Page 1

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM

R EA L E STATE

RealFallEstate 2017

Understanding of Identity Assists F.C. as Neighbors are Taking Note

by Matt Delaney

FALL 2017 | PAGE 13

Falls Church News-Press

Physical identity is a key aspect of self awareness. To understand part of who you are, you first have to know what you look like. When it comes to any creating an identity of a geographical region, whether it be the City of Falls Church or its neighboring areas, it is often judged by the buildings that sprout up in its vicinity. Those developments embody not only a fiscal means to an end, but a people’s idea of their community. However, when dated developments outnumber newer ones, it’s difficult for people to latch onto a sense of progressive

uniformity that connects them – let alone feel their community is being pulled out of economic stagnation. “Creep, crawl, walk has always been my saying about revitalization,” Eileen Garnett, who was advised to start the Annandale Revitalization Committee back in 1984 from then-Mason District Supervisor Tom Davis, said. “[But] we’re still creeping.” Annandale provides a window into what the City would look like if development efforts hadn’t seen a significant uptick since the turn of the century. The region lays just south of the City of Falls Church, but resembles an older version of Falls Church proper that has been

washed over in its recent history. That is, it was more of cut through rather than a destination. The same could be said about neighboring Bailey’s Crossroads and Seven Corners to the east. Both areas have been more defined by the major transportation arteries they facilitate as opposed to the commercial establishments they house. There are exceptions: Annandale is widely known for its Korean cuisine, Bailey’s has the allure of its Skyline entities and Seven Corners’ many stores are anchored by an active Home Depot. But these high-achievers can’t uplift the area’s business sector in isolation and indicate why revitalization committees have

A REAR VIEW of the old Saab dealership, which is now occupied by The Lincoln at Tinner Hill mixed-use development. (Photo: Courtesy City of Falls Church)

labored for the past 30-odd years. Current Mason District Supervisor, Penny Gross, has focused on alleviating the commercial lag her province is experiencing, and done so with success. “If I look around and see the things we’ve done the past 22 years, it’s really quite amazing,” Gross said. “Land use is very active in Mason District. It would

be even more active if we kept track of the people that I’ve told to take a hike...We’ve got to have the right kind of development, it can’t be a fishing expedition.” Garnett sees things differently. A bond approved for revitalizing Annandale and other districts in 1988 wasn’t spent out until just

Continued on Page 14

INSIDE: Falls Church Stays Big By Going Small page 17 | Internet Hits Real Estate Business page 18 | F.C. Home Sales #s pages 19–20

- Age-qualified neighborhood of 10 cottage homes and one shared common house Contact: Theresa Sullivan Twiford - Wonderful, walkable location near shopping and entertainment 307-413-2872 • info@railroadcottages.com - Highly energy efficient with solar and geothermal Advon Real Estate • 929 W. Broad St. Suite 202, Falls Church, VA 22046 • 703-663-7171 - Encourages a sense of community through good design - From $750k Licensed in VA


R EA L E STATE

PAGE 14 | FALL 2017

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM

Annandale & Others Aim to Move Past Revitalization Continued from Page 13

two years ago when trees were planted along a stretch of Columbia Pike. To her, that signaled that the wheels of progress were turning too slowly. Exacerbating this is a media blindspot that has hovered over the area since the Springfield-based Fairfax Journal went out of business in 2001, making Annandale somewhat invisible to outsiders. Though both Garnett and Gross agree that Metro stations outside of walking distance is another contributing factor to the elusiveness of commercial prospects. In the City, the presence of two Metro stops with the locality’s name attached has heightened its profile exponentially. The convenience has made developers more willing to stick their shovels in the dirt and open up shop here. Adding to that is the City’s intensive dedication to forming Small Area Plans that provide guidelines for developers while accommodating the citizens’ needs. So far, it’s been effective. Previous sites where the land was more valuable than the properties occupying it have been replaced. Namely, the Saab

COMING SOON!

