Is The Durham Market Slowing – August 2019?

The latest onslaught of “price corrections” on existing inventory coupled with thoughts of “where have all the buyers gone” may lead us to believe the market is heading downwards.

Is the market truly heading downward? Well, according to NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun, “Mortgage rates are at historically low levels, so I see no sign of the optimism about home buying fading,” he said. “However, the fact that slightly fewer are expressing strong intensity compared to recent prior quarters is implying some would-be buyers have concerns about the direction of the economy.”

So maybe that’s it. Buyers are becoming more cautious since they have concerns over the economy. That would help explain why there seems to be many fewer buyers than just a month or two ago. Fewer buyers means fewer showings. Fewer showings means fewer offers on homes. Fewer offers causes sellers to become more impatient than in the past and perhaps, that’s what’s causing all of these price drops.

Buyers are still out there but not with the same intensity we’ve seen in the past. In fact, according to NAR’s 3rd quarter Housing Opportunities and Marketing Experience Survey (HOME), 63% of the 2,705 households surveyed, indicated it was a good time to buy a home with 34% of them strongly believing now is a good time to buy.

And perhaps these signals are just cyclical in nature and is what we can expect during this time of year. After all, we are still ahead of August ’18 on multiple fronts: closed sales, sales price, and inventory.

Current as of September 10, 2019. All data from Triangle Multiple Listing Service, Inc.. | Report © 2019 ShowingTime.

Copyright ©2019 “HOME Survey: Housing Opportunities and Market Experience. September 2019” National Association of Realtors. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

#1 Lesson Not Taught In Real Estate School!

First you take (and pass) a real estate course specific to your state. Then, you schedule the real deal – a 3 hour test (in NC) that tests your knowledge regarding: Federal and state laws, commission rules, contracts, agency relationships, depreciation, appraisal methods, survey methods, net operating income, interest calculations, mortgage types and clauses, deeds, appurtenances, government police power, etc. etc. So much material, barely enough time.

With that being said, there are so many concepts and aspects of running a real estate business that are not taught in real estate school. I may have just surprised you by insinuating that you are in affect running your own real estate business. Yes, it’s your business and in the words of Robert Shuller, “If It’s Going To Be, It’s Up To Me.”

After all, once you got your real estate license, how did you see this whole real estate gig working out? Did you picture yourself signing on with one of the national brokerages and going to the office everyday as you did when you had a “real job”? You’re disciplined enough to show up early every day and be the first one to your desk every morning. Now what? Be honest. Did you even realize the job is 100% commission-based?

Well surprise! You have NOT entered the real estate business. You have entered the lead generation business. It truly doesn’t even matter what you are selling. Oops..another Freudian slip! You are a sales person whose primary job responsibility is lead generation. There, I said it.

Please don’t misunderstand me. You may be taking this as a negative and for the majority of Americans, it is a negative because they do not want to take responsibility for being in business for themselves. If that’s your attitude then don’t you think it’s better to find out sooner than later? If this sounds like you, then you probably do not want to be a real estate agent.

Ultimately, as a real estate agent, you are in business for yourself. And according to management guru Peter Drucker, there is only one true purpose of a business: to generate a customer. I rest my case, welcome to the lead generation business. Start generating leads my fellow real estate agents. More on this later.

Why Do Agents Always Want Me To Sign Something?

This blog is more directed towards buyers as opposed to sellers. After all, sellers must sign a listing agreement with a firm before their home is put on the market.

Buyers on the other hand, start their home search, probably online, and then venture out to view homes of interest in-person. Inevitably, the buyer will need to contact a real estate agent to gain access to those homes, unless of course, buyers take note of scheduled open houses and then visit those “open homes” without the assistance of a real estate agent.

It goes without saying, but yes, I’ll say it anyway, unless the buyer knows an agent they’d like to work with, there’s always this initial sense of tension between buyers and agents that don’t know each other when they first meet. This friction will even occur at open houses.

