The Triangle Real Estate and Community News

June 5, 2017

Meet Tom Alford with Direct Pressure - a business owner with southern charm!


You can reach Tom Alford at 919-649-3631


Interview with Shelton "Tom" Alford, conducted by local REALTOR® Petra Thomas

Describe your business.

We offer reliable and affordable pressure washing of homes, driveways, fences, commercial buildings as well as gutter cleaning. We strive to provide courteous customer service and a job well done so you can feel like you money was well spent.

What made you decide to open this business?

I realized that there was a need when I power washed my own house one day and had two neighbors come up to me asking if I would power wash their home for them.

What was it like when you first started?

It was slow going at first. Since I had never owned a business before, pretty much everything was trial and error. How to market to get more business, how much to charge, how to balance the business with my family life. Owning your own business means long hours but it's also very rewarding.

What has surprised you most when owning a business?

How much time and effort goes into owning your own business. You are responsible for everything. There is no boss that you can call and say "what do I have to do next?". You have to figure things out on your own.

What would your customers say they love most about your business?

My customers would probably say that I set myself apart with the three Ps. I'm always prompt, polite and professional with a hint of southern charm.

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had working with a customer?

A while back I worked for a young lady who saw the marine sticker on my truck and felt prompted to tell me about her husband (also a marine) who had passed away and about her struggles dealing with her loss and raising her 5 year old son by herself. She made me realize that there is ALWAYS someone else who goes through worse than I am and that there is always a reason to be grateful, no matter what.

Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you want customers to know about?

I'm thinking about adding a few additional services like dryer vent cleaning, etc.

What is something most people don't know about the business?

Most people don't know that we also clean out gutters and how affordable it is.

Who are some of your business idols and role models? And why?

I would have to say Steven Bradley who owns Recycled Body Fitness in Raleigh, Jerry Barber with Barber Towing and Recovery, and Shawn Welch with Welch's Plumbing. All three of them are all local business owners that I went to high school with and who have worked hard to be where they are today.

What do you like most about being an entrepreneur?

Being my own boss gives me a sense of satisfaction. It's rewarding to help people and do an excellent job for them. I can tell my clients are happy with my service because they send me referrals. I love being able to make my own decision; if it's a good decision - great, if I make a bad decision - oh well, it's not so bad as long as I learn from it.

Do you have any advice that you want to share with other entrepreneurs?

I would say research the market, scout out the competition and definitely work in the field of interest before going on your own.

What do you love about this neighborhood?

Knightdale still gives you the small town feel but everything you need is right here. It's easy to get to anywhere in the Triangle since you have easy access to all the major highways right her in Knightdale.

What are your favorite places to go in the neighborhood?

There are quite a few good eateries in Knightdale ... can't really say I have ONE favorite.

What are your favorite things to do in the neighborhood?

I actually don't have a lot of time off but when I do, I love to go fishing with my wife Tabetha at the coast.

Why do you think it's important for people to shop local?

It's important to keep the resources and money in the local community.



Posted in Trusted Partners
April 26, 2017

OPEN HOUSE Sat 4/30/17 2-5pm at 121 Lake Point Dr, Clayton 27527

This is an open house you don't want to miss! Come early to allow yourself time to take a stroll through this gated community after you fall in love with this charming two story home that offers everything from formal dining room, an eat-in kitchen with granite counters, hardwood floors, beautiful porches and balconies to an unbelievable bonus room. 

121 Lake Point Dr, Clayton - front view

This inviting home has great curb appeal and sits on large lot. On the right hand side you can barely see your neighbor's home once the trees fill in. The upstairs balcony is off the master suite. The perfect place to have a cup of coffee in the morning before you get your day going. The home backs up to hwy 42 but you don't hear the traffic noise when you're inside the home. If it bothers you when outside, you can always go for a walk on the trail. The trail is literally three minutes from your front door and takes you all the way to and along the Neuse River if you turn left once you get to the river. It's simply beautiful! 

121 Lake Point Dr, Clayton - walking trail 

To see the full MLS listing for this home before you come out to experience it in person, click here!

Jan. 22, 2017


Home Buyer Seminar



If so, this seminar is for you! You will learn:

* credit score requirements
* what's needed to apply for a mortgage
* how much home you can qualify for
* if you are ready right now
* the best mortgage programs available (including 100% financing)
* the benefits of working with a buyer's agent (Realtor) at no charge
* how to make an offer on your dream home
* why it's important to get a home & termite inspection done
* if it's possible to be in your own home by 04/30/2017
* tax advantages of owning your own home

Many first time buyers are scared to take the first step because they are afraid that their credit may not be good enough or that they cannot afford to own their own home. However, more often than not, credit is not an issue and will interest rates at an all time low, buying a home is actually cheaper than renting and statistics show that children who grow up in their own home, do better in school, are more confident and happier!

