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5 Reasons to Use a Boutique Firm Instead of a Large Company

5 Reasons to Use a Boutique Firm Instead of a Large Company

boutique real estate firm

Hold on, what’s a boutique real estate firm?

Boutique real estate firms aren’t necessarily what you might think. The word boutique often makes people think high end, expensive, or even unapproachable. Think again!

These real estate firms are, simply put, specialized businesses who focus on customer service, professionalism, and client relationships. Instead of a generic real estate transaction, boutique real estate firms are committed to providing the best experience and representation possible to their clients.

Buying a house is one of the most expensive things you’ll ever do. The investment is worth taking the time to find the best representation possible. With a boutique firm, you can be sure you’ll get a whole team of real estate professionals working to find you the house of your dreams.

How are boutique real estate firms similar to big companies?

In truth, there are a lot of differences in boutique real estate firms and big companies… but that doesn’t mean there aren’t similarities.

  • Both use Multiple Listing Service in the representation of houses they’re marketing. What does that mean? Everyone has the same access to properties on the market.
  • Thanks to this, much of the technology provided to clients and customers is the same. Real estate professionals use the MLS system, and a lot of the technology that comes with it. Since both big firms and boutique firms have the same access to the MLS, they can provide their customers with the same technology.
  • Online marketing offers the same outlets for both big companies and boutique real estate firms. Think Trulia,, Zillow, and all the other online house hunting tools. This means your property will be marketed in all the same places, with the same representation.

So, why should you pick a boutique firm instead of a big company?  Just because you can be in all of the same places, a very important question is how you will be there and how will your property be represented?

Five reasons to use a boutique firm instead of a big company

boutique firm

1.) You’ve got a whole team representing you

You know what’s better than one head? Two! Boutique real estate firms are made up of a team of real estate professionals who work together to represent their clients to the best of their ability.

2.) Personalized customer service is at your fingertips

There’s a huge sense of care, attention to detail, and desire to succeed in a small boutique firm. Wouldn’t you pay the utmost attention when it’s your name on the business cards, and it’s your reputation? With that much emphasis on customer service, you can be sure your property won’t get lost in the sea of other homes for sale.

Boutique firms also care more about their clients than building a business empire. Larger companies work to produce empires, boutique firms work to produce community.

3.) Boutique firms have local authority and a big local network

Since they’re founded locally, boutique firms are typically made up of real estate professionals who know their territory like the back of their hands. They’ve crafted a great network of other professionals who can help you, too. Need a property manager? Your boutique real estate firm can help. Need a utilities company? They’ve got you covered, too.

4.) There’s quality in the quantity of experience

Smaller firms like boutique real estate firms have less incentive to “go with the flow” and produce results in terms of numbers. Instead, the real estate professionals work in the best interest of the client while working with experts in a variety of fields thanks to their large networks. With a smaller firm, agents can connect with the brand and have a personalized interest in the culture of the firm they’re representing.

A hiring manager or owner of a boutique real estate firm is going to pay attention to the professionals they hire. You can expect quality in the quantity of team members.

big company5.) Owners and real estate professionals of boutique firms are passionate about their business and culture

Boutique real estate firms care about their reputation. Members of the firm are passionate about their brand, culture, and customer service. They’re excited to show their attention to detail and excellent representation. And yes, they’re excited to show you they can and will compete with the big firms.

What’s more? Boutique firms have the ability to do their own “thing”. They can be innovative, they’ve got flexibility, and their work is fueled by a love for what they do.

Real Estate Experts

Acquiring real estate is a complex business. Mistakes can literally cost you thousands of dollars or the missed opportunity of owning the home of your dreams. As a buyer, you are always in competition with other buyers who also are looking to buy their dream homes.

There is a vast difference in the level of expertise and quality of service provided by real estate agents. Give yourself the advantage of working with Top real estate agents at Real Estate Experts and get the following value-added services that will make a big difference for you!

We have helped hundreds of families move over time. The depth of our experience is a testament to our expertise and negotiating skills that give our clients a major advantage over buyers working with other agents.

Real Estate Experts are here to help. Visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at  [email protected] for additional information.

Of Course You Don’t Need a Buyer’s Agent!

Of Course You Don’t Need a Buyer’s Agent!

 buyer's agent

In the magical age of the internet, it’s easy to be informed on a ton of topics. It’s easy to think the help of a professional isn’t always necessary because you’ve got that knowledge at your finger tips. Hey, if you can DIY projects, why not have a go without a buyer’s agent?

