Archive for the 'Information for Sellers' Category
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal shows that veteran real estate agents (agents with 10 or more years experience) sell properties for 12.4% more than their rookie colleagues (2-years or less in the business). Turns out practice does make perfect (well, sorta… see below).
Homes listed with veteran real estate agents sell 32% more quickly than their “younger” colleagues.
And two-thirds of properties listed with veteran agents will sell, compared to about one-half listed with rookie agents.
I’ve been selling homes for 14 years now, so now you know that I fall into the “veteran” category. That said, I still have a lot to learn. There’s always a new snag, a new law, or a whopper of a difficult transaction to finesse ones way through. I like to think that experience helps me avoid 90% of the bumps in the road. It’s the other 10% that gets tricky. Anyone who promises to know it all is full of it.
And let’s not trash the rookie agent. We were all there once, too. How can they overcome objections? Enthusiasm, research, asking lots of questions, availability, and smart marketing. Good operating instructions for any agent!
With all the hoopla going on in the media about the lack of inventory and multiple offers, there is little talk out there about the STRESS that occurs when listings go viral. Buyers are certainly feeling the stress. That’s a given. But it can be a real drain on the emotions for both sellers and their agents. Surprise, surprise.
Cati and I have had three listings hit the market over the past few weeks. In each situation we had multiple offers (3, 5 and 6 to be precise). So, why are we often feeling nauseous?
- Open house guilt. We get to meet a lot of the bidders first hand. We see them oohing and ahhing, taking measurements, walking the perimeter, picking out rooms with their kids. We kind of get to know them. And like them.
- Pre-inspection guilt. Sure, we’re keeping the home inspectors employed, but some folks will be spending their money for nothing. Nada. Zilch. Only one party can get the house.
- 2005 all over again? We were both in the business the last time things got out of hand. No inspections, Read the rest of this entry »
December numbers were strong, with dollar volume of sales 15.6% higher and average price 12% higher than December 2011. Tracking the market from it’s highest point in 2005 to its low point in 2008 and then comparing it to 2012, we can see that prices in the close-in Metro market are within 3% of what they were at the peak of the market, but dollar volume of sales, which fell in 2008 to 55% of the market’s peak, is still only 61% of the volume reached in 2005.
The combination of low supply, high demand and record-low mortgage interest rates have made prices climb rapidly in the past few years. This means that the spring market will be very competitive for buyers, and many listings will draw multiple offers. This year we can expect to see a noticeable rise in prices even between January and June, so buyers will do well to get into this market as early in the spring as possible. Sellers will do best by preparing their properties to show well and pricing them competitively.
*Statistics are taken from the Metropolitan Information System for three areas: Washington, D.C.; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Fairfax County, Arlington and Alexandria in Virginia.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the average age of a “move-up” buyer is 35. That’s the time when people are most likely to strive for a bigger and better home, upon discovering that their first purchase no longer meets their needs.
In fact, 36% of all home buyers in 2012 were between the ages of 35-44. That’s a 6% increase from 2009 when lending restrictions were tighter, and interest rates higher. What accounts for the need of a new home? Myriad factors. A lot of first time buyers now have families and want better schools, a bigger house, and sometimes a more suburban setting. They are more established Read the rest of this entry »
Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia, just announced his Top-10 Healthiest Housing Markets heading into 2013. Bethesda is #3 on the list, following Houston, TX and San Francisco, CA.
A variety of criteria were factored into the rankings, including regional job growth, vacancy rates, and foreclosure inventory.
The DC region has long benefited from a strong economy and healthy job market. Vacancy rates are at all time lows. And as for foreclosures, there were a total of 8 in 2012 within the Bethesda zip codes, out of a total 1,050 sales (less than 1%). The national average is around 3%. On average, Bethesda buyers paid 85.1% of the original asking price for these bank-owned properties.