Sign up for this informative event HERE and find out where you stand! If you are not ready, we will show you what you need to do to get ready to buy a home in 2017! We look forward to seeing you there and please share this post with your friends! Thank you!

Posted in Buying a Home
Jan. 24, 2016

10 Reasons Why FSBOs Need The Help Of A Realtor


I have been a Realtor for over 20 years and I can understand why a homeowner would want to go the FSBO route
rather than paying a commission to a Realtor. However, in reality FSBOs sell on average for over $30,000 less than
homes listed with a Realtor, which means a great Realtor will actually make the homeowner more money than the
commission he or she is charging. When I call a FSBO in my market, I'm calling to offer help with no strings attached.
I don't ask for the listing, I simply start a conversation to see what they are doing to get their home sold and free support
I can offer them out of my tool box to help increase exposure of their home. This could be a free single property website,
a free text rider for their for sale sign, etc. Why would I offer to help a FSBO for free? Because it's a way to give back to
my community AND I'm hoping that the 90% of FSBO that do not sell, will remember me when they finally decide to
list their home with a Realtor.According to the National Association of Realtor, the following are the top 10 reasons why
90% of FSBOs fail at selling their own home:
Realtor vs. FSBO
1. Too many people to negotiate with: the home buyer who is looking for a discounted price because the FSBO doesn't
pay a listing agent, the buyer's agent who want the FSBO to pay his or her commission, the home inspector, lender,
appraiser, contractors, etc. An experienced Realtor with great negotiating skills will be able to get a higher price for the
home than the FSBO.
2. Most homeowners do not know how the get the home showing ready. We get only one chance to make a great first
impression on a potential buyer which means the home needs to be de-cluttered, depersonalized, deep cleaned, freshly
painted, repaired, and often staged and freshly landscaped for great curb appeal.All this allows a potential home buyer
to see himself living in your home rather than having to add up in their head what it is going to cost them to have
necessary repairs made. 
3. FSBOs typically don't have a way to screen potential buyers before they come to see the home. As Realtors we
make sure that a buyer is qualified to purchase your home before we show your home. This means only serious buyers
will come to see your home. No looky loos who make it their hobby to visit homes for sale for decorating ideas. 
4. Owners often fail to respond to most inquiries and often can't accommodate showing requests from potential buyers
because they are at work during the day or have plans in the evening or the weekends. 
5. Many owners don't understand the importance of pricing the home right from the get go. A home that sits on the
market for a long time invites low ball offers  and gets stale. And even when the price is reduced later, the homeowner
missed out on the opportunity to get multiple offers and possibly get above asking price. A home typically sees the
most activity during the first two weeks on the market. All serious buyers will come see the home during that time if the
home is priced right. 
6. FSBOs often are not familiar with the necessary contract and disclosure forms, time lines and contingencies that are
built into the contract to protect the buyer and give the buyer the choice to walk away from the deal for any reason or
no reason at all.  
7. Homeowners don't know how to handle the home inspection findings and are, more often than not, unable to keep
the deal together. By law they are now required to disclose any defects they learned about in the home inspection and,
of course, this could cause the next offer to come in substantially lower. Not to mention that home buyer tend to wonder
what's wrong with the house because it came back on the market. 
8. FSBOs tend to overprice their home which will often cause the deal to fall apart when the appraisal comes in short.
The average FSBO sales price is $187,000 while the average sales price for the same home sold by a Realtor is $220,000.
A Realtor will typically save the homeowner more than the cost of the commission. 
9. FSBO homes lack the exposure that is necessary to create interest from multiple potential buyers. Owners typically
either don't have access to the marketing tools Realtors have or simply don't have the know how. 
10. Homeowners are not familiar with the steps that need to be completed and followed up on once their home is under
contract: has the buyer made loan application and set up the inspections, has the lender ordered the appraisal, was the
earnest money deposited, has title work been ordered, has attorney scheduled a date and time for the closing, has buyer
received final loan commitment, did the appraisal come in at contract price, will buyer move forward with the deal after
the due diligence period, etc. 
If you are a FSBO in the Wake County area, give me a call at 919-369-0496. I have some FREE tools available for you to
use. If you would like to get an get an idea what your home is worth in today's market click here
Happy Selling! 



Posted in Selling Your Home