Woodruff, Hicks talk real estate business in the Queen City

Published 12:03 pm Friday, April 5, 2019

It’s been 10 years now since realtor Kent Woodruff and broker Lynetta Hicks took the plunge of owning their own real estate business, but Legacy Properties, LLC is still in full swing serving first time buyers and returning customers alike.

“We were agents at heritage along with a woman named Andrea Cross and Heritage made the decision to close,” Woodruff said. “They closed Dec. 31, 2008 they closed and the three of us had worked well together and didn’t really want to spread out all over town, so our banker asked us why we didn’t find a place to rent and open our own place.”

They took the advice of their banker and set out to find the perfect spot.

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“We spent probably three afternoons riding around Selma trying to find a great location and we started off at the back of the Morris Agency in January 2009,” Woodruff  said. “I would have said Andrea would have been the most seasoned of the three of us. She had probably been in it over 35 years.”

The two have been in real estate since the early 2000s and late 1990s.

“I started real estate in 2000,” Hicks said.

Woodruff started around 1996.

“I was teaching school,” Woodruff said. “I was teaching sixth-grade at the School of Discovery at the time. I taught for about 25 years in the public-school system and then 11 years at Meadowview Christian School, and now I teach GED math part-time.”

Before 2000, Hicks was working for social security for 25 years beginning in 1978.

“We like this,” Woodruff said, talking about real estate. “We like what we do. It is really satisfying. Owning a home is so much better than renting in the long run.”

“For me it is the repeat traffic,” Hicks  said. “They will buy a house and they will send someone to me after they’ve purchased their home or they themselves will upgrade and buy a bigger house. Return business is rewarding and first time buyers are big rewards as well.”

“It is exciting for them and us,” Woodruff said. “We focus one residential. We don’t focus much on commercial. We have agents in our office [with commercial property] but most of us are more residential oriented.”

“We have small lots now that we market but not a bunch of acreage,” Hicks said.

“We love the homes,” Woodruff said. “What we take pride in is other realtors in town are our competitors but they are also our friends. We like them and we like that we get along with them. We are all in this together even if we are not under the same roof. Selma is currently not an easy place to sell. It hurts us and it kills us that the big industries don’t require that their management live in Dallas County. It turns out some companies are told they don’t have to.

We have businesses here and it would help the real estate business in Selma if people chose to live here.”

Cross was with Legacy until 2017 until she passed away.

“She was a lot of the backbone as things got started,” Woodruff said. “She was our decorator. She got our logo started and we love our logo. It was her taste and her spirit and her personality that is still with us.”

“She was always decorating,” Hicks said.

“Another thing we do is help people figure out how in the world to finance a house,” Woodruff said. “We are not lawyers, CPAs, lenders or appraisers but we work with all those people and we can help potential buyers do their homework and preparation to actually buy a house.”

Both women described the process of financing a house as tedious.

“They want everything but your blood type,” Hicks said. “It has become increasingly difficult due to the Dodd-Frank Act to get a mortgage. It used to be really easy. It changed how you do real estate and how the banks operate in terms of the lending process. It was due to a lot of foreclosures that happened around 2009.”

“We started this business right during that time when the recession was going on,” Hicks said.

“We didn’t know it was going to be a recession, and we knew things had slowed down, but it hadn’t hit until 2009.”

“We have learned a lot about budgeting and things that have to be done, and that has poured over to helping clients,” Woodruff said.

“We treat everybody the way we want to be treated We give them our honesty and we have a moral commitment to them,” said Hicks.

“We operate within Alabama Real Estate Commission guidelines,” Woodruff said. “We are well within the guidelines with the National Association of Realtors. We make a conscious effort to do that.”

“We have lots of stories. We have seen it all and done it all,” Hicks said. “There was a woman that jumped up on my back because something was coming at her from behind at one of the houses. I thought someone was going to attack us and I turned around and it was a small dog. It was Chihuahua or something that had come around the corner and was just barking at us. She was afraid of dogs. That’s just one thing.

I opened the door one time and I walked in and was showing this woman a house and we made it all the way to the master bedroom and there was a Siamese cat just lying on the bed and I spoke to the cat and the cat just looked at me. She hit the doorway and that cat arched it back, and she took off running down the hallway.

I was at a foreclosure and it was one of those side streets to Deep Woods and there was a swimming pool and a woman asked how deep the pool was. I was leaning over to see how deep it was, and on the steps was a moccasin. I screamed and the woman screamed and she ran in the door and locked me out of the house.”

The real estate business is located at 2901 Citizens Parkway.