Posts by Daniel Carmack

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Tips and Advice | 3 Posts

Real Estate, like any business has its trends and turns. There are so many aspects to how the profession operates, that its impossible for the general public to know the "ins and outs". Thinking back over the last several months and the questions that I am hearing, there are three things that every person should know about a Realtor...


1. I Can Show You Almost Any Property

As a licensed Realtor, I am available to show you any property that is listed with any company. This affords me the opportunity to help you find property that fits your criteria, even if its not listed through my office. Agents work together many times to help you and serve your Real Estate needs.


2. We Do Not Get A Regular Paycheck

In recent days, a client was late showing up to a showing appointment. Upon arriving, the wife apologized profusely for being over 30 minutes late, yet the husband chuckled and said, "He is getting paid to be here so don't feel that bad". While I did not take offense to that necessarily, it did make me wonder what most people thought about how a Realtor makes a living. It is simple, yet not always consistent. When a house sales, the agents involved split the agreed upon commission. Then, those agents also split the commission with their broker. In some cases, the commission is split 4 different ways, and if a referral is involved, it could be 5 ways. A portion of what we make also pays for advertising, fees and taxes. So, when an agent is showing you property, they are not on the clock, because we are not paid hourly, yet only receive commission if the property sells, and then its only at the closing.


3. I Want The Best For My Client

Yes, I want to sell many homes. Yes, I want to be in the Million Dollar Producer Club. NO, I do not want to do this at my customers expense. Real Estate is like other businesses, there are those that are not professional or comes across a little shady, but there are many agents such as myself that would rather chew our own arm off, than do any hard to our customer. We work hard to show you good properties, watch out for potential pitfalls and make sure that deadlines are met. We market your properties, negotiate on your behalf and feel a sense of duty to serve your needs at all costs. I will not show you the most expensive properties only, or march you through my listings only, hoping you will buy mine and not somebody else, because that does not serve you. I am here to help, to serve and to be YOUR Realtor! When my client is satisfied and happy, then I have been successful!


Everybody likes to think that they know all there is to know about purchasing a new home. They know what to look for because their aunts fathers sisters brother used to know a Realtor in the 1960's that built a house one time. The truth of the matter is that it always pays to allow the experts help you in purchasing. When you are ready to make an offer, be sure to ask your agent about these three things...

1. Complete Home Inspection- Unless the home is a brand new construction, make sure that you request a complete home inspection from a licensed and trusted home inspector in your area. This may cost between $100-$400, but could prevent future issues and help with negotiating price.


2. Termite And Pest Inspection- Depending on the location of the home, there will almost always be some kind of insects somewhere around the home, especially in Southeast Kentucky, but sometimes there could be underlying issues. Because you can not see termite damage by just walking through the home, it pays to have a termite inspector to actually look in the crawl space and throughout the home you are about to purchase.


3. Possible Re-sale- Every home does not have the same re-sale value, and nobody can give you a definite answer about what it could sell for in 1,3 or 20 years. You can always ask your agent their opinion, and look at other houses in the same neighborhood to see if they are comparable to yours, and if they raise or lower the value of homes around them.


 Family with keys to home


When you are ready to place your home on the market, it can be both exciting and nerve racking, especially if you are going it alone without the help of a Realtor. Many time, people will try to "spruce the place up", or "re decorate", when all that really needs to happen is the opposite. If you are ready to sell your home, then I suggest that you stay away from these 3 things...


1. Add Furniture To Your Home

When trying to sell, you should stage your home in a simple and uncluttered fashion. Adding furniture, especially over sized pieces, can often make a room look small and even more difficult for the potential buyer to see their furniture in the space.

2. Re-Decorate

Depending on what your definition of "Re-Decorate" is, could be the difference between a sale and see ya later. A fresh coat of paint is always a good thought, and sometimes a rug here and there, but it is not always necessary to hang more pictures or purchase more lamps, or add greenery to a room. Remember, you want the buyer to see it through their own lens, not looking through your rose colored glasses.

