Nest’s “Meet the Agent” blog series is back for 2014! We think we have some pretty awesome agents here at Nest and we want you to have the opportunity to get to know them too. In our first post of the series for 2014, we sat down with Charlottesville Nest agent, Tom Raney. Find out how Tom translated his experience from years spent in retail industry to real estate and fell in love with Charlottesville.
Nest Realty: Thanks so much for chatting with us, Tom. Would you first tell us how you got into real estate?
Tom Raney: In real estate terms, it was an unexpected relocation. I was living in midtown Manhattan and yearning for a more bucolic life. While exploring the Hudson River Valley, an opportunity arrived to take care of a family farm in southern Albemarle County. 12 months later I was sold on Charlottesville and was starting a real estate practice so I could help others buy and sell in this amazing area.
NR: What was the first property you ever sold for a client?
TR: My first and second transactions took place simultaneously. I was representing a young family who were selling their cozy, city bungalow to trade up to a larger home with more bedrooms. And I was working with a buyer who was purchasing and customizing a new construction home in Ivy for his family with a million dollar plus price. There were differences in the transactions but it was the similarities in the needs and expectations of both clients that taught me the most.
NR: Sounds like a great start! What do you love most about being a Realtor?
TR: Prior to my real estate career, I was an executive for some of the most renowned stores in the world including Macy’s and Neiman Marcus. Success in retail is all about finding the right product at the right price at the right time, keeping pace with changing market conditions and providing exceptional client service. Transitioning from retailer to Realtor was an easy move for me.
NR: How has technology changed the way you do business?
TR: Many of my clients come to Charlottesville from other parts of the country. I excel at introducing the area to newcomers and explaining the surprising complexity of the market and helping them appreciate the numerous styles of living they can chose from here. Technology allows me to make start that introduction long before we meet face to face to explore “the lay of the land.”
NR: Speaking of “the lay of the land,” what do you think makes the Central Virginia market so unique?
TR: I can recite a near endless list including the University of Virginia, Monticello, the strong cultural community, the number of local wineries and breweries, the growing locavore movement, the year-round festivals, and so on. Maybe the most unique aspect of the area is the immense effort its citizens have historically made in preserving, maintaining and sustaining this verdant mid-Atlantic Eden. When Nest says “Live where you love” we know of what we speak.
NR: As we wrap up we have one last question for you Tom. What’s the one thing you would tell a new homebuyer to keep in mind throughout the process?
TR: That a ratified contract is just one stop in our journey together, not the destination. I explain that they will be buying the property three times: first upon negotiating an agreed contract, second when requesting and negotiating seller repairs after the home inspection and finally when reviewing the appraisal report, especially if a final loan commitment for the mortgage funding is a contingency of the contract closing.