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Former police officer returns to real estate

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A former police officer, local Realtor Duke Jordan said his trustworthy characteristics make him successful in Kanawha County and the surrounding area.

Jordan not only has a background in law enforcement with the Charleston Police Department, he also is a former Marine Corps member. 

He said his desire to get to know his clients is allowing him to get back into a game he was briefly a part of many years ago.

Back to his roots

Originally from Rand, Jordan said he joined the Marine Corps in 1984 and began selling real estate in the Charleston area in 1989. He quickly realized he was not ready for that type of career and switched to a position in law enforcement where he remained for 23 years. 

Jordan began selling real estate again in 2009 and has used the past several years to become familiar with the ever-changing market.

"Everybody wants to walk away from the table happy," Jordan said. "As Realtors, we try to protect both the sellers and buyers."

He said the deals can become a little more intensive when dealing with first-time homebuyers. Jordan said he takes his clients through the process of buying a home by becoming someone they feel comfortable talking to and by asking them the right questions — a skill he honed through his years of police work. 

He said something he has seen in recent years is the lack of connections made by real estate agents and their buyers or sellers. By creating these connections, Jordan said, he can make sure no question goes unasked.

Floodplain laws, insurance

One large question that can often linger for first-time homebuyers is the home inspection process, Jordan said.

"A new buyer sometimes (gets) scared unless you've already talked about (the inspection)," he said.

And a new concern for buyers is whether the property they are thinking of purchasing is listed in a floodplain area.

New laws put into action by the Federal Emergency Management Agency have required more property owners to have the structures on their properties surveyed to meet new base flood elevation requirements. A community's permit file must have an official record that shows new buildings, substantial improvements in all identified Special Flood Hazard Areas and proof the properties were elevated.

FEMA is encouraging all communities to use the elevation certificate to fulfill requirements set forth by the state allowing property owners to obtain flood insurance.

When getting a contract for a loan from a bank, it's important for homeowners to have the flood certificates, Jordan said.

"To some people, that extra $1,000 a year, it's worth it," he said of getting an estimate on floodplain insurance.

The age of social media

Buyers and sellers of all types are in the market for all types of houses right now, Jordan said.

"Homes are selling at every price right now," he said about the local trends. "There is a buyer for everything out there, but I tell people all the time (to) price (their homes) right and ask less." 

Jordan said 70 percent of his business today comes from contact on Facebook and other social media tools. He said he has about 10,000 people connected to his Facebook page with whom he is able to communicate daily.
"Years ago (realtors) were carrying MLS (Multi-listing Agency) books," Jordan said. "A lot of things have changed, and I'm glad to be in the middle of it all."
For details about Jordan's real estate business, Great Expectations Realty, visit

5 questionswith Duke Jordan

The State Journal: How many different types of buyers are there on the market today?

Duke Jordan: There are several different types of buyers including investors, renters and first-time homebuyers. There are a lot of people wanting to rent or lease homes in Kanawha County and the surrounding area. As realtors, we want to try to protect both the sellers and the various types of buyers.

TSJ: Do you have a different approach when it comes to different types of buyers?

DJ: Yes. With first-time homebuyers you will need to explain exactly what they should expect. They are going to have questions, but some people can look at an empty house and know exactly what they want. Those who know what they want aren't going to look at many houses before they make a decision.

TSJ: Should people be concerned with home inspections after purchasing a house?

DJ: There is no perfect house out there. In every inspection, there are going to be things that will come back as wrong with the home. Discussing the inspection up front will make buyers feel much more at ease. We do have some very professional inspectors in this area who are great to work with. Seasoned agents will talk to new clients to take that bump out of the road.

TSJ: What do you bring to the table to make people feel comfortable buying a home from you?

DJ: As a former policeman with a law enforcement background, I am trustworthy. Something else I bring to the table is I truly know the neighborhoods. I don't just use statistics. I know what it takes for people to have that relationship and get to know clients.

TSJ: What is it about financing a home that can be scary? 

DJ: There are several different ways to finance a new home nowadays. If you find a home and it needs some work, there is a loan that will allow you to finance estimates on the job that needs to be done before purchasing a house. This can assure homebuyers they will have the finished product to move into. If you have money to put down, banks as well as private mortgage companies are competing for buyers. I offer my opinion based on my experience, but buyers can do anything they choose.