3. Clutter Is OK, Because We Live Here...

You may say to yourself, "I'm not that messy, besides, people will understand that this is our home and a house is supposed to be lived in." Well, you got part of that right! People will understand, but they won't see past it. Even if you think you are not a "hoarder" or too much of a slob, just remember, buyers are not thinking what you are thinking. Tidy up as much as possible. Papers off the counters, appliances put away and that stack of magazines by the recliner, they need to vanish! No matter how much you like Muscle Car Mania and Gardening With Gertrude, they make your space look a bit messy.


The best rule of thumb is, "Make it simple, then simplify it even more"... Keep that in mind, and you will be ready to market your home!




When someone calls about buying a home, there are always many questions, as there should be, but sometimes I am asked about everything but real estate. Recently I have been asked about how to change a detrimental credit score, how to handle somebody's in laws, and my favorite question, "How much can you loan me on that house?" I do not fault anyone for asking most questions because the Realtor's role is sometimes fuzzy at best for the first time home buyer. Although I am not a banker (but I was at one time), a counselor (but I am an ordained minister) or a credit specialist, I am always glad to point people in the right direction for answers to their questions, and am learning that in Real Estate, there are some things that I SHOULD do for my customer, and try very hard to accomplish. 


5 Things YOUR Realtor Should Do...


I am naturally a people person, and have spoken to crowds of thousands of people at a time, however this does not make me a great communicator. A Realtor deals with many details, and should always clarify as many of those details with every person involved. When is the closing? What else is needed? Did you call the inspector? Are you sure? When do you expect that to be completed? Any question, from anybody always deserves clarification. Once the Realtor is clear, then he or she should communicate to the client, other agent, lender, etc. Over communication is not a bad thing.


2. Call Regularly

It seems that this would go hand in hand with communication, but it is a bit different. In today's culture, its easy to send a text message or email and say, "Hey, I have talked to my client", but never underestimate the power of personal interaction with either face to face or a phone call. Even if one of my listing customers has not had any showings lately, I still try to call and touch base to see how they are doing and give them an update on the market itself. For some clients, they may prefer non verbal communication, but those type people are few and far between. How long has it been since you have spoken to your Realtor? We are all very busy, but there is no excuse to a 2 minute call to say hello!


3. Market To Move

Everyday, there is something new to learn, and I am far from knowing all that there is to know, especially in the Real Estate world. One thing I do know, is that selling homes and helping you purchase a home is a business, and in business, marketing skills are essential. After reading several articles by professionals who have been in the business for years, I believe that I concur with them... "Listing the property in "The Homes Book" alone is not marketing." Again, I am still learning, but it is a no brainer that to help my clients sell their home,  there should be no stone left unturned when looking for ways to place the clients property in front of as many potential buyers as possible. Technology has come a long way with social media, external web sites and more. Did you know that 42% of buyer use their smart phone to view property?  Also ask, Who are we marketing to? What are we saying with the verbage? If the headline only reads "House For Sale", with very little detail or pictures, then your listing might need a facelift. One thing that I do is look at some of the top Realtors in other markets and states to see how they do it...If they are doing it well, I want to know how I can do it better, so I can serve my customer better!


4. Know It All...Or At Least Some Of It.

Nobody likes a "know it all", until they actually ask a question, and expect the "know it all" to have the answer. A Realtor may not have any idea about the latest fashion, (although the ones that I know are usually dressed professionally and smart) and they might not have a clue where to get good take out, but a good Realtor is always learning and growing in their field and trade. I try to ask the more seasoned agents lots of questions about the business and read about the latest trends in home sales and markets. Good Realtors will know their market, and will know what is hot and what is not. They will know what the financial markets are looking like or be able to give you contact information of the people who do. Realtors will know the ethical and legal boundaries and stay within them to help serve you with the best service. They will also be able to take the "Real Estate lingo" and break it down into plain ole' English... The bottom line is this... A great Realtor may not always have the answer when initially asked, but will always work hard to find the answer promptly, and has a good network around them, that is trained and ready to supply counsel and assistance. I don't think I would call myself a "Great" Realtor, although I am working hard to be one, but I do have a GREAT network of people around me who are smarter, brighter and more seasoned than me, and help me be so much better than I could ever be on my own.