dealership where The Lincoln at Tinner Hill now sits and the mixed-use Harris Teeter development that replaced a strip of shops, including Anthony’s Pizza. And while Gross has seen money walk out the door due to time lapses in Mason District, the City has worked to efficiently meet the demands of interested developers. “Delay costs money. It’s like a leak in your water pipes. You may not know it’s happening, but it’s not free,” Falls Church Director of Planning and Development Services Jim Snyder, said. “We recognize that delay is costly not only to the developers, but to the taxpayers. The longer the project takes to get through the system or to get built and ready and running, you’re not getting the tax revenue from that business.” Developments in the City have ruffled some residents’ feathers. It’s not as if people don’t want the developments — eight mixed-use developments profiled this year accrued a $3.8 million net revenue for the City, showing that they’re fulfilling their role. But the rate at which the City has endorsed development has taken some adjusting to. Falls Church was fairly averse to development

FALLS CHURCH – LOW $600,000’S Bigger than it Looks!

3318 Wilkins Drive Falls Church VA 22041

5 bdrms, 2.5 ba, home on large quiet lot, only 7 miles to DC. Move-in ready -- freshly painted, newly refinished hardwood floors on the first 2 levels, new carpeting in basement and new bath fixtures. Available early October.

Peggy Veroneau Cell: 703-447-0634 peggy@peggyveroneau.com

JUST LISTED! OPEN HOUSE 9/24 • 2-4

www.6206LakeviewDr.com 6206 Lakeview Drive Falls Church VA 22041

Lisa DuBois | 703.350.9595 Lisa@ChrissyandLisa.com

THE TULIP BUILDING is one of the new developments in the City. (Photo: Courtesy City of Falls Church) as recently as 20 years ago, but the times have changed and the City’s needed to adapt. It’s why some people, such as the founder of DuBro Architects and Builders, Jeff DuBro, want Falls Church to find that balance between commercial growth and revenue while preserving the feel of its residential component. Snyder and the rest of the City government are sensitive to that and realize that the “Little City” brand is more than just a name to its citizens.

JUST LISTED!

“One thing about Falls Church is it’s a traditional community,” Snyder continued. “We’re a small and authentic city with a personality.” The solidarity in Falls Church’s identity has lent it a huge advantage in all aspects of its own revisioning. It created a plan, outlined where to focus its attention, and most of all, understands what its residents look for in their commercial exploits. A true identity is what Garnett is still seeking to create in

FALLS CHURCH/LAKE BARCROFT - $775,000

Enjoy beach privileges on any of five beaches in this 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom home located close to Beach 5. Winter lake views can be enjoyed from a large, gorgeous screenedin porch. The bright, remodeled gourmet kitchen with upgraded cabinets and Experience Lake Barcroft granite counter tops is living at its best! perfect for every chef. Spend time on the stunning 3316 Stoneybrae Drive flagstone patio and in the Falls Church, VA 22041 spacious yard to achieve the entertainer's dream. Join Licensed Realtor®, an active community with Licensed in VA & MD neighborhood clubs and Irene Xenos | Cell: (703) 956-0418 events throughout the year, swimming, fishing, boating, Email: irene.xenos@remax.net and more.

OPEN SUN 9/24 • 2-4

Annandale. From her perspective, all it takes to get the community trending in that direction is to land one big project. But after plans for a hotel and a mixed-use development failed to materialize, momentum stalled. With multiple studies done on the area highlighting its strengths and weaknesses, the information is out there. The only thing missing is the willingness to sell its potential. Or, as Garnett puts it, “Somebody needs to get out there and work it.”

LAKE LIVING AT IT’S FINEST -$824,900

www.6511LakeviewDr.com

6511 Lakeview Drive Falls Church, VA 22041

OPEN SUN 9/24 2-4

NEW PRICE: 762,990 Relax by the Pool!

irenexenos.com

FALLS CHURCH $1,395,000

COMING SOON!

FALLS CHURCH $599,000

Waterfront Living in Lake Barcroft!

Charming Colonial on Fab “Nook"!

Enjoy million dollar, panoramic views of Lake Barcroft from almost every room of this 5BR|4BA waterfront home! Gleaming hardwood floors throughout main level; 2 fireplaces; 2 en suite master brs, walk-in closets; updated kitchen w ss appliances, granite counters and glass tile backsplash! Updated baths. Beautifully landscaped yard, large deck, 2 patios! Swim, boat, fish from your own private beach and dock! Just mins to DC, Arl, Tysons and more!