Take the following scenario. An agent is holding an open house and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of visitors.  Upon entering the home, the buyers and the agent introduce themselves.  At this point, one can imagine the thoughts going through each of their minds. Depending upon first impressions, the buyers could be thinking, “Gosh. I’m going to have to make this quick, this person is a little sketchy. In fact, I’m not quite sure we should be here alone with this character.” The agent on the other hand is thinking, “Gee. I wonder if these folks are already working with an agent? Wonder what their buying timeline is?”.

Let’s dive a little deeper into this scenario. First of all, the buyers are happily, I hope, looking for their next home and as such, are probably in a good mood, and have decided to visit open houses during their “free” time on a Saturday or Sunday.

Agents are working at open houses. In fact, good agents are ALWAYS working. What does working mean to real estate agents? An agent’s most important work activity is the continuous, day in, day out, 24×7 generation of leads. Without leads, an agent will not survive. Let me just rephrase this a bit – “Without the generation of quality leads, an agent will not survive.”

Let’s face it. If you work for a company and you are not part of their sales force, it is NOT your responsibility to generate a customer. Customers of your company already exist and your responsibility is to support that customer in some way shape or form. Your function could be billing, marketing, technical support, product support, inventory replenishment, administrator, research, product design, etc. etc. I’m sure you get the point.

As independent contractors working for themselves, real estate agents do not automatically have “built-in” customers. It’s up to the agents to generate their own customers to earn a living. No customers : no money.

It’s very important that we set that stage because buyers as mentioned previously, are looking for homes during their “free” time however, real estate agents’ main professional objective is to minimize the amount of time they work for free.

So of course, the agent will ask the buyers, either during the introduction or sometime shortly thereafter, whether the buyer is currently working with an agent.

If the buyers are already working with another agent, then all bets are off for the agent standing there in the flesh. A real estate agent is prohibited from working with a buyer who is already represented by another agent. However, if the buyers are currently unrepresented, then they are “open game” to the agent.  The agent may start building rapport with the buyers and eventually take them on as clients.

Hence the reason real estate agents will at some point, ask the buyers to sign something. The first document or brochure, depending upon how it’s presented, is the Working With Real Estate Agents Brochure. This is NOT a contract. This is a document required by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission that explains how an agent may work with clients. That’s all, it’s strictly informational in nature.

The next document an agent will ask you to sign is a buyer agency agreement. This is where buyers get all “weirded out” and perhaps rightfully so. (Please excuse me a bit, I’ve never written nor said “weirded out” in my life but inexplicably, these are the words that came immediately to mind.) This document serves as a sort of employment contract between you and the agent. It lays out, amongst other items, the duration of the agreement, compensation the agent expects to earn, buyer’s duties, and the firm’s duties.

Many buyers will not and have no intention of ever signing the buyer agency agreement. Well, if the buyer, for one reason or another, is not comfortable working with that particular agent, then by all means, do not sign an agreement with that agent. Simple enough.  I guess the main reason the buyer doesn’t wish to sign is because they don’t want to be tied to one particular agent – they want to shop around. Again, the buyer has all the right to do that. But buyers, keep in mind, as you bounce from agent to agent, you will continually be asked to sign a buyer agency agreement; hence the title of this blog, “Why do agents always want me to sign something?”.

And here’s why agents always ask you to sign. The buyer agency agreement is the only guarantee that an agent will ever get paid.  And by the way, it’s not a 100% guarantee either.

Buyers who do sign a buyer agency agreement with an agent become a client of the agent’s firm with the agent having primary responsibility for following through with the firm’s duties.  The signing also establishes a fiduciary relationship between agent and client.  The client / agent become one-in-the-same and work together to successfully close on a home. And it isn’t until closing that the agent finally gets paid!

In an agent’s mind, a buyer who will not sign a buyer agency agreement may be an extremely low quality lead.  Essentially, there’s a high probability that this lead will waste an agent’s time, money, and other valuable resources without ever buying a home from this agent. In essence, the buyer becomes a low priority for that agent.

Can you blame the agent? Why would anyone work for free?

My House Is The Same As My Neighbor’s!

THE BACKDROP

Undoubtedly, one of the most important tasks a listing agent performs is the determination of the “probable selling price” of their seller’s home. Sellers mean well and I appreciate the fact many have done their homework and have somewhat of an idea as to what the listing price should be for their home. In fact, I will often ask the seller prior to coming out to their home to conduct the formal listing presentation, the listing price they’d like to set for their home. Why did they pick that price? Many times, their reason is “my house is the same as my neighbor’s house” and it sold for X amount.

HETEROGENOUS REAL ESTATE

The seller’s house may have been built at the same time as their neighbor’s, may have the exact same floor plan, identical upgrades & amenities, similar lot size, etc, etc.
However, real estate is heterogenous – no two properties are exactly alike. Each property is unique and therefore, even though two properties appear similar, one may have more value than the other based on where in the neighborhood the house is located. We call this situs value.

SITUS VALUE

This is critical for the home seller to understand so they price their home appropriately. During the listing presentation I make sure to fully explain situs value as it pertains to properties that are comparable to the seller’s home.
During a recent listing presentation to a seller whose home was on the market for six months and left the market unsold (aka expired), the situs value explanation opened the seller’s eyes as to why the home didn’t sell.
Two of the comparable properties were located on the golf course and one of the two was down the street from the tennis courts. Yet the seller’s property was priced the same as those two properties. The seller’s home was overpriced by more than $30,000 and not only did it not sell, they had received zero offers.
We’re confident with the new price, the home will sell and the sellers can comfortably “turn a new page” in their lives.

What Projects Should I Tackle Before Selling My Home?

IT’S A QUESTION PRACTICALLY EVERY SELLER I MEET ASKS ME. AND IT USUALLY COMES RIGHT AFTER THEY ASK ME TO LIST THEIR HOME. AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, THE ANSWER DEPENDS ON MANY DIFFERENT FACTORS.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at the results of the National Association Of Realtors “2017 Remodeling Impact Report”. The report compiled results of several surveys: consumers who had completed remodeling projects; NARI’s (National Association Of Remodeling Industry) project cost survey; and the NAR’s (National Association Of Realtors) survey regarding buyer appeal, estimated project recovery costs, and expected resale estimates.

Let me clear up some some assumptions regarding costs since I’m sure you all will have questions as to how these costs were calculated. First of all, project costs are influenced by project design, quality of materials, location, home condition and age, and homeowner preferences. So of course, your costs will vary accordingly. Secondly, we’ll make some assumptions about the “typical” home for these cost estimates, namely: the home is in good condition and there are no surprises; size of home = 2450 square feet; and the home was built post-1978.

WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU HAVE?

I could have easily asked, “How much money do you have?”. In this case, it’s not all about the money but money does play a major role. Can you do the work yourself? Do you have the time to do the work yourself? Do you have a REALLY good friend or family member that can help you out? Does someone owe you a favor, or two?

According to the report, 32% of homeowners completed the work themselves, 32% hired professionals, 21% hired labor but purchased the materials themselves, and finally, 14% did some of the work.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING TO ACCOMPLISH?

The report examined pre-sale interior AND exterior projects across 3 dimensions: potential buyer appeal, expected resale value, and recovered project costs. So, are you most interested in what the next owner would want? Or, how much more you can sell your home for? OR lastly, how much of the costs you could recover when you sell?

Once you decide, let’s add a fourth question…would you like to enjoy the project for a period of time before you sell?

