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Ask McEnearney: Two-Way Street — Interviewing Each Other

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Ann Duff of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Ann at 703-965-8700 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Two-Way Street — Interviewing Each Other

Answer: Not looking for love, not looking for a forever commitment, but also not simply looking for a vacuum cleaner either… critical decisions await.

Out of the blue, we realtors all get phone calls from phone numbers we don’t recognize and hear previously unheard voices asking for a meeting to possibly list their property.

And, we begin… preliminary questions batted softly back and forth with sellers checking that they have identified the perfect agent for their special home and, though it is sometimes not realized, agents are digging into whether someone might just be testing the market without the intention of actually using our skills to sell properties.

Why would sellers ever do that, you ask… humans have lots of reasons to take actions… maybe there is a potential split coming in the household and one party wants to have a plan put together; maybe greedy heirs are fussing with each other and may never agree on listing terms or division of proceeds; maybe a job transfer is possible and a seller only wants data for negotiating a corporate buy-out; or other reasons.

Listening is important for all parties. Make an appointment to talk without distractions — either on the phone, in person or via ZOOM. Just the other day an out-of-town seller started what ended up being a two-part, serious conversation first calling from her car while stuck in traffic with twin 3-year olds in the back seat. Those little ones were bouncing around vociferously while she was trying to have me sell Grandma’s home in Rosemont. Calmer times prevailed after nap time and we now have information exchanged and a plan for January 2021!

Two weeks ago, again listening was critical… a tough break-up had left the house half-furnished and two horses soon to be homeless. This was a case where I had to bow out, let the spouse sort many, many issues out first, and offer to meet again in six to twelve months.

Then, a beloved couple in Old Town told me upfront that they only wanted a price or market analysis so that some neighbors could purchase it from them, having always loved their home. Jump ahead three weeks, when the friends declined the opportunity and I was unexpectedly signed on as their listing agent, did intense historical research, heavy marketing and received five lovely contracts from the broad market. You just never know.

And, finally, just when you think this business is simply transactional and transient, I got a call from a client wanting to switch lifestyles from a cool, three-level townhouse to upscale one-level living. He was serious and, within weeks, we sold his home and contracted for a classy condo.

As we sat, socially-distanced at back-to-back settlements last week, we laughed when counting that these represented our Settlements #7 and #8 for him, finally beating out my other long-haulers, who have maxed out at 7 settlements, for now!

Stories for everything indeed, but the matching of experience, energy and true interest in selling, makes a successful match. Listen carefully to each other, ask lots of questions, both directions, and work toward creating a team effort to happily, smoothly head toward settlement.

Ann Duff — Your positive advantage for residential and commercial properties throughout the area. Experience and Energy, Negotiations and Knowledge — All with a splash of fun! Let’s Get Busy!

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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