This 5BR/Den/2.5BA brick home features hardwood floors on main and upper levels, a wood-burning fireplace, a spacious deck off kitchen! Open living and dining area; main-level powder room! Finished lower-level with expansive rec room, full bath, and den. Set on over 1/3 acre flat lot on quiet cul-de-sac! Just minutes to DC, Arlington, Tysons and easy access to commuter routes!

3812 Foxwood Nook Falls Church, VA 22041

Lisa DuBois | 703.350.9595 Lisa@ChrissyandLisa.com

Beautiful 5br/3ba home that has been completely remodeled. Gourmet kitchen w/ SS appliances, granite counters, center island, X-lge window overlooking stunning custom stone patio with fire pit, perfect for entertaining. All baths redone w/ designer features! Just steps to Beach 2 for swimming, fishing & boating! It’s a perfect 10!

6423 Walters Woods Drive Falls Church, VA 22044

Lovely 4br/3ba home in the private setting of this: Renovated kitchen w/ huge window overlooking pool, center island, beautiful cabinetry, large brs, lovely hardwood floors, bright yr round sunroom w/ gas fp, 2 other fps, spacious ll family rm, 2 car garage w. flat driveway &,extensive gardens, don’t miss this one!

Associate Broker NVAR Multi Million Dollar Sales Club BARBARA JONES | 703.867.6338 cell www.barbarajonesrealty.com

INVITING YOU HOME! 703.677.8730 www.byinvitationrealty.com

4784 Lee Hwy | Arlington, VA


R EA L E STATE

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM

R C ST R R ealty

ROCK STAR Realty ... ROCK STAR Service

TM

Call ROCK STAR Realty when buying or selling your home ~ 703-867-8674

6th Annual

Home Buying Happy Hour

R c the H use Your Backstage Pass to Homeownership

day, Wednes th Oct. 25

SAVE THE DATE!

Stop by Mad Fox Brewing Co. for Happy Hour

Beers, Live Music and Real Estate!

703-867-8674

Proud Sponsor of ®

EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY

2101 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Lifetime Top Producer

Housing Commission, Vice Chair

Falls Church trusts McEnearney Associates McEnearney.com OPEN SUN 9/24, 1-4 PM

there when it counts

Falls Church City $865,000 Price Reduced! Step inside to the expansive light-filled living room with soaring ceilings, fireplace and gleaming wood floors. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. Gorgeous yard and ideal location too! 410 Jackson St 22046 Stacy Hennessey 703.395.4868 StacyH.com

Falls Church City $1,299,900

Talk to the R C ST R Realty Group to get your Real Estate questions answered!

REALTOR

FALL 2017 | PAGE 15

Tori@ToriRocksRealEstate.com ToriRocksRealEstate.com © 2017 Tori McKinney, LLC

2012–2017

Every Home Has A Story. Let Ken Tell Yours.

Exquisite 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath home with open floor plan, complete renovation by Ballard+Mensua. Cherry wood floors, Italian marble, 5 star master suite, 2 car detached garage, in the heart of it all. 902 Lincoln Ave 22046 Laura Nunley 703.795.8667 LauraNunley.com

Falls Church $869,950 Open concept living with a main level bedroom and full bath. Expanded and upgraded kitchen open to family room with gas fireplace. 5 bedrooms and 5 full baths. Fully finished lower level with two bonus rooms. 3804 Bell Manor Ct 22041 Susan Minnick 703.585.1861 Roz Nearing 571.212.8603

Falls Church $619,000

422 Park Avenue 
 Just Sold!

6444 Lakeview Drive Just Sold!

“Hiring Ken was the best real estate decision we ever made!” - Snyder Family -

Ken’s “attention to detail, sound guidance in the sale of our home, and market savvy were outstanding.” - Doherty Family -

Ken Trotter J.D., Realtor®

Trusted Advisor & Advocate Falls Church Resident & Real Estate Expert 703-863-0650 (Cell) 703-745-1212 (Office) KenTrotterHomes.com KenTrotter@sir.com