INTERIOR PROJECTS

And here’s where money plays a major role, especially when it comes to INTERIOR projects. As you can imagine, the interior projects with the highest buyer appeal and highest resale value were also a few of the more expensive projects. Starting with highest buyer appeal:

1. Complete kitchen remodel: cost = $65K, amount recovered = $40K (62%)
2. Kitchen upgrade
: cost =$35,000, amount recovered = $20K (57%)
3. Bathroom renovation
: cost = $30,000, amount recovered = $15K (50%)

There were 3 projects that were more expensive but had less buyer appeal:
new owner’s suite
: cost = $125K, amount recovered = $65K (52%)
attic conversion
: cost = $75K, amount recovered = $40K (53%)
new bathroom addition
: cost = $59K, amount recovered = $29,750 (50%)

I know what you’re thinking. What’s the difference between remodel and renovate? Well, I actually had to look outside the report for those definitions and their meanings are pretty much consistent with what I would have thought.

renovate = to restore to a good state of repair; to update or upgrade.

remodel = change structure or form of something; tranforming.

Now, what if you were interested in recovering as much of your interior project costs as possible? The highest return on your investment from highest to lowest:

1. hardwood floor refinishing: cost = $3K, amount recovered = $3K (100%)
2. new wood flooring
: cost = $5.5K, amount recovered = $5K (91%)
3. insulation upgrade
: cost = $2.1K, amount recovered = $1.6K (76%)

EXTERIOR PROJECTS

Interestingly enough, the exterior project that scored highest across all 3 dimensions: potential buyer appeal, expected resale value, and recovered project cost was not one of the most expensive exterior projects – new roof. In order from highest buyer appeal:

1. new roof: cost = $7.5K, amount recovered = $8,150 (109%)
2. new vinyl windows
: cost = $18,975, amount recovered = $15K (79%)
3. new garage door
: cost = $2.3K, amount recovered = $2K (87%)

The remaining exterior projects highlighted in the report, again from highest to lowest buyer appeal:

4. new vinyl siding: cost = $13,350, amount recovered = $10K (75%)
5. new steel front door
: cost = $2K, amount recovered = $1.5K (75%)
6. new wood windows
: cost = $35K, amount recovered = $20K (57%)
7. new fiberglass front door
: cost = $2.7K, amount recovered = $1.8K (67%)
8. new fiber-cement siding
: cost = $18K, amount recovered = $15K (83%)

YES, BUT…

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when deciding upon pre-sale projects. From the amount of resources the homeowner has at their disposal to whether they focus on the interior or exterior and perhaps most importantly, what the homeowner is looking to accomplish.

And remember this, there are many other projects that the homeowner may want to consider before tackling any of the projects listed here – and for practically little to no money.

If you still have questions after reading this, please do not hesitate to contact me as I will do my best in helping you out.

Cmon’, Big Money!

You’d think you’d hear the above mantra at a casino craps table rather than at a listing meeting prior to marketing a seller’s home. “C’mon Big Money, Big Money, let’s go, $450,000! (dice fly in the air)”. Well I’ve got some news for you, listing at that price when the probable selling price is $45,000 less, is, more or less, gambling. And you’re going to lose in more ways than one.

First of all, if you truly want to sell, it will take you a long, long time. You see, the $405,000 buyer you NEED to buy your home will be turned away by the $450,000 list price. They will not even show up to see your home! Why would a $405,000 home buyer want to see a home that is priced 10% over what they can afford? Not going to happen. So, the actual buyer who can afford your home is being eliminated from the potential buyer pool.

Secondly, the $450,000 buyer that sees your home will be disgusted. Disgusted because they’ve seen what $450,000 can buy them, and guess what, your house comes up way too short. Essentially, they’ve compared your home to other $450,000 homes feature by feature, and they immediately conclude that your home is significantly overpriced. And they are buyers! Can you imagine what a knowledgeable real estate professional will say? Not only that, but that real estate agent will not bring another $450,000 buyer to that home. So, the buyer you believe you’re attracting, will also be slowly eliminated from the buyer pool.

