Agent Snapshot: Mary Lou Scinto Allen, Century 21 Affiliated, Skokie

What was your first job in the realty industry? A Realtor at Coldwell Banker Martin & Marbry.

Where did you grow up? Skokie.

What is your favorite free-time activity? Refinishing furniture and decorating, or browsing through the HomeGoods store.

If you weren’t a Realtor, what would you be? A staging designer.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Jackie Kennedy. She always looked so beautiful. I wonder how happy she actually was in the political world.

What do you love most about the industry? Working with first-time and elderly buyers that are downsizing.

How do you differentiate yourself from the crowd of agents? I am totally honest about the market and give clients the comps as they are. I don’t give in to unrealistic buyers or sellers and tell them the truth, rather than what they want to hear.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Trying not to work as much as I do! I love working with people and finding the right property for them, but taking them out takes time. I also find it difficult when sellers don’t listen to the truth. I see so many properties that are on the market for more than a year and a half that if they only listened to what I told them long ago, they would have sold them for a lot more than they are listed for now, with other agents who are still overpricing them.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? My kids are all at the ages where they are interested in real estate, and their friends are at the same levels. I get several leads from my kids!

What has been your greatest accomplishment? Keeping busy and thriving in this market, and raising three beautiful children.

What is your favorite restaurant? Johnny’s Kitchen and Tap in Glenview.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? The Wrigley building.

What kind of car do you drive? Toyota Highlander.

Smartphone or paper? Paper for now.

What is your favorite city after Chicago? New York City.

What is your advice for someone new to the industry? Make sure it is your passion to be in a service industry, and know and follow the laws.


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