Stunning mid-century 3-bedroom home has been beautifully renovated, including kitchen and both baths. Exposed beams, wood ceilings, totally cool finishes. Minutes to Mosaic District and Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro. 3002 Pine Spring Rd 20042 Mitchell Schneider 703.851.4416 SarconeSchneider.com

McEnearney Associates Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort Last week, McEnearney Associates (in conjunction with Town and Country Movers, Inc.) collected food and supplies for the families affected by Hurricane Harvey and the Houston Food Bank. We collected many boxes of donations ranging from non-perishable canned items to cleaning supplies to toiletries. On behalf of McEnearney Associates, we thank our associates and the community for their kindness and generosity.

Serving the Washington, DC Metro Area since 1980. 703.525.1900 | 4720 Lee Highway | Arlington, VA 22207


R EA L E STATE

PAGE 16 | FALL 2017

A Falls Church News-Press Advertorial

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM

Me et Fa l l s Ch u rch’s Re a l Es t ate E xpert s G�������� C��������, A���� R��� E�����, LLC.

Genevieve Concannon founded Advon Real Estate, a boutique brokerage in Falls Church City, with an emphasis on residential re-sale in Northern Virginia because she saw a need for focus. Real Estate agents can not be everything to everyone across all markets, and she also understands what it means to live in an area where the residential housing stock is older. With a hand selected, elite team of agents who understand new construction, sales and marketing and especially urban in-fill and new urbanism, Genevieve found the key to what Northern Virginia real estate needs. Genevieve brings over a decade of real estate experience in residential construction and multi-million dollar sales to her clients. As a highly sought after manager and top-producing agent in boutique firms throughout Northern Virginia, Genevieve has managed and cultivated complex real estate relationships within the DC Metro area. She held a portfolio of upwards of $79m in volume while recruiting, training and mentoring top real estate professionals. She and her husband live in Falls Church and love every minute! The Advon Real Estate group wants to be your strategic partner to help you see the whole picture and to advantageously position you for success in your real estate transaction. To learn more about how the Advon Industry Leaders will do more to help you buy and sell your home in Northern Virginia, reach out today to discuss your unique situation. Genevieve Concannon, Advon Real Estate, LLC 929 W. Broad St. #202 Falls Church City, VA 22046 • 703-663-7171 • AdvonRE.com

T��� M�K�����, K����� W������� As a resident of the Little City for nearly two decades, Tori believes a sense of community requires active participation, and she leads by example. She actively supports: Falls Church City Schools, Business in Education, Falls Church Education Foundation, Falls Church Chamber of Commerce, FIRSTFriday/Art-a-Lot, Tinner Hill Blues Festival, Falls Church Arts, and Taste of Falls Church. Tori is also Housing Commissioner, a member of Business in Education, named Pillar of the Community by the Falls Church Chamber, named one of the Top Producing Real Estate Agents by Washingtonian Magazine, Northern Virginia Magazine, and for five consecutive years, has been voted Best Real Estate Agent, and for 2017 has been voted Best Real Estate Group in the Falls Church News-Press ‘Best of Falls Church.’ As a tireless Falls Church advocate, Tori has helped countless families buy and sell homes over the past 14 years. Tori puts her heart and soul into the Falls Church community and gets so much in return. When you’re ready to buy or sell your home, call Tori, your Falls Church expert. Tori McKinney, ROCK STAR Realty, Keller Williams Realty 2101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201 • 703-867-8674 • torirocksrealestate.com

A��� N����, K����� W������� Having listed Falls Church City’s most expensive residential listing in 2016 at $2.1 Million, Anne Nouri and her sister Avisha Kassir bring decades of design and marketing experience to clients as a regularly featured brand on HSN (Home Shopping Network), NBC, TVSN Australia, Ideal World England, and The Canadian Shopping Channel. As realtors, an auctioneer and estate appraiser, the sisters provide clients a wealth of knowledge and a unique two-tiered system for the sale of their real estate and personal property. Sorelle provides simplified solutions to the overwhelming process of down-