Oh, contraire.

You might cut out commission, but you cut out your best ally, too. You forgo legal help, a knowledgeable professional, and an expert negotiator. If you’re looking for a home buying headache, here are 5 reasons you don’t need a buyer’s agent.

 1. It’s cheaper to rely on yourself instead of a professional

Actually, this isn’t true at all. A buyers agent will cost you nothing. A seller actually pays the buyer’s agent fees when their home sells. The commission the buyer’s agent gets comes from seller’s wallet, not yours!

2. You love stress

Buyer’s agents are basically real estate agents, data analysts, marketing professionals, and contract wizards. All rolled into one. They save you incredible amounts of time by looking at homes, staying familiar with inventories, and they’ve got access to valuable tools like the MLS system. They can write up offers, contracts, and help you understand the ins and outs of real estate transactions.

The search for the perfect house for you is handled by a professional who has your best interests at heart. When you use a buyer’s agent, you won’t have to worry about the small details of the home buying process. And you’ll save yourself some serious stress.

3. The internet is the only resource you need

You can find the perfect home on your own, thanks to websites like Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia.  Of course, they’re awesome resources to check out some of the houses in your target area. However, you can’t really rely on the information you find online house hunting. Zestimates are often wrong, some of the listings are out of date.

The most accurate information you can find will come from a real estate professional. The MLS in your area is accurate, and you can only get access through your chosen professional.

4. You have loads of local connections

Real estate professionals have connections to everyone. OK, maybe that’s a generalization. But, they surely do have connections that make the home buying and selling process easier. From real estate attorneys to contractors, interior designers to mortgage brokers, a realtor has them all.

Not to mention, they can reach a massive amount of people through their network. This means your home will get on the market, be seen by the right people, and have more offers.

What’s more? They have access to properties coming onto the market soon. They exchange advice, ideas, and other useful tidbits with one another to bring sales together.

5. You are a fantastic negotiatorbuyer's agent

Are you a sales person? Probably not. Are you a marketer? Maybe. Regardless of your affinity for finding good deals and sales, your real estate professional is better at it than you. It’s their job!

It can be complicated to negotiate through the multifaceted transaction that is buying a house. Buyer’s agents are perfect mediators who can help you achieve the best results, for you. They’ll help you get the best offer possible. They’ll help you work through counter-offers.

Most buyers don’t consider what they don’t know. It’s important to recognize you don’t know the landscape of real estate transactions like a real estate professional. They’ll open your eyes to options you didn’t even know you had!

Real Estate Experts

A Buyer Agent, or a real estate agent working for a buyer, works solely for the buyer and has no legal or other responsibilities to the seller. When working with a Buyer Agent, you have the advantage of personal representation, independent counseling, loyalty, confidentiality, and trust. On the other hand, while helping you present an offer and then negotiate and close a transaction, a general real estate agent has certain fiduciary responsibilities to the seller and agent of any property you choose.

At Real Estate Experts we are focused on finding the ideal home for you. We are fully committed to you throughout the entire buying process; our sole career is real estate. We pride ourselves on listening to your needs and wants and delivering the best results possible

At Real Estate Experts, we want to be your ally while you look for the best home for you.  You’re not getting an agent, you’re getting a team. We’ll work with you every step of the way, from financing to floor plans. Start to finish, we want to help you get into your new home.

To see Real Estate Experts’ newest listings in the Triangle area, click here. Feel free to give us a call anytime at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  [email protected].

Learn How to Be a Great Landlord

Learn How to Be a Great Landlord

So, you want to become a landlord?

Welcome to Club Landlord! Turning your home into an investment property surely has some benefits. To reap the benefits of owning a rental property, it’s important to be a great landlord. Follow these five steps, and you’ll be thriving as a landlord in no time.

Have Excellent Marketing

Vacancies are a headache. They’re a landlord’s most common stressor, but vacancies are completely unnecessary. With excellent marketing, you’ll find vacancies in your investment property less and less. What does excellent marketing mean, in terms of rental properties?

Excellent marketing means knowing what the maximum price for a rental property might be. It also means attractively presenting the property by showing its best advantages and strengths. Getting the listing out in front of as many people as possible is another important point of marketing a rental property. You will also want to be sure to answer inquiries on showing the home promptly; prospective tenants love a responsive landlord.

Get the Right Tenants

Speaking of tenants, you’ll only want to rent your property out to the right tenants. Beginning with excellent marketing, there’s a process to getting the right tenants. This process includes thoroughly vetting applicants, including credit checks, criminal background checks, income verification, and reference checks.

