Empowering First-Time Home Buyers by Kirby Stone

May 27 2020

The main thing that comes to mind when I get a first-time home buyer as a client is empowerment. My job is to help my clients feel empowered to make informed decisions and advocate for themselves as they make one of the biggest investments in their lifetime. First-time home buyers are entering into a new realm of life and are walking into a daunting process. In my experience, not all first time home buyers realize how involved this process can be. It’s fulfilling to educate and assist them every step of the way.

It’s an exciting time of change, and looking for homes in their ideal neighborhoods is usually the home buyers’ first goal. Before we begin our deep dive into Greenville, however, I like to incorporate an informative and thorough presentation of all the steps. We review paperwork in a manner that  communicates what exactly each step entails. This includes timeframes, costs, what to expect, common scenarios, rare scenarios, and everything in between the time of signing a contract to closing. The only real surprise I would like my clients to experience is how much they fall in love with a home or location.

Examples are great learning tools. I utilize old closing documents with the sensitive information removed so they can get an idea of exactly what they will see and what we are working towards. This helps them see the big picture and how to plan accordingly. I try to find examples that closely align with clients’ details so I can provide as accurate a snapshot as possible. I make a deliberate effort to explain costs they may have not foreseen such as attorney fees and additional taxes. My experience in banking has allowed me to provide useful advice and recommendations as they navigate the financial elements of real estate and advocate for themselves and their best interests.

It’s a gift to be a part of a home buyers’ journey. This time is special and filled with possibilities and I enjoy helping them start a new chapter in their life story.


That’s Who We R | Fighting for Our Community & Fellow REALTORSⓇ By Rhett Brown

May 14 2020

“That’s Who We R” functions as a rallying cry, instilling pride in REALTORS®’ everyday actions and all the ways they go above and beyond to improve the lives of their clients, consumers, and their communities (NAR Campaign). Clients and consumers who have used a REALTOR® know the value they bring to their individual transactions, particularly when it comes to problem solving. What isn’t as well-known is the value REALTORS® bring to the community, which is fighting for real property and small business rights, regardless of whether you own property or are a REALTOR®. As a director for both the local and state association boards, I have witnessed firsthand how well-respected and powerful our state and national lobbyists are through the relationships they build and their dedication to help our legislative representatives understand the importance of what we support. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly brought about a huge change to our world, NAR worked swiftly, along with the state lobbyists, to urge our government to protect not only small businesses, but all independent contractors, not just real estate. That lobbying resulted in huge wins, as protecting independent contractors has previously been unprecedented. Greater Greenville Association of REALTORSⓇ (GGAR) and South Carolina REALTORSⓇ (SCR) advocated for REALTORSⓇ to maintain an essential status, so they could continue to work during the “Home or Work” executive order. We also fought to ensure that necessary government offices, like the Register of Deeds office, were able to stay open to continue to support REALTORSⓇ in their closings. We recognized that while we were still in business, it would not be business as usual. GGAR and SCR made resources readily available for the safest practices and creative solutions during this time.

I could not be more proud to be a part of a group of people who mobilize so quickly to be the voice of the community. They have supported everything from extending flood insurance to speaking on behalf of non-occupant home owners who have no voting rights on whether their property may be allowed short-term rentals. I am in awe of how our leadership nurtures relationships with other leaders in our community – locally, statewide and nationwide – so that when we need a “seat at the table,” we are welcome.

So, when you see our slogan: “That’s Who We R,” may it remind you that we “R” exceptional because we adhere to a code of ethics; we advocate for our communities, as well as our own members; we are backed by the nation’s largest professional trade association and we mobilize swiftly to advocate for our community.  The “That’s Who We R” slogan signifies our values and is a reminder that we “R” in this together. 


Greenville’s Growth & The Pivotal Peak of Opportunity | Mark Martin

April 28 2020

Greenville offers a harmonious union of two commonly opposing characteristics: strong town and thriving metropolis. Greenville is nestled along I-85 midway between the notable southern cities of Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina. This allows it to be the most intriguing of paradoxes: the place with big city promise yet small-town hospitality.

