In My Neighborhood in 22203>Question Details

Matt, Other/Just Looking in Arlington, VA

My wife and I are looking to buy and we would like to find an experienced Realtor that best matches our needs. Arlington, Loudon Cnty, & Fairfax

Asked by Matt, Arlington, VA Tue Sep 25, 2012

Cnty. Looking to buy before the new year if the right property is available, we are trying to decide which location will work best for us over a pretty wide area. We need to narrow it down and need a Realtor that really knows all three areas that can help us . We are native to the area so we really need an expert that can help us with things we might be missing. We definitely need someone who is a good communicator and can be patient with a bunch of questions. However we have 3 kids under 4 so we know how precious time is and wont usurp all your time.
We would like to interview potential candidates with a brief set of questions that we have before making the decision.

Help the community by answering this question:

Answers

24
Chip Benjamin’s answer
Hello Matt,

I would have to agree with Jeff Lubell, finding a realtor who is an expert in all of those jurisdictions will be a challenge. A realtor can sell anywhere in the state of Virginia, and get the job done, but finding someone who "really" knows all these areas will be the hard part.

I am also a native and grew up inside the beltway and have sold homes out in Loudon Co, as well as Madison Co, and can share that there is a world of difference between selling a home there and selling one in Arlington.

In reading your posts, my thought would be to suggest that your wife and you narrow your search a little more and then zone in on an agent who really sepecializes in the area you seek. Aoso, I forget the exact figure from The National Association of Realtors, but it is something like 87% of buyers and sellers find their realtor thru the recommendation of a friend. Good luck in your search, and if you find your focus is Arlington I would be happy to help.

Chip
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
BEST ANSWER
I would be happy to help you with your home search. I am a native to the NOVA area and I have recently helped clients buy in Arlington, Fairfax and Loudon County. I can tell you the ins and outs of all of the areas that you are considering. I am a Realtor who always answers my phone day or night to answer my clients' questions. I have a website and I also write a column on the NOVA / DC market which you can read here. You will find my contact info there too. http://www.examiner.com/real-estate-in-washington-dc/ivan-katz
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Matt,

You, like most first time home buyers we work with, have a lot of questions about the most expensive purchase you will make. On the one hand this is a very large investment but perhaps more importantly it will provide a "home" for you and your young family. Your lifestyle needs and those of your young family should direct your search and you rightly want someone who is a professional whose primary interest is assisting you meet your family's needs. Finding the right professional can be located by consulting your close friends and interviewing the individuals they suggest. You can also read on-line the active professionals in the areas you are interested in and read the comments of past clients. We provide that service here on Trulia.com as Recommendations from our recent clients. After you read these comments if you think that we might be a good match for you please give us a call to discuss.

Garnet Robins-Baughman
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Accidentally Clicked best answer on one - didnt want to do that - these are all excellent leads and I will be making contact soon.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Matt,

Here is the correct link to my site (without the period at the end that I put on my answer below): http://www.dcmetroareahomes.com

Cheers,

Eduardo
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Hello Matt,

I am not sure if you can find a true expert in all those Jurisdictions. I have lived in Fairfax & Loudoun area for 40+ years. We have offices in Burke, Fairfax and Ashburn. While I have sold property in Arlington, I don't think it would be fair to say that I am an expert. I do have the resources to get you answers if needed.
I would love to have an opportunity to speak with you to see if there is a good fit.
Here is my website: http://www.JeffLubell.com . If you have time view the Testimonial part of the site.
BTW - We have 9 grandchildren, so we understand “little ones”. My wife is also an Agent.