By doing these things, you’ll ensure your investment property is housing the right tenants.

Preserve the Assets

be a great landlord

Having the right tenants means you won’t have to worry about the condition of your property (as much). Even so, you’ll want to protect the value of your asset. Choosing the right tenant means choosing someone who will take good care of your property. Preserving the investment property continues with regular inspections, and prompt maintenance when needed by skilled, trustworthy contractors at a good price.

On-point Accounting

Automatic drafting, online payments and receipts are a baseline of convenience for both you and your tenant. Proper trust accounting on security deposits keeps you on the right side of the law. Rent reminders and immediate follow-up on any late payments ensure that you always get paid.

Lastly, thorough bookkeeping allows you to capitalize on the matchless deductibles allowed on rental property, turning tax time from burdensome to profitable.

Routinely Doing Steps 1-4

There’s only one way to do all of these things easily, and that’s to hire an excellent property management company, that you trust explicitly, to do them for you. Seal the deal on an effective and less stressful rental is to find a property management company.

The good news is that a property management company would have your back. At Real Estate Experts, we offer property management services that would fit your every maintenance, property service, and management your rental needs.

Real Estate Experts

Our property management team is ready to hear from you if you’re looking to turn your home into a rental or investment property.

At Real Estate Experts, you pay zero lease-up fee, which means we don’t get paid until you do. Once your property is leased, we charge at the bottom end of the spectrum, just 8% of the rent. And that’s our only fee, ever. Not only do we provide some of the cheapest rates, but I also feel confident telling you that we provide the best service you can get.

In order to charge the least and give the most, we can only work with excellent clients. Learn what’s required to be a Real Estate Experts client.

House Hunting Hints Online

House Hunting Hints Online

Almost every house hunt begins online, at least in this day and age. According to research by, 9/10 potential homebuyers begin their searches online. “With 90 percent of home buyers searching online during their home buying process, the real estate industry is smart to target these people where they look for and consume information — for example, through paid search, relevant websites, video environments, and mobile applications,” Says Google’s head of Real Estate, Patrick Grandinetti.

Looking at pictures, neighborhood information, floor plans, and descriptions is exciting. You almost picture your things in the photos, you can almost imagine yourself living there. You can learn a lot about a property online, like past sales, recorded sale prices, the history of the sales, as well as other information like schools, neighborhood crime rates, and more.

Surely,  you’ve got your wants and needs listed out regarding your potential home. So take your “house hunting wish list” and head online to start your research.

Information You Can Discover Online

There are many things you can discover about a house when you’re researching properties online. For one thing, researching the property’s history is a fantastic idea. Why?

Researching your potential property’s history paints you a picture of the life the home had led. How the property has developed, changed hands, and has been updated are all things that are food for thought. Even if just for curiosity sake! Knowing the history of your home is beneficial because you learn why it was built as it was, but this knowledge translates to how you can fix or update your home.

Another important tidbit you can research online has to do with the other expenses of a property. You know, besides the purchase cost, closing cost, and whatever else you may need during the purchase of a home. These expenses include, but aren’t limited to, Home Owners Association fees, taxes, insurance, mortgage payments, as well as utilities like TV, internet, and phone costs.

On the subject of taxes, there’s a likelihood you’ll be able to find the history of tax prices for a certain home. Seeing the trends in the tax prices can give you an idea of the growth of a neighborhood.

While house hunting online is easy, efficient, and accessible, it’s a good idea to double check the facts you find. Because most financial information comes from input by a listing agent or owner, there’s room for error. You can double check “house facts” with sources like HOA offices, county tax pages, and other associated organizations or groups.


Places to Start Your Research Online

The internet is an amazing tool. It allows you to browse thousands of listings, getting a feel for pictures you like and floor plans you might want. You preview properties, gather information, and you can even take virtual tours. If you’re taking your home search online, you may want to begin at one of these places:

  • Real Estate Experts provides home searching tools, home value comparisons, and real-time information about local listings. Not to mention, we also provide property management tools, as well as community information and resources.
  • is run by the National Association of Realtors. This is a great website to check if a property or listing is up-to-date and current.
  • snags data from a variety of places, making it an appropriate first stop to gather neighborhood information. Their “heat map” helps show you commute times, banks, grocery stores, schools, and crime rates of a specific area.
  • provides Zestimates. This online service pulls information from public records, agents, homeowners, tax assessors, and MLS services. The biggest issue with home research on Zillow, right now, is that sometimes listings are still active on Zillow even if they’ve been sold. However, the online service does provide great overall information.
  • was created to benefit first-time homeowners or buyers. The information they provide is easy to digest, with additional expert advice provided. This site is also an off-shoot of Zillow, perfect for millennial online research.