Real Estate & Auction Services Anne Nouri, AARE, BAS,CA,CREA, CCFA,CPPA,GPPA

Realtor®, Auctioneer, Estate Appraiser Institute for Luxury Home Marketing Top Producer, Multi Million Dollar Sales Club Global Property Specialist Keller Williams 6820 Elm St., McLean, VA 22101

703.889.8949

Lic#975

REAL ESTATE SERVICES:

PRIME AUCTION SERVICES:

• Market & Sale of Real Estate • Property Value Evaluation • List of preferred contractors & vendors • Domestic & International Marketing to buyers

• Online or live Auctions of your assets • Appraisal Services, USPAP compliant • Clearing & preparing your home for sale • Transition/Moving Services

Two sisters dedicated to your real estate & downsizing needs!

sizing by creating a tailored blueprint specific to each individual client’s needs and timeline. Topics to discuss during consultation: • Lifestyle & needs assessment • Preparing, listing & marketing your home for sale • Assess items to keep, donate or sell • Locating your new dream home • Packing & moving your keepsakes. Two sisters dedicated to all your real estate needs. Contact us today for your complimentary consultation. Sorelle Realty, Keller Williams 6820 Elm St. McLean, VA 22101 703.495.7500 | 703.889.8949 www.SorelleRealty.com | wwwPrimeAuctionSolutions.

RE/MAX by invitation RE/MAX by invitation is committed to providing the highest quality real estate services to buyers and sellers in Northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland. Our exceptional customer service sets us apart from other real estate companies. Our team-based approach ensures that every client gets detailed attention and understands each and every step of the real estate transaction. RE/MAX by invitation agents pay attention to details, and manage each home sale or purchase from start to finish and beyond! Agents receive the most current training to stay abreast of the everchanging real estate laws and expertly advise our clients on any real estate needs. Simple, effective, honest communication is the cornerstone of every home purchase or sale at RE/MAX by invitation. RE/MAX by invitation 4784 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22207 • 703-677-8730 • byinvitationrealty.com

K�� T������, TTR S������’� I������������ R����� When you have a home to sell, give yourself the advantage of working with a highly accomplished agent who has strong ties to the Falls Church community. With more than 20 years experience in the real estate and legal professions, Ken believes in raising the bar in every transaction to deliver only exceptional service and results. Due to his custom marketing plans, Ken’s listings have benefited from features in our hometown favorite, the News-Press, as well as The Washington Post, Washington Business Journal, Curbed DC, and DC Magazine. Ken has lived in Falls Church for more than a decade and is an active member of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce, a corporate sponsor of the Creative Cauldron, and past sponsor of the Tinner Hills Blues Festival. Prior to becoming a top producing Realtor®, Ken was a successful litigation attorney in Washington, DC, and draws frequently from that experience in his real estate career, saying: “The skills to be a successful realtor are the same skills it takes to be a successful lawyer. I focus on making my clients’ interests my sole priority and zealously strive to achieve the best results for the client.” With a deep understanding of the local real estate market and community, Ken develops a custom marketing plan for each of his listings, focusing on the unique qualities of each home. Every home has a story to tell, and Ken has an extraordinary talent for telling them. Ken Trotter, J.D., Realtor, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty 703-863-0650 (c) 745-1212 (o); KenTrotterHomes.com

T������ S������� T������, A���� R��� E�����, LLC. Director of Land Use and Development at Advon Real Estate: Theresa has 20 years of real estate acquisition, sales and development experience. Having earned some of the highest sales in Northern Virginia over the last five years, Theresa’s talents place her in the upper echelons of real estate professionals. Beyond her traditional real estate business, Theresa is a partner in the development of The Railroad Cottages adjacent to the W&OD Trail and just one block off of Broad St. Talented and innovative, Theresa brings a fresh look at real estate and development not just for her clients, but for the region as a whole. Some of Theresa’s strongest capabilities are understanding the implications of jurisdictional zoning codes, seeing possibilities in overlooked properties and pursuing thoughtful infill development. Theresa is highly adept at her craft and she is one of the few who can see beyond what most would not take a second look at. This and her professionalism are why she is the Director of Land Use and Development at Advon Real Estate. Whether it is maximizing the potential, or finding creative alternatives, Theresa always offers options which put her clients in the optimum position for a solid investment. With an appreciation for the importance of every one of her clients’ real estate transactions, she treats each with the greatest of care. She has a passion for impeccably presented properties and a gift for finding homes that harmonize a client’s lifestyle with sage council for a wise investment. Theresa is happy to discuss your buying options as well as help you to understand the highest and best value for your existing property. Theresa Sullivan Twiford, Advon Real Estate, LLC 929 W. Broad St. #202 Falls Church City, VA 22046 (O) 703.663.7171 (C) 307.413.2872


FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM

R EA L E STATE

FALL 2017 | PAGE 17

Little City Wins Big By Keeping Business Small

BY PATRICIA LESLIE

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS

What’s bad for Arlington is good for Falls Church since what comes down in Arlington finds its way to Falls Church. At least, when it comes to commercial tenants. “My phone starts ringing,” said Treena Rinaldi, at her family’s longstanding real estate firm, Korte Realty, on West Broad Street. Her mother, Katreen Korte, started the firm back in 1965 and was scared to death by it all. Now a 30-year veteran in the industry, Rinaldi said she learned a lot about the business from her mom, who died in 2008. “Arlington is development crazy; has been for years,” Rinaldi said, with the after effects felt in Falls Church. “We don’t get the ‘big box’ retailer or big office user in Falls Church, but smaller tenants arrive.” On its website, the Falls Church’s Economic Development Office lists commercial properties for sale or lease, taken from commercial databases and brokers. Sizes range from an office space of 144 square feet up to 7,903 square feet, and retail from 485

–11,223 square feet. Big tenants go to much larger buildings, like the ones at Tysons where the office market is about the same as Falls Church’s. Not great, said Joe Wetzel who has been selling, leasing and developing Falls Church property since 2000. Challenging Falls Church office building owners “is the proximity to other available space. Just up in Tysons, there is tons of office space.” Falls Church has spaces which can be carved up in smaller chunks. Tysons’ landlords are “less willing to try [leasing with] independent start-ups,” Wetzel said. “You won’t find any IBMs here,” Wetzel said. That’s not necessarily a problem for the City or its commercial prospects. In his “State of the City” interview with the News-Press in August, Mayor David Tarter said, “We’re a different market...We don’t want to be Tysons Corner.” Meanwhile, retail has its own challenges and pressures from the Internet, said Dean Neiman of Renaud Consulting, a retail property marketer. “I would say the City doesn’t

get as many arrivals of newcomers as it does businesses which need to expand or relocate,” Neiman said. “We just did a deal at George Mason Square [at the corner of Washington and Broad] with a kitchen and bath design center and Keller-Williams Realty expanded there.” Neiman said the kitchen designers needed larger quarters. Compared to year ago, Neiman says leasing is holding pretty steady. Landlords are willing to negotiate. It all depends upon the tenant’s strength and what a tenant wants for build-out of space or what the landlord needs to do to make the space habitable for the tenant’s business. Wetzel blames most of retailing’s downtrend on online shopping, “You can buy anything from a tea bag to toilet paper to a meal that comes in a box on the Internet and have it shipped to your house. You don’t have to get up and go out and shop.” Marketing physical goods has been decimated by the web, Wetzel said. But products which can’t be delivered on a truck – like salons and barbers – are still sold in storefronts. Neiman agreed. “Retail space has a lot of chal-

TREENA RINDALDI with her co-worker, Mostafa Shah.

(P����:

P������� L�����)

lenges and pressures from the Internet,” he said. Shoppers hunting for durable goods – products which last three years or more – like washing machines, dishwashers and certain sporting goods, go to “big boxes” to buy them. Jarnell Swecker is the vice president of marketing for Rappaport which leases retail space at The Lincoln at Tinner Hill. She thinks the new Harris Teeter on West Broad and the deals her company brokered with Target coming next March to The Lincoln and with Aldi at Tower Square, set for

2019, indicate increased interest in Falls Church. Back in August, Tarter stated that Falls Church has tried to dictate development to make it financially creative to the City and improve residents’ quality of life. According to Rinaldi, “The backbone of our country is small business. Falls Church has a lot to offer: It’s like a magnet for small businesses. We do have reasonable prices, have spaces which are in pretty good condition and it’s easy to talk to city staff and get permits. Owners are nearby.”