Inventory in our Bethesda market is slim, at best (at least, it feels that way). The most challenging price range is in the “trade-up” market – those homes priced between $900,000 – $1,300,000. Starter homes are easier to be had, as are the upper-bracket properties. That said, the total number of homes sold in 2012 improved by roughly 8% over 2011 levels (within Bethesda/CC/and parts of DC).
These days, most people do their home searching on the internet. There are a bunch of sites out there that can provide you with information on the local listings. Some will offer up an opinion as to the value (Zillow). Others are known for having great maps or open house information. I happen to run a weekly post that summarizes listings in my neighborhood of East Bethesda. It runs the gamut. Just about every site has it’s niche. What they don’t tell you is that these search engines pull their information from one source: the Multiple Listing Service. That’s me! Rather, it’s part of me. The MLS gathers input from dues paying, licensed real estate agents and puts it into a pretty little package that feeds various real estate sites. The MLS gets the information FIRST. No other sites can offer real time updates.
As a result, I get a lot of calls from people asking about various listings that went under contract days ago. Or they want to see 123 Main Street, only, it’s sold. The information out there is only as good as the search engine that is Read the rest of this entry »
Multiple offers are happening left and right. Here’s how to survive them:
- The highest offer isn’t always the best offer. While it might be tempting to accept the highest bid, you need to take into consideration: contingencies (such as inspection, appraisal and financing), closing date, and the end user (is this someone who will be living in your house, tearing it down, or an investor?). What is the buyer’s ability to close? Do your best to choose the right buyer, not the richest buyer.
- Don’t dawdle. If an offer is attractive, respond quickly. And once you both agree to the terms, get it signed quickly. Before they move on to the next shiny object!
- Keep your objectives in mind. If suddenly your $500K house is getting multiple offers shooting it up to the $525K range, make sure that you choose the offer that is going to Read the rest of this entry »
Every year around Thanksgiving the same old question comes up. Should I list my house now, or wait until after the holidays? And, if your house is already on the market, you might be wondering if it makes sense to temporarily withdraw it and try again in the more robust spring market? The holiday housing market is always a puzzle.
I did a little sleuthing and discovered some interesting information. I cast a fairly wide net for my research (specifically, I looked at zips 20814, 20815, 20816, 20817, 20818, 20895, 20910, 20901, 20015, 20016 and 20008, or Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, Somerset, Kensington, close-in Silver Spring, Chevy Chase DC, AU Park, and Cleveland Park). As it turns out, the week before Thanksgiving and all the way through the end of November, prime holiday and travel time, a healthy Read the rest of this entry »
Getting the right contractor for the job is key to any project’s success. Trust me… I’ve been there. According to Angie’s List, the two items critical to a job’s success are verifying a contractors license and READING the home improvement contract before signing it. In addition, you’ll want to focus on the following hiring guidelines:
1. Who will Manage the Job?: If your job involves more than 3-4 different specialists (electrician, drywall, plumbing, masonry, etc) things will go better if you have a general contractor to oversee the various tasks and timelines.
2. Define your project: Before you jump in, know what you want. And if you don’t know what you want, learn about what’s out there by reading remodeling magazines, taking a picture of a friend’s kitchen (or bathroom or entryway). Put these ideas on paper to give a potential contractor a sense of what you hope to achieve. Read the rest of this entry »
Not everybody has had the luxury of coasting through this recession unscathed.
The US Treasury and HUD have teamed together to provide information to struggling homeowners. Check out their website to:
- explore eligibility for various programs offered
- find a counselor to discuss your situation
- request a loan modification
- get help if unemployed
- estimate payment reductions if eligible for a loan modification
- homeowner FAQ’s
- if you find you’re out of options, strategies for a graceful exit
In addition, I have access to several local lawyers who can help advise you on the many options that are out there. Please contact me if I can be of help.
Cell 301.758.4894 Office 202.364.1700
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. 4400 Jenifer St. NW Chevy Chase, DC 20015
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East Bethesda Rocks
- 4523 Sleaford Road
- 3835 Eisenhower Avenue
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