Reliable websites, like these, are recommended by realtors because they’re reliable. You can generally trust the information you’ve found within these websites. However, always bring your questions or concerns to your real estate professional, who can assure you with honesty about a property.

We Can Help!

Once you find homes you like and you’re armed with information about them, your local real estate professional is your best ally.

We’re proud to provide our clients with up-to-date listings, fresh off the press. We’re committed to the process of buying and selling homes, but we’re also committed to helping our clients find the home of their dreams. As expert negotiators and buyers agents, Real Estate Experts are ready to guide you on your search, and negotiate a deal on the house that you fall in love with.

Discover your home’s true value here.

Search homes for sale by neighborhood here.

Find your dream home here.

If you are interested in learning about properties in the greater Triangle area, visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at  [email protected] for additional information.  We can’t wait to be your Realtor. 

What’s on Your Dream Home?

What’s on Your Dream Home?

Spring has sprung folks, and house hunting season is on for your dream home. In order to get a feel for what people are looking for in their next homes, consulted readers to find out what their must-haves are.”The insights from our most recent consumer survey provide a glimpse into what buyers are looking at today,” said Sarah Staley, housing expert for These insights can help guide potential sellers in deciding which rooms or features to invest in before listing their homes.”

According to’s research, the most-searched home features are: large backyards, garages, and updated kitchens. The survey also pointed out that more than half of home buyers are looking for a three-bedroom home, with at least two bathrooms. Sounds fair, right?

Here are some other features the survey noted.

house hunting

Ranch style home in Mebane, NC

  • Home style: 42% of home seekers indicated they liked ranch style homes best. Coming in second place is a contemporary home style.
  • Favorite room: the clear winner? The kitchen. 80% of home seekers and buyers chose the kitchen as their number one favorite room, followed by a master bedroom or living room.
  • Top goal in home searchprivacyThis “goal” topped other home search goals such as investment or finances and family needs.
  • House hunting motivation: millennials described their biggest motivator in buying a home is a major life event. These events include marriage and family planning.

Now, it can seem like this survey is very broad. It is! The survey doesn’t consider location, and it doesn’t specify what a “ranch” style home is. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t beneficial. Surveys such as this benefit builders who can create construction plans based on what the home buying demographic wants. It’s important to remember each market has its own wants and needs, which is where a real estate professional can come in.

Working with a local real estate professional can help you shop for the house of your dreams. One of the most exciting things about going shopping is getting exactly what you want. Whether it’s food shopping, clothing shopping, or house shopping, everyone should have a “wish-list” that helps them find and get exactly what they want. A house hunting wish list is no different!

Consider This

One of the best ways to begin cultivating the house-hunting wish list of your dreams is to consider your current living situation. What’s missing from it? What would you like to update, renovate, improve, or include? Do you love the master bedroom, but wish there was better storage elsewhere in the house? Are your neighbors waving at you from their kitchen to yours? You might have noticed there’s never enough parking room for you or your guests.

Create Your Wish List

house huntingTaking a moment to consider your current living situation and what you’d like to improve is an efficient and effective way to ensure your next home, town-home, apartment or otherwise suits your needs. Assess your needs with our help!

General Questions to Consider

  • What’s the time line of living in this new home? If you’re thinking many years down the line, it’s important to think of the life events that could happen in the meantime. Consider bedrooms, a bonus-room, yard size, and location of nearby schools.
  • Is this home a fixer-upper? Can you commit to the financial investment it may require?
  • How old is the home? Age is important because it takes into account energy efficiency.
  • Will the neighborhood suit your lifestyle? Researching your potential neighborhood can iron out issues of noise and activity levels. You don’t want to be stuck next door to a party house if that’s not your lifestyle!
  • Does the neighborhood have an HOA?
  • What does your commute look like from this location? Will you need to consider public transportation?