Greenville is a mid-sized metro area with a low cost of living, consistently temperate weather, exceptional healthcare, and awarding-winning school systems. These attributes garner an invaluable investment for Greenville citizens which is an unmatched quality of life. Being raised in Greenville breeds my deep appreciation of the city, but being a seasoned Realtor® for over 15 years allows me to understand how these elements have been essential to successful growth.

This is not the part of the article where I include a “however” but instead I include an asterisk. This asterisk represents the growth of Greenville which opens the floodgates for ingenuity, creativity, flexibility and out-of-the-box strategies for how we keep Greenville the delicate balance that national arenas have praised.

In my professional and personal experience, I have witnessed how Greenville is an incredible think-tank filled with curious citizens. We undoubtedly face challenges with infrastructure and capacity load and we will need to collaborate and work together as a community to discover solutions, but with this growth comes exhilarating possibilities and opportunities. This is more than finding a way to cut down on the time it takes to get to point A to point B. This is about how we cultivate inclusive, innovative and holistic growth.

One of the key drivers of Greenville’s growth is that local governments have worked hard to form strong alliances and partnerships with the private sector and industries that emphasize large job opportunities. This has created a surge in automotive, health, advanced materials, bio-sciences, and aviation. These surges lead to an influx of culture and diversity – new food experiences, different recreational activities, and overall exchange of ideas and community project collaborations. This is a momentous time in Greenville’s history and we have the opportunity to  be good stewards amidst growth. Ask yourself the following. How can we help Greenville grow with authenticity, thoughtful design and all around flare?


The Land of Condos and Townhomes | Greenville’s Ever-Evolving, Emerging Market by Celeste Purdie

April 13 2020

Right now there is a lot of buzz about condos and townhomes in Greenville, and rightfully so. Greenville County’s condominium and townhome communities are expanding while providing opportunities that cater to different lifestyles. 

While an individual’s reason and intention for moving is always unique, I’ve seen a few common trends among those who are searching for condos and townhomes. 

The first trend I’ve experienced is young professionals looking for their first home purchase. They would like to build equity and, in some cases, are saving money in comparison to the increasing rate of rent. These reasons, in addition to avoiding the costs of home maintenance, make condos and townhomes a good deal. The next trend is eager re-locators hoping to expand their horizons in a bustling city with an equally attractive culture. Condo and townhome communities can be in close proximity to Greenville’s highly populated urban areas. The third trend is the downsizing couple who still desires to own real estate with flexible living.  Greenville’s landscape caters to these trends with its expansive condo and townhome communities.

Currently, there are 200 condos and townhomes for sale in Greenville County. GGAR MLS (multiple listing services) offers insights on the popularity of Greenville condos and townhomes. 

Did you know that between January 1, 2020 and March 24, 2020, 154 condos and townhomes, between $100,000 and $300,000, were sold? I consider that a big deal for such a short amount of time. They are also selling quickly with 69 of those condos and townhomes being sold in under 30 days of being on the market. There’s even more data to support the trend of popularity with 16 of those properties being sold the same day they were introduced to the market! 






Your Time is Now: Buyers Edition by Valerie Miller + Partners

April 13 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has created an unprecedented time in the real estate industry. But in this time of uncertainty, there is also a time for opportunity. In real estate, our team always recommends making thoughtful and informed decisions based on consultation, research and reflection. We want to be a resource for anyone looking for assistance and guidance. 

As the markets continue to progress and change, there are several reasons why this could be a good time to buy a home. According to the New York Times, mortgage rates have dropped drastically which opens more buying power and additional homes to consider. In comparison, in 2018 the mortgage rates hit a 4.94% high and on March 1st, 2020 the rate dropped to 3.45% (Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Rate Survey). Banks and mortgage brokers have seen an influx of customers seeking to refinance their loans at these lower rates. In some cases, the increase in customers was so acute that mortgage lenders had to adjust their rates to slow demand.