Best,
Jeff
Web Reference: http://www.jefflubell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
We would be happy to "try" to help you with your search, but would need more information from you to determine if we would actually be able to help. You can view more about us at mcewen-lunger.com, and if you're interested by what you see there, please send us your questions. We'll be honest with you, and if we don't think we can help you, we'll tell you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Hi Matt,
I just wanted to add to my responses to your comments, that I am glad that you decided to work
with a Buyers Agent, instead of doing this on your own, you need the expertise and experience of
a local Realtor, this is probably one of your best decisions!
If your Realtor understands your needs and shows you the homes you will be most interested, my experience is that with solid market education, and education about the good the bad and the ugly of homes you view with your agent (or course what the agent can see and compare too, we are not
inspectors and we are not structural engineers) but we know a home that fits your needs and desires from one that does not, and we know about what will keep its resale value, under the current market
situations)

If you need recommendations of Realtors in your area, I can help.....
Make sure that you do work with a Buyers Agent, either one who has the ABR designation or at least is a Realtor who truly loves to work with Buyers, I DO LOVE TO WORK WITH BUYERS AS I FIND IT EXTREMELY SATISFYING TO SEARCH FOR AND FIND MY BUYERS THE HOME THEY FALL IN LOVE WITH AND BUY....

Good luck to you.....


Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life & Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert

Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients, Buyers, Sellers and Investors alike....
And always with a SMILE
Covering for @Properties the city of Chicago, all N and NW suburbs, the fine homes on the
North Shore, and many of the W and SW suburbs, and with her trusted Partner Agents all of
the US and worldwide properties. Edith speaks French, German, some Spanish and other.....
@Properties, 30 Green Bay Rd, Winnetka, Illinois 60093 ---- EdithDoesItRight@yahoo.com or EdithSellsHomes@gmail.com Check out my website at htttp://www.tinyurl.com/MeetEdithHere
get to know me better and learn about my experience, expertise, services available and letters of recommendation of former clients..... Also you can sign up on my site to search for properties in my expanded service area. HAVE THE MOST WONDERFUL DAY :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
I copied your detailed list and will respond in capital lettering Have a look

Matt, Just Looking, Arlington, VA
To further clarify what we are looking for I have added the following that would have been a part of our phone interview. Really after these questions its just about our personalities meshing.

We want to work with someone with 5+ years experience that handles their own clients. We don’t want to work with assistants. TOO BAD I DO NOT LIVE IN YOUR AREA, I WOULD HAVE BEEN THE PERFECT AGENT FOR YOU :) REALLY

We want someone to agree to solely represent us and not represent other buyers who are competing for the same inventory, and someone who will represent us and not the seller.
THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE AND ANY BUYER REPRESENTATION AGREEMENT WILL STATE THAT A DO SHOW PROPERTIES TO ANY ONE OF THEIR CLIENTS..... BY LAW AND THE CODE OF ETHICS WE CANNOT NOT SHOW A PROPERTY TO A CLIENT IF IT FITS THEIR NEEDS.... THAT IS JUST NOT HOW OUR BUSINESS WORKS....
YOU WANT AN AGENT WHO IS COMMITTED TO YOU AND UNDERSTANDS WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR...... JUST WORKING FOR YOU, THAT WOULD BE LIKE A DOCTOR ONLY TREATING YOU AND NOT TAKE ON OTHER PATIENTS WHILST YOU NEED HIS SERVICES.


Willing to show properties from other companies' listings. WE AS BUYERS AGENTS ALWAYS ALWAYS SHOW BUYERS ANY AND ALL PROPERTIES AND IF NEED BE EVEN FOR SALE BY OWNER PROPERTIES WITH AN AGREEMENT FROM THE SELLERS TO PAY A COMMISSION TO THE BUYERS AGENT

An average List-to-Sales-Price Ratio that favors the buyer (99% or less). YOU WANT AN AGENT WHO IS A GOOD COMMUNICATOR AND A GOOD NEGOTIATOR BUT REMEMBER AT THE END OF THE STORY YOU CAN MAKE ANY OFFER YOU WANT, WITH BACK UP OF MARKET SALES, AND TERMS THAT FAVOR YOU THE BUYER, THE SELLER DOES NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT ANY OF IT, IT IS THEIR HOUSE, ON THE OTHER HAND YOU CAN WALK AWAY AND LOOK AT OTHER HOMES.
YOUR BUYERS AGENT CAN ONLY DO HIS OR HER BEST, NO GUARANTEES ON HOW THE NEGOTIATIONS MAY END.

