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This week’s Q&A column is written by David Howell, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant market news, contact David at 703-738-9513 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Are there benefits to listing my home on the MLS vs. selling it privately?

Answer: In today’s hot real estate market, some sellers may be tempted to sell their home privately, though a private sale does not include full exposure to the market through the multiple listing service (MLS), the internet, and the thousands of agents and brokerage companies who work in this region. We’ve heard a number of possible reasons for wanting to do so, including convenience, privacy and security.

At McEnearney Associates, we believe homeowners have the right to make that decision. We also believe that it is crucial to be informed, and sellers should fully understand the implications of listing privately when making their decision. The simple fact of the matter is — regardless of the listing company — sellers almost always benefit from full market exposure, and the data validate our conviction.

BrightMLS, our regional multiple listing service, recently completed a two-year study looking at almost a half-million sales and analyzing the results of “off-market” sales vs. those sold through the MLS. To help ensure objectivity, the study was guided and validated by two Ph.D. economists who have no ties to the MLS. The results are conclusive.

The study showed sale records of homes that were sold through the Multiple Listing Service and promoted to the entire BrightMLS network of 95,000 real estate professionals, concluding that these homes sold for higher prices than homes sold off the Multiple Listing Service. The median sales price for homes sold on-MLS was 16.98% higher than homes sold off-MLS. Similar results are demonstrated across BrightMLS’s three major Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

As a subset of off-MLS sales, Bright analyzed “private sales,” which are defined as office exclusive listings promoted only within a brokerage office or company. Those office exclusives make up a small percentage of transactions, and nearly two-thirds (63%) ultimately end up not selling off-market and are instead promoted through the MLS. Like the findings from all off-MLS sales, homes marketed on the MLS sold for a median sales price of 16.84% more than those marketed through office exclusive arrangements. Additionally, those office-exclusive listings typically took longer to sell: Homes entered into the MLS from the start went under contract faster than properties that started as an office exclusive and were later marketed on the MLS.

It’s stunning that the results are so similar and so compelling.

Now, doesn’t this stand to reason? No individual agent or company has access to all of the buyers or even the majority of the buyers. Thus, in a time of record-low inventory, does it make economic sense to artificially restrict the number of buyers who could be interested in a property? To intentionally curb the demand side of the supply and demand equation?

Furthermore, we believe it is in the best interests of our clients to provide all qualified buyers equal access to all homes on the market, not only to protect equal housing opportunities but to ensure that they maximize the value of the investment in their property.

We’ll leave you with the following two questions:

  1. Is almost 17% a big price to pay for the perceived “convenience” of selling off-market?
  2. Who benefits most from an off-market sale — the seller or the listing company?

Read the full Bright On/Off MLS Study on our website.

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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Founders Hall and Hazel Hall at the Arlington Campus (via Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University)

Thinking about taking the next step in your career? The Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University offers flexible part-time or full-time options for graduate certificate and master’s degree programs designed to teach applicable, real-world knowledge for in-demand careers.

Join our upcoming Master’s and Certificate Virtual Open House for prospective students on Sept. 14. The online session will provide an overview of the Schar School’s top-ranked master’s degree programs and graduate certificate programs, student services, and admissions requirements.

Virtual Master’s and Certificate Open House
Tuesday, Sept. 14
6:30 p.m.
Virtual session

Graduate Certificate Programs (just 5 courses each)
Part-time and full-time options available

  • Biodefense, Certificate
  • Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Certificate
  • Global Health and Security, Certificate
  • National Security and Public Policy, Certificate
  • Nonprofit Management, Certificate
  • Public Management, Certificate
  • Science, Technology, and Security, Certificate
  • Strategic Trade, Certificate
  • Terrorism and Homeland Security, Certificate

Master’s degree programs
Part-time and full-time options available

  • Biodefense, MS (Offered on-campus, online and through a combination of both)
  • International Commerce and Policy, MA (Offered on-campus, online, and through a combination of both starting in 2022)
  • International Security, MA
  • Organization Development and Knowledge Management, MS
  • Political Science, MA
  • Public Administration, MPA
  • Public Policy, MPP

To learn more about graduate programs at the Schar School, register for the September virtual open house or fill out our inquiry form.