Another reason to consider buying a home is the current buyer landscape has slowed. According to Trulia, spring produces a rush of potential buyers which means higher frequency of bidding wars and more competitive prices. In light of the Coronavirus, casual buyers are more likely to opt out of looking for homes and there will be fewer serious buyers to place bids on highly sought-after properties. 

Experts are predicting a recession, but a recession shouldn’t impact the values of homes. According to MarketWatch, this next recession is actually unlikely to prompt a major downturn in housing. Historically, home price appreciation continued during previous downturns. The National Association of Realtors reported that in past downturns, home price appreciation continued at an even rate with existing home sale growth only slightly edging downward.

It is important to note that we are still observing the ripple effect of COVID-19, so we are not declaring that these observations are infallible. However, in our commitment to serve our clients, we wanted to share information that may help you in your decision making. Please be assured that we will continue to have your back and support you through this unfamiliar time. 


As the Coronavirus Spreads, a Question: ‘Will Mortgage Rates Stay Low?’ https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-mortgage-rates.html

Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey


Is Spring the Best Time to Buy a House? Maybe. https://www.trulia.com/blog/spring-best-time-to-buy-a-house/

As recession fears mount, here’s why home prices may not plunge alongside the stock market. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/are-you-waiting-for-house-prices-to-drop-during-the-next-recession-heres-why-you-could-have-a-very-a-long-wait-2020-02-07



Ray Smerdon

”It was truly a great experience working with Lora! She was very professional and thoughtful; she worked extremely hard for me and had my house sold very quickly. She kept me informed and went above and beyond my expectations. Truly a great Agent!!”


-Ray Smerdon


“I recently needed to purchase a new home with a very quick turnaround as I was relocating from Maryland to South Carolina. Laura Williams was the perfect realtor to address my needs. She quickly determined my lifestyle, budget and taste and worked diligently to find a home that addressed those needs in under a month. Since I was new to the area she provided inspector, locksmith, painter and lawn service contacts. Laura was attentive, thoughtful and organized and I value her professionalism and friendship.”

- Karen

Jessica S

“I can not say enough about my experience working with Rhett Brown. She is absolutely AMAZING! She is always punctual, communicative, and will make this as seamless as possible. My family and I can not thank her enough for her help, expertise, and knowledge during the sale. Rhett, you are THE BEST!!”

- Jessica S

Kenny Novak

“I couldn’t have asked for two better realtors than Anne and Brian Marchant! With it being my first home, I went into the process knowing very little but they were always there to answer any questions and soothed any worries I had during the process. They made the whole experience so easy and I was really appreciative for all of the feedback and opinions they provided. As a first time home buyer, I was on edge going into it but they were totally honest with me and always looked out for my best interest.Anne and Brian, thank you guys for everything you did for me and for helping me find my dream first home!”

- Kenny Novak


Valerie took on selling my house in Greenville as a turnkey project. Valerie and her husband Chuck, evaluated what needed to be done to the property to bring it up to spec. They then arranged bids from contractors for every task involved and fully supervised the repairs and upgrades. I live in Michigan and did not have to visit even once for any aspect of the work. I actually did not meet Valerie and Chuck till I arrived for the closing !! The house sold on the day of the listing for around 5% above the listing price. It set the record for the highest square foot selling price in sub-division !! I will unequivocally recommend Valerie to any prospective home-owner or seller and will happily give personal references for her.”

Elizabeth Douglas

“Wow! Our house was under contract in just one week. Tom Marchant did a great job for us!”

- Elizabeth Douglas


“Dana Narramore was amazing to work with! She offered right away to take us on home tours on the weekend so that we could see 10-15 homes a day if we needed. We were very picky first time home buyers and we also weren’t too sure what we wanted. We went on home tours two weekends in a row and saw a few homes during the week and found our first home in those first two weeks. Highly recommend Dana. She was always available, professional, and a great negotiator.”