Do you have a performance guarantee? If I am not satisfied with your performance, can I terminate our Buyer Agency Agreement? ALL BUYER REPRESENTATION AGREEMENTS HAVE A CLAUSE WHERE YOU THE BUYER CAN CANCEL, BUT REMEMBER SO CAN THE REALTOR AND HIS BROKERAGE, AND IT COULD VERY WELL BE THAT THEY CHARGE YOU A RETAINER THAT THEY WILL CREDIT BACK TO YOU IF YOU BUY WITH THEM, BUT THEY WILL KEEP IF YOU CANCEL AND ALSO THERE MAY BE OTHER FEES APPLY, JUST DEPENDS ON THE REALTOR AND HIS AND HER BROKERAGE..... THE REASON IS THAT A REALTOR CANNOT SPEND A LOT OF TIME AND EXPENSES AND AT THE END IT WILL NEVER LEAD TO A SALE AND A COMMISSION PAID OUT........ NOBODY CAN AND WANTS TO WORK FOR FREE.....After all we are running a business :)

Someone that will allow us time to review the documents and give explanations for things we don’t understand, and a willingness to put promises in writing. I AM NOT SURE WHICH PROMISES YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, IN A REAL ESTATE CONTRACT, DEAL BETWEEN THE SELLER AND THE BUYER EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING SHOULD BE PUT IN WRITING SO THAT THERE ARE
NO FURTHER DISPUTES, and you definitely should hire a real estate attorney as soon as you
have a fully executed contract, so that your real estate attorney will review the terms, and will represent you in case there are issues during the inspection process.

ALL REALTORS ARE BOUND BY THEIR OWN CODE OF ETHICS, RULES AND REGULATIONS OF
THEIR STATE AND THEIR BROKERAGE........and the terms in the buyer representation agreement between you and the Realtor/Brokerage

YOU NEED TO MEET AND TRUST ONE REALTOR, the same way YOU HAVE ONE FAMILY DOCTOR, ONE DENTIST ETC. ETC.

The very BEST advice that I can give you is to sit down with a Realtor who will answer all YOUR
questions and concerns and worries, but remember it is not just YOU hiring a Realtor, the Realtor too has questions many of them to you, in order to find out what it is that you want in your home, where, price, wants you to be pre-approved by a reputable lender and find out whether your requirements are reasonable in your market area, i.e. for your potential purchase price and down payment, can you find what you want.....................AND YES THE REALTOR TOO IS INTERVIEWING YOU AS WELL, to decide to work with you....or not....

I wish I'd be working in your area, as I would put everything in front of you, what I do and what I may not do, and discuss on day 1 in detail what the market in your area will allow you to purchase. I also always always provide my new buyer clients with a write up, I put together myself, that explains
not only the step by step process to the buyers, but also all items that are related to buying a property, that way they can read it long before they get to the point of making an offer, and can ask
questions for clarification of items they are concerned about.

