Don’t kick yourself later…stay on top of the trends!

Platinum Group April 2011

The Platinum Group is made up of Realtors from various companies that meet once per month who earn in excess of $250,000 – the true top producers in the business.  We discuss market conditions, trends, short sales, foreclosures and many other topics.  The advice given should be taken to heart if you are in the market to buy or sell as this is relevant information in regards to our market.  If you are an agent, feel free to share what we discuss with your clients.

Spring has sprung…inventory levels are up just as we had expected them to be this time of year but what has surprised me is that the level has jumped 13% in just 2 weeks.  Luckily, there are buyers out there looking to own because decent listings are coming on and off the market.  Houses are selling but the properties need be in the right condition and priced right.  Above average condition is selling – low prices are selling – if you have both they are sold, if you only have one or the other you are sitting on the market.  It is imperative now more than ever to understand this scenario.  If you don’t, the house will stay on the market.

Although inventory levels are rising, the good news about our market is that foreclosure and short sale activity have been stable and are making up a lower percentage of the inventory available.  I am not completely sure if we have seen the bottom on this or not – my experience and what will be written about later also indicate we are not completely out of the woods in regards to distressed properties.

In the price range $475,000-650,000, there has been little to no activity in Centreville/Chantilly…first time buyers are buying and the wealthy understand the value of the market – interest rates, property values, etc. so they are buying in upper price points.  The reason for this being a difficult price point is because of lack of move up buyers in the market today.  Many move up buyers over the last 3-4 years have either short sold or got foreclosed on so there is now a void in the market – it may take a few more years for this segment of the market to recover – stay tuned!

Sellers are more willing to do work today – they are watching home improvement shows, are  going on line and look at other properties and how they are presented and making the house show to attract buyers.  Putting the home in model condition is the key.  Decluttering, neutralizing colors, sprucing up the yard, packing up belongings and getting a storage unit are the keys to getting the house in the right condition to sell.  I find it interesting that we spoke about this on more than one occasion this month.

Be careful how you load you photos – some internet sites only pull the first 5 posted on MLS.

Foreclosure releases are slow and have been since November.  Many people are still in the house because they know they can stay in the house and not pay any mortgage or rent and cash for keys is nowhere near the savings of not paying at all.  In reviewing the paper and in particular, the public notice section, more foreclosures are likely to come on the as filing notices are increasing in the paper.  Fannie Mae is sitting on 162,000 properties valued at $15 Billion.  All total with banks, and Freddie included, there is over $1 Trillion inventory.  Obviously, these numbers are national numbers – we are looking into local numbers so stay tuned.

To understand the consequences of short sales and foreclosures, go to she has all the potential scenarios.  Your credit score may be the least of your worries.

Interest rates are projected to be in the range they are today through the summer which should help us absorb the increase in inventory levels this time of year.

This is valuable, timely and informative which needs to be acted upon and/or shared.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Now, go sell something!

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