By Michelle Caceres

Realtor Jim Bishop with Realty Direct, a local man who is recognized by the brightly colored Hawaiian shirts he wears, said the shirts may attract attention, but what keeps customers interested is his market knowledge and his connectivity to a group of investors.

With more than 25 years as a realtor (and 20 years as a real estate appraiser) the Rhode Island native has become an expert agent for both buyers and sellers in the market, specializing in customers with distressed properties.

In the real estate business, it helps to have a good circle of friends and the ability to network and make connections between buyers and sellers.

“The real estate business is a buddy game and I have big bucks behind me,” said Bishop, speaking of the several real estate investors who purchase distressed properties from him regularly.

Farrah Patterson is one of those investors. After deciding to jump into the real estate investment business, it took her five months to find the perfect first property.

“Jim is knowledgeable, patient and full of energy,” said Patterson. “He never pressured me into a sale and gave me honest feedback about my search.”

Bishop credits his success and longevity in the business to being an active participant in the sales process, not sitting back passively and hoping for every sale to go through. In his 25 years in the business, he has never failed to sell or close a listing.

One key benefit to his clients going through the short sale process is free access to a law firm to assist with the negotiations with the lender, which sometimes requires more than 130 pages of documentation to complete the sale.

“I have found that banks are much more cooperative when working with a lawyer,” he said. He pays the attorney fees whether the short sale is a large Hyde Park mansion or 1,000 sq. ft. Brandon townhome.

In addition to being a listing agent, Bishop also works as a buyer’s agent, helping buyers in weeding through the thousands of listings on the market at any given time to find the perfect home.

“I work hard for all my clients,” he said.

For more information about Bishop or to find out more about listing or purchasing real estate, visit www.PricingYourPlace.com or call 484-5829.