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Archive for the 'Monday’s Blog – Selling a Home' Category

5 Ways to Reduce the Trauma of Kids When Moving to a New Home

5 Ways to Reduce the Trauma of Kids When Moving to a New Home

Hi!

Moving to a new home is traumatic enough for adults, right? Imagine how it must be or seem to kids? Much has been written and not written about helping them through the process and in adjusting to a new living space. So, I thought I would share some thoughts / tips here that I have on the topic, having moved many families with kids. Make it a team adventure!

Tips:

1. Talk to them well in advance about moving’s “ABC’s.” Help them to be knowledgeable and far in advance, so that they get used to the idea of moving.

2. Be excited and really positive about the move. Don’t be frustrated about it yourself. They may sense and mirror it.

3. Involve them in the planning process. Have them pack their belongings. An additional benefit is that it will help them learn how to prepare for an event and develop organizational skills.

4. Work with them to create a memory book of their old home and neighborhood. Yes, it may be a bit nostalgic, creating some of those feelings. You will want to be prepared to lead them through it, if so. It will help them start making into memories those things they have enjoyed – starting to create the past in the present.

5. Plan for a smooth transition.  Have items you need when you move in ready to use. Help the kids’ set up their room immediately, so that they can settle in physically and mentally, starting to make it their new home.

I hope this helps. Make it a team approach and kids’ transition will be made easier!

Cheers,

Ken

Condo Sales in Arlington, VA, for 2014 – Increasing or Decreasing?

Condo Sales in Arlington, VA,  for 2014 – Increasing or Decreasing?

Hi! I hope this finds you well and enjoying our incredible temperate summer in the DC area. Unusual – and welcomed!

The year in review, thus far, for condo sales, shows that our real estate market seems to have mirrored our summer’s moderateness. I took an in-depth look at the sales of condos from Jan. 1st till today.  The temperament of condo sales so far this year is relatively similar to non-condo properties, known as Fee Simple, and commonly referred to as townhomes (those that are not condo townhomes)  and single family / detached homes. This should not be too much of a surprise for those of us that work everyday in the market with sellers and buyers, and consistently track sales. Arlington is very stable and consistent in its seasonal sales fluctuations, and does not vary widely from condo vs. fee simple, overall.

Here are the stats!

This Year from January 1st to today, August 11th

845 Condos Sold, Range: $54,900 (yes, believe it or not) – $3,500,000, with an average sales price of $426,636, and an average Days on Market of 35

Last Year for the Same Period

959 Condos Sold, Range: $74,000-$3,950,000, with an average sales price of $430,833, and an average Days on Market of 35

While prices remain stable overall compared to last year, the number of condos sold is down by 114 units. This is a significant 12% decrease. The Days on Market (the listing date until date of acquiring and ratifying a contract that went to sale) remained relatively unchanged. Note that fee simple home sales are down similarly last year for the same period from 894 to 800 units this year, which is a notable 11% decrease.

What does this mean for sellers?

1. Grasp the opportunity to show your home above the others in the market.  Stats show that, on average, you have about a month to get your home under contract before it might be considered stale inventory by buyers, making it less attractive to them to buy at all, or appear to be a good target to offer a lower price for. So, price it right and show it at its best right at the starting gate. Use an agent who is skilled in making this happen. Beat the competition!

2. There may be a leveling “surge” in home sales at the year’s end to bring our sales up to equal last year’s. For instance the “Buyers in Waiting” –  my term  for buyers who want to buy and have held off – may look and buy. They may want to do so this year yet to get the tax benefits, or they might be otherwise  motivated, and did not want to spend their summer to look.

3. Prices remain strong and equal to last year, making it still a great time to sell.

Please let me know if you have questions, or would like a complimentary consultation in selling your home or buying a home. Arlington is a specialty, of course. And we sell in the rest of VA, DC and MD. We would love to be of help.

Cheers!

Ken

Arlington, VA’s Westover Market Snapshot for Last Three Months

Arlington, VA’s Westover Market Snapshot for Last Three Months

Hi! Westover, my little hometown within our larger hometown of Arlington, has an average home price of $806, 296. Approximate last three month sales: 53 homes, from $367,000 to $1,658,000, in the area we generally call Westover, individual neighborhoods radiating out from the village hub at Washington Blvd. and McKinley Rd.

How does this compare to last year for the same period? About the same, with 54 homes sold and an average price of about $821,000. Hence, the market remains relatively unchanged for this snapshot of time and place.

Summer’s market has been “tight,” to say the least, with very few homes coming on the market. Buyers are like “maids in waiting” – just waiting for the house they want to be put on the market.  I’ve lived in the Westover almost 20 years. As our Neighborhood Realtor, I started a list of people who want to move into, out of and within Westover. Needless to say, there are a good number of people and some nice homes on the list.

Call on me if you want me to make a note of your home; or if you are buyer looking to move within or move into the neighborhood, contact me to see what I know that might be a great fit for you. The list is confidential; if you are a homeowner here, I will share specific details of your home only with your approval.

It’s an exciting time for Westover. Home sales and prices remain strong – and we will also have a new food outlet / venue pretty soon: The Italian Store!

Cheers,

Ken

Clarendon and Courthouse, Arlington Market Report, 22201

Clarendon and Courthouse, Arlington Market Report, 22201

Hi!

