Service, Quality, Tradition

It's more than just a motto. It's the way we do business at Marie Austin Realty.

When Marie Austin founded her Durham based real estate company, a tradition based solidly in service and quality was established. The company flourished and became known for its personalized approach to home buying and its focus on equity in the housing market. Marie Austin Realty is now one of the most respected, locally owned businesses in the Durham area. 

In 2002, Marie's daughter, Joan Austin, assumed control of the family business. Joan has skillfully maintained these time-tested traditions throughout the years and continued to grow the legacy that is Marie Austin Realty. The company continues to evolve with the changing times to ensure that buyers and sellers receive the best service from its Realtors. 

Real estate companies in the Triangle area come and go, but Marie Austin Realty's history of service, quality, and tradition stands the test of time. We are proud to continue serving our community and maintaining this standard of practice in the real estate industry. Whether you are buying your first home, downsizing, selling your family home, or looking for investment properties, Marie Austin Realty is a company you can count on to get you from contract to close quickly and smoothly. Our reputation speaks for itself. 

Marie Austin

1914 - 2002

Marie Austin, encouraged by her mother, received her North Carolina Real Estate license in 1960 becoming a pioneer in the predominately male run real estate industry.

Martha Green, Marie's mother was known in the 1950s for selling farms and land in the Triangle area. Marie, following in her footsteps, opened Marie Austin Realty Company in a small office located in the back den of her family home in Trinity Park. It was not unusual for her to be writing contracts at her kitchen table while cooking dinner for her family.  
In 1965, she became the first woman accepted into the Durham Association of REALTORS® where she served on the Board of Directors and numerous committees throughout her career. In 1978, Marie bought and renovated an old house in the historic Watts Hillandale neighborhood and painted it pink. This iconic building still houses the company office today.

Marie was awarded the prestigious honor of REALTOR® of the Year in 1985. She was also one of the founding members of the Durham Multiple Listing Service. 
Marie actively participated in the company until her death in 2002.  Her contributions and legacies have opened doors for all women in real estate and paved the way for others to follow in her footsteps.

Joan Austin

Broker in Charge, GRI, REALTOR®

A Durham native, Joan joined her Mother's company in 1973. She graduated from Durham High School, Peace College and UNC-CH with a degree in Education. She served as President of the Durham Association of REALTORS® in 1999 and received the prestigious REALTOR® of the Year award in 2000.  She is a graduate of the REALTORS® Institute and has served on numerous REALTOR® committees. Consistently serving the Triangle community, her 48 years experience distinguishes her as a proven leader. In her spare time, Joan enjoys spending time with her family at the beach.

Emilie M. Morgan


Emilie is a fourth-generation REALTOR® following in the footsteps of her mother, Joan Austin, and her grandmother, Marie Austin. Born and raised in the Bull City (and into a family of REALTORS®), Emilie has been surrounded by the real estate industry her entire life. After officially obtaining her license in 2012, she came to work for the family business and continue the tradition of assisting buyers and sellers with their real estate needs. Being married to a U.S Marine, Emilie has extensive knowledge of military moves and working with clients from out of state, as well as a wonderful referral network across the country. When she's not out showing houses, Emilie enjoys traveling, going on adventures with her two kiddos, and spending time with family and friends.

Anna Murphy


Anna Murphy is a Durham native who is excited to help clients find their home in this thriving and evolving area. With a background in the hospitality and travel industry throughout the triangle area, Anna has formed a unique market knowledge that she utilizes to help clients maximize their return on the next home sale and find the perfect investment for the future. When she is not working with clients, Anna enjoys traveling, playing tennis, and spending time with family and friends. 

James Montague


James is a lifetime native of North Carolina and a 30-year resident of Durham NC, while graduating the Chamber’s Leadership Durham program has rounded out his knowledge of Durham and surrounding areas. Further, his background in banking and finance, along with his lifetime of sales and negotiating experience, make him a great advocate for your buying and selling needs. Real estate is one of the largest, and likely the most important, investment you will make in your personal journey and is a great investment towards your financial growth and goals. As an active member of the local area, he enjoys golfing, tennis and time with his family!

Ellen Dagenhart


Ellen began her career in real estate in 1980, and holds the designations Accredited Buyer Representative, Graduate of the REALTORS® Institute, e-Pro internet certified, and Seniors Real Estate Specialist. A two-term president of the Durham Association of REALTORS®, she was named REALTOR® of the year in 1997 by her peers. Deeply involved in the community, Ellen serves as Immediate Past-President of Preservation Durham,  advisor to the Durham Symphony Board, and formerly as a trustee on the board of the Durham Arts Council. Her experience, knowledge and depth of community involvement helps her give buyers and sellers low pressure, personalized service. When not volunteering or working, you'll find Ellen rock climbing.

Wanda Guins


A  Durham native, Wanda has been in real estate since 1986 and brings to her clients an intimate knowledge of the area. A quiet listener, she takes pride in helping buyers find just the right home and is equally comfortable giving sellers the best advice for expediting the sale of their homes. In her spare time, Wanda enjoys spending time with her family and 3 grandchildren.

Kim Robinette

Administrative Assistant

Kim is a Durham native and has 23 years of administrative experience in the Real Estate industry. She plays an integral part in keeping the office running smoothly and efficiently. She feels knowledge, organization and professionalism are very important in every aspect of real estate. She will be glad to assist or guide you in the right direction. In her spare time, Kim enjoys music, outdoors and gardening, interior decorating and the beach. She lives with her husband of 41 years.