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Piedmont Real Estate Blog

Where's Your Buyer

Sep. 26, 2011
Categorized in: Sellers

My colleague in Charlottesville, Jim Duncan, has a post on houses that don't sell, just because their buyer isn't currently in the market.

It's one reason why so many people want to be "the third real estate agent." (Old real estate joke. You're going to have to ask me privately!)

I think Jim's got it right, as usual. But it's a hard conversation to have with a seller. It's human nature to reject what you don't want to hear and I suspect most sellers will send you packing the first time they hear this. (And, maybe a few more times!)

Signs a Seller Will Love!

Mar. 23, 2009
Categorized in: Business of Real Estate

I'm in love with these new signs being used by my friend, Jim Duncan with Nest Realty in Charlottesville.

He wonders in his blog post about how long it will be until they're copied. I don't know the answer in Charlottesville, but I hope it won't be long before I'll be copying him here!

If you were selling, how appealing would this be to you?

If you are a potential buyer, how helpful would such signs be to you?

Killing Dual Agency

Feb. 17, 2009
Categorized in: Buyers

My friend (and fellow VLA alumni), Jim Duncan, announced his move to Nest Realty Group this week. It's a new firm in Charlottesville that will NOT practice dual agency.

Jim's latest video blog talks about why he's making this move, how hard it is to kill this outdated practice and what he's hoping consumers will see.

I'm honored to know Jim and applaud him for having the courage of his convictions.

It's long past time to kill dual agency once and for all! The only ones benefiting from this practice are real estate agents. Consumers and the agents who get this will have to work together to end this practice!


Jan. 30, 2009
Categorized in: Business of Real Estate

It seems incredible that at a time when this profession gets more complex each day, the Virginia Senate thinks once you've been a broker for 15 years you no longer need to learn anything new.

But I've ranted about the lack of educational expectations in the industry before. I'll let my friend and colleague, Jim Duncan, in Charlottesville state the case this time around.

For the record, though, this is an idiotic idea. The only thing more idiotic is that it passed unanimously. Is there something in the water in Richmond?

Worth Your Time

Jul. 31, 2008
Categorized in: Real Estate Legislation

Here are a couple of items you ought to take a look at.

My friend, Jim Duncan says it so well, I can't improve on it. Sellers should read this.

If you're a first time home buyer and are excited about the new tax credit just passed by Congress, there's a web site designed to give you all the answers on this program and how to take advantage of it. This site is provided by the National Association of Home Builders. The tax credit is different than what was originally proposed so it's worth taking a look at the details.

In fact, I got it wrong on my earlier blog on this bill. I hadn't seen the final details. The tax credit now applies to any home you buy, as long as it's your primary residence! Exciting news!

Referral Fees

May. 29, 2008
Categorized in: Business of Real Estate

My colleague in Charlottesville, Jim Duncan, has a great post about how referral fees work.

One of my problems with referral fees is that they're almost never disclosed to the buyers and sellers. The person who refers you to another agent doesn't want you to know that they got a referral fee (kickback?) from doing that. The person who gets the referral fee often feels disgruntled about paying it. Service can definitely suffer as a result.

It paints with too braod a brush to say that the best agents won't work with referrals, especially corporate relocations. But there are reasons that some of them run from this business. You do more work for less money. That's hardly ever a successful business strategy! Relo companies want paperwork and lots of it. If you are a listing agent for a home where the owners are being relocated, you may be responsible for winterizing the house or for lawn maintenance during the summer.

That being said, personally, I love corporate relocation buyers! It's fun to help families learn about their new community! I get to be the "first friend" for a lot of newcomers to our area. I'm honored by that! And, generally speaking, it's a pretty good bet that these buyers will actually buy and will make a quick decision. That's always good for business! (The exception is the couple of families I've worked with who came, saw, got sticker shock and turned down the job offer!)

So, referrals are a mixed bag. Full disclosure is part of making sure referral fees don't get in the way of good customer service. In my opinion, referral fees are one more symptom that the current economic model for real estate is broken. But that's a rant (er, I mean, post) for another time!

Have a great weekend!

Piedmont Real Estate Blog

Blog by Julie Emery
Amissville, Virginia

An ongoing dialog on real estate news, opinion and trends in Northern Virginia and the greater Piedmont area. Julie is an Associate Broker at Frankly Real Estate Inc, 6304 Crossroads Circle, Ste 102, Falls Church, VA 22044


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