About Real Estate by Design

Client Reviews

Read what others are saying about Real Estate by Design.

As a first time home buyer and new to the area I was directed to Real Estate By Design on a referral. I was paired up with Theresa and right away I could tell it was the right decision for me. I can't tell you how fantastic she really is and how she went above and beyond to get me in my home. She was there to help me from start to finish and her knowledge was a great help and helped put my mind at ease when I was having doubts. I can not recommend her enough and if anyone is looking to by a home they need to look nowhere else!

- Jeff Blanken

Many thanks to Theresa Olson, Real Estate by Design. She stuck with us over several months and many visits to different homes to find the right one for us. She was indefatigable in the search and followed up on every question we had to help us make all the decisions every step of the way. Her knowledge and professionalism were greatly appreciated, and her wonderfully engaging personality was a huge plus.

- Kevin and Marena G.

Just closed on a home with Theresa Olson as my agent. She was very responsive to my needs, read my emotes well, and responded to my searches outside her MLS/For Sale by Owner Enquiries. This process was almost effortless on my part. I am a veteran and would recommend any veteran utilize her for there home search/purchase. Will use her again.

- Robert Pulley

After contacting Veterans United I was put in contact with Theresa Olson at Real Estate by Design. As a first time home buyer and and a person having a speech problem, she was a fantastic agent to work with. She was very knowledgeable throughout the whole process and helpful in explaining each step. If I didn’t understand a certain step she would explain in better detail or word it in a way that I could understand. She was always professional and kept me up to date daily by phone or email. I were to ask me about buying a home, I would definitely recommend her as an agent.

- Rob J.

Working with Theresa Olson was beyond amazing, she was hands down the best agent I have ever encountered. I really appreciate her patience, kindness, loyalty, and fast response whenever I was in need. I gotta admit I had some days I wanted to give up, but with her she never let me down. I got frustrated a couple of times getting turned down but in the end I found my dream house that had everything plus more in it. I truly appreciate everything from the bottom of my heart, and I am truly thankful to have her apart of family now!!! I would recommend Theresa Olson hands down without a doubt, she is the go to woman to help you in need of finding a house you can call a house ?

- Andrea Prieto

Theresa Olson is who everyone is looking for!! She comes equipped with all the essential tools a real estate agent should have and more! My wife and I are very happy with the home we purchased. Theresa’s experience led us to finding and closing on a house with little to no stress :)

- L. Miguel Piris-Santiago

When we started searching for homes we were wary about what Realtor we should choose. We informed all the realtors what we wanted and we waited for a response. We were very particular in what we wanted. We were not willing to budge on our price range, the home amenities, the neighborhood amenities, the square footage, number of rooms, or the lot size. The other realtors was not motivated. Theresa personality, determination, drive and list of homes, that matched our criteria, convinced us to choose her and we are ecstatic that we did. In addition to Theresa understanding what we needed, she encourage us to stick to what we wanted and not to settle. She also encourage us to stay in our budget and not to go over what we could afford! Within one month of making Theresa our Realtor, we found the perfect home! Weeks after we were signing our contract and receiving the keys to our Home. Theresa was very responsive to our requests and replied quickly via email and text. Theresa always answered our questions thoroughly in person and over the phone. If you are considering Theresa Olson, do yourself a favor and choose her. Theresa is a very knowledgeable and hardworking Realtor and we will choose her again!

- Kandi and Shaniece

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Theresa Olson. My husband and I are also first-time home buyers, and Theresa made the process easy and stress-free. She worked out all of our concerns with the sellers and made sure that they were addressed in a way that both parties were comfortable with. She was incredibly communicative and flexible, and was willing to work with us and our schedule. I am so grateful that I was able to go through this process with her, and I would highly recommend her!

- Ariana Zaagsma

If not for the dedicated professionalism of Theresa Olson, I wound not have found my ideal home. There were several times throughout the house buying process when I was ready to give up. Luckily, Theresa did not let me. The home I ended up purchasing was one that she suggested I look at. I was at first reluctant to do so because I had a particular type of house in mind, but as soon as walked through the door I knew I was standing in my future home. I could not have asked for a more capable person to guide me through this process. Thank you for everything, Theresa . . . you rock!!!

- Neal S. Fricks

Grace Blackwell Jones is the go to realtor! Grace helped my husband and I sell a home March of this year. Grace made our experience selling our home a breeze. She's knowledgeable, kind,hardworking and just an overall good person! Grace always kept us in the loop,we always knew what was going on.Grace walked us thru the process, patiently and with kindness. She knew that selling this home for my husband was bittersweet and she patiently waited for him to make decisions and never pressured us to take a offer. She's the best negotiator I've ever met! You will definitely know she's working for you and will get you the best deal possible. We will definitely be using Grace to purchase our forever home!

- April Graves

"There are 7.3 billion people in this world, and Grace made my wife and I feel like we were the only..."



