December 2019 Market Update

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Wow, did November fly by or what?  It seems like I just sent my November newsletter and here we are in December already – crazy to me for sure. November brought a few substantial changes in our industry. First is the way we must now market our listings. The ability to pre-market homes as we know it has gone by the wayside. Previously, we could use signs, online marketing on social media sites, real estate websites, networking events and/or email campaigns to get the word out about future listings either days, weeks or months in advance. Now, we must put the home in MLS within one business day as active or in “Coming Soon” status once the property is marketed to the public in the aforementioned ways. It is more consumer-friendly as it opens up all houses to the buyers and it also gives sellers maximum exposure to all buyers by sharing the properties with all agents. Before this new rule, there were agents who would privately market homes to the detriment of the seller and potential buyers. This change will also provide accurate data in MLS for sales information, so we all know what sales prices and concessions are and inform us if the sale was an arm’s length transactions or not.  This is helpful for pricing houses for both buyers and sellers as well as appraisers. To learn how this can affect you when deciding to sell your house, give me a call, I’m happy to share more details.

The second area is financing houses and loan amounts. Here is a brief history of what FHFA has done since 2016 with conventional loans: back in 2016, the FHFA increased the conforming loan limits from $417,000 to $424,100. Then, the next year, the FHFA raised the loan limits from $424,100 to $453,100 for 2018. And in 2018, the FHFA increased the loan limit from $453,100 to $484,350 for 2019. Lastly, just last week, the new loan limits will be $510,000 for 2020. Jumbo loans will now go up to $765,600 in our area. Jumbo loans typically have higher interest rates. Please call to learn more about how this can help you when buying or selling a house.

Also, VA loans no longer have a limit, but they do have liability issues which can affect the amount of your loan going forward. If you are a veteran, your eligibility will drive your maximum loan amount. In addition, the funding fee for zero-down loans will be 2.3% of the loan amount in 2020, up from 2.15% for regular military in 2019. The fee for subsequent use loans will be 3.6% of the loan amount, up from the current 3.3%. You can pay the fee upfront or roll the cost into the loan. These go into effect for any loan that closes after January 1, 2020. Again, if you have any questions at all, please call me.

I hope you have a safe, fun and festive holiday season with all of your family and friends!

A Quick Minute of Motivation

In this motivational series, I’ll highlight how to become a Peak Performer. In today’s Peak Performer Series message I am issuing another challenge! How can you make yourself better than you were yesterday? Take a few minutes today and every day this week to make yourself incrementally better over the next few days. Learn more in my latest video, I’d love to hear your results! Please make sure to share them with me.

Need more motivation? Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email at scottmacdonald@remax.net

A Quick Minute of Motivation

In this motivational series, I’ll highlight how to become a Peak Performer. In today’s Peak Performer Series message I wanted to talk about something that will really hold you back – excuses! Are you making excuses or are you really out there doing the tasks that need to be done to grow your business? Take a few minutes to watch this quick video to understand why you should stop making excuses.

Need more motivation? Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email at scottmacdonald@remax.net

A Quick Minute of Motivation

In this motivational series, I’ll highlight how to become a Peak Performer. In today’s Peak Performer Series message I wanted to talk about your top 3 priories in all areas of your life. What can you do to propel yourself into a successful 2020? Take a few minutes to watch this quick video to understand the importance of reflecting on your life and preparing for next year.

Need more motivation? Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email at scottmacdonald@remax.net

A Quick Minute of Motivation

In this motivational series, I’ll highlight how to become a Peak Performer. In today’s Peak Performer Series message I wanted to talk to you about reflection. As we go into 2020, we want you to have the right vision for success. Take a few minutes to watch this quick video to understand the importance of reflecting on your business over the past year.

Need more motivation? Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email at scottmacdonald@remax.net

November 2019 Market Update

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Happy Fall!

The change in the weather has not changed the real estate market here in Northern Virginia. We still have a limited supply of houses for sale with lots of demand. Houses are selling quickly when priced right, are in the right condition and in a desirable location.  In all of Northern Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and Fauquier Counties plus all of the cities in between – Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, etc.) the median days on market are just 14. As you can see, properties are selling quickly! The important thing to note however is prices are not drastically increasing with this supply and demand issue and when prices do get “pushed” we are having appraisal issues. It is important to price your house properly so if you are considering selling, please call me to discuss the right pricing strategy for you as each market is different.

During this time of year, people always ask, is now a good time to sell? My answer is – yes – if you need to sell. If there is a situation in your life that dictates the need to sell, list your house now. As I mentioned, we have a strong demand for houses. There is only a 1.5 month’s supply of housing right now. Also, we know that inventory levels are very low, only 3,855 resale houses are for sale today, so we know what the competition is for you. Who knows who will be selling in the spring and how this will affect pricing? We also know that rates, although they increased slightly this week, they are still great.  At this time, a buyer can get a 30-year fixed-rate at under 4% which is phenomenal.

Additionally, houses that are decorated for the holiday season often show better and, in some cases, give the buyer ideas on how they can enjoy the holidays in the house as well. A nice staging technique that can go a long way.  So, again, if you are thinking about selling and want to know if you should wait or list today, please call me.

I hope you have a festive Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

A Quick Minute of Motivation

In this motivational series, I’ll highlight how to become a Peak Performer. In today’s Peak Performer Series message I wanted to have you think about what action you are going to do TODAY that will lead to a sale in the near future? Learn more about the importance of taking action, doing activities that generate income, in my latest motivational minute video.

Need more motivation? Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email at scottmacdonald@remax.net

A Quick Minute of Motivation

In this motivational series, I’ll highlight how to become a Peak Performer. In today’s Peak Performer Series message I have a challenge for you. Right now – put the pedal to the metal and get on the phone! Learn more about the importance of keeping your momentum going, check out my latest motivational minute video.

Need more motivation? Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email at scottmacdonald@remax.net

October 2019 Mid Month Market Update

Here’s your latest real estate market update for Northern Virginia. Inventory is low, it’s a seller’s market! And with interest rates still at an all-time low, not is a great time to buy!

What do you think? How is the market in your area?

Thinking of buying or selling? I’m happy to provide you with a free market analysis if your home. Give me a call to talk about your specific situation and needs. Call me at 703-652-5777 or email at scottmacdonald@remax.net

A Quick Minute of Motivation

In this motivational series, I’ll highlight how to become a Peak Performer. In today’s Peak Performer Series message I’d like to talk to you about earning it. You earn your reputation every day? What are you doing to earn it? Do you have the right attitude on a daily basis? Learn more about the importance of your reputation in my latest motivational minute video.

Need more motivation? Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email at scottmacdonald@remax.net