To Everything, There Is A Season

Seasons come and go, and many times, we are already looking forward to the next season, not long after the current one arrives. Most people will say, "I can't wait for summer, and then there will be no snow." Then when that dreaded heatwave hits and we are suffering in 100 degree sweltering temperatures, we begin to look forward to fall. Those ready to sell their home are more than likely looking forward to spring. It's a known fact that when the weather begins to break, and temperatures begin to rise, that those of us who feel trapped inside our homes because of the winter warden, begin to break out of our cell and begin to look for new opportunities. One of those opportunities could be purchasing a home.

Market Matters

At the present time, the market is looking very hopeful as the number of first time homebuyers has risen consistently in the last couple of months. This fact along is great news for those ready to list and sell their home. However, waiting until those Spring loving, house hunting, home buyers begin to start taking long Sunday afternoon drives to pin point the perfect home, may be in vain. The flowers are not in bloom yet, and buyers are already out looking. Looking over my list of present customers, it is obvious that the number of buyers looking, could for the first time in a while, be disproportionately high against the number of homes on the market. 

What does it all mean?

What does this mean for you? If you are ready to sell a home, NOW is the time to place it on the market. Let it "settle in", and allow other agents to become familiar with it. After a short while, IF the property is priced right, you could find yourself at the negotiating table with a couple or individual who has looked and looked for the perfect house until one day, out of nowhere, their agent saw that your home was now listed, and guess what...they loved it! With less homes, your property has the potential to really stick out and become a top 3 on somebody's list, so take advantage and prepare your home to list! If you wait till Spring, you may just become one of those "run of the mill" spring listings, and be lost in the shuffle. 

Don't wait for everyone else to flood the market. Take top placement, and be counted as those who had foresight and planned ahead. Buyers are looking, and they could be looking for your home. But if you wait on the season to change, then it might be too late. 


Family with sold sign


Everywhere I go, I am consistently being asked, "what is the benefit of using a Realtor"? There are some people out there, who believe that the only way that they benefit from selling their home, or finding a home, is by doing it themselves. You may be one of those people, and no hard feelings if that is the case, but my question in return is "why would you pass up using a professional on the largest financial investment that you own?" The better way to answer the original question is to answer some of the other questions I get asked consistently, and more specifically the question, why should I be your realtor?


Q: When I hire a realtor, doesn't that just cut into my profit?

A: Your profit depends on what you can sell your home for, over and above what you owe, along with your expenses and any other debt on the property. With this in mind, you certainly want to get top dollar for your home. Statistics tell us that in 2013, the average sales price for a home that was listed as a "For Sale By Owner or "FSBO",  was $174,900. However the average sales price of a home listed with a Realtor was $215,000. That is a difference of $40,100! If you don't have a Realtor on your side, you could be missing out on a higher profit margin, and potential buyers. The truth is, there is a basic commission for agents, but you are paying for a specific skill set, marketing, leg work and representation, that when its all said and done is more than worth it. 


Q: Can one of those real estate web sites do the same thing you can for less money?

A: My "Mama" always says that "You get what you pay for", and real estate is no exception. When using a web based company to sell your home, or to look for a new home, be sure to check the figures that they provide. Many times the numbers that they use are estimates, and sometimes even wrong. These web sites do not know the local or regional market, and can not offer the personal contact and comfort of a local agent like me, who knows the area and other local customers that could be looking for a home like yours. The web site will not be able to market your property like I will, or provide a professional photographer to show the beautiful aspects of your home through pictures. Oh, and what about when you are in the middle of cooking dinner, with a sick child trying to rest and the house is a mess, and suddenly the door bell rings. "Hello, we were our driving around and saw your house is for sale. Would you mind if we came in and looked around?"...The web site is not going to field your showings and set up appointments. So to answer that question, no. As a professional Realtor, I am much more capable of offering better service, better marketing and the personable touch to sell your home, than any web site. 


Q: So what else do you do besides put my house picture in that "homes book" and wait on a phone call?