I cannot say enough great things about everyone at Real Estate By Design. As first time home-buyers I new nothing about the home-buying process. Their agent's walked me through every step. I was able to find the perfect home, in the exact location I was looking for. Their 5-star service is unparalleled. Thank you for making my home-buying dreams come true. <3

- Courtney Venable

My husband and I are first time homebuyers, with Theresa Olson at our side we felt more at ease and well informed about house hunting and the housing market. She is a genuine, sweet, and very patient (especially with our indecisiveness on picking a home, lol) and an all-around fantastic person to be working with on our home buying journey. She truly is a gem and it was a pleasure working with her and anyone will be lucky to have her as their agent. Trust me, you will not regret it! :-)

- Michaela L. Reyes

Lisa helped us buy our first home, sell our first home, and buy our new house. When selling our first house we contacted Lisa months before we put it on the market and she provided great feedback on the steps we needed to make in order for it to sell. We followed Lisa's advice and we had four full asking price offers the first day the house went on the market!
Lisa is the ultimate professional, responsive to all your request, and even provides comfort when things get scary. The team she surrounds herself with is also great.
I would recommend Lisa Ellis and we plan on using her services again when it comes time to sell and buy

- Peter Harris

As a first time home buyer, I contacted Real Estate by Design on a recommendation and I am glad that I did. I was put in contact with Theresa Olson and I can't begin to tell you how Fantastic she really is! She definitely went above and beyond to help me with the home buying process even when I was ready to call it quits for various reasons. I know where my recommendations are going if anyone asks!

- Jeff Blanken

Last year I thought I might have to sell my house so I reached out to Real Estate By Design to see what they could do for me. I was really impressed with their level of local area knowledge, their connections with contractors and painters (for getting it looking great before selling) and their ability to easily stage my home. They made the whole selling process incredibly painless and even showed me how I was going to make a nice profit off the sale. I'm glad I didn't need to sell, but if I did, Real Estate By Design would have been my #1 choice.

- Brendan Monahan
I really can't say enough good things about the folks at Real Estate By Design. Relocating from out of state can be daunting (especially if you have little kids!), but our Realtor not only made it super easy for us to find a nice home in the best neighborhood (with amazing schools) in our price range, but also helped us with the negotiations so we were able to save thousands of dollars. If you're relocating to Durham, be sure to call Real Estate By Design. They'll guide you through he whole process and make it painless.
- Renee Stanton

Lisa Ellis and the team from Real Estate by design have helped my wife and I close 3 transactions since moving to the Durham area in 2011. Lisa and her team take care of their clients from start to finish. Their expertise, knowledge of the region and delivery of great customer service keeps us coming back! If you are looking for true real estate professionals, then use Lisa Ellis and the Real Estate by Design team.

- Eric Boyer
It was wonderful to work with Lisa on the sale of my home. She gave me a lot of great advice prior to entering the market and then sold my house for a much higher price than I expected! I was not an easy client to work with (we unexpectedly found our dream house before we were ready to list our current home, so we had to get it ready FAST and sell for the MAX amount possible), but Lisa pulled off a miracle and we could not have been more thrilled with her work.
- Elizabeth Buckley

Both Lisa and Colleen were absolutely fantastic to work with. Our house sold swiftly and the closing process for our new home was seamless. We would definitely recommend Real Estate by Design to any future homebuyers in the Triangle!

- Zach Tewell

My agent handled the sale of my house last year, and did an outstanding job! She researched my neighborhood for comparable sale properties. Recommended minor repairs to improve staging and curb appeal, and hired professionals to do the repairs. She hired a clean-up company to declutter my house and shed. She took professional photos to showcase my house in the best possible light. It got 3 or 4 offers at full or above the full price the first day it was listed. I really couldn't have asked for more. ~Sheri E.

- Sheri E.

Darlene Zeitler is an excellent realtor! I have used her to buy 2 different homes and sell 1 and she is awesome. She is very easy to get a hold of and always willing to help in any way possible! She is very knowledgeable and was able to sell my house in 2 days! I would not use anyone else when buying or selling a home

- Storm Kincaid

For something important like buying or selling a home, you want it done right the first time. But with Geoff Boone at Real Estate by Design, you don't have to worry.

I sold my townhouse in Raleigh, NC near NC State with Geoff's help in fall 2015. I knew I needed a highly capable realtor since I now live in another state and I can't just drive across town on a whim of the closing attorney or a realtor. Geoff Boone was absolutely the perfect choice.

Geoff helped me electronically sign most documents online and let me know in advance when some would have to be notarized and mailed. After doing his research, Geoff explained what changes and repairs might helpe sell my home quickly and helped me choose a competitive asking price. When it came time to negotiate offers and punch-list repairs, Geoff explained details that I didn't know about, in order to protect my interests.

Despite having to deal with a very difficult and unprofessional buyer's agent, Geoff was patient and clear every step of the way. Real Estate by Design got all my paperwork right the first time and they even helped me get things fixed when other firms made mistakes.

Real estate transactions are a big deal, so make sure you choose the right company. I highly recommend Geoff Boone and Real Estate by Design

- Wayne Pfeiler

Lisa was great! She has a strong team that is always available to help. Lisa is very experienced and knowledgeable. She not only got our house sold (quickly, I might add) but provided solid improvement advice that helped make the house much more marketable. I would recommend her to anyone selling

- Brian Taylor

It was wonderful to work with Lisa Ellis on the sale of my home. She gave me a lot of great advice prior to entering the market and then sold my house for a much higher price than I expected! I was not an easy client to work with (we unexpectedly found our dream house before we were ready to list our current home, so we had to get it ready FAST and sell for the MAX amount possible), but Lisa pulled off a miracle and we could not have been more thrilled with her work.

- Elizabeth

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