R EA L E STATE

PAGE 18 | FALL 2017

TECH IN REAL ESTATE

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM

Internet’s Entry Into Real Estate Provides Agents New Challenge by Matt Delaney

Falls Church News-Press

The advent of the internet has contributed to the upheaval of multiple industries with an efficiency and expediency unlike any creation before it. That is, unless you consider the real estate business. Real estate agents and their brokerages have weathered the storm of technological innovation that’s come in the form of websites such as Zillow and Redfin fairly well. What’s setting these industries apart is the significance of a well-rounded agent and, more importantly, having a trained hand helping guide the most expensive purchase in a person’s their life. “I don’t see the internet as any threat at all,” Shaun Murphy, an agent from RE/ MAX in Alexandria said. “Obviously, the internet has had a tremendous impact on real estate...everyone goes online to

search for homes, but someone can’t just click a button to buy a house. There’s a lot more to it, and that’s why you need a professional involved.” Good health as a business and compensation for agents has persisted despite predictions from a decade ago that foretold otherwise. As the internet became more sophisticated early in the 21st century, experts believed the real estate business would eventually succumb to the pressures of innovation. Similar to how travel agents became less important with websites like Expedia, the taxi business has butted heads with mobile apps like Uber and Lyft, and Amazon has thwarted not only bookstores but traditional retail as a whole, homebuying was next on the list. And the sacred cow of a six-percent commission that agents received from facilitating a transaction would shrink to the point of

Whether you are buying or selling a home, contact your Industry Leader at Advon today to discuss your real estate needs. 7 0 3 - 6 6 3 - 7 1 7 1 | I N F O @ A DVO NR E. CO M CONTRACT

1922 S POLLARD ST • ARLINGTON VA FOR SALE

1103 QUINCY ST • ALEXANDRIA VA

CONTRACT

6904 WESTMORELAND RD • FALLS CHURCH FOR SALE

2705 WELCOME DR • FALLS CHURCH

Licensed in Virginia 929 West Broad St., No. 202, Falls Church, VA 22046 Office: (703) 663-7171 | AdvonRE.com

REDFIN brings a unique element to real estate industry. While Zillow is a real estate database that offers up available listings to its users, Redfin serves as an actual real estate company and a brokerage. Both now have access to Mulitple Listing Services to shore up a shared weakness they once had as well. (Photo: TechCrunch)

unsustainability and ultimately make them irrelevant. Fast forward to the present, and most agents are sitting pretty with their commissions intact. “We’re talking about so much money when people buy a house and it’s such a personal decision,” Louise Moulton of Falls Church’s RE/MAX West End said, who believes the internet’s presence has actually caused real estate agents to up their game. “It’s not a ride to the [Capital One Center] or a trip to Mexico, it’s much more personal and requires personal service.” Even direct for-sale-by-owner transactions, known as FSBO (pronounced “fizz-bo”) by those in the industry, have decreased as the internet has become more entrenched in society. A 2012 study titled, “Do Real Estate Brokers Add Value When Listing Services Are Unbundled?” found that using a broker reduces a sale price by six to eight percent. However, according to Will Rodgers from Keller Williams Realty, that percentage may betrue, but going it alone typically costs sellers 10 percent off their transaction since they lack the savvy that most brokerages provide. That correlates with National Association of Realtors finding in 2013 that twenty years ago, about 20 percent of home sales were FSBO, but that has reduced to eight percent today. 2013 that twenty years ago, about 20 percent of home sales were FSBO, but that has reduced to eight percent today. While Rodgers may agree that FSBO transactions are better suited with the help of an agent, he’s not sold that agent commissions are untouchable. “They’re going down. It used to be gold standard of six to seven percent, and that’s not the case anymore,” Rodgers said. “It’s usually four and a half to five and a half percent now.” But Rodgers attributed that more to the lower cost of marketing than to a perceived lack of need in the real estate agents. Online advertising is far cheaper than using print, and as realtors have