Arlington’s Clarendon and Courthouse market, along with the rest of 22201, is showing its typical summer pace in being slower and quieter than other seasonal sales periods – though even more so this year compared to last year – down about 27%. It’s a strong seller’s market, with inventory of only 2 – 2 1/2 months (meaning that at any given time, there is enough inventory to sell for only 2 – 2 1/2 months before it is depleted.)

Homes priced correctly and showing well are getting contracts, often multiples, immediately. While some not-as-motivated buyers are enjoying the summer in the country, at the beach, in the mountains, or wherever, the motivated buyers have selected their Buyer Agents and are ready to jump at the right house for them. Yes, these buyers take trips as well. If they have selected an agent who is on top of the market, follows it closely, even when the buyers are out of town, the agent will give them a heads up when great prospects are available. Agents who work closely and steadily in the Arlington market will even know about some homes before they come on the market and advise their clients, often giving them the edge in getting the home they want.

Here are the numbers as reported by two authorities.

Compared with Last Year: July 28, 2013 vs. July 28, 2014

Median Estimated Home Value

(The median home price is the numerical value separating the higher half of prices of homes sold, the data sample, from the lower half of prices of homes sold.)

$588,000
Up 3.2%
Median Estimated Listing Price
$585K
Up 1.6%
Average Days on Market (DOM)
76
Down –25.5%

Source: NARRPR

Currently on the Market

89 Units (homes) ranging from $225,000- $3,995,900
Average price is $760,535

(The average is a representative measure of the range of home prices that is calculated by taking the sum of the values and dividing it by the number of prices being examined.)

Average Days on Market (DOM) is 2 – 2 1/2 months

Source: MRIS / MLS

I hope this snapshot helps you in keeping up on the market and in making decisions in selling or buying a home in 22201. Please let me know if you have more questions, and if you are a seller and would like a complimentary home market value analysis (Value: $225). We would love to be of service!

Cheers,

Ken

Why Price is the Key to Selling Your Home

Why Price is the Key to Selling Your Home

Hi! I hope this finds you enjoying the summer. It sure has been a beautiful one!

Price is the most important sales tool in selling your home in any market, and especially in our competitive market. We have a great time helping price homes. I will share with you here why the RIGHT price is so important.

First, the best opportunity to sell your home is within the first 2-4 weeks after it is placed on the market. Why? The buyers who are out there looking for a home have seen the other homes that have been available for sale. They are just waiting for the BEST home to come on the market. If your home is priced correctly, you will attract the maximum number of buyers who are  financially qualified to buy your home at a given price. And on YOUR timetable.

If your home is overpriced, most or all buyers will pass over your home, knowing this is the case. In our area, buyers generally do NOT make an offer on a house they view as overpriced. So, if overpriced, you may not get any offers at all. Eventually, as time goes on, you may decide to lower your price, and then have missed many or all of the most interested and motivated buyers. A price even as little as 5% over what the market says it should be can be damaging. Buyers will look at other homes and even in other neighborhoods instead, and buyers who cannot afford the price will not look at it.

Another scenario: If a buyer attempts to the buy the house because they are stretching (above what they initially wanted to pay for a house) and really want it, and they end up not getting financing, you will have a house you have taken off the market to sell to a buyer, and then need to put it back on the market – this can have MAJOR effects on the sale of your home, especially if the market has shifted significantly (and the market is always shifting in some direction) – for instance, if interest rates have risen and now the buyers who were looking at your home can no longer afford it.

Lastly, when you overprice your home and it does not sell within a reasonable amount of time (what the buyers view as reasonable; in our market, the number of days is very low), your home starts to get “stale,” meaning while other homes continue to come on the market and are  “fresh” listings, most buyers will assume that there is something wrong with your home since it did not get a contract on it quickly. They won’t even want to consider your home. Or if they do, they will make an offer that is substantially lower than your asking price, because they assume you are motivated to sell at a lower price due to your going through the inconvenience of having your home for sale for so long. Your “days on market” are known to prospective buyers, often easily or supplied by their Buyer Representatives. The higher the number, generally, the least attractive your house will seem to buyers.

If you underprice your home, you could have a lot of people come through your home and maybe get some or many offers.  You will lose buyers who avoid getting in the game to buy it because they think you have intentionally underpriced it to get buyers into a “bidding war,” and they do not want any part of that. The net result may be that you lose A LOT of money from your family’s investment.

HOW TO SET THE RIGHT PRICE? It requires experienced judgment, the most recent research and in-depth knowledge of the market.

Some means include:

1. Considering the cost of items that might be desired to touch up in the home prior to marketing it. Do they enhance the marketability – will the fix-ups help get a better price, or help get an offer when one would not have been acquired with the property as it is?

2. Quality and thorough measurement of your home against other homes that have sold recently in your neighborhood. What does yours offer a buyer compared to what the other homes had to attract a buyer to them? Compare your home against what the other homes were priced at for what they offered.

3. What makes your home really attractive, really stand out to buyers against other homes on the market? Does it have unique features in comparison? Are there one or more that the listing agent can highlight to draw the RIGHT (qualified and motivated) buyer who WANTS those features?

From personal experience and industry statistics, a great listing agent knows that pricing at market value delivers the maximum number of qualified and motivated prospects, giving the home the highest opportunity to sell quickly and at the best price. Pricing homes to get the best return on investment takes much consideration and skill. When done right, it pays off!

I hope this was helpful. As always, we are here to be even more helpful; just call on us. Until then, HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Cheers,

Ken

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