Arlington median home-sale prices

The Arlington home in the 1700 block of North Greenbrier Street currently is on the market, listed at $935,000 by Chip Benjamin of Long & Foster Real Estate.

It’s normal for real estate agents to spend a considerable amount of time with their clients during the process of buying or selling a property.

Some were asked by the Sun Gazette what topic of conversations (other than real estate) comes up most often. Politics, sports, local government, the weather – what do people like to talk about when they’re out and about?

How are their answers:

Kelly Tierney, Re/Max Distinctive: “Usually the conversations are about the neighborhoods – schools, restaurants, transportation, shopping centers. With families, you talk about them and learn their backgrounds. I never discuss politics, religion and sex.”

Lizzy Conroy, Huckaby, Briscoe, Conroy Realty Group: “Traffic and weather are probably the two biggest topics, and people like to talk about their work and kids if they have them. Also, current events and the difference between what it is like to live around here compared to other places around the D.C. area.”

Gloria Adams, TTR Sotheby’s: “It’s very interesting. If people are not from this area they want to learn about the area, like theaters, shopping centers, local activities and things like that. We talk about pets. We tend to shy away from politics.”

Joan Stansfield, Keller Williams: “They mostly want to know about traffic and routes to avoid traffic. Being the back-road queen, I’m happy to share the best routes and times of day to avoid traffic. The next topics are the best restaurants and events in the area.”

Steve Wydler, Long & Foster: “People like to talk about the community and what it is like to live there. They want to know the most important things about the community: What do you do on weekends and where are the sources of the hubs located in relation to the homes?”

Lilian Jorgenson, Long & Foster: “Actually, the conversations for relocation buyers always center on location to buy versus getting to work, and the schools, and access to shopping and recreation.”

Casey Samson, Samson Properties: “Most of our conversation revolves around the home or the town. I’m not much of a small-talker. Never politics. If I see pictures of Marines, football, baseball or something that catches my eye when I am looking at their home, we will talk about that. If either buyer is wearing a Nationals’ cap, we are good for the day. Ninety percent of our conversation is professional, though.”

Archie Harders, Long & Foster: “Family, their experiences outside the real estate market, and restaurants.”

Mark Middendorf, Long & Foster: “I like to talk about the neighborhoods – like the parks, recreation, restaurants, shopping, community pools and how accessible is public transportation. Anything that impacts the community lifestyle.”

Dean Yeonas, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “If they have kids, schools is always a big question. We talk about churches, music clubs, restaurants, bars, and kind of the lay of the land. I try to stay away from politics.”

Ann Wilson, Keller Williams: “The No. 1 topic for young families are the schools. They want to be in the best school districts, and they have done their homework. For singles, the biggest thing is they want to know how much of a walking distance it is to Metro.”

Donna Moseley, TTR Sotheby’s: “It depends on where people are from. If they are outside the area, they have more entertainment and social-based questions and what types of opportunities there might be for sports and church and things like that. This year, we have a lot of talk about who are reputable contractors to use.”

Dawn Wilson, Keller Williams: “We talk about what amenities are in the community, like pools, walking paths, parks. We talk about family stuff, and sports comes up a lot. People have a big interest in pro sports or sports that involve children. People ask how close the schools and public transportation are, and if they can walk there.”

John McNamara, TTR Sotheby’s: “The main topic is absolutely getting a sense of the community and the area. They want to talk about the things they can’t see from the street and where it is in relation to here.”

Adam Gallegos, Arbour Realty: “Having grown up in Northern Virginia, I’m often able to impart insider knowledge about the areas we are visiting. It’s also nice to get to know people on a personal level. Discussion subjects range from sports and children to restaurants and favorite hobbies. The longer it takes to find a home, the better I get to know my clients.”

Carol Temple, Coldwell Banker: “The most prevalent topic is the street disrepair and the difficulties of getting around. People ask why streets aren’t fixed. People want to know about conveniences and how they want things to be handy and nearby, like shopping centers and grocery stores. They might talk about vacations.”

Billy Buck, Buck & Associates: “Conversations can be light and topical, like last night’s sports event, to as serious as the time of a commute. I like to keep things light. You have so many transient clients, they like to share stories about what it is like to live elsewhere and where they are from.”

Betsy Twigg, McEnearney Associates: “The most principal  topic is about access to schools and parks, where is the best bakery or beer garden, and where are the appliance stores. We also deal with a lot of anxiety with clients. We spend a lot of time being psychotherapists. We are recipients of a lot of angst. We have to keep comforting people.”

Jack Shafran, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “It’s the topics you have the most in common, like schools, religion, friends, neighborhoods, that are discussed.”

Craig Mastrangelo, Re/Max Allegiance: “What they like, where they eat, what activities they do outside of work, helps foster a stronger professional relationship. Plus, as local residents ourselves, I’m sure Realtors have been told about, and taken advantage of, information passed on to us by clients about little-known restaurants, exhibits, etc.”

Natalie Roy, Keller Williams: “People mostly talk about their families or pets, and because we are in the nation’s capital, current events. This past month, I had folks equally excited about their pope sightings and about what they did on Clarendon Day. When biking to a property, comments range from ‘what a pretty neighborhood’ to ‘are we there yet?’”

Casey Margenau, Casey Margenau Fine Homes and Estates: “Schools are the main thing, and clients want to know what makes a house worth more money. They want to know where the market is going.”

John Mentis, Long & Foster: “The majority of the conversations are about what the clients’ quality of life will be like, what will traffic and the commute be like. Things like that.”

Ann McClure, McEnearney Associates: “I think probably the biggest thing that comes up is traffic and commuting strategies. Things like: What is the worst road in terms of traffic and what is the best road and what is a slug line? Second is, what kind of area amenities will I find around here – parks, shopping, trails, entertainment. Where is the best Peruvian restaurant? People seem fascinated by the helicopters they see buzzing around. I get that question a lot: ‘Do you think the president is in one of those three helicopters?’”

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