favored getting the word out over the internet more and more, it’s only fair to charge less considering they’re spending less of their money to make it happen. Redfin and Zillow’s presence in the real estate industry have provided realtors a challenge, though not in the manner intended. The sites used to list information from irregularly updated public records rather than the multiple listing services (MLS) that most realtors pay dues toward. They also promote “premier agents” on their website, though the agents themselves aren’t necessarily the most qualified since they are the most willing to pay for that title. It’s bred an extra sliver of distrust between prospective buyers and sellers, but the websites are doing their part to untangle that notion. Zillow and Redfin now receive all their information from MLS, just as realtors do, ensuring that customers won’t be blindsided by misinformation that used to be more prevalent. And even though top bidders do receive more promotion on the sites, they aim to include as many options as possible for their visitors. “Zillow’s entire goal is to empower people with information and make the real estate process more transparent. There are hundreds of thousands of agents who have a free Zillow profile that don’t spend any money with us,” Amanda Woolley, a Zillow spokeswoman, said via e-mail. “They can still garner reviews and use Zillow as part of their marketing efforts and connect with buyers and sellers for free. Additionally, listing agents are featured for free on all their listings. Our goal is to help people find a home, and then connect with a real estate professional to help them with the transaction, whether they are a Premier Agent or not.” The real estate landscape is evolving rapidly with websites. How effective it will be at its highest point remains to be seen, but with the modifications made to websites already, the human touch could face some stiff competition in the years to come.


R EA L E STATE

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM

FALL 2017 | PAGE 19

Real Estate

Top Falls Church Home Sales

J u n e - Au g u s t

#1 $1,656,360

#2 $1,605,000

#4 $1,596,000 #3 $1,600,000 Top 5 F.C. Home Sales June 1, 2017 – August 31, 2017 Address #1 6800 Montour Dr. #2 229 Midvale St. #3 305 Lee St. N. #4 6471 33rd St . #5 6444 Lakeview Dr

BR

5 5 5 6 4

FB

5 4 4 5 3

HB 1 1 1 1 1

List Price

$1,749,996 $1,699,000 $1,600,000 $1,645,000 $1,649,000

Sale Price

$1,656,360 $1,605,000 $1,600,000 $1,596,000 $1,525,000

Zip

22043 22046 22046 22043 22041

Date Sold 8/16/17 8/17/17 8/30/17 8/1/17 8/21/17

Source: MRIS, Inc.; Photos: MRIS, Falls Church News-Press

#5 $1,525,000


R EA L E STATE

PAGE 20 | FALL 2017

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM

Falls Church Area Housing Market — 2nd Quarter 2017 Report Zip Code

Area

Average Price

Number of Homes Sold

Average Days on Market

22046

Falls Church City

$809, 924

101

27

22041

Bailey’s Crossroads

$361,791

90

45

22042

Sleepy Hollow

$517,293

145

19

22043

Pimmit Hills

$687,994

110

41

22044

Lake Barcroft

$556,342

48

28

Home Sales Vs. 1 Year Ago

Home Prices Vs. 1 Year Ago

Change in # of Homes Sold: 2Q ‘17 vs 2Q ‘16

Change in Average Home Price: 2Q ‘17 vs 2Q ‘16

+27.85%

Change in Falls Church City (22046)

+12.49%

Change in Falls Church City (22046)

+21.62%

Change in Bailey’s X-roads (22041)

-9.72%

Change in Bailey’s X-roads (22041)

-8.23%

Change in Sleepy Hollow (22042)

+10.29%

Change in Sleepy Hollow (22042)

+18.28%

Change in Pimmit Hills (22043)

-6.18%

Change in Pimmit Hills (22043)

+33.33%

Change in Lake Barcroft (22044)

+1.08%

Change in Lake Barcroft (22044)

Source: Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. Copyright © 2017 Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc.

Falls Church News-Press Fall Real Estate Guide 2017  

Falls Church News-Press Fall Real Estate Guide 2017