So, over the course of several weeks, you’ll begin to notice that nobody is coming to see your home: neither $405,000 buyers nor $450,000 buyers. Make sense? Your buyer pool has been reduced to a slow trickle if not completely dried up.

If you still need to sell, guess what happens at this point? Price reduction(s). Maybe more than one price reduction. How many price reductions will it take to get to the actual legitimate sales price? That’s up to you. Do you actually KNOW what the probable selling price of your home should be? Your agent should have run a comparative market analysis to determine the probable selling price of your home. And if they did, why didn’t you heed their advice? Never mind. I know why.

You see, many homeowners have such strong emotional ties to their homes and believe these “feelings” somehow contribute to the overall value of their home. Sorry, but the real estate market doesn’t care that you’ve spent 20 years raising your family there and that you have too many memorable moments to let the home go at $405,000. It doesn’t work that way.

How do I know? Well, in short, I’m a full-time professional real estate consultant and it’s my job to be an expert on my local market. I’ve done my homework, I’ve selected similar properties for comparison, I’ve run the numbers, I’ve made the appropriate monetary adjustments, I’ve assigned calculated weights to the adjusted prices, and finally, I’ve come up with a probable selling price for your home. The current market dictates the probable selling price of your home, I just utilize current market data to calculate that price and communicate that to you. In affect, I’m just a messenger. In reality, since I get paid on a percentage of the sales price, don’t you think I’d prefer the highest price possible just as you would? You betcha’.

In closing, if you truly must sell your home, why gamble? Select a real estate professional that knows the local market, can run the numbers for you and pinpoint the probable selling price of your home. Based on this probable selling price, both you and the real estate professional can agree on the listing price for your home.

The Offer To Purchase

The “Offer To Purchase And Contract” (Standard Form 2-T, aka OTP, dated 7/2018) is 13 pages long and updates tend to happen on an annual basis. Old timers in the real estate industry remember when the contract was 1 page! So let’s take a look at some of the “finer” points of the contract. I say “finer” points because I am not going to discuss the obvious.  Also, in this particular blog, I’ll be examining the OTP from the perspective of a seller.

I’ll start with page one so feel free to follow along by downloading your own sample copy by clicking here. Italicized words are defined within the actual OTP.

Remember, as a seller, this will be the form a buyer’s realtor will review, complete, and submit to us on behalf of their buying client.

Let’s begin on the bottom of page 1:

“Should Buyer fail to deliver either the Due Diligence Fee or any Initial Earnest Money Deposit by their due dates, or should any check or other funds paid by Buyer be dishonored, for any reason, by the institution upon which the payment is drawn, Buyer shall have one (1) banking day after written notice to deliver cash, official bank check, wire transfer or electronic transfer to the payee. In the event Buyer does not timely deliver the required funds, Seller shall have the right to terminate this Contract upon written notice to Buyer.”

What makes this paragraph so intriquing is the fact that agreed upon due diligence (DD) money is due upon the effective date of the contract.  So, in essence, as soon as we are under contract, the money is due.  Going under contract may happen so quickly that the delivery of the DD money may not take place until hours to days later. If the due diligence fee has not been paid by the effective date, the seller can send written notice to the buyer to deliver the funds. Then, the buyer has one banking day to deliver the due diligence; otherwise, the seller may terminate the contract by delivering notice to the buyer’s agent.

If I am representing a seller in an attempt to secure the best terms possible for my selling client AND we happen to receive a much superior offer over night for example, I may recommend my seller client send the written notice to deliver the funds if due diligence money has not been paid.

