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



           

2017 Fall update:

Each year in January, real estate pundits analyze the past year to validate indicators for the upcoming annual 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. 

Chief among these factors, is mortgage interest rates.  In both 2016 and through the first 8 months of 2017, both buyers and sellers benefitted from ongoing low interest rates.  With low interest rates, buyers could buy at a higher price point and sellers found a bigger pool of buyers qualified 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.  Although 2017 interest rates have risen slightly from the lows of 2016, and may rise again by the end of the year, continuing low inventory and motivated buyers has created a highly competitive market for properties which  are priced right and presented well.  Many properties are going under contract within the first days of listing and some properties are receiving contracts at over their asking price.    However, as with any large metropolitan area, there are variations across jurisdictions, among price points, within neighborhoods and, course, the circumstances of individual sales. This remains true year after year and 2017 is not different. 

While many areas are operating in what some label a Sellers' Market, buyers still control this market, as buyers will still not make offers on home that are not priced to reflect their condition.  In the DC metro area, buyers are well educated and strong in their demands for well maintained, upgraded and well presented homes.  Sellers may receive good offers quickly, but only if their home price and condition meets those demands. Although inventory is lower than in previous years, buyers remain very discriminating in their choices.  A home that is not well presented will sit on the market, as well as a home that may be even slightly overpriced for its size, location and condition.  The number of contracts in each quarter in 2017 has outperformed the same quarter in 2016 but it does not mean that every home is selling in record time, or selling at all.  

So, what should a buyer or a seller planning to buy or sell in the last quarter of 2017 do to achieve their real estate goals? Work with an expert to develop a realistic action plan and move forward deliberately!  It pays to do research to plan a strategy for buying at the best price or selling at the highest price.  These days most of us comparison shop online to see who sells our desired item or service at a price we are willing to pay. The same approach is a must do when buying or selling a home! 
           
If you are planning to sell at any time, 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 the buyers. It's also important to realistically assess how your home compares to that sold home to develop a realistic price for the sale of your home. It is very common for owners to emotionally love their home but that love is in part based on how they lived in the home and how it suited their particular needs and wants.  As a seller, it is imperative to view our homes through the eyes of any 10 anonymous prospective buyers who will walk through the home and put aside our emotional connection to those purple walls and 20-year old tile kitchen counters.  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 most of us have to do!), many sellers benefit from some touch-up painting, modernization of lighting, spiffing up of the yard, and general delayed repairs which they 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 often easier to schedule those necessary fixes before the house goes on the market than when the clock is ticking toward a closing date.  

While you can get raw data online, interpreting that data should be left to a professional agent who can advise you on a strategy to get your home's best price in the shortest amount of time. Wasting time with an overpriced home sitting for months never benefits a seller!

Remember that not every home meets every buyer's needs.  What every buyer is looking for however, is a home that is priced to reflect its condition, location, and comparable market value.  Simply wanting more for your home than recent 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 increasing prices.  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 and call me to relate your home to our current market.  To get a copy of my monthly newsletter, just email me at and ask!

It's always a good time to get informed about local market conditions and, more specifically, what is happening with sales in your preferred neighborhood. As a buyer, it is important to be pre-qualified to buy a home by working with a lender and Realtor who can act quickly if you find the home you want to buy.  Don't spend your time looking at properties you cannot afford; spend your time focused on the neighborhoods and price points that represent a realistic opportunity for you to own.

If you live in the DC metro area, you know that our housing market is unique and often outperforms much of the Nation.  If you are thinking of moving to the area, you will find a mobile and highly-educated population, excellent schools, diverse cultures, well-paying jobs, beautiful parks and recreation opportunities.  This is a great place to live and whatever your housing needs, you will find a wide array of housing choices, including condos, town homes and single family homes of all styles, sizes and price.  Interested in a particular community?  Check out our Community Details and learn lots. 

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: 703-790-9090
Mobile: 703-472-8014
Email: monikaharrison@gmail.com
 
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