As we enter the holiday season, we continue to see strong sales numbers in the Northern Virginia housing market, even as inventory levels continue to decline. Right now, we have 24% fewer homes for sale than the last week of November in 2016. We are seeing houses that are priced right still receiving multiple contracts, which is unusual for this time of year. Purchasers are ready to buy when they see the right house!
During this time of year, I often get asked, “should I keep my house on the market or take it off”. My advice is simple – if you need to sell, keep it on. Nicely decorated houses look festive and cozy which attracts many buyers (see the article about holiday staging on the next page). Additionally, buyers who are looking over the holidays are serious buyers; we don’t get many window shoppers this time of the year. These buyers are looking because they have a real housing need; whether their lease has ended, they are relocating into the area or they are looking to get a great deal as sellers tend to be a little more motivated when listing their homes at this time of the year. If you don’t have a real need to sell, take your house off the market and kick back, relax and enjoy the holidays. Wait until the second or third week of February to put it back on the market. If you or someone you know is thinking about selling or buying a home, please let me know so I can give them advice specific to their situation.
In other news… After much deliberation, the Senate tax bill narrowly passed during the early-morning hours on Saturday December 2nd in a vote of 51-49. The House passed their bill in mid-November so now they need to both come to an agreement to put on the President’s desk for signature. Details of the final plan are still forthcoming, but we do know that you can write off up to $10,000 in property taxes to local and state authorities and the corporate tax rate is staying at 20%. Both tax reform proposals double the standard tax deduction, which may, in many cases, provide a greater benefit to renters than to homeowners. You will be able to write off mortgage interest up to $500,000 which is helpful to many tax payers as well. The question becomes, will homeowners now also have a dis-incentive to sell their home in order to keep their current interest rate deduction of up to $1 million as they will be grand-fathered? If so, this would potentially add new supply constraints. Stay tuned for additional details soon.
I hope that you enjoy the holidays with your family, friends and loved ones!
P.s… there is still time to RSVP to join us for our Annual Breakfast with Santa event this weekend!!