Here's a chance for you to get real realtor advice in real time!  

May 3, 2017


Starting a career in real estate can be very rewarding, but it can also be very challenging as well. Therefore, it is important for you to do your research. Many agents are self-employed and only get paid when they close on a transaction. You may find yourself seeing more money going out than coming in initially. Between real estate schools, joining a firm, getting business cards, obtaining marketing materials and joining your local realtor’s associations starting a career in real estate can be very costly.  

Commission Requirements  

To be a real estate agent in North Carolina you must: (1) be at least 18 years of age, (2) be a United States Citizen, a non-citizen national or qualified alien under federal law, (3) successfully complete the 75-hour North Carolina Prelicensing Course, (4) submit a complete license application, which should include a criminal background check, the application fee, and other required documents, (5) successfully pass the real estate license examination, (6) satisfy the commission that you possess the requisite character to be entitled to licensure. Ideally, once you pass the state exam the licensing process may take approximately 10 days. Your initial license status will be as an inactive provisional broker. To activate your license you will need to work under the supervision of a broker-in-charge for a specified period of time.

Finding the Right Fit

Once all of the items above are complete you will need to find the right agency that aligns with your goals and aspirations. It is important that you know what you want to obtain from your real estate career in order to find an office that best fits your overall objective. You should also be aware of the different commission splits among agencies and what each firm is willing to offer you in terms of training, advertising, and office space.

In a nutshell, being a real estate agent can be very rewarding but it calls for self-motivation. There will be highs and lows in the market so you have to be prepared.  Being prepared includes not getting discouraged so surround yourself with good mentors and people who will help you stay motivated during the tough times. Be smart with your commission checks; remember to save for those days of drought. I always tell my agents, ‘if you treat it like a business, it will reward you like a business. If you treat it like a hobby, it will reward you like a hobby.’  

March 25, 2017


There are many factors that go into appropriately pricing a home for sale. A competent agent will use a variety of sources in order to properly advise you. It is important to remember that any valuation is an estimate based on the data available at the time.

The three main sources an agent should use include the assessed value, an appraisal and the fair market value.

Many sellers make the mistake of using only the assessed tax value and then adding on for any and all changes they have made to their home.  The emotional attachment can affect the seller’s ability to look at all the data objectively. These are usually the homes that are overpriced and will sit on the market for an extended period of time. Assessments are done by local government employees for the purpose of calculating property taxes, and may drastically differ from what a home may sell for.                                                                      Assessments in North Carolina must be done at least every eight years, but may be done more often. This time frame means that the information may be outdated.  Another tool used is an appraisal. Appraisals are conducted by certified appraisers who use formulas and standards to arrive at an educated opinion that may be closer to market value than a tax assessment. For this reason, appraisals are usually only valid for the time they are done. Appraisals performed years before have little value. An appraisal is used by the lender to assure that the property value is equal to or greater than the amount of money being borrowed to buy the home at the time of the sale.       The agent that you select should do a report for you, called a CMA, which shows homes that are similar to yours that have recently sold in your area. Some allowances are made for variations to properties.

Having an agent that is knowledgeable about the current market is critical to accurate pricing and being successful with selling your home. It is in everyone’s best interest to price a home to sell within a short period of time.  Homes that sit on the market for long periods of time become stale and may be undesirable to some buyers. 



March 3, 2017


Buying a home can be an overwhelming process.  

Here are some steps to take to get yourself organized and focused on the task at hand. 

1.Gather your financials-

Request your credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Make sure that it is accurate and there aren't any errors.  Next, compile all of the documents you may need to present to a loan officer: pay stubs, bank statements, and previous years' tax returns.

2.Research Mortgages-

There are many online tools and sites that allow you to comparison shop from the comfort of your own home.  You will be able to look at a diverse group of reputable lenders in all 50 states, ranging from small providers to larger well-known companies.  You can also read lender reviews and ratings that may help you determine which lender is right for you. You will be able to receive a personalized quote and also find out if you qualify for a special loan such as a VA loan or any special home buying financing options. 

3-.Explore Neighborhoods-

Investigate various areas you think you would like to live.  Take in to considerations all of your needs-commute time, school districts, near by shopping, etc.  Consider checking out bordering neighborhoods for additional options.  

4.Make a List-

When you start to look at so many homes it can be hard to stay focused on what you really need and what you can really afford.  Take some time to write a "must-have" list.  You can than add options that would be nice to have also.  Knowing what you need in your home with help you and your agent narrow the search and help to navigate the home buying process easier. 

5.Find an Agent-

This is one of the most important steps of the process.  Ask friends and family for recommendations.  Research agents online.  Be sure to read their ratings, profiles and reviews.  In the end you want to pick and agent that specializes in the type of house and area that you are looking to buy in.

6. Start House Hunting-

You ready to take the next step to finding your dream home!

Feb. 3, 2017


What type of home are you looking for?  

There are many choices out there so it is important that you have an idea of what you want and need before you begin looking.  Consider making a checklist of amenities that are essential and those that you would like in your new home.

The list below may help you clarify your thinking on what is important to you when you are ready to purchase.  Ask yourself the following:


•What neighborhoods would you like to live in?
•What price range do you have in mind?
•What type of home interests you? (one story ranch, 2 story town home, etc)
•What style appeals to you?  (Contemporary. modern,etc)
•Are schools a factor?
•Do you need to be close to public transportation?  
•How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?  How many do you want?
•What other interior features are important to you? (fireplace, separate family room, formal dining, home office)
•What about exterior features?  (porch/patio, garage, yard size)
•Are there any special features you are looking for in a home?

Use this checklist as a start to help you discover what you want in your home. Cumberland County and the surrounding areas, including Fort Bragg, have large variations of home styles and price points.  The right home is out there for you!

When you are ready to start your search, we will be happy to help you find the home of your dreams.  My goal is to make this a smooth and enjoyable experience for all.  Please feel free to all or email me when you are ready to start looking.  I welcome the opportunity to help you!

Jan. 3, 2017


Do you love your landlord?

I know that he loves your monthly rent check, after all- it pays for his investment property. Most people don’t realize that they can own a home for less than what they are paying for rent. This is even truer with interest rates still so low. When you write out your rent payment – the money is gone forever. When you make a mortgage payment – it is an investment in your future.

You can also deduct the cost of your loan interest from your federal income taxes, and usually from your state taxes. Since the interest makes up the largest part of what your payment is, you will see quite a bit of savings at tax time. As a homeowner you can also deduct the property taxes that you pay each year. Cumberland and the surrounding counties have hundreds of affordable homes that are perfect for first time home buyers.

A real estate professional can help you through the process and connect you with a lender that can tell you exactly what price home you may be qualified to purchase. This is a great time to purchase a home. Think about using your income tax return as a down payment and make that dream come true.