Although I mentioned I would not be covering the obvious, I feel obligated to suggest to all of my sellers to pay particular attention to section 2: Fixtures and Exclusions. I have seen so many problems and arguments develop because the seller was legally obligated under this paragraph to leave an item for the buyer and either forgot or neglected to read and follow the instructions in this paragraph. For example, bathroom mirrors were always a hot button between sellers and buyers. In past years, only bathroom mirrors that were attached to the wall automatically conveyed with the property.  During the final walkthrough before taking possession of the property, a buyer would exclaim, “where are the bathroom mirrors?”.  Well, it would turn out the bathroom mirrors were taken by the sellers because they weren’t attached to the walls but perhaps they were just hanging on a picture hook.  Today, ALL bathroom mirrors convey so if a seller has a keepsake bathroom mirror they’d like to take with them, my suggestion would be to swap it out with a replacement mirror BEFORE putting the house on the market.  Alternatively, the seller has the option of identifying and items that do not convey by listing them in subparagraph (d).


Let’s jump to subsection 4(c). The buyer has agreed to purchase the property as is, in its current condition.  So, the buyer signs the OTP knowing the home is being sold as is UNLESS the seller and buyer agree to negotiate for repairs or improvements to the home.  The seller is NOT required to negotiate for repairs. However, at least in our MLS, it is common practice for the listing agent to indicate in the listing that the home is being sold “as is”.  Knowing that the seller will not do any repairs allows the buyer to take that information into consideration while deciding on the terms to offer the seller.

Section 4(f) reads:

“(f) Buyer’s Right to Terminate: Buyer shall have the right to terminate this Contract for any reason or no reason, by delivering to Seller written notice of termination (the “Termination Notice”) during the Due Diligence Period (or any agreed-upon written extension of the Due Diligence Period), TIME BEING OF THE ESSENCE. If Buyer timely delivers the Termination Notice, this Contract shall be terminated and the Earnest Money Deposit shall be refunded to Buyer.”

The due diligence period begins on the effective date of the contract and ends on an agreed upon date.  During that time frame, the buyer may back out of this contract. In doing so, the buyer forfeits the due diligence fee they paid, if any.  From both a seller’s and buyer’s perspective, the negotiated due diligence fee is a vitally important and strategic contract term and therefore, should be negotiated appropriately.

Sections 5(a)(b) This answers the question, “How does the buyer intend to pay for the property?”. Depending on current market conditions, these two sections alone may determine whether a seller decides to accept an offer or not.  For example, in a highly competitive seller’s market where multiple offers are common, an offer contingent upon the buyer selling their own home would most likely not be accepted by the seller.

Sections 5(d)(e) It’s a best practice to complete and provide copies of both disclosures prior to the buyer making an offer. Otherwise, the door is left open for a buyer to terminate the contract AND recoup their due diligence money.

Section 8(c). Seller needs to understand they’ll need to keep ALL utilities on through closing or buyer possession.  There have been times where a seller had already moved out of the property and thinking they’d save some money on utility costs, they inadvertently turn off one or more utility services. Additionally, the seller will need to provide “reasonable” access to the property to allow the buyer to conduct their due diligence.

Section 8(d). There have been instances when a seller wasn’t aware of debris that had been discarded onto their property or debris that had been stored under the house inside the crawlspace.  Similarly, the seller may decide to leave patio furniture since they’re downsizing and the furniture just won’t fit in the new place. Well, the seller is obligated to remove ALL debris and personal items from their property prior to the date the property will be made available to the buyer.

Section 8(i). Any amount in this field will be paid by the seller at closing.

Section 8(m). In the event the seller and buyer agree that certain repairs will be done to the property prior to closing, these repairs must be made in a “good and workmanlike manner” and the buyer has the right to verify the repairs prior to settlement.  Many times, the seller has a relative or close friend they reach out to in order to complete those repairs. Just keep in mind, they need to be completed in a “good and workmanlike manner”.  Under most circumstances, the selected repair person will need to possess an applicable license for the repair they’ll be completing.