Edith
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Based on your criteria the one issue you are going to,have is that buyers agents work with buyers. They will have multiple clients and due to the lack of inventory in most markets right now chances are they are showing homes multiple times to multiple buyers.
Its always good to correspond via email simply because you have documentation of the conversation if needed. This is beneficial to both sides. The buyers agreement can be for a period of time or based on specific homes to view. Discuss the new law with your agent. That buyer agreement locks you in as that agents client. Be careful about dual agency.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Based on your criteria the one issue you are going to,have is that buyers agents work with buyers. They will have multiple clients and due to the lack of inventory in most markets right now chances are they are showing homes multiple times to multiple buyers.
Its always good to correspond via email simply because you have documentation of the conversation if needed. This is beneficial to both sides. The buyers agreement can be for a period of time or based on specific homes to view. Discuss the new law with your agent. That buyer agreement locks you in as that agents client. Be careful about dual agency.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
I would recommend you do this in person. I have sold properties in those areas but am not from that area. I know agents that I have worked with personally and would be happy to refer to you but be forewarned.
Many buyers agents have multiple clients and buyers take alot of effort. The right agent will be knowledgeable and after speaking with you will be able to narrow down what is best for you. Some agents will ask you to do the legwork and narrow it down before they can help. I would suggest face to face interviews and I have a list of questions I give at all my listing appointments. Questions you should ask but wont think to. Feel free to email me and I will forward it to you. Good luck!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
I cant seem to send you a message through the site. I would love to get a copy of those questions. mattbalzano@hotmail - thanks
Flag Thu Sep 27, 2012
Matt: Good morning. That's a pretty big geography. Most experienced realtors in this area,
Iike me, have done some business in all three areas but will be more familiar with one over the other two. If I were you, I might meet with some folks to discuss the pros and cons of each area. Your decision should be based on your priorities. Are they house and yard size, commuting distance, schools, price, outdoor activities, access to cultural activities or something else? Only you and your family can establish the priority list. After that it will be easier to choose a realtor. I live and work in Arlington. Most of my business is in Arlington, Falls Church and McLean. I do a lot of business here because I have a high level of comfort with all aspects of the real estate market here and my clients are confident I can help them make the right choices. If, however, Loudon became your geography of choice I think you would be best served by an agent who lives there. Mileage wise it's not that far away but it is a very different real estate market. I do know several great realtors who specialize in that area if you need a reference. I think any good agent who has their client's interest as their first priority will tell you the same thing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Hey Matt,
I completely agree with Jane.One more important thing to consider; when buying a home make sure that you consider a Realtor with a personality that is compatible with you and your family. You will be spending a lot of time together.
Flag Wed Sep 26, 2012
To further clarify what we are looking for I have added the following that would have been a part of our phone interview. Really after these questions its just about our personalities meshing.

We want to work with someone with 5+ years experience that handles their own clients. We don’t want to work with assistants.

We want someone to agree to solely represent us and not represent other buyers who are competing for the same inventory, and someone who will represent us and not the seller.

Willing to show properties from other companies' listings.

An average List-to-Sales-Price Ratio that favors the buyer (99% or less).

Do you have a performance guarantee? If I am not satisfied with your performance, can I terminate our Buyer Agency Agreement?

Someone that will allow us time to review the documents and give explanations for things we don’t understand, and a willingness to put promises in writing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Hello Matt,

I was a commercial agent before I shifted to residential.
It is a good idea to interview agents but also I would find out more information about the areas and target one of them before you go on. Personally, I would look closely into Fairfax; depending on your income and job location. Great Falls & McLean have great schools, especially Langley HS which is much sought after. Homes are more expensive. Burke - Lake Braddock (GT center), Robinson High (IB) and Woodson HS (highly sought) not too far from Fairfax City and Thomas Jefferson (best ranked in va). Homes are mid range overall with lots of townhomes.

Loudoun county - newer and 5-10 year history of settlement. Mostly younger generation who moved out west from Fairfax for better lifestyle. Schools - would look into Ashburn HS district.

Arlington - It is urban and unless you love the lifestyle, would not highly recommend...

Sony Kim
Associate Broker
Keller Williams
6820 Elm St
McLean, VA 22101
703 244 3997
sony_kim@msn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Hi Matt,

I am also a local to the area. I have been here my entire life and grew up in Arlington & Fairfax County. My wife is from Loundon county so I am very familiar with the area. I have sold numerous properties in all 3 counties. I have also been the Principal broker for two Keller Williams Realty office so I am very familiar with the ins and outs of the contracts involved in a real estate transaction and how to best protect your interests.