A: Technology has come such a long way from the days of listing a house, placing a picture in a book, a sign in the yard and a prayer for a phone call about it. When you list with myself, you not only get me, but the entire Sallie Davidson team! Our office is known for working together to make sure our clients are well represented. I will personally work hard to market your home through paid services and target marketing such as Facebook, Twitter, Adwerx, and other avenues. I also speak weekly with local community leaders, regional real estate professionals, and business owners, making sure that your property is placed in front of as many potential buyers as possible. I utilize apps, text technology and web sites that reach other real estate agents searching for homes just like yours all over this side of the state. I am constantly creating and developing videos, print media and social media pieces that feature your home. My broker, Sallie Davidson also provides our very own Youtube channel, and classy web site to help potential buyers find your property from anywhere. We are also the only agency in the area to be a part of the prestigious Leading Real Estate Companies Of The World. We network with other independents, to help those relocating to London find homes just like yours. 


Q: I can never get an agent to return my calls, so why should you be any different?

A: Most agents are very busy taking care of their clients. Agents will spend lots of time trying to make sure every detail is taken care of, and helping you find the right house while dealing with other clients as well. When you call, there will be times that I may not answer, as I may be dealing with another customer as well, or spending quality time with my family. However, a prompt response is assured, and answers to your questions is my goal. Communication is key to selling your home, or finding your new home, and you can rest assured that I will be in contact with you as much as possible. 


So before finding yourself wading through legal issues, contracts and un qualified buyers, not to mention all of the other time consuming duties that you don't have time for, give me a call and allow me to list your home. If what "Mama" says is true about getting what you pay for, then listing your home on your own will more than likely not pay off, and we both know that "Mama" is always right! - Daniel





Like everyone else who lives in Kentucky, I am proud to be a part of our local and regional community. The business community and social community. I am proud of our local schools who raise the bar and invest in the next generations. I am proud of the local churches and non profits that work together to care for those less fortunate. I am proud of the local businesses that budget each year to contribute to educational and social programs that benefit everyone. I am proud of the heritage of growing up in Appalachia, where family means something, and helping your neighbor is a way of life, not just a slogan.

For me, being a Realtor is about more than just selling houses, it's about marketing my community to people looking at moving and settling in here. Serving my friends and neighbors as well as they purchase and sell their largest asset and investment. I firmly believe that without community members supporting each other, I am out of a job that I love, and would be looking for a new line of work. Without community, there would be many who could not succeed in business, education, family and life.

On this blog, you will read from time to time about happenings and successes of our local community, our schools, students, leaders and people that make this a tremendous place to live, work, worship and play. If you are from another town, county or state, let me invite you to take a peek and check out Southeast and Central Kentucky, and be the first to say WELCOME! If you are a "local", then I challenge you to rediscover the beauty and excitement that is in your back yard, and find ways to invest in and engage this wonderful place that we call home!

London Laurel County Chamber Of Commerce

Corbin Kentucky

Middlesboro Kentucky

Cumberland Gap

Lexington Kentucky


When selling your home, be sure to ask your realtor what his or her marketing plan is.  

It is vitally important that the person that you have trusted to take care of your most valuable assett has a plan to maximize the exposure of your property. There are many mediums that an agent worth their salt could use, and help you increase the potential of a buyer that is both ready and able to make a home purchase. The days of listing and waiting is over. It was an acceptable practice in days gone by for an agent to simply place a newly listed home on an Multiple Listing Service and then wait for a call, but with so many avenues and technologies today that the agent has access to, it only makes sense to use each tool they can to serve a customers needs.

As a licensed Realtor myself, I work tirelessly to stay up to date with the latest trends, technologies and real etate tools so that I can market your property more efficiantly, placing it in front of as many people as possible, exponentially multiplying the chances of a qualified buyer looking at your listing. Real Estate, like any other business depends on marketing, and market engagement. So when the time comes to sell your home, farm, business or other real estate, be sure to choose an agent and firm that values marketing and publicity, because the market is picking up and doing better, but only for those, who will work hard and be intentional!

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