Section 8(n). If the seller fails to comply with any of their obligations under Section 8, or the seller materially breaches the OTP, the buyer can elect to terminate the contract and have both their earnest money and due diligence money refunded.  Additionally, the seller will need to reimburse the buyer for expenses incurred during their due diligence period and may be liable to pay court costs if legal proceedings are brought forth by the buyer

Section 10 has to do with a home warranty.  Sometimes a seller will offer one to incentivize a buyer and other times, the buyer will check the second box stating the buyer will purchase the home warranty AND the seller will pay for it at settlement.

Section 11 states the home must be in similar or better condition at closing as it was when this offer was made, reasonable wear and tear excepted.  Sometimes a seller will ask me what to do about small holes in the walls after the pictures were removed.  That would be considered reasonable wear and tear and can be left alone.

Section 13.  Most sellers are unaware there is a built-in 14-day “grace period” extending 14 days beyond the agreed upon closing date as long as the delaying party is acting in good faith and with reasonable diligence to proceed to settlement and gives as much notice as possible to the non-delaying party.  If the transaction fails to close with those 14 days AND there is no agreed upon extension of the closing date, then the delaying party shall be in breach and the non-delaying party may terminate the contract.

Well, we’ve touched upon many of the finer points of the offer to purchase and contract from the seller’s perspective, and as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Chuck The Realtor

I wasn’t always a realtor. In fact, if we’re talking percentages here, I’ve been a realtor for 12.5% of my working life, assuming I started working at age 16.

Most of my working life was spent in Corporate America; more specifically, the Information Technology sector. First as a Cobol / JCL / Assembler Programmer, then as an Oracle PL/SQL Developer, and finally, as a report writer for a large data warehouse implementation, all in Hartford, Connecticut. I know, sounds boring, doesn’t it? It’s ok, it will get better, promise! But it will be a little bit.

It wasn’t until I moved to North Carolina did I start programming in Java, working with java application servers and software infrastructure and eventually, started teaching software application development across North America.

Having read, “Decline And Fall Of The American Programmer”, and seeing many programming jobs being outsourced globally, I figured it’d be a good time to get out of the programming profession.

Enter software sales. But not software sales from a sales rep point of view per se, but the technical side of software sales in roles commonly referred to as Systems Engineer or Sales Consultant.

And then I turned 50 years old. And do you know what happens when you turn 50? Yes, my hairline receded and a hairless circular crater appeared at the top of the back of my head. But that’s not all. If you are not aware by now, when one turns 50 years old, there’s a high probability that individual will soon be unemployed.

So, there I was, out of a job. Wow! Big eye-opener. Well, that’s ok, I’ll just get another. After searching for a couple of months, it kind of hit me like a bag of bricks. If I get another job, how long would it last? At some point, I’d have to again look for another job. This could get ugly. Especially since I had a sophomore in an out-of-state University and a senior in high school getting ready to enroll in a University.

That’s when I started thinking about real estate full-time. I had dabbled in real estate having owned a couple of investment properties and managing them as a part-time landlord so perhaps that was the way to go. After struggling as an agent for my first one to two years, I found Mike Ferry and signed up for coaching. I’ve never looked back!

Today, I am an independent contractor (aka real estate agent) that buys and sells residential real estate, mostly on behalf of my clients through Laura Peterson Partners Inc Of West & Woodall Real Estate. I also operate a small property management company, Peterson Property Management, LLC that manages residential properties on behalf of absentee owners / investors.

This blog is about my transition from being paid for my time, to being paid for my results. It’s about me trying to be the best real estate agent I can be and yes, I was in the Army and they had a similar mantra, “Be All That You Can Be”. It’s about what I have learned along the way and how to best serve my clients.

What was another alternative to becoming a real estate agent or going back into Corporate America? Well, I could have stood in the middle of a busy highway positioned atop a concrete median strip below a traffic light with a hand-written cardboard sign that reads, “Will Work For Food”.

Whether you’re looking for Realtor representation in the purchase or sale of a property, or looking for a professional property manager to look after your investment(s), I’m the right individual for you. Call me and let’s discuss how I can help with your real estate needs.