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Monika Edwards Harrison, Realtor
Direct Office:
703-472-8014
monikaharrison@gmail.com
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Monika Edwards Harrison, Realtor
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Direct Office:
703-472-8014
monikaharrison@
gmail.com
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YOUR REAL ESTATE PRIORITIES ARE MY BUSINESS!


           

 

The Washington, DC Metro region is an exciting place to live!   With the Congress and the White
House in our back yard, we are part of both national and local events every day.  Our local news is often followed by the rest of the United States and the rest of the world.  However, for those of us who live here, it's also just home and, other than a likely  longer commute to our jobs, our daily lives are no different than those of our friends and family living anywhere else in the United States. 

Our real estate market, on the other hand is not always like real estate market in other parts of the country.  It's often more expensive than the housing market those new to the area left behind. Although we have well paying jobs and a vibrant economy, the demands of residents seeking to avoid long commutes to those jobs raises the price of homes in many highly desirable neighborhoods. The good news is that we have homes for every lifestyle, so you'll find a mix of condos, townhomes and single family homes in great neighborhoods throughout the region.   

Remember, all real estate is local!  Each January, real estate pundits analyze the past year's activity to validate indicators for the upcoming year's real estate market.  Unfortunately, like the weather, real estate markets can vary significantly from a previous year because of global, national and local events that either directly or indirectly affect both buyers and sellers. As we enter the 2019 Spring market, we will be watching both mortgage interest rates and inventory of available homes in this area as both directly impact both buyers and sellers. What you read about the national market as the year progresses often is not at all related to the market in this area.

While mortgage interest rates in 2018 were higher than the historic lows of 2017, buyers and sellers benefitted by fewer rate hikes than expected. With lower interest rates, buyers qualify at a higher price point and sellers have a bigger pool of buyers able to buy their home.  This, coupled with low
inventory at many price points, created a competitive real estate market in the Washington, DC Metro area in 2018 and, absent multiple increases in interest rates, we expect that this will continue in 2019.

Won't 2019 continue to be a "Seller's Market?"

It is my view that it is never really a Seller's Market, despite what formulas relating to days on market and available inventory tell us. Even with low inventory, buyers always have the last word on an individual sale as they will not make offers on homes that are over-priced for their location or condition.  DC metro area buyers are well educated and strong in their demands for well-maintained, upgraded and well-presented homes.  Sellers may receive good, and sometimes multiple, offers quickly, but only if their home price and condition meets those demands. Although inventory may remain low, buyers remain very discriminating in their choices.  A home that is not well presented will sit on the market, as will a home that may be even slightly overpriced for its size, location and condition.  The unknown for 2019 is "The Amazon effect" of being selected as one of two headquarters locations by Amazon, with 25,000 new projected in the next 12 years.  

So, what should a buyer or a seller planning to buy or sell  before the end
of  2019 do to achieve their real estate goals?

1.  If you plan to buy, work with a Realtor to develop a realistic action plan and move forward deliberately!  Start with real numbers and facts rather than what you wish was true. Meet with a couple of lenders to get pre-qualified for a purchase. If your income limits you to a $500,000 purchase, don't waste your time looking at $700,000 homes. 

2.  If you plan to sell, work with a Realtor to develop a realistic plan for getting top dollar for your home. Use real facts and data to prepare and position your home in the market. It's important to know what your neighbor's home really sold for, not just what they told you or you heard through the grapevine.  Maybe they didn't tell you about a large seller subsidy which made the deal work for their buyers. It's also important to clinically assess how your home compares to that sold home to develop a realistic price for the sale of your home.

Throw out your emotion and step back to view your home through the eyes of any 10 anonymous prospective buyers who will walk through your home. Buyers remain fixed on their needs and wants and even a relatively good price will not always overcome dated, highly personalized and offbeat choices in paint, flooring, lighting and fixtures. In addition to de-cluttering, which almost all of us
have to do, make time to do some touch-up painting, modernization of lighting, spiffing up of the yard, and general delayed repairs which you have been meaning to do for years.  Thinking in terms of what
a home inspector will find is also a useful exercise as it's easier to schedule those necessary fixes before the house goes on the market than when the clock is ticking toward a closing date.  

Remember that not every home meets every buyer's needs.  However, what every buyer is looking for is a home that is priced to reflect its condition, location, and comparable market value.  Simply wanting more for your home than recent comparable homes have sold for is not a good prospect for success and even if prices go up, a home that has been on the market for a long period does not benefit from those increases.  Unlike boats, a rising tide/price does not lift all homes! 

For a quick snapshot of what is happening metro-wide, read our Market in a Minute report and call me to relate your home to our current market. 

Actively searching for a home?  Visit my site often to find the most comprehensive display of listings in the DC metro area.  And be sure to check Monika's Blog on this site to read about emerging issues and solutions for buyers, sellers, investors and prospective homeowners.

When you decide to buy or sell, I have the market knowledge and experience to help make a complicated real estate transaction as stress free as possible.  To learn what I offer my clients, click on About Me and then call or email me now!

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Monika Edwards Harrison, Realtor 
Contact Info:
Direct Office: 703-472-8014
Email: monikaharrison@gmail.com
 
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