- Tiffany

Jon Vander Hoek

“Kirby Stone greatly surpassed all expectations of our out of state home buying process! She took the time to get to know us personally and gather information about the homes we were looking for. She was able to show us homes virtually, communicate often, and provide a lot of knowledge on homes and neighborhoods. Before, and even after the transaction, she made sure no details were missed, and connected us with many professionals. Kirby was professional in all respects, but also made us feel as if we were family. We couldn’t be happier with the services she provided, and we will recommend her to all of our clients.”

- Jon Vander Hoek

Mary P

“Since we closed on our beautiful home in September 2021, I’ve been trying to find the right words to best describe our amazing realtor, Pamela Moore. She went above and beyond our expectations! She’s kind hearted, trustworthy, dependable, loyal and a expert at what she does. Moving from Florida to South Carolina and not knowing where to start or what to do, Pam immediately put our mind at ease. She is so well rounded in the industry and have a wonderful relationship with everyone. Our trust and confidence in her ability allowed us to do everything virtually until the final walkthrough and closing. We’re so thankful and appreciative for Pam and all she done in making our dream a reality. She is definitely a go to person if you’re in need of a realtor. I’ll recommend her 100 times over!”

Carlo Lucchesi

“Christy Vogel did an outstanding job finding a house for our daughter, in Greenville South Carolina. She dedicated herself entirely to my daughter’s needs and was always available to answer questions and guide us through the difficult home buying process. We’ve bought and sold a number of houses in our time, and this was the best experience we’ve had with a realtor yet. Ms. Vogel was always patient with our requests and never “pushy” with us. Closing was very easy because she fully prepared us for the event, going over all the forms with us, line-by-line beforehand. I strongly recommend Ms. Vogel as your realtor!”

- Carlo Lucchesi


Our Realtor was Clint Miller , my wife and I were very bless that we met him. Clint’s customer service is superb, I can’t even begin to tell you how he helped us feel as we looked for a home in South Carolina. Clint’s expertise in what he does made us feel extremely comfortable”

Lillian F

Laura was knowledgeable about the Greenville market and the area of town I was interested in. Laura is a great communicator who answered all of my questions. As a first-time buyer, I appreciated her knowledge and guidance through what could have been an intimidating process.”

Lillian F

Brad C.

“I know a lot of great REALTORS, especially around Greenville, but Rhett is the cream of the crop! She set a new benchmark with a record selling price in my neighborhood. She is a pro’s pro and is highly recommended. MVP.”

Brad C.


“I have bought and sold several properties and Dana Narramore was the most engaged and thorough realtor I’ve ever dealt with. It was an excellent experience and she also has excellent staging skills. She knew just what to do to get my house sold for top dollar fast. Dana helped me find the perfect lot of land to build a house and also sell my current home. This was all done at the same time efficiently.”

- Trey


“Valerie Miller was the dream real estate agent. Available, knowledgeable and prompt in getting things organized. She has a team of other people who make the whole process of buying a home much less stressful. The team she has assembled provide helpful contacts for home inspection, and land evaluation. Once the closing approaches, other contacts were provided for utility services, water, electricity. Helpful moving suggestions were provided. Wonderful contacts for mortgages and legal contacts for the final closing were seamlessly convened. All in all this agent is superb and works with other superb people. Every detail was thought through.”

– Ron and Carol Smith

“Lora Pfohl is absolutely the best! This is the agent you want. She was able to get us the house we wanted in a very tough market. She guided us through a multi-offer situation (even though we were not high offer), and came out on top. She really has the experience to get you what you want.”

- Ron and Carol Smith

“Carley Riggs was there every step of the way until we moved into our dream house. She has the perfect temperament, skill, and personality that you want – not only in a real estate agent, but in a friend. We will forever be grateful to Carley and the dedication and care she put into finding us our home.”

Heather Johnson

“It is our immense pleasure to recommend Mary Praytor as a REALTOR for any family or individual searching for their ideal home or in need of assistance in selling their home. She guided us every step of the way, taking time to explain each step and what was to come. There was never a time when I felt like I wasn’t visiting with an old friend who had my family’s best interests at heart.”

- Heather Johnson

Marchant Real Estate BBB Business Review

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