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DC Real Estate Pros Give Us The Scoop On The Spring Market

By Michael McCarthy | February 19, 2021 | Home & Real Estate

Sunset on a gorgeous rowhouse on Taylor Street in Northwest DC. PHOTO COURTESY OF JENN SMIRA/COMPASS

Sunset on a gorgeous rowhouse on Taylor Street in Northwest DC.

We are forever searching for real estate soothsayers, those wise and exalted few who can tell us, with a degree of certainty, what’s next. This is especially true for those who are moving to Washington, where the market continues to be red hot, and new neighborhoods emerge as the standard-bearers for smart buys. We asked Jenn Smira (jennsmira.com), executive vice president at Compass, and Leo Anzoleaga (leoscircle.com), a senior vice president of residential lending at Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. and founder of Leo’s Circle, to help newcomers navigate the region’s countless hot spots. Anzoleaga asked real estate pros, who are members of Leo’s Circle and represent a diverse group of real estate brands, to offer their advice.

KNOW THE MARKET

“The DC market has never reached the level of Manhattan, San Francisco or Los Angeles, but lately, the dynamics have drastically changed. Tech companies like Amazon are moving to the area, and entertainment cities such as New York and San Francisco are being deserted by those who are looking to less dense and more affordable markets such as ours. With what I’ve seen recently, I expect that the DC metro market is about to experience one of the most significant increases in value in modern history.”

SEBASTIEN COURRET

Realtor and Vice President The Alliance, Compass

202.615.2401, sebastien@compass.com, thealliancedc.com

MOVE QUICKLY

“Sure, COVID may have impacted buyer demand over the past year, but now that the vaccine is on the way, it’s clear that impact is waning. Whether you’re seeking a condo downtown or a single-family home in DuPont, now is the time to negotiate your best offer—before competition to live in the city returns to prepandemic heights.”

JENN SMIRA

Executive Vice President, Compass

202.280.2060, jsmira@compass.com, jennsmira.com

COUNT THE DAYS

“A traditional 30-day close and home inspection contingency will not cut it. A lender who can close in under 10 days and with low or no finance and appraisal contingency is step one. A pre-inspection is also essential for allowing the buyer to strike the inspection contingency.”

CHER L. CASTILLO

Associate Broker, Compass

202.270.0767, cher@chercastillo.com, compass.com

THE HOTTEST

“Homes in places like AU Park-Tenleytown, Chevy Chase, Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, Spring Valley and Kent are selling at a rapid pace. Many single-family, detached homes in these neighborhoods are perfect for buyers moving up or looking for more room—room to work from home, be outdoors and grow.”

JENN SMIRA

Executive Vice President, Compass

202.280.2060, jsmira@compass.com, jennsmira.com

BELOW THE RADAR

“NoMa—North of Massachusetts Avenue—is a gem, with the unique feel of its brick streets, old trolley car rails and warehouses mixed with a variety of home types and grocers, shops, restaurants and a Metro stop. American University Park in Northwest has easy downtown access and the neighborhood asset of Janney Elementary School.”

KATHERINE HERNDON MARTIN

Licensed Realtor, McEnearney Associates

202.494.7373, katherine@herndonmartin.com, herndonmartin.com

“Northeast DC continues to be revitalized, and I love neighborhoods with lots of green space like Brookland, Edgewood and Eckington that are right along the Metropolitan Branch trail, which provides an alternative downtown commute to driving or Metro. There’s also great value in the Atlas District-Hill East with easy access to the H Street Corridor and Union Market District—all convenient to Capitol Hill.”

LYNDSI SITCOV

Realtor, McEnearney Associates

202.534.9397, lsitcov@mcenearney.com, looktolyndsi.com

STRATEGIZE WITH YOUR AGENT AND LENDER

“You need to engage early with your agent and lender to run through all scenarios. Does your lender offer a full approval? Is your agent actively using her sphere and agent relationships to find you a ‘coming soon’ or ‘off market’ opportunity? Sometimes, homes won’t hit the market, and other times, simply having that insight for those few extra days can give you the edge that will win you the deal.”

JILLIAN KECK HOGAN

Licensed Realtor, The Jillian Keck Hogan Group at McEnearney Associates

703.951.7655, jilliankeckhogangroup@mcenearney.com, jilliankeckhogan.com

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

“Get clarity on exactly what you’re looking for, and work with an agent who’s willing to get creative and be aggressive when needed. If your agent knows your criteria, and it’s not showing up on the MLS, she needs to utilize her network and prospect for you to find the right home.”

MOLLY BRANSON

Real Estate Agent, District Residential Group

301.814.9925, molly@districtresidential.com, districtresidential.com

USE A PIPELINE

“Ensure your agent has the best search and networking tools. That means leveraging ‘coming soon’ and ‘private exclusives’—plus our team pipeline—for our clients’ benefit. It’s essential to position your offer above others. Our team helps buyers discern and maximize their unique differentiator through tactics such as limited or no contingencies, pre-offer inspections, personal letters to sellers and other creative strategies.”

JENN SMIRA

Executive Vice President, Compass

202.280.2060, jsmira@compass.comjennsmira.com

SET UP AIRTIGHT FINANCING

“If you’re getting a loan, your financing needs to be lined up and ready to go with a lender who has control of the process. See the property as soon as it’s available and have an inspector lined up to be one of the first ones in. As a wise man once said, if you’re considering a property and want to sleep on it, there’s a good chance that you won’t ever be sleeping in it.”

JAMES T. KIM

Realtor, McEnearney Associates

202.798.1781, jkim@mcenearney.com, mcenearney.com



Photography by: courtesy of Jenn Smira/Compass