April 2023 Market Update

Spring has sprung in the real estate market once again in Northern Virginia. We are back in the frenzy of dozens of showings almost immediately on homes, resulting in multiple offers for sellers to choose from. Open house activity has been outstanding for sellers but frustrating for buyers, as you can’t always see the condition of the house with so many people in them. This leads to stressed-out buyers, Realtors, and sellers.

We’ve had buyers bid 6 – 8% over the list price in the $850,000 range, waive every contingency, and give a free 60-day post-settlement occupancy, and they’ve still lost out several times. They’re disappointed and anxious, as they feel they should have “won” a bid at this point. Realtors are stressed out as they’re dealing with multiple offers and agents continuously calling, texting, and emailing demanding answers. In other situations, the listing agents are not communicating at all with the agents about the status of the offers, the number of offers, when they will be presenting the offers, where contracts rank versus others, etc. This makes a stressful situation even more tenuous for agents and buyers.

You may be asking why sellers are stressed. They’ve had to prepare their home for sale and determine if they did the right things to attract buyers, and they often question if they did enough to sell for top dollar. They have many people coming through their homes and feel they have to “choose” the right contract for them, which leaves other potential buyers “homeless” – and in some cases, they even wonder why they don’t have more offers. In this environment, it is critical to set realistic expectations for everyone. Communication is key and helps ease the pain of the buyers and agents that lose.

The big question is – why is this happening again? The short answer? We have very few homes for sale.

But why is this? Homeowners currently have 2.5-3.5% interest rates on their homes and don’t want to lose their great rate and payment, so they aren’t selling. This situation will keep inventory low for the foreseeable future. Additionally, buyers are used to the 6% interest rate environment we are in. Over the last 50 years, interest rates for 30-year fixed rates are 7.75%, and we are well below that today. Buyers also realize that we won’t return to 3% interest rates anytime soon, so they are ready to buy now.

If you are considering selling or buying, please call me. It is important today to have a professional in your corner to help you navigate the home selling and buying process, and I am here to help you.

Have a great spring season with your friends and family!

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