveness in mind. When buyers and sellers have never met in person and are taking the negotiations personally it is easy for each party to think the other party is Satan himself and has horns growing out of his head! Over the years when I see this happening I usually suggest to the other agent that we somehow get the two parties to meet or at least talk on the phone. Every time I have tried this tactic it turns out good for everyone. The sellers realize the buyers are not intentionally trying to hurt them and the buyers realize the sellers are not bad people… just overly emotional about their home. Also… both parties can clearly see that there are no horns growing out their heads. 🙂

For you agents that have emotional clients… give this a try. It really works.

For more information or assistance with any of your real estate needs you can always contact me at (919) 889-1766.

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