Fall typically brings a burst of activity in the real estate market ahead of a winter slowdown, and this year is no exception. Buyers are out and looking for value this Fall after several months of declining sales in our area. Inventory has been up in the past few months (see graph here), with August reaching the highest level of active listings in 3 years (though still only 43% of its peak level, and well below the 6 month “balanced” inventory goal). Real Estate Business Intelligence (RBI) is predicting home prices to rise only 1-2% this Fall in this UrbanTurf article
There are still pockets of hyper-activity throughout the region, though, like our 3 bedroom rowhouse in Capitol Hill that received 5 offers in its first week on market. So, as always, real estate is all about location, location, location, and homes that are seen as a good value will sell quickly and still with escalation clauses. Pricing is critical in this late-year market.
I expect sellers who don’t see response by late October to start pulling their listings off the market as we approach the holidays. Sellers who have their homes on the market over the holidays are typically very motivated sellers, so buyers shouldn’t let the change in seasons stop their search–you’re much more likely to find a good value and not have to compete with other buyers.
As the weather changes, homeowners should think about getting their house ready for winter by draining hose bibs, cleaning gutters, and cleaning the chimney. And don’t forget to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Click here for a handy checklist of fall maintenance items.
If you’re thinking of selling in 2015, winter is a great time to work on those inside projects and de-cluttering–contact us for our checklist of steps to prepare your home for sale. And buyers–now is a great time to get your ducks in a row with financing so that you can casually look over the winter (and you may even find a bargain or two). We’re offering just one more free first time home buyer class this year, and it’s scheduled for Monday October 6 at 7:00 pm at Arlington Central Library. To register, click here
The Wethman Group
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