The Serendipitous $100 Realtor Integrity Test — North Carolina Moves Connection

Introduction: This is the story of a simple act of integrity that developed into happy outcomes involving homes, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and those sorts of things.

In 2010, I traveled to the North Carolina home of my medical school buddies, Russ & Jean Hall, to reconnoiter the Research Triangle as a locale for my retirement. In the process, I not only awoke each morning in the tastefully frilly bed of the Hall’s daughter (OK, Anna was then residing elsewhere with her husband) but also cadged the name of a local real estate agent. Because that agent was a hot-shot too busy for a maybe client of my ilk, she referred me to one of her minions.

Thank goodness.

Anyway, Peyton Irby, the aforementioned minion, proved willing to escort me around the area – even though the goal of my trip was to find a rental property – which would yield Peyton a commission of zip, nada, zilch, zero…

The first good news is that I found the apartment I was looking for.

OK, so far this account paints Peyton in a good light — but in reality, he was much, much better. The day after our survey of the area, Peyton’s office called to say that he had found a $100 bill in his car that he thought might have fallen from my pocket when I was his passenger. And, indeed, on searching my belongings, I discovered that the $100 bill I habitually carried for backup cash was missing.

Now, I wish I could tell you I intentionally dropped that $100 bill in Peyton’s car as a ploy to access his honesty. But, it was actually a serendipitous accident — and, as it turns out, a mutually beneficial event.

Over the next several years, the Duchess & I employed Peyton as our agent in our moves to homes in Durham

and Chapel Hill.

The real payoff (for all of us), however, came this year when Penny recommended Peyton to her daughter, Kelly, and Kelly’s partner, Lisa, who were moving from California to our area. The trick was that, because of the pandemic restrictions, Kelly & Lisa were faced with purchasing a new home without seeing it in person. As anyone familiar with real estate listings realizes, it is incredibly easy to manipulate descriptions and photos to mislead potential buyers, especially given the pressure of the 2021 sellers’ market.


It is a testament to the mutual trust Peyton established more than a decade ago with some guy from Chicago looking for a place to rent that Kelly & Lisa, after living in an RV for two weeks+, closed on their Wake Forest home with joyfulness rather than regrets.

Yep, there is the occasional happily ever after ending.


Note: I should point out that I received no compensation from Peyton for this post; in fact, unless he checks this site, he won’t know I’m writing about him. On the other hand, if Peyton feels compelled to offer, say, a finder’s fee…


Credit Due Department: $100 bill photo by Sar Maroof –, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia.


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