Friday, April 16th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories


She's been where her clients are, and it makes all the difference!

by Jean Loxley-Barnard

Murphy Brown, Realtor®

Murphy Brown, Realtor®

Murphy Brown- yes, really- is every bit as interesting as TV's Murphy Brown was. She has been a professional Realtor since 2003, but her love for real estate began when she was a child.  "My mother loved to go to open houses, and I'd go with her," Murphy remembers, smiling. "It was so much fun!

Murphy was once an RN, and that early background helps her understand and navigate today's pandemic.  Understanding the severity of the disease's impact on businesses, Murphy was happy to report that real estate, for whatever reason, remains active. Grateful to have her career surviving, she agreed to answer pertinent questions about Real Estate during the pandemic.

"The buck stops with me. 
"I don't limit myself in any way
and I keep current on everything!"
I value being the agent
people can get hold of.
I have to limit the number of clients
I can have at any given time
to have a life
- and, if it means
more time to spend with clients, so be it!"
                      - Murphy Brown

"Buyers," Murphy points out, "are savvy nowadays, with many having watched TV do-it-yourself shows."

"The first question should be, "Have you been preapproved?'  A buyer needs that when they find the right house.  And we need to know what the buyer's price range is, so a surprise doesn't break a heart.  What price will the buyer be comfortable with? What can't the price go over?"

"Then, the questions turn to the house being sought. What does your house look like? What are your must-haves?  And, dreams and wishes?"

"Look around. Once seen, what didn't they like?  Fine-tuning from feedback. Ask, "Where does this fall?'"

"And sometimes we hear the magic words. We walk in a home and hear, "This is it!'"

What is the main focus in Real Estate in the midst of the pandemic?

"The industry ramped up to keep people safe!" Murphy is proud to report. "Masks, of course, plus social distancing and virtual tours are the norm now.  Videos have become quite sophisticated and give a good sense of the home, enabling most buyers to quickly realize interest or no interest."

"And thankfully, the technology was already here.  In recent years, basic videos began appearing, taking potential buyers on a virtual walk through a home.  And then came the drones. Now, we can even view the layout as a dollhouse. And the drones show a bird's eye view of the whole neighborhood."

When do buyers get to go inside the home?

"Once we view videos of select homes and narrow them down to what they like most and can afford, we are ready to go into the few select homes that will likely produce a decision. We can take a buyer and one extra person into a home. Not the family, due to COVID-19," Murphy emphasizes, smiling. "What we all love to hear, and often do, is the exclamation, "This is it!'  That is when we know the journey is over.  It is the happiest phrase in Real Estate.".

Then on to lawyers, bankers, etc.?
"Happily not,' Murphy continues. "Remote online closings are now standard. Safety is truly the objective. Again, the technology has been here, we are just taking full advantage of it now.  The sky's not falling."

"The sky's not falling?"
"It's something my late husband, Nate, a Marine, used to say, "The sky's not falling.' It means, whatever is happening, it can be handled. It's not as if the sky is falling."

Incredibly, Nate died in a helicopter accident.  As sad a coincidence as that was, Nate embodied a positive outlook - a valuable way to view life.

Living with a positive attitude may be one reason Murphy Brown is such a compassionate Realtor.  She experienced an unexpected, significant redirection in her life. Leaving Texas, she came to our area to begin a new life. On various levels, many people experience significant changes when they buy or sell a home.  It can come about because of happy events, such as a growing family or job promotion. But it can also result from a death or a reverse in circumstances.  Moving is a significant change. Everyone benefits from having a compassionate and forthright, as well as experienced, Realtor.

What are the trends in Real estate today?
There is a growing need for multi-generational homes- not just mother-in-law suites," Murphy points out. "Stand-alone smaller homes behind a family home are growing in popularity. Dave McLaughlin, an outstanding custom builder, added a small home for a client's mother, with a garage, behind a custom home he had built 15 years ago in my neighborhood. The whole family loves the close but private proximity!"

"Then there are the young adults returning home, needing private suites.  Building is evolving to meet current circumstances," the Realtor is pleased to report.

Asked what she would like people to know about her profession, Murphy Brown answers, "Sometimes people look at us as a necessary evil. There is a misconception that Realtors are all in it just for the money."  And, she smiles, "Clients sometimes think they know more than we do about real estate."   

And asked what her professional strengths are, Murphy doesn't hesitate. "The buck stops with me. I don't limit myself in any way, and I keep current on everything. I value being the agent people can get hold of. I have to limit the number of clients I can have at any given time to be able to have a life - and, if it means more time to spend with clients, so be it!

"Right now, more than ever, it is imperative to use a professional real estate agent. Have help navigating this unusual market.  There are multiple offers again, and, in some instances, rates are really good. The military wasn't moving for a while, but the Navy is now. And there is a smaller availability of homes.  It's uncharted waters." Murphy also cautioned that although rates are really good now, they can change at any time.

Anything else the buyers should know?
Murphy emphasizes, "I caution my clients, Don't waive the inspection!"

Murphy Brown

1112-F Eden Way North
Chesapeake, VA 23320