Last week, the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes rose 5.5 percent between August and September, the largest increase in more than five years. Who might relish this news? Real estate agents twiddling their thumbs at open houses and praying someone walks through the doors. So, on Sunday, I decided to call a few of them, and see how they were doing at their properties, and more importantly, how they were feeling in general about the market:

1420 Hemingway Ct., Reston
Original Listing Price: $849,000 (July 13, 2008)
Current Listing Price: Same
Year built: 1990
Description: Three bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms; 4,271 square feet
Agent: Mary Miceli of Long & Foster Reston North Hills

When was the last time you sold a house? “I just sold three listings,” says Miceli, who was just supervising the open house for a colleague, she explained. She personally has no listings now. She’s just working with buyers. Her three recent sales—ranging from $675,000 to $360,000—came on the market in late summer and quickly went under contract; the last one will go to settlement this week. “If they’re well-priced, they look good, and they’re better than the competition, they sell,” she says. How many people do you expect to show up today? You cannot ever say: one weekend you can have 15 groups through. If there’s a Redskins game on, it’s not so great. When do you think prices will start to turn around? I don’t think you’re going to see things rising. You’re going to see things leveling. Do you think it’s happening right now? Well, we sure thought it was leveling right now. Then, the stock market went crazy and we’re not seeing a lot of action. But, it’s also because the year is winding down.