Interior Questions to Consider

  • What’s the condition and style of the kitchen? Will you need to update the appliances, take out the cabinets, or upgrade the counter-tops from granite to something new?
  • What does the home’s storage look like? It’s easy to disguise lack of storage space, so be sure to feel out the storage capacity of a home to suit your needs.
  • Does the home have enough bedrooms or alternative spaces to suit your family and your needs?
  • Look at the floor plans; is there any in particular you like? Open floor plans, lower-level master suites, and other amenities can be part of your wishlist.
  • If you like to have visitors or guests, is there enough space for them? Number of bathrooms should definitely be on your list of considerations.
  • How much work will the interior need? Can you afford to put in new carpets or floors and update featureS?

Exterior Questions to Consider

  • Does the garage have enough parking space? Do you need a garage? Will there be enough parking for guests and visitors? This is important to consider because some neighborhoods are sticky about where cars are parked.
  • Does the property have a pool or a hot tub? If no, is this a feature you’ll want to implement eventually, and is there enough space?
  • Do you garden? Yard preferences are important to consider for upkeep and landscaping. Yards that need heavy maintenance can be stressful.
  • Is the yard fenced in? Is there enough space for Fido to run and play? Considering yard and lot size in your house hunting efforts is important.

We’re Here to Help!

Having trouble creating your house hunting wish list? Our combined years of experience can help us help you envision the home of your dreams. At Real Estate Experts, we’re ready to help you assess your house hunting needs and provide listings fresh on the market to help you get a feel for the local real estate market. The MLS allows us to create individualized, custom searches for home buyers.

Take a look at our property search tools to help you get an idea of what homes are listed in your area.

We commit to providing our clients the best experience buying or selling homes. We want the process to be smooth for everyone involved. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in the Triangle area, give us a call anytime at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  [email protected].




Real Estate Experts Team Update

Real Estate Experts Team Update

As local real estate experts, we’re passionate about our business and delight in offering exceptional service to each of our clients. Over the past 20 years, our team members have worked together to provide outstanding service to our buyers and sellers, while developing a unique partnership to better care for our clients. Our team talks and shares ideas with each other regarding our various clients’ needs each day. When you work with any of our realtors or team members, it’s just as good as working with the entire team.

Our team has recently expanded with two new members. Our clients will surely benefit from their expertise, and what they contribute to the team. We’re excited to welcome them to Real Estate Experts. Get to know the new members in this Real Estate Experts team update.

Meet Susan Crawford

real estate expertsReal estate is Susan’s passion. As a full time REALTOR® for the last 17 years, Susan knows this is her calling. She can’t imagine calling anywhere else home after moving to the Triangle in 1999. Susan loves building long-lasting relationships with her clients. Her goal is to go above and beyond the “call of duty”, embodying the protector role for her clients.

She is an active member of the Durham Regional Association of REALTORS® where she serves on the Grievance Committee . Susan also serves on the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®. Currently, Susan also serves as a Director for the North Carolina Real Estate Educators Foundation.

Susan has one daughter who is studying social work at Western Carolina University. She’s also a “human mom” to her beloved Shih Tzu “Scooby”, and her beautiful cat “Hershey”. As an active member of New Hope Church in Durham, Susan plays clarinet in the chamber orchestra. She’s an avid baker and custom cake decorator who loves both foreign and domestic travel, scuba diving, and ballroom dancing. Diverse, versatile, and passionate Susan can’t wait to help you find the home of your dreams.

Meet Gene Mack

real estate experts
Gene joins us at Real Estate Experts as a broker and property manager. Our property managers take the stress out of caring for homes for rent in the Triangle region. Paying bills, keeping records, focusing on budgets to keep them on track, and monthly or quarterly inspections are just some of the services our property managers handle. Our team’s expertise, resources, and education will give you peace of mind with your rental properties.

Gene comes from a family of builders and craftsman and is passionate about quality work. His own start in real estate came as a landlord. During his first career as the operations manager of Every Nation Campus, he was able to build a financial nest-egg through rental properties.

Having done it himself, Gene takes special pleasure in helping others benefit from the simple and steady wealth-building opportunities in real estate ownership. He and his wife, Devin, have three young children. They recently moved back to his hometown of Durham, from New York City. Everyone is very excited to have a driveway again!

Find Your Real Estate Expert

Wreal estate experts team updatehether you’re looking to sell your home, buy your next home, or you’re ready to offload the burden of property management, Real Estate Experts can help. Why buy or sell with Real Estate Experts? We are experts in pricing, marketing, and positioning our properties for sale. Our teamwork means there will always be someone there to help, and there’s never a disconnect in service. Our brokers, buyers agents, and property management team delight in providing the best service to our clients.

We’d love to hear from you. Contact us today at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  [email protected]. Visit us online at



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