Egypt Sherrod ('Property Virgins') writes real estate advice book

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

By RODNEY HO/, originally filed Wednesday, March 18, 2015

V-103 lured Egypt Sherrod from New York City to Atlanta in 2012 with a prime mid-day radio hosting gig.

But she said she always has a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C. She had just begun hosting the HGTV show "Property Virgins" where she guides first-time home buyers through the process and continued work as a Keller Williams realtor.

When her V-103 deal ended after two years, she was able to focus on TV and real estate, resulting in her new book "Keep Calm... It's Just Real Estate," a how-to guide to buying a house with a focus on newbies. She will be at the Barnes & Noble in Buckhead Thursday, March 19 at 7 to sign it.

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Sherrod grew up in Philadelphia with uncles who were in real estate. At age 23, while working in radio, she caught the real estate bug herself.

"I learned that real estate is a foundation for wealth," she said in an interview this week. "I started buying dilapidated properties in Newark and flipping them."

Once she got her real estate license, she began incorporating her access to celebrities and entertainers via her New York radio job into her burgeoning business. "Every time an artist or manager or publicist would come in, I would make sure they knew I was a real estate professional," she said.

Soon, she began buying and selling properties for famous folk who she said she won't name for discretion purposes.

"I was in the public eye so I understood the need for anonymity," Sherrod said. She knew a lot of artists didn't have great credit or had received cash under the table. "They really trusted me," she said. "They saw I was sincere, I was educated and I understood their unique needs."

She was already a fan of HGTV's "Property Virgins" when the producers approached her to audition. And when she got the job, she was pregnant. She said the first season was an editing challenge for the show and she had to grapple with morning, afternoon and evening sickness.

Since moving to Atlanta in 2012, she has shot episodes all over the Southeast but primarily in the metro area. "I think the price of homes here provide a greater variety of price points," she said, than the Northeast, where real estate is far pricier.  When she moved down to Atlanta, she said she was able to get triple the size house for half the cost compared to New York.

The book, she said, is very reflective of who she is on "Property Virgins."

"I give tough love," she said, "because I care. I'm not afraid to tell the truth."

Sherrod said she is aware there are hundreds of other books and websites with some of the same advice. "I told stories and anecdotes that involved my personal journey," she said. "You can't Google that." She includes pithy notes throughout the book she calls "chill pills," aware how stressful first-time home buying can be.

She said the Atlanta market is strong: "Home that are priced right are flying off the market. There is a huge influx of relocation buyers as well." In-town properties in the $300,000 to $500,000 range, she notes, are especially hot, especially in the Inman Park/Grant Park area.

"Buyers love the walkability and the outdoor appeal," she said. "Smyrna/Vinings properties are also in high demand. And East Point is starting to make a surge."

Sherrod sees mistakes again and again: people who shop for houses before they even know how much they can afford. She sees people reject great homes for silly reasons like the fact their couch can't fit in the living room. "You can always buy new furniture!" she said. When bidding on homes, she suggests providing a personal note or photo to the seller as a way to break through. "It works 75 percent of the time," she said, all things being equal.

She didn't have a lot to say about her brief time at V-103: "I really have no feelings or thoughts. I look at it as part of the plan. There's a much bigger plan for my life, for all of our lives. We are uncomfortable for a reason. God, the universe allows us to be uncomfortable, to keep us motivated out of situations that may not be healthy."

Sherrod said if she gets back into radio, "it will be on my own terms. I'm not ready yet."

She said HGTV has accepted another show hosted by Sherrod on top of "Property Virgins." She can't detail what it is yet but production begins in two weeks.  "Property Virgins," in the meantime, just wrapped season 12 in Atlanta last month and will return this summer.

If you want details about her Smyrna-based real estate group, go here.