Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist


Thanks to John Riha and the National Association of Realtors for putting out these seasonal reminders to prep your home for the fall and winter season. To go to the original post visit Fall Home Maintenance Checklist.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

How much will I pay for a house....

                                 * data source RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC

The August sales numbers have posted and the good news for sellers is that in the three counties of Arlington County, Fairfax County and Loudoun County the average sales price has risen from the same period last year. In Arlington the average sales price rose to $595,113 ( an increase of .11%), in Fairfax County it rose to $555,273 (an increase of 5.66%) and in Loudoun County it rose to $481,576 (an increase of 3.88%).

The good news for buyers is that inventory has increased from the same period last year in all counties as well. In Arlington, the active inventory reached 593 listings (up 50.89% from the same period last year). In Fairfax County the active inventory reached 3796 units (an increase of 54.94%) and in Loudoun County the inventory reached 2,294 listings (a 58.53% increase).

Understanding the real estate market will give you a strategic advantage when pricing a home for sale and when making an offer in an competitive environment. Contact us today to put our knowledge to work for you!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Washington, D.C. Agents Report Slowing Traffic

Credit Suisse issues a monthly detailed report on real estate trends such as buyer traffic, home prices, incentives, inventory levels and length of time to sell a property. This data is collected from agents in the top 40 housing markets. While all real estate is local it is important to note the trends of our larger market as well as nationally. Here are some comments from agents in our area about the local market in August:

- Area agents  reported slower than expected traffic and lack of urgency on the part of buyers in August.

- Agents highlighted an increased supply as well as lack of buyer confidence.

- 61% agents report an increase in time to sell in current versus past 30 days

- 0 % said they saw a decrease in incentives to buyers.

- 60% reported an increase in incentives to buyers.


                                * data from Credit Suisse Monthly Survey of Real Estate Agents

Contact us to receive a copy of the report or for more information.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Financing a Winning Contract

Understanding the financial environment is important for both buyers and sellers. For buyers, the amount you borrow, your loan type and your lender will be under scrutiny from the seller. The seller needs to understand that loans types have different obligations and may impact the contract (example, appraisal standards for FHA/VA loans).

The following lists the financing for the properties that closed in August:

1 assumption
12 cash
65 convention
10 FHA
5 VA
2 other

Last month we looked at the discount that cash buyers were able to gain. This month the ratio of closed price to original list price averaged 95.48%, the median was 97.76 %. The low was 85.53%  and the high was 102.4%.

August Sales Show Slight Decline

Reston, VA. August real estate sales numbers reflect the typical end of summer slow down. And when you think of slow down perhaps coasting is a better visual rather then breaking. Of the 95 properties that sold in August the sold price to list price ratio reflects minimal change from July numbers. 



- The majority of the properties sold were listed in the previous 3 months: May (23), June (28), and July (29). Not eyebrow raising. But just a fact to keep in mind while looking at the average and median days on the market (43/26). 

- % Average Net Sold to List Price indicates how close the buyers and sellers are between offer and acceptance. The List Price is the list price when the offer was accepted. There is also the Original List Price. The price at which the seller initially offered the property. Look at the numbers:

% Average Net Sold to Original List Price is 95.94% 
% Median Net Sold to Original List Price is 96.66%

These numbers indicate that sellers  (again, mostly in May, June and July) have had to make more adjustments to meet buyer expectations. Indeed, only ten properties received full price (or better) offers. This number is down from the 16 full price (or better) properties that closed in July.

Understanding pricing metrics is key when listing and purchasing real estate. Contact us today!


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Springfield, VA 22153
Offered at $589,900



This newly upgraded Dogwood Model in Lakewood Hills boasts a spacious 2,800+square feet with 4 bedrooms. Walk to the elementary school. New light, bright eat-in kitchen has white cabinets, granite, stainless steel appliances, tile floor and desk area. Additional features include the cozy family room with a wood burning fireplace, separate living room, dining room with hardwood floors, large master bedroom with full bath, finished lower level, Cul-de-Sac location and fenced back yard. A MUST SEE!




Thursday, August 7, 2014

Financing a Winning Contract



Last blog we looked at trends from the properties that sold in Reston in July. Today we are taking an in depth look at the financing of the 112 units that sold. This data is important to show trending of winning contracts.

Of the 112 properties that sold:

-        16 were cash (from $176k- $805K)
-        81 were conventional financing
-        5 were FHA
-        7 were VA
-        1 was private
-        1 was state funded program
-        1 was a 1041 exchange

If you are a selling a home, traditionally an all cash contract has less contingencies than one with a loan and is preferable than one with more contingencies. Expect that all cash buyers tend to offer less than full price because of the assured financing. How much of a discount can all cash buyers expect? All cash buyers in July paid an average of 97.55% of list price for the properties purchased. Surprisingly, this number is the same as the discount for all other financing types of properties sold (97.55%) so in this instance all cash buyers should not expect sellers to accept much less than the prevailing market rate.  

In fact, I had a client selling a property and a prospective buyer made an all cash offer with a discount of 4%. The seller rejected the offer as the benefits of the all cash conditional was not enough to balance the difference. There were no anticipated issues with the appraisal as the property was priced in line with the COMPS. Indeed, this seller received a full price for the properties and none of the contingencies were a road block to a successful settlement both the buyer and the seller.