Serially Killing Blunt Market 2019 – February’s Note

Archives of my subscription-only monthly notes. The blog is more searchable. Interested in not waiting a few months to read it? Subscribe here.   For these posts, I don’t do much formatting/changing as I’m more concerned about simply having the content here forever (because I own the blog, and I don’t own Tinyletter). 

Two requests up front:

1 – If you like this note, please send to a friend; I’d appreciate your doing so.
2 – If you don’t find value, please unsubscribe. Really. 

Where the Best Western Used to Be

I’ve never before seen this view. The Cavalier Inn is gone; UVA’s growth is ever expanding.

The Market

It’s too early to tell. The last three months of 2018 showed a downward trend in sales, and a moderation of prices. I’ve shown a short sale and a foreclosure recently. I’ve also written contracts on properties that have gone under contract in under a week and before it hit the market.

Can’t wait to learn more? Call me at 434-242-7140 or respond to this email. Otherwise, I’ll have more data, context, and thoughts in March.

Learn from your past, prepare for the future, but live for today

Being Blunt

Being diplomatic is hard, but I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Knowing when to be blunt and when to be delicate is a hard-learned skill and darn near talent.

For the first few years of my real estate career, my mom mentored me. I remember one time walking through a house that was littered with personal paraphernalia, photos on virtually every surface. I was confidently walking through, bluntly directing the sellers to “remove this, remove that, move that.” 

We finished the meeting, left, and she called me out, in the way that a mom can do. For the record, I was right, but my lack of tact was wrong. 

There is a value to being blunt. Residential real estate is emotional and managing emotions is a thing that I’m reasonably skilled at. Time is valuable and being blunt is usually the most efficient path. I’m still blunt, but I’ve learned how to temper that bluntness with tact. Usually. 

So close to being back. For real.

Why do I explicitly say that I’m writing this story for non-real estate people?

In conversation with a friend recently, she asked me why I say my newsletters are only for non-real estate people. I know there are a few of you who are real estate folks, in part because you email asking if it’s okay to still be on the list, and also because I occasionally cull the list of real estate folks. My answer is simple – I’m tricking myself, for a reason. I intentionally write for clients, potential clients, interested and curious people. And I pretend I’m writing to just one of you at a time.

(For you real estate folks, Nest is looking for partners. Know someone interested?)

The Serial Killer House. On Instagram

About seven years ago, I was showing a house in the City of Charlottesville, and we saw this interesting shed. So interesting that I posted it on Instagram. And also on Twitter. 

And damned if the listing agent didn’t respond on Twitter with something to the effect, “So, you’re going to bring me an offer, right?”


In fact, I did take an offer and my clients are still living there.


I mention this because taking photos of sellers’ houses and posting on social media is rampant. I get it. I’ve done it and I’ve learned that if I dodo it,  I use the Metapho app to strip metadata. I also know that Instagram’s geolocation is scary. And I’d wager some sellers wouldn’t want some photos on the internet. 

I saw the one to the right posted recently on Instagram. It’s funny, sure, but I’d wager the seller might not be pleased about that being posted. Lesson: think twice before posting pictures of someone else’s house online.

Note from Sarah (my assistant)

I asked Sarah to write a few things we wish sellers knew before the process started. This is one of three.No matter if you are buying or selling, moving takes time. Lots of time.  People often feel overwhelmed with the amount of hours and days it takes to declutter, pack up, clean, etc. If you plan to “get the house ready” or “pack up the house” in a weekend, chances are you are underestimating the time required.  Depending on house size and amount of items in the house, I would plan on 4 to 7 days of actual working on getting it ready for sale or packed up to move.  We get it, it’s stressful and not fun, but setting realistic expectations can make the process much smoother. 

Yoga. Self-Care. 

 Life’s stories often come with lessons, when you’re open to learning. You never know when a crash is going to come. In the midst of physical therapy to recover from my November bike wreck, I saw a poster with a workout plan for those planning to have joint replacements and I thought about how relatively lucky I was to have been reasonably fit prior to my bike wreck. Had I known I was going to crash, I would have ensured I was more fit. (Had I known I was going to crash, I’d have tried to not crash.)

Sometimes all it takes is a nudge, and if you’re accepting, consider this yours. I’m grateful that I started doing yoga again in part because I was far better prepared for the post-crash recovery than I would have been.

The point:

Life is short. If and when that unexpected crash comes, better be prepared, better to at least try to be reasonably fit and have built a supportive community around yourself. Recovery is easier with preparation and support.


Content production is hard. Between representing clients, writing blog posts, doing the podcasts, recording videos about the Crozet market … at least work is fun. 

What I’m Reading

Working ideas for next month

  • Getting yelled at. It’s hard to capture the anger, vitriol, and ignorance in words. Luckily, I got it on video so I can revisit before writing this story.
  • The market after two full months. The value of writing. Teams. How one bad client ruins it for the rest. Patience.

The Blogs

As always, thank you for reading! (If you really like it, please forward to a friend)

— Jim

I like our custom signs.

Jim on: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInSubscribe to RealCentralVA | Jim’s Instagram

Jim Duncan, Nest Realty, 126 Garrett Street Suite D, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Licensed real estate agent in Commonwealth of VA.

(Visited 66 times, 1 visits today)

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *