If you have been following our Northern Virginia Real Estate Blog, then you know inventory levels throughout the area have been low almost all year. In some areas, low inventory dates back even further. As an example, scroll down and take a look at our statistics below for Vienna and Oakton. You’ll see that both areas have less than a three-month supply of homes on the market. So what does this mean for Buyers and Sellers?
It's still a good time to sell. When inventory is low, you become the driver of the car instead of just being a passenger. The number of home sales may be down from last month, but sales are up when comparing months year-over-year. When inventory is low — there is less competition for your home. And that's a plus! In the past few months, The Belt Team has marketed and sold MANY homes in a week or less — and had several listings sell over list price because they were priced to incent competing contracts.
That being said, it remains vital you choose the best Realtor to market your home. Home buyers are still showing signs of market anxiety and until consumer confidence in the economy returns, pricing right and getting maximum exposure is imperative.
You may want to read our previous posts "Don’t Be Like Timothy Geithner – Mistakes Sellers Make" and "5 Ways To Know If Your Realtor Is Tech Savvy (and does it even matter?!)" — and download our FREE report "43 Questions You Should Ask When Interviewing A Realtor To Sell Your Home."
If you're in the market to buy a home, you may not be happy about low inventory. Low inventory means less to choose from AND that it's more likely you’ll have to compete for a home. How do you handle this?
1. Make sure you are working with a Realtor who ensures you are aware of new listings as early as possible. Request that your listing search be automated, rather than waiting for the agent to check the MLS and then send things to you. (For example, sign up for FREE Listing Alerts.)
2. Discuss your strategy with your Realtor BEFORE you are in a competitive situation. Find out your options for negotiation so that you are ready to move quickly if and when that "dream home" comes on the market. Read reviews about your Realtor before you sign a Buyer Agency Agreement with one. Work with a Realtor who has reviews that specifically match the type of negotiating skills you may need. (For example, look for comments like those you’ll see about The Belt Team on consumer real estate site Zillow.com:
"Pauline Knipe helped me negotiate a great price."
"My wife and I worked with Krissy Cruse. She did an excellent job and made the entire process easy and painless. We closed on our house exactly as planned and purchased it for $12,000 less than advertised.”
“I worked with Catharine Via. They know the market and priced my home
aggressively, yet realistically, to get me my target price, and they held firm to that with the offer. They look out for your interests.”
“We had two competing offers on our home in a matter two days, and we closed the sale within about 40 days. All this in a ‘down’ market! I would heartily recommend The Belt Team, and specifically Pauline Knipe, to anybody looking to buy or sell a home.”
3. Don't just look for homes on your own. You'd be surprised to know a number of homes that are not even on the market are sold to buyers. So if you’re not working with a proactive agent who is really networked in your desired area, you may be losing homes you don’t even know about. Working with this type of agent will expand your options and the likliehood of finding exactly what you’re looking for.
Last week in Vienna Real Estate (22180, 22181, 22182):
- Number of Contracts: 20
- Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 105 days
- Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 86 days
- Inventory: 186 homes on the market
- Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 2.4 months
- Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 2.7 months
Last week in Oakton Real Estate (22124):
- Number of Contracts: 9
- Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 94 days
- Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 98
- Inventory: 68 homes on the market
- Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 2.1 months
- Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 2.6 months
Contact The Belt Team for more strategies on finding the best Realtor or real state agent in Northern Virginia, home buying & selling tips and for market updates specific to your area.