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Ask McEnearney: Whose advice should I listen to about the real estate market?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Hope Peele of The Peele Group and McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact The Peele Group at 703-244-6115 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Whose advice should I listen to about the real estate market?

Answer: Because of whatever algorithm my iPhone has, I tend to get a lot of real estate articles showing up in my news feed. Personally, I like that because it keeps me up to date with whatever my clients might be reading at that time too.

Unfortunately, I usually cringe at the thought of my clients reading any of that and taking it seriously. Or even worse! Someone they love, and whose opinions they care about, might read it, and totally ruin their outlook on the market.

Don’t get me wrong, I want my clients to educate themselves and get opinions from friends and family. However, in my opinion, sometimes getting the wrong advice can be almost worse than getting no advice.

I heard someone say once (I can’t remember who, otherwise I’d credit them): Real estate is like the weather — it could be raining on one side of the street and completely dry on the other side. Same goes for regional trends. If you hear that the east coast is experiencing a drought, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can count on no rain in D.C. I would still recommend checking the weather channel before leaving your umbrella at home.

Most people who are buying or selling a home will also talk to friends and family who’ve been there before. Older relatives love to give advice about how they did it and what they’d do differently, etc. Peers share experiences to give insight and inspiration, but sometimes also horror stories.

It’s important not to take any of this advice too seriously. In other words, with a grain of salt. I’m not saying that you should discount any of what you’re hearing, but all of it has context you should take into account.

If your uncle tells you that anyone who waives an inspection contingency is a sucker and your agent is telling you that you will continue to lose out on offers until you waive it, maybe you should consider weighing your agent’s experience a little bit higher.

There’s a reason that the real estate market is referred to as having “market trends” — they are just that, trends. Like skinny jeans vs. bell bottoms, what works at a certain time can vary vastly depending on what the trends are looking like at that specific time.

Considering how many factors influence the real estate market, especially in our area, it is important to look at the specific aspects of the market you are currently in. Since your Realtor works in the market full time, they will be able to keep you up to date so that you can navigate any type of market!

Hope Peele is a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia. She grew up in Old Town and currently lives in Del Ray. As a partner with The Peele Group, Hope is dedicated to guiding her clients successfully through the many faceted process of buying or selling a home. Contact Hope at 703-244-6115.

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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Time flies when you’re having fun! The T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 will hold its 50th reunion July 21-23, 2023 in Alexandria. All graduates and their adult nears and dears are welcome. Events include a Friday evening icebreaker, Saturday dinner dance, and a Sunday brunch. For more information:, 770.789.3534.

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