Realty is a family affair for the Goodhart Group

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When Sue Goodhart was growing up in Enhaut, Pa., she worked in her fathers grocery store. That taught her about hard work, says her buyer agent, Amanda Wallingford. She speaks about family businesses from experience.

Today Wallingford works with the Goodharts family business, the Goodhart Group, at the Old Town Office of McEnearney Associates Realtors. Those early life lessons paid off for Goodhart, McEnearneys top producer since 2003 and a lifetime top producer for the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.

Sue found her childhood sweetheart in Enhaut: her older brothers best friend. After coming to Alexandria together, Susan and Marty Goodhart spent 11 years running yet another family business, called The Wicker Shop. After becoming a realtor in 1992, she recalls, I was doing so well that we closed the store two years later. Marty has since earned his own realtors license and works behind the scenes as the technological expert who plays such a vital role in any modern industry.

Their older daughter, Allison, recently graduated Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., Sues alma mater. After Dickinson, Sue earned masters degree in urban planning at  Harvard University, which prepared her  to come to Washington as a consultant. Amanda is starting Columbia University this fall, where she plans to continue playing Lacrosse.

While neither sister is yet planning on a lifetime real estate career, they have grown up in the business. Allison works full time, coordinating marketing campaigns. During summer vacations, Amanda says, I do all those things that needed to be done. That can cover a wide range of services indeed. When they were children, their mother recalls, they helped deliver pumpkins to porches for Halloween. And when I hosted an open house, they would always come to take me out to breakfast and lunch, Sue recalls.

Although many family business owners find themselves constantly discussing the industry, the Goodharts seem to have spent a fair amount of their time talking about their other overriding interest: sports. It seems to have helped to make them team players, both in the office and on the field.

Even though realtors are busy on the weekends, Marty and Sue found time to cheer their daughters on at their high school competitions, not an easy task, since both sisters played varsity basketball. Amanda started high school at St. Stephens and St. Agnes the year Allison graduated Bishop Ireton. Marty had coached Allisons basketball team. Marsha Way was the girls athletic director and field hockey coach at St. Stephens, before she retired as a teacher and became a realtor with the Goodhart Group. (The other adopted family member is business manager Margo Heegeman).

The Goodharts have proven to be champions in competitive sports, just as they are in home sales. Allison was a lacrosse Academic All-American for 2004, while Amanda followed in her Nike-clad footsteps this year. Amanda led the St Stephens girls varsity basketball team. Allison was also first team all-conference for the Washington Catholic Area Conference. She also shone as the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority chapter president for the Dickinson Panhellenic Council.

Their sports hobbies seem to have helped make the Goodharts into team players, just as that family grocery store united Sue and her parents back in Pennsylvania.

With the entire family so deeply involved in the Goodhart Group, Allisons own motto seems entirely suitable. It reads, The Goodhart name is the only one you need to know in real estate.

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