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Ask McEnearney: Why choose a Realtor?

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: Okay, since people have asked… let’s tell them what it is really like when I am your real estate agent. Why choose a Realtor?

Answer: We start with the premise that we are the only sane people in an insane world. Of course, you and I are smart, creative and cute and, when it comes to buying or selling residences, together we are BRILLIANT!

Let’s give others some insight…

  • Remember all of those hours you used to spend house searching websites? Now, I take that burden off of your shoulders, so you can go back to WORDLE. I have a system where any automated search results come to me first, I review, edit and send along only the best of the best matches — saving those hours (of which there aren’t enough in the day anyway).

  • Shifting the stress, as much as possible — it isn’t healthy for you to hold your breath; let me do that. A wise Realtor taught me years ago to create a separate calendar for all of the “next steps” and “triggers” for each contract’s process and progress. Great for you, because now I can wait out the appraisal timing, condo doc review period, home Inspection results, and lender deadlines, and keep you posted instead of having all of us stare at a clock non-stop.
  • Take things personally — I don’t know everything about your background and world but after days, weeks, months together I’ve heard your priorities and learned your Aunt Swizzie’s birth date, too. Setting aside Aunt Swizzie, my important “take-aways” are just how you work from home, how far you want to be from a swimming pool or a FEDEX drop box, or how important a place for a grand piano is (sometimes in a room with a door, if the lessons haven’t been very successful — you know who you are!).
  • Adaptable, oh yes — because everyone is different. If you can only look at properties on weekends, then weekends it will be. Or, if many, many family members are part of your decision, we will take the time to schedule a showing so everyone can attend, except for Aunt Swizzie, who always cancels at the last minute. If urgency or long-distances make FaceTime the best tool, we will make that happen — or I’ll do my famous little voice-over videos for you.
  • The one (or ones) that got away — crying in the grocery store is how I found one dear client who had lost out on pretty house. It is cold comfort to just be chirpy and say “oh, well, next time” and I abhor the phrase “it wasn’t meant to be,” because you worked so very hard! We can instead regroup, spread your search area, criteria, or price range (if the Bank of Mom and Dad is an option, or if Aunt Swizzie kicks in). There are indeed other homes which will work out if we shape the strategy correctly while protecting your comfort zone.
  • Glamorous — Yes, juggling the needs of my special Sellers and Buyers add up to full days, dressed up and driving all around D.C., Maryland and Virginia, but I do it for the emotion and purpose of the immense responsibility of holding a part of someone’s fragile future in my hands. For me, it is pure joy when everything clicks for a sale or rental, because I have gotten to manage, help, and guide a plan to a successful conclusion. You really ‘gotta’ love it (and I sure do) — living on adrenaline, a dash of early mornings and late nights, but with lots of laughter, too. What it is not is “oh, you can just work when you want,” or, “it has got to be so easy.”

  • Finally, reputation — that is all we truly have. A friend’s father used to say to her “I’ll let you walk down the street with me; it will boost your reputation.” Walking with my clients on each of their real estate journeys gives me such gratification, a boost to my reputation and, again, joy. Yes, I felt some reward working for years in the world of government and public relations where reputation and accountability were critical, too, but, oh, it held none of the intense passion my real estate adventures do every single day.

Friendships develop and last for years; it’s not just a house, the journey makes memories that you can now live in. Step away from the internet jibber jabber, find a professional Realtor who “gets” you and your wish list, then work as a team while leaning on her or him to give you smart, careful advice. GO TEAM GO!

These thoughts and years of experience are brought to you by Ann Duff, Realtor, with McEnearney Associates. Based in Alexandria, Ann is busy day-in and day-out in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, listing, selling, and leasing distinctive properties with and for wonderful people — and all with a splash of fun! Let’s Get Busy… contact Ann at 703-965-8700 or visit her website

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. Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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