Realtor Spotlight: Meet Paul Gutting of Re/Max Savannah
Where did you grow up? I was born in Cincinnati, but grew up in Dallas Texas.
Spouse- Michele Gutting/Realtor. Married for 28 years, but who is counting?
Justin Gutting – 27; Currently a Manager at Wendy’s on Highway 80 Married to Savannah, one son Micah.
Amy Gutting – 24; Currently a Junior at Armstrong Atlantic State University pursuing a Pre-Med Degree.
Paul Gutting Jr. 20; Currently at Armstrong Atlantic State University pursuing a Bachelor of Science Pre-Veterinarian Studies.
Pets- Dash, our 1 year old Yellow Lab and escape artist.
What do you enjoy most about living in the Savannah area? In order of loves: 1. I love the people here. They are about as gentile, sincere and beautiful as a people can be. 2. There is a vibrant sense of history here. Did you know that the Savannah Area Board of Realtors is actually older than the National Association of Realtors? I find that fascinating. 3. The weather here is near idyllic. 4. Finally every city has its own spirit. Ours is laid back, genuine and easy on the soul.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? When I am not glued to my computer, you will find me glued to a book or taking a class in Real Estate. I have two other passions. My first love is the Catholic Church where I am an Ordained Permanent Deacon. As such, I get to work with the youth of our Parish, teach Adult Education, as time permits, and assist our Priests, Deacon Ray and Sister Mary Ann. I find working in the vineyard pays tremendous benefits in my prayer and personal life. Secondly, I am the 2012 President of the Savannah Area Board of Realtors. I have been in administrative work most of my life and felt that I had something to contribute to this amazing 105 year old organization.
How long have you worked in Real Estate? I was licensed in 2005, but since my wife, Michele, has been a Realtor since 1995, I have been in the family for a while.
What would you consider your specialty? I sell houses that my clients make into homes. For 25 years I spent my time in Hospital Administration negotiating settlements and getting parties to agreement. I had developed a reputation on both sides for being fair, but firm. I bring that strength to the Real Estate Transaction as well. Secondly, I have obtained at least three designations/certifications in the area of Short Sales. These transactions are wickedly difficult for the best trained of individuals. I have been successful in getting them to the closing table.
Do you have any accreditations or certifications? I believe in continuous learning both in business and in life. I have earned my Graduate Realtor Institute, Short Sales and Foreclosures Resources, e-Pro, At Home With Diversity (GRI, SFR, e-Pro, AHWD) designations, Certified Distressed Property Expert, 5 Star Short Sale, 5 Star REO, and Gold Certified Equator (Short Sales) certifications. I have completed the course work for a number of other designations.
What is the most challenging/gratifying aspect of what you do? The most gratifying thing is to be instrumental in assisting my clients to move into the next phase of their life; be it first time homeowners, move up buyers, people moving to another job or people downsizing. The blessing is to be invited into their life for a specific purpose and helping it to happen. I do short sales. My clients generally have banks breathing down their necks; they are stuck in an upside down home and are staring foreclosure in the face with all its credit wrecking implications. The process is long (90-120 days, minimum), tedious and frustrating for my clients who are juggling a lot of other responsibilities. I live for that moment when I can shake their hand after the closing having removed a ponderous burden from their backs.
What is the most unique property you’ve ever listed or sold? Honestly, they are all unique. As I said before, as a buyer’s agent, I am keenly aware that I am showing someone else’s home. As a seller’s representative I try to give it a shepherd’s care. To illustrate, many homes have penciled in growth charts on the back of doors or on door jabs, one home had perfect semi-circular teeth marks on the venetian blinds from a ravenous child, not to mention hand prints in concrete, pet doors cut in unique places, tree mansions built by overachieving dads and a variety of custom colored rooms from feng shui color of love, pink, to a midnight purple master bedroom. Every home has their owner’s unique stamp on it, some more flamboyant than others.
Describe your most memorable real estate transaction… What is so interesting is that as I think back on the transactions of closing past, I remember the people more than the deal. My coach tells a story about a surfer who put in an offer on a house near the beach to include the family dog whom he was quite taken with. Although I have never included the dog in a deal, I tell my clients that there are two axioms in Real Estate: Everything is negotiable, and you never know what the answer will be.
What is the one tip you have for someone looking to buy a home today? People today are lured into thinking that due to the number of homes on the market, there is a better deal somewhere out there. While I would never advise someone to settle in today’s market, I have seen many great deals slip through peoples fingers by taking too much time to decide or wanting to look at dozens of homes only to discover one of the first five houses was the one.
What is the one tip you have for someone looking to sell a home today? Nearly every buyer starts looking on-line. Your on-line presence should include plenty of pictures. Price will get them asking to see your home, curb appeal will get them out of the car and condition will keep them looking once in your home. Box up your unnecessary clutter and store it in the garage. Repair all of your deferred maintenance issues and change that air filter. Your house needs to be clean. You have lots of competition; you need to look like you want to move.
What do you see in the future for real estate sales/prices? In the next quarter, I see our normal slow winter months. This is not all bad as I expect everything to settle down a bit. By the summer of 2013, I see sales doing better than they did in 2012 which had great sales activity. 2013, I believe, will see more homes sold than in 2012, average home prices will tick up 2-4%, available inventory levels will be lower than year end 2012, foreclosure homes will be at a 24 month low and there will be an increase in new home construction. All in all a solid year as we continue to climb slowly, but steadily, off of the bottom.
Why should someone use you as a real estate agent? Both my wife and I have made the commitment to do our business by personal referral. Rather than devoting a lot of effort in prospecting for new clients, we try to take extraordinary care of the clients we have. Our business comes from the referrals of our clients who know and trust us and who recommend us to their friends and family. Since 1998 we have been honored to serve over 50 families each year.