It would be my pleasure to meet with you and your family to see if you like my approach. I may be reached ehernandez@kw.com

Thank you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Hi Matt, I'd be delighted to assist you in your search for a new home. Having lived in northern va for over 25 years, I am very familiar with all 3 areas you mentioned and have sold homes from Leesburg to Fairfax and Arlington. You won't find a a more patient, thorough or persistent agent. My passion is people and although I have a servants heart, I'm a strong negotiator. I'm extremely honest, a top producer, and LOVE what I do...especially for famies who are new to the area and need education and guidance. If you'd like to meet me to further explore your needs and evaluate whether or not we would be a good fit, I'd be happy to schedule a time to meet. I look forward to hearing from you! Joan. (I may be reached any time at 793.919.7761.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Hello Matt, You have found a great avenue to post your question. There are so many agents and to narrow down with questions is a great way to proceed on your journey. I would love to be included in that process. My office is in Arlington, I live in Herndon, I have clients all over Northern Virginia & feel that quality service is key. I look forward to meeting you!

Regards,
Jeanne Little
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Matt,

Would be glad to have a chat with you to see if we can work together. In the past few weeks, I have represented clients in Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun, and would be glad to see if my approach would be suitable for your family as well. You can read more about me on my site: http://www.dcmetroareahomes.com. My contact info is on my site - feel free to call if you're interested.

Cheers,

Eduardo
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Hi Matt,
You and your families needs, concerns, wishes and desires are most important. When we meet, we have you interview us and we talk extensively about your lifestyle, your needs for areas, neighborhoods, schools, etc. We also talk about every room in the home and what your needs and wants are in terms of comfort for you and your family. I'm ready when you are to answer all the questions you have. We have also help clients in all of the areas that you are interested in. I'm a Zillow 5 Star Agent and I have testimonials as well that speak to the care I take with all of my clients. Please let me know how I can help you with one of the most important steps you'll be taking with your family.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Hi Matt

I would be glad to sit down with you and your wife or communicate via email or over the phone whichever works easiest for you. As Coral mentions there are some very good agents in Arlington and Northern VA who would be great to work with. You need to decide other than communication and knowing the area what other traits you are looking for in your agent and then it would be best to talk to several to see who your family hits it off best with. I have helped a number of families and would be happy to share client feedback with you. I communicate well with my clients, keeping them up to date on what is going on in the home buying or selling process. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have more questions or would like to talk.

Thanks and good luck!

Melissa Barkalow
mbarkalow@comcast.net
202.285.9479
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
We'd be happy to help. We are the #1 team in the McLean Long & Foster office and are familiar with the areas in which you are searching. You can learn more about me and my team at http://www.WydlerBrothers.com. Sincerely, Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Hello Matt
I have lived in Arlington and Fairfax for many years, I can certainly help you with those areas, I do partner with another agent from Loudon so I believe I can cover any of those with ease.
I am very patient and I do not mind questions at all.
Now, instead of writing about me, may be it would be best for you to read some of the reviews and testimonials from previous clients.
http://www.alexandriavaliving.com/about-us/testimonials/
Will be happy to assist you. You can call me at 202 681 1621
Regards
Patricia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Hi Matt: I would be happy to meet with you and discuss how I can help you in your home search. I think you are smart to list exactly what you need in an agent. It would probably be best if you set up a few face to face meetings or interviews to decide which agent is the best fit. There are a lot of great agents in this area and I am sure you will get a ton of responses to this post, so it will really come down to chemistry. If you'd like to talk either on the phone or in person, feel free to email me directly. I also am not big on touting my qualifications, but have many client testimonials that will give you an idea of what it's like to work with me. My style is very collaborative, working as a team with my clients, and I will constantly keep you up to date on the process. I usually answer the questions before they are asked, but if that doesn't happen, I will most certainly get you all you need. Please check out my website, testimonials and blogs to get a feel for my personality and style.

Best of luck!
Coral Gundlach, Realtor, CRS
McEnearney Associates
Web Reference: http://coralgundlach.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer