Hot & Sticky… The Northern Virginia Real Estate Market

The real estate market continues to be hot – just like the weather.independence day  Inventory levels remain below 7,800 active properties for sale in Northern Virginia.  Last year at this time we had over 9,550 – quite a difference.  There is pent up demand but we are lacking “really good” inventory.  We have buyers that would move up if they found something suitable in a higher price points but nothing seems to be coming on to help with this situation.  So here are a few quick stats on the overall market:

  • Sales of existing homes reached the highest annual pace in over 9 years at 5.29 million.
  • Inventory remains below the 6-month norm and prices are still on the rise, however, this is very hyper-local so ask me for details.
  • Interest rates are at a historic low of 3.48%.

Now, just like the weather, things can be a little sticky…if properties get priced too high, they are sitting on the market.  They are getting lookers, just no offers which at times has led to frustration for our sellers.  It is important to keep in mind proper pricing today is still critical.  To learn more about how we can help you with selling your home, feel free to call me.

The big news recently has been Brexit and how it will affect us in the United States.  Well, virtually immediately, interest rates on mortgages dropped to three year lows.  The good news is they are expected to stay this way for a while.  There is speculation that International investors may sell off their holdings in the UK and invest in the US which could be good news for cities like Washington, DC, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles – let’s keep an eye out for this movement.  The overall sentiment is we may not see its full impact for years but in the short term it will be good for the US housing market.

As always, we are here to help with any questions you may have regarding the Northern Virginia real estate market and have a safe, fun and enjoyable July 4th celebration.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Unlike the weather out there…the Northern Virginia Real Estate Market is HOT!

Very Low Inventory + Lots of Buyers = Good News for Sellers!  click to play

Thinking about selling your home?  Contact Scott MacDonald 702-652-5777 for more information and a personal assessment to meet your real estate goals.

Scotts Market Minute 2016FEB12

Now is a great time to buy and sell a home in Northern Virginia!

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Healthy Housing Market For Home Buying And Selling in Northern Virginia

The Northern Virginia real estate market continues to remain stable. Recent numbers show that houses are selling, prices are raising slightly, and inventory levels are increasing slightly. All of these numbers are at healthy levels in my opinion. 2015 Interest Rates Home Prices in the Northern Virginia Real Estate MarketThis news is making now a good time to both sell and buy a property.

One thing that has been a wild card is interest rates. Increased rates can hamper the steadiness of our market and right now they are near 2015 highs.  Over the past 3 weeks, there have only been two days where rates managed to improve even a little bit.  Four out of the past six days have seen uncommonly big moves higher.  These are the sorts of moves that we’d normally only see 2-3 times per month, so to see 4 of them in just over a week is alarming. It is definitely an area we need to pay attention to moving forward.

Going forward, I see more of the same out of our housing market. There will be a good home selection for buyers to choose from, reasonable prices and rates remaining in the 4% range. As good homes come on the market that are priced right, they are selling because there are buyers in the market looking to own. Houses that have been on the market because the owners “pushed” prices, didn’t have them in the right condition or just had bad timing (putting them on the market at the end of October) will continue to sit. Buyers want fresh listings, not old, tired listings that have been lingering on the market. Therefore, it remains critical to have your house staged, in the right condition and priced right to get it sold if you are looking to put your house on the market.

If you have any questions or concerns about your situation, feel free to call me today 703-652-5777 . I am happy to discuss how we can help you.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

New Year Sparks Hope and Much Anticipated Home Sales As Early Spring Real Estate Market 2015 Approaches

The beginning of the year always brings about hope, excitement and anticipation of good things ahead and 2015 is no different.  We believe that this year will be a much better year for real estate in Northern Virginia.  There are many reasons for this optimism – great rates, new financing programs, lower inventory levels, positive consumer confidence and pent-up demand.

Let’s review each of these areas.HOPE SPARK IN 2015 REAL ESTATE MARKET

  • Great rates. Although there has been a very slight uptick in rates recently, rates remain very low historically.  Additionally, the interest rates will remain low through 2015 perhaps not reaching 5% until later in the year.
  • New financing programs. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have both begun to accept 3% down payments for first time home buyers.  There will be guidelines such as a minimum 620 credit score, borrowers will have to take an educational class, and they couldn’t have owned a home in the last 3 years to qualify.  With 45% of renters delaying a home purchase because of available funds for a down payment, this should increase the number of home buyers in 2015.
  • Lower inventory levels. In September of this year, we reached a 7 year high in inventory in Northern Virginia with 9,163 houses for sale.  Since that time, the number of available homes has declined each week.  We now have just 5,944 homes for sale which resulted in a brisk sales month for December.  Some of these properties will come back on the market this upcoming spring, but many sold.  As long as we have a moderate winter weather-wise, inventory will slowly enter the market and we won’t have the accelerated inventory levels we experienced in May of 2014 due to the weather.
  • Positive consumer confidence. Many more people today believe that the economy, their personal situation and the real estate market are all going to be better in the future.  These optimistic expectations are leading indicators to people purchasing in the upcoming months – including housing.  Additionally, Freddie Mac and builders also have high expectations of the housing market.  These expectations will have a positive impact on housing in 2015.
  • Pent up demand. As previously mentioned, December experienced a brisk sales month here locally.  We continue to receive calls, emails and internet requests on our homes for sale.   This shows us that there are many people ready to buy the right home that suits their personal lifestyle needs.  Also, many people who went through distressed sales just a few years ago are able to purchase again.  Job growth coupled with population growth locally will also increase demand for housing.

One other area to see home ownership grow in 2015 and beyond is the Millennial homebuyers.  They believe in home ownership as a wealth building opportunity and an overwhelming majority of them will be buying in the next 5 years.  Lastly, rising rental rates will push more people into ownership as a cost savings measure.

All of these positive influences in our region will strengthen our housing market in 2015 and beyond.  As we see our local economy continuing to rebound after 4 years of stagnant growth, this will have a positive impact on housing.  To see what this means to you, please feel free to contact me.

Cheers in the New Year!

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Happy New Year 2015 _ ScottyMacsBlog Real Estate Market

 

With No True Spring-Selling Market, What Will It Take To Sell Your Home in 2014?

Housing Inventory Increase

Wow, it is hard to believe that we are almost half way through 2014 and summer is just about to get into full swing.  It is going to be interesting to see how we get through the real estate market this summer as we had no true spring selling season.  At our June Quarterly Meeting, I announced our numbers were up so far this year but we were expecting to have helped more families buy and sell homes up to this point.  Of course the weather got in the way early on and now that school is about to get out, people will be taking their vacations.  So it is important for sellers to be prepared for the upcoming situation.

Our inventory levels have continued to escalate since the warm weather broke in May.  It has resulted in us having more homes for sale than any time since October on 2011.  As we enter the summertime, the season generally slows down which will increase inventory as well, so sellers need to do all they can to attract the buyers that are out looking for a new home.  Sellers need to position their properties accordingly, as there is currently a 2 month supply of houses on the market.  The inside and the outside of the house needs to shine and show like a model home, as well as be priced to sell!  We are not able to “push” prices like we did earlier this year. What it takes to sell your house in 2014The sellers who overprice their properties, even just above what we recommend, sit on the market.  Additionally, we are having appraisal issues with properties in areas where there are no sales to support the higher values – even in multiple contract situations in arm’s length transactions.  The underwriting guidelines have made it tougher to get above market values approved, so please price your house accordingly.

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to discuss your specific situation or the market, feel free to call me today (703) 652-5777.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

What A Buyer Wants In A House For Sale In Northern Virginia

Now that the spring market has sprung – inventory levels too have sprung into full bloom.

Our inventory levels are at three year highs with over 6,100 homes for sale in Northern Virginia. We have not had this many homes for sale since November of 2011 – nearly 3.5 years ago.  This is good for buyers who are searching for homes but sellers need to be cognizant of what this means to them.Image

Inventory levels are up 36% over this same time last year so sellers need to be competitive when they put their properties up for sale. What we have been seeing in the market is buyers are very discriminating now when it comes to their home selection. Properties need to be in model home condition, have great curb appeal and need to be priced right in order to get offers. When homes meet these criteria, they often times are receiving multiple offers while their neighbors who haven’t staged their homes, haven’t gotten them into model home condition or haven’t priced them properly sit on the market. We see sellers push values and stay for sale for extended periods of time. We see other sellers who don’t declutter or continue to “live” in their homes versus stage their homes properly and they sit on the market. Lastly, we see sellers not make the appropriate upgrades like painting, carpet replacement, adding granite, etc. and their homes continue to stay up for sale while others sell. Many of today’s buyers don’t want to make the upgrades, don’t have the vision to get homes into the right condition or don’t have the funds to make the improvements but qualify to buy the homes that have been put into the proper selling condition. As inventory levels rise, it is extremely important to make your house as competitive as possible to get it sold because there are buyers out there.

On another note, interest rates remain low which is helping purchasers become home owners both as first time buyers and as move up buyers which is good for our market. As rates increase, we will see people embrace adjustable rate mortgages as an option – especially first time buyers as their objectives are to only stay in the property for a short period of time. If you are considering a purchase, please ask about ARM’s and if they are a viable option for you.

Let’s hope the weather heats up and helps fuel the real estate market. The winter was brutal and the comment was made, if you can’t get out and buy milk and bread, you can’t get out and buy a house. Come on warmer temperatures – we need ya!

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

 

Scott’s Market Minute: Spring Real Estate Market Is Warming Up

Residential inventory of houses for sale in Northern Virginia is beginning to pick up and the Washington Wizards kicked off the playoffs with their first win! Get all the stats here and everything you need to know to set yourself up for success! Are you buying or selling? Contact Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777 scottmacdonald@remax.net to find out the best strategies to put yourself ahead in this housing market.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

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7 Ideas For A Successful Real Estate Open House

The Spring real estate market is already warming up and due to low housing inventory, an Open House can be an effective way to get your listing seen. Listen as Scott offers some great ideas that were shared in “The NEW Agent” training series on how to help ensure a successful real estate open house.

Scott MacDonald, Broker/Owner/President of RE/MAX Gateway mentors and offers practical advice to real estate agents. Want to learn more? Contact Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777 scottmacdonald@remax.net to learn more about how to be your best as an entrepreneur in the real estate world. Read more at scottymacsblog.com

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LOW INVENTORY: Homes for Sale Needed in Northern Virginia!

Low inventory and multiple offers – listen as Scott MacDonald explains the current housing market from both buyer and seller perspective.  Scott offers practical advice to homeowners who are thinking of selling, as well as, market trends and forecast for the Northern Virginia Real Estate Market.
Contact Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777 scottmacdonald@remax.net to learn more about your specific real estate market or read scottymacsblog.com/

How to be successful this year in real estate.

It’s the beginning of the year and agents are asking what they need to do to be successful this year in real estate.  As I thought this through, I came up with a few areas that I believe agents need to “pay attention to” sooner rather than later to be successful in real estate.  Here is the list of urgent and important items, urgent items, important items and lastly, to do items that I came up with for success this year and beyond.

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Urgent and important

  • Get you database together – sort and qualify them.  Assemble their name, address, email address and phone number.
  • Call them, stop by and see them with a “leave behind item of value”, communicate with them regularly to strengthen your relationships with them and to develop your base of business.
  • Add people to your database daily – grow who you know and also, those who know you
  • Develop a daily game plan of who you are going to reach out to and why.  Do this the evening before or the morning before you start your day.
  • Create a daily schedule with strategic blocks (1-2 hours), buffer blocks (3-5 hours) and break out blocks (1-2 hours) built in and stick to it for success.

Urgent

  • Have a business plan complete with goals, objectives to meet these goals, and action plans to carry you over the goal line.
  • Hire a coach/mentor to keep you on track – meet with them weekly to review your goals/business plan.  Your broker or manager is always a good start as they are invested in your success.
  • Get an accountability partner to hold your feet to the fire complete with rewards as well as consequences for your actions.

Important

  • Learn the business – read publications, attend industry events at your office, Real Estate Exchanges, Quarterly meetings, association and at the franchise level.
  • Learn the inventory – see 5 houses every day including new homes.  Attend Broker Opens.
  • Meet with others in the industry – lenders, title, builders to gain insight into their areas of the business and what is happening with them.
  • Start a blog and write consistently.
  • Do videos and post to your blog, website, and social media channels to gain exposure and recognition as an expert.
  • Plan to host at least one client event this year.
  • Have a daily to-do list.  Work on hardest things first as they are typically the most critical.
  • Develop a routine and stick with it.  Always start with prospecting as it is the key to success.
  • Maintain a calendar with events and goals for the day and week.
  • Work on your negotiation skills through role playing.
  • Be present – stay off cell phone during your “block” times, focus on the other person, be an active listener.

To do’s

  • Utilize systems and process to ensure your success for marketing yourself, working with buyers and sellers.
  • Set up a networking group to grow your business.
  • Create and develop your brand – who you are, what you deliver and what you stand for in the business.
  • Read inspirational and motivational articles, books, etc. each morning to get you in the right frame of mind daily.
  • Continuously educate yourself personally and professionally.  Set a goal to read a book a month or even a book a week or to attain a designation.
  • Eat healthy and exercise regularly.
  • Invest wisely in yourself and in your business – check with your coach, mentor or trusted advisor before any major expenditures.
  • Celebrate your successes, including the small ones as they all count!
  • Consistently work on communication skills.
  • Create a vision board of your goals, dreams and desires.
  • Have a good balance between work and life.

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As you progress in your career or if you are looking to jump start your career be sure to add these items to guide you to success.  Obviously there are other areas which you need to develop but these will most definitely help you.  If you are interested in more information or would like to schedule a time to meet, please feel free to call me.

Now, go sell something!