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Ask McEnearney: With the Pandemic and Recent Election, When is the Best Time to Sell My Home?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Kim Peele of The Peele Group and McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact The Peele Group at 703-244-5852 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future column

Question: With the pandemic and the recent election, when is the best time to sell my home?

Answer: As we all know, 2020 has been a year like no other. A pandemic. High unemployment. Low interest rates. An election year. Throughout it all, real estate has been steady and strong. Now we are on the brink of the holidays. With all of these factors at play, you may be wondering, when is the best time to sell your home?

First, let’s talk about interest rates. They are amazing — at an all-time low — and are expected to stay low for a while. This has had a huge impact on our real estate market.

According to the latest report by David Howell, Chief Information Officer for McEnearney, year-to-date 2020 sales in Northern Virginia have exceeded last year by 27.5 percent for homes priced at $750K and above. Homes under $750K have seen steady sales, as well, just slightly up over last year. Due to a shortage of available homes for sale, the average days to sell a home is 25.7 percent less in 2020 than last year. For the week ending November 8, contracts in the Washington Metro area were up over 30% over the same week last year. This is a great indicator!

Even with these fantastic numbers, real estate has slowed ever so slightly over the last several weeks. Some of this is due to the election and some of this is due to the normal cycle of real estate. Buyers typically take a pause leading up to an election. However, there is also a normal real estate slow down leading into the holidays.

BTIG, a research and analysis company, has data showing that for the last 60 years, there has been a decline in home sales of 9.8 percent in November anyway, compared to October. In presidential election years, sales have dropped by as much as 15 percent in November. Myers Research and Zonda reports that “the slowdown is largely concentrated in the month of November. In fact, the year after a presidential election is the best of the four-year cycle.”

Here in the Washington D.C. metro area, the presidential election has a very short-lived effect. Once a new president is elected, there tends to always be some growth in the housing market in D.C. Combine this with the fantastic interest rates and limited inventory of homes on market, in my opinion, there is even more pent-up demand coming our way. So, depending on your unique selling situation, the best time to sell could be right now, or it could be in early 2021.

Selling your home is a multi-faceted proposition, and the right plan for you should be customized to your specific situation. Your real estate professional can help you make the best plan for your home and your goals for a home sale. Included in your decisions are some general factors, such as location and the specific inventory currently available in your neighborhood. If there are several similar homes now active, it may best to wait. If there are no similar homes, and the last ones went quickly, the time may be right now.

Another consideration on timing is the current condition of your home. You may need to evaluate some updates and make decisions on whether to get them done prior to a sale or move into the market now and price your home accordingly. If there is work to be done in your home, putting your home on the market in early January should be an excellent time.

All signs point to a great end of year and fantastic 2021 for real estate in Northern Virginia and the D.C. Metro area. The best time to sell is soon!

For a professional, confidential evaluation of your home, please call or text us at 703-244-5852 for a no-obligation assessment of your home. We have a Dream Team of experts — contractors, staging advisors, photographers and more — to help make the right preparations, minimize stress and maximize profits!

Kim Peele, a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc., lives in Old Town and works in Virginia, D.C. and Maryland. She and her daughter Hope Peele are The Peele Group. Kim is a second-generation realtor and fourth-generation Washingtonian and is dedicated to helping owners through the challenges of selling their home.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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