“You don’t sell real estate, you just collect friends.” -- Nancy Witek
Well, maybe not ‘just’. Nancy Witek definitely sells real estate and has been doing so for 18 years in the WNC area. Her husband’s observation regarding Nancy’s regular friend acquisition is a testament to her benevolent nature, extending beyond real estate and influencing almost all that she does. She always loved houses, having a keen eye for decorating and visualizing a home from top to bottom - friends suggested real estate might be a great fit. Nancy already had a very successful and lucrative career in advertising but decided a transition into something that might further support her desire to help others might be in order. With four kids at home, a flexible schedule wouldn’t hurt either.
1. What do you love most about working in real estate - do you have a favorite part of the process?
“I have a servant’s heart”, Nancy explains with a sense of both ease and gratitude.
Providing benefits to others is what makes Nancy tick. In real estate, she has found a pursuit that supports her goodwill driven character perfectly, and she truly loves helping people find their dream home or perfect vacation property.
2. Do you work with both buyers and sellers, or do you have a preferred niche that works best for you?
Assisting both buyers and sellers through the real estate process delights Nancy, and she enjoys working with both. Her advertising background has helped her establish a reputation as a luxury home marketing specialist, providing an edge when certain listings arise. Her real soft spot?
“I love first time homebuyers.”
Nancy admits that helping first-time purchasers navigate the real estate process and acquire a property brings a special kind of joy and gratification to her as an agent. While some realtors may lose patience with newbies over time, one gets the impression that Nancy revels in the role of a staunch ally to those buyers who may need an extra advocate - a ‘due diligence’ den mother of sorts.
3. Technology has created far more resources than ever before for both buyers and sellers who think they can ‘do it on their own’ - what do you say to folks who think they don’t need a real estate agent anymore?
Nancy believes you need an agent more than ever these days. With constantly changing laws and sometimes sticky negotiations, things can go horrible quickly if you decide to go direct - in either buying or selling.
“I would say you are shooting in the dark if you don’t have someone looking out for you.”
4. Real estate is considered a fairly competitive industry in the greater AVL area, with numerous agencies and a steady stream of new agents - what differentiates you and TBT agents from the rest of the WNC real estate crowd? What is your favorite thing about working with the TBT team?
“We are all here with the same idea of serving people and helping them find their dream”, Nancy says. Making a living doing so, through selling, is certainly a part of the picture, but not necessarily the initial reason for entering the industry. This kindred approach has resulted in a tight-knit group ready to help one another. No ‘temporary’ agents’ here - those who disappear in a downturn - just a steady stream of support from a committed team.
5. Takeaways from what you’ve learned in your industry: What is the most important piece of advice you would give to prospective homebuyers? And to home sellers?
For Sellers: “Always present your home as the best option out there.”
Nancy advises sellers to make sure their home is ready to show, so it can be ready to sell. Though it sounds obvious, folks do need to be reminded to think of and position their property as the greatest option there is at that time.
For Buyers - “Make sure you have a dedicated buyer’s agent working for you.”
Nancy stresses that not all agents focus on the same areas - be sure you’ve engaged someone who is actively looking for listings that suit you, not just passively sending things your way.
6. The WNC real estate market is certainly booming - any predictions on where it will go next, or new trends you are seeing?
Lacking access to a crystal ball, Nancy admits this is hard to predict, though she does feel that there will continue to be a strong demand for properties in the WNC area, though the frenzy of the past year has slowed down a bit. She notes that in the beginning of the surge, some had perfect timing selling their home, then reinvesting with a profit. Currently, she says “If you sell high, you will also have to buy high.” So the market has caught up a bit. However she still sees our area as highly sought after; in addition to the draw of our desirable climate with four distinct seasons, many people discovered the area as remote working gained traction during the pandemic, and Nancy has witnessed an influx of transplants as a result.
“We have people who write for the NY Times now living in this area. Bosses found out - in most cases - that people were more productive when they had control over their own time.”
Overall, Nancy predicts that the market will enjoy healthy, steady growth without the bottom dropping out.
7. Can you share the funniest or most memorable moment - anecdote or experience - you’ve had during the course of a real estate deal (positive or negative)?
Prefacing her answer with the statement that realtors “have to be psychologists” much of the time, Nancy relayed a story about an alpha male client who didn’t much care for her assertions that she’d be able to find the best house for his needs.
“You’re not picking my house out”, he emphasized, with a healthy dose of disdain. Nancy knew she had a pretty good idea of what he’d like, but he remained a naysayer. When his spouse became more involved and requested a viewing in an area Nancy had previously shown with no success - though she knew it was a good fit - Nancy strategically shared - “Your husband said he didn’t want to live in that neighborhood.” She knew planting that little nugget would change the tide. So, of course, that is where they eventually bought a home. Looks like she picked out his house after all.
8. Do you have a favorite hobby, pursuit, or interest that might surprise your clients - or that has worked to your advantage in connecting with clients?
Nancy has another major service-driven pursuit that has kept her and her husband quite busy over the years - and had a huge impact on the lives of countless young athletes. They run a highly regarded summer running camp for teenage and pre-teen distance runners. Young athletes attend from across the nation, coming to the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains during the summer to continue their training and make new friends. Her husband, Professor Emeritus of Exercise Science at Brevard College and former championship cross country track coach, envisioned the camp with the mission to help young runners from all backgrounds cultivate skills and practice “they can enjoy for the rest of their lives.” The camp is now in its fiftieth year with an extensive staff that includes their daughter. Over the years Nancy has taken great care to address the individual needs of every student who attends - personally talking to every attendee’s parent and answering questions that might arise - ensuring the success of every camper’s experience.
Somehow Nancy also finds time to be on the board of Transformation Village, a local organization providing transitional housing and a path to independence for homeless women, mothers with children, and Veterans. Lives are transformed through counseling, training for living wage employment, and help with reintegration into the community.
Despite all of her external engagements, Nancy also loves to spend time at home, where she delights in the view of the Pisgah Forest from her back deck. Of course - Nancy being Nancy - she frequently invites folks over to also enjoy the view, as she loves to cook for and entertain friends. With her service-driven spirit and 18 years and counting in real estate, that invite list continues to grow.