I enjoyed a great evening last night with neighborhood friends enjoying the Super Bowl. What a game! After focusing primarily on commercials and the half time show, the game went from boring to thrilling as the evening progressed. Watching the Super Bowl with the same group of friends in the McLean Hamlet over the past dozen or so years is a fun tradition. Like most social outings with my friends, everyone asked “How is the real estate market?” Having repeated these insights several times last night, here are two stories from the past four days that illustrate the current market.
Two buyer clients that my real estate colleagues and I are assisting learned tough lessons this weekend about the market. Inventory of properties is low, except in the high-end luxury home market. In two instances this weekend, our buyers learned that properties that interested them went under contract before they had an opportunity to see them. We alerted our buyers on Friday that new properties hit on the market that met their criteria. Both responded that they were available to see the properties with us on Sunday. Unfortunately, as happens with good properties when inventory is low, both properties went under contract before Sunday.
The market for first time home buyers, ranging from $400,000 to $800,000 depending on location, is extremely tight. Good properties that are priced well are selling quickly. The properties in question, a one bedroom condo in a high-rise in Arlington priced at $400,000, and a town home in Falls Church (McLean High School pyramid schools) priced at $750,000, were both well priced and in ready to sell condition. In one instance, the open house scheduled for Sunday was canceled. Given the fact the owners decided to accept offers before waiting through the weekend, I predict that both properties received multiple offers, and will likely sell above their list prices.
Contrast the experience of these two buyers with a client of mine that ratified a contract to purchase a home on Friday. My clients, a couple with a young child looking to purchase their first home, engaged our services in October. In our first meeting, we brainstormed to learn exactly what they wanted in a home. They had several months left on their lease, so we had no rush to jump into the market. While the inventory was low through the holiday months, we took our time and checked out some potential properties. We visited several homes, but none seemed right for them. A few weeks ago, I learned that an agent in my office had signed a listing agreement on a property in a location and style that were most likely to fit my buyer’s needs. We arranged a visit to the home through the listing agent, even though he said the owner was planning several updates to the home and it would not be ready to be on the market until March. When we visited the home my clients decided it was perfect for them. We offered a contract, and the owners accepted!
My clients are thrilled to be under contract to purchase a home that they envision raising their family in for twenty or more years. Most importantly, by using my resources at Keller Williams in McLean, which is the number one single office in Fairfax and Arlington Counties, my clients did not have to compete with other buyers for a home in a popular neighborhood in Vienna, Virginia. I believe I saved my clients tens of thousands of dollars on this transaction.