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


The real estate market in the DC Metro area in 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 was both robust and challenging, as it was in many markets throughout the United States.  It was robust and exceptionally profitable for many sellers and challenging and very difficult to navigate for many buyers.  Prices increased significantly and quickly, days on market (DOM) decreased and competition among buyers for both resales and new construction set new records.  Multiple offers and final sales prices well above asking price were the norm.  It was a great time to be a seller and a challenging time to be a buyer, especially at lower price points. 

As we near September 2022 and evaluate two quarters of sales data, we see a transition to a more balanced market.  While some homes do receive multiple offers, not all sellers can expect this for their listed homes.  Instead of immediate offers, often on the day of listing, buyers are taking longer to view homes and to make offers.  In addition, buyers are making offers contingent on home inspections and negotiated appraisal and financing contingencies, all of which were waived by buyers during 2021.

High home prices resulting from the sellers' market of the last year and higher interest rates which now negatively affect the buying power of potential buyers have created a very different environment for both buyers and sellers. Other factors such as inflation and the unknown level of interest rate increases yet to come have caused some buyers to retreat from the market for a time while, simultaneously, other buyers are spurred by these same factors to move aggressively while interest rates are affordable for their budget to avoid being entirely priced out of the market in the future.    

At any time, 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 our daily lives are no different than those of our friends and family living in urban areas elsewhere 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 resilient economy, the demands of residents seeking to avoid traffic to those jobs raises the price of homes in many neighborhoods good for both easy commuting and lifestyle offerings.   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. We have already seen how the coronavirus remote work changes have created some new housing trends and demands (think work from home space) but the longer term implications for housing preferences are not yet clear as employers are unsettled on future workplace arrangements.

What should a buyer or a seller planning to buy or sell in 2022 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. Do this before you start looking at homes; even with lower interest rates, not every buyer qualifies for the loan amount they might like.  If your income limits you to a $500,000 purchase, don't waste your time looking at $700,000 homes or even $500,000 homes which will likely see multiple offers asking price. And be prepared to deal with competition which may waive home inspections, radon inspections, and appraisals and require more of your money to obtain financing approval.

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.  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. If that comparable seller renovated their bathrooms and kitchens or replaced their windows it is likely that these new items of value increased their sales price.  Emotion has no place in the sale of a home.  Most importantly, understand that the market conditions of the timing of your sale can fundamentally change what you can expect to sell your home for.

3.  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.  

4.  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 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: mharrison@mcenearney.com
 
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