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Archive for November, 2009

Forum Postscript, Part 4

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In Landfall Realty’s recent community forum, I related the points made by Bob Seelert (outlined in Part 3 of this series) to the relationship between a good real estate sales agent and a client.  At Landfall Realty, we teach and recommend the following, which we believe leads to a successful relationship.

1) As an agent, be truthful.  Don’t tell a prospective customer what they want to hear  to get a listing.  Give a fair and objective evaluation of value based on what is occuring in the marketplace.

2) Set standards based on the new reality.  This can be painful, as the real estate economy is very different than it was 24 or 36 months ago.  Both agent and client must recognize this.  What a property was worth 3 years ago has no bearing on what it is worth today, nor does what one paid for it.   The new reality is that buyers (and there are buyers) are seeking the best value in the category of property being sought and there are a number of properties available in each cateogory.  Value, not emotion, governs.

3) Think long term, act short term.  This is key for a seller.  A seller should know what the bottom line acceptable sales price is before an offer is received.  Many offers expire or are withdrawn quickly.  No decision is in fact a decision.  The best time to debate an offer is not when you have 24 hours to make a decision.  If an offer does not meet one’s bottom line, counter at or near the bottom line.  If it meets or exceeds the bottom line, the decision, made after consulting your agent, is to accept or counter.  We have seen many deals fall through over a few thousannd dollars.  If the seller had thought long term, in many instances that difference in price would have had little if any lifestyle impact, and when property ultimately sold for less, the seller was unhappy.

4) Communicate within your team.  This means  to be certain that your agency’s team talks among themselves about your property, and that there is communication between you and your contact at the agency on a regular basis.  At Landfall Realty, each agent is a team member; we don’t advertise individually, as do most general agencies, and we readily show all company listings, not just those of the agent meeting with a customer.  We feel this best suits the customer needs.

5) Listen and learn from customers and peers.  We at Landfall Realty try to constantly learn from what our customers tell us.  I personally also use my extensive network of contacts through planned communities throughout the southeast to see what is selling, and what issues are important in the market place.  Our team meets weekly to discuss these trends, and to tweak our sales presentation.

We value what we  learn from our friends and customers, as we know continual improvement is critical to success in these difficult market conditions.   I encourage you to talk with us at any time with any ideas you may have as to how we can better serve the Landfall NC community.

Kenneth M. Kirkman, general manager

26th Holiday Flotilla November 27th in Wrightsville Beach, NC

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Flotilla

There are a multitude of reasons to love living the Landfall, NC life, and being so close to Wrightsville Beach is right up there, espcially this time of year!  November 27th is the date for the start of the 26th Annual Holiday Flotilla, a three day event that includes a myriad of events.  There’s a Tree Lighting Ceremony, Captain’s Meeting, and Flotilla Holiday Party hosted by the Blockade Runner and featuring Jim Quick & Coastline (a Wilmington, NC Blues, Soul, and R&B group).  On Saturday there’s the Festival in the Park with food, crafts, and entertainment for kids, along with celebrity guest Trot Nixon, long time major league baseball player.  The famous Parade of Boats is a vision of holiday excitement in their sometimes over-the-top decorations, and the fireworks that follow once the last ship has made it to safety are spectacular.  Sunday morning the Blockade Runner once again hosts the Awards Ceremony when one super creative and lucky entrant will win the grand prize of a 4-night stay at The Reefs Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. 

 The Flotilla truly is a “Spectacular  Light Show” on the waters of the Wrightsville Beach area and a once a year tradition you really have to see!  For more information on the schedule of events and associated costs for participation in the party and the parade, please visit their website at ncholidayflotilla.org and join the rest of us in Wilmington, NC for the season’s kick off event!!

Forum Postcript, Part 3

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Continuing my summary recap of Landfall Realty’s recent Real Estate Forum held at Landfall Country Club, I called attention to some of the points made by Bob Seelert in his book  “Start With the Answer.”  Loosely stated, some of those points are:

1) Get the truth on the table, don’t pretend.

2) Establish standards and expectations based on a new reality.

3) Think long term; act short term.

4) Communicate with members of your own team.

5) Listen to and learn from your customers and peers.

These points are,  I believe, valuable in running any business.  However, they have particular validity in establishing a relationship between a real estate agent and a real estate customer.  In my next blog, I will expand upon these point in the context of selling and buying property in Landfall, NC.

Kenneth M. Kirkman, general manager, Landfall Realty

Wilmington, NC Hosts the 15th Annual Cucalorus Film Festival – November 11 through 14!

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CucalorusLogoYou don’t have to be a film buff , but, if you enjoy watching thought provoking material,  you do not want to miss this fabulous event  kicking off  on Wednesday, November 11.   Landfall, NC property owners and our friends and neighbors, as well as visitors from around the world, will get the chance to participate in a 4 day viewing of over 130 documentaries, features and shorts. Included in this mix is the recently released and Oscar buzz creating Precious.  Along with a  Hal Holbrook piece, some horror, and a few risqué movies you’ll find plenty of  films to choose from and all  worth your time and attention!  This creative exploration of independent films, held annually in our historic port city, has been named one of the “Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals” by Moviemaker Magazine.   Wilmington, NC, for those who might not be aware, is also one of the leading film production locations in the country and home to EUE Screen Gems Studios.  The Cucalorus Film Festival runs through Saturday November 14, 2009.  You can get updates on festival planning from director Dan Brawley by calling 910.343.5995 or log onto cucalorus.org for more information on events and ticket sales.

You and your children can also be a part of the festivities at the Children’s Museum of Wilmington, NC when the Cucalorus Film Festival presents KIDS-A-LORUS where there will be films for kids, by kids on Saturday, November 14.  Please call 910.254.3534 for more information.

Homebuyer Tax Credit EXPANDED!

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We at Landfall Realty are excited about the creation of the Homebuyer Tax Credit enacted into law earlier this month.  The fact that the bill has been expanded to include other than first home purchasers is a huge bonus and may present a real opportunity for qualified purchasers! Now, existing homeowners are eligible for a $6,500 tax CREDIT upon purchase of a qualifying home if they have occupied their current home for 5 of the previous 8 years, and if their combined income is less than $225,000.  This credit is available in the year of closing (2009 or 2010).  The qualifying purchase contract must be executed prior to April 30, 2010, and  go to closing prior to July 1, 2010.  The maximum purchase price for the new home purchased is $800,000 with no exceptions.  For more information and a summary chart of the new tax credit (and the extented first home buyer credit as well)  please contact Landfall Realty at 910-256-6111.   Remember, a tax credit is far more valuable than a deduction, as it offsets tax dollars owed on a dollar for dollar basis.

Special Musical Treat for Wilmington, NC, Saturday, November 7, 2009

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EdMcCainLandfall, NC property owners and the entire New Hanover County community have the opportunity this Saturday, November 7th to enjoy an evening of music and song featuring platinum selling singer/songwriter Edwin McCain and the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, led by guest conductor Rudi Schegel. 

Is there anyone out there who hasn’t danced (or watched happy newlyweds dance) to McCain’s popular wedding song “I’ll Be” or his chart topping rendition of the Diane Warren written “I Could Not Ask for More” featured in the movie Message in a Bottle (another southern favorite)? 

McCain was born and raised not far from Wilmington, NC in Greenville, SC where he still resides.  He will be here for this one night only to benefit the New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  Could there be a better reason to go out and enjoy the music?  Edwin McCain’s performance begins at 7:00 PM.  You won’t want to be the one who misses this rapturous troubadour at the Kenan Auditorium so for additional information or to purchase tickets ($40 dollars for adults and $20 for UNCW students) call the Kenan Auditorium box office at 800.732.3643 or 910.962.3500.