Just Listed in Alexandria

Just Listed highlights Alexandria City properties that came on the market within the past week. This feature  is sponsored by the Jen Walker Team (Licensed in VA) of McEnearney Associates Realtors®. 

Welcome back!

Jen Walker here with The Jen Walker Team! We are a real estate group based out of Alexandria. I, along with my two rock-star team members, Sue Kovalsky and Micki MacNaughton, have more than 35 years of experience in real estate and sold over $107 million in 2020.

Featured in this week’s Just Listed is a detached home in Del Ray! This updated three bedroom, two bath home is the one you’ve been waiting to see! Light and bright (don’t miss the skylights!) with a great flow, this home features an open living/dining room located off the kitchen. Enjoy breakfast at the kitchen peninsula and cozy up to the wood stove in the living room on cool fall evenings. The main level also features a bedroom, fully renovated bathroom with crisp carrara and subway tiling, and access to a large garage/storage area.

The upper level features two large bedrooms, great closet space and another completely renovated full bathroom. Enjoy a private back yard with brick patio, perfect for outdoor entertaining or just lounging. Park in the driveway and walk to the farmers market, dining, shopping, parks and everything else Del Ray has to offer!

3333 Helen Street, Alexandria, VA 22305The Jen Walker Team

Click here for Just Listed properties in Alexandria and call The Jen Walker Team to schedule a home tour at 703-675-1566 or email [email protected].

Happy House Hunting!

In our highly competitive Alexandria market, the Jen Walker Team has the insider knowledge to connect you with homes that are not even public yet. With more than 35 years of experience, the Jen Walker Team has the expertise to answer questions, calm fears, and streamline your transaction. Want to see other homes not featured in this article? Contact our team today!

Please note: While The Jen Walker Team provides this information for the community, they may not be the listing agents of these homes. Equal Housing Opportunity.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 #WeAreAlexandria

Just Listed highlights Alexandria City properties that came on the market within the past week. This feature is sponsored by the Jen Walker Team (Licensed in VA) of McEnearney Associates REALTORS®.

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This week’s Q&A column is written by David Howell, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant market news, contact David at 703-738-9513 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: How did the real estate market for the first half of 2021 compare with 2020?

Answer: The City of Alexandria’s real estate market saw substantial improvement in the first half of 2021, but it would have been stunning had it turned out any other way given the doldrums of the COVID market during the spring of 2020.

Source: BrightMLS (data deemed reliable but not guaranteed)

Attached homes fared best, with a 52% increase in the number of units sold, and those homes sold in an average of just 16 days and for almost 1% above list price. Detached homes sold in an average of 21 days and slightly above list price. Condos, on the other hand, took almost twice as long to sell as attached homes.

The reason for the big difference in the time on the market boils down to one word: inventory. On average, there were more than twice as many condos on the market in Alexandria as the same time last year, and for smaller studio and one-bedroom units, there was triple the inventory.

Historically, condos make up about 40% of all the homes on the market at any given time in Alexandria, but during the first half of the year condos made up close to 60% of all homes on the market. That meant that buyers had plenty of choices and there was no rush to purchase.

And one other item of note: the 12% increase in the average sold price of condos is both mathematically accurate and a bit misleading. A smaller proportion of less expensive condos sold compared to larger, more expensive units, and that fact alone skewed the average price higher.

What’s ahead for the second half of the year?

It’s important to point out the first half of last year was the aberration, with a significant drop in activity due to COVID. While the rebound in the market is encouraging, in many respects it represents a return to more normal levels of buying activity. As one example, there were just as many detached homes that sold in the first half of 2017 as the first half of this year. The market looks and feels hotter because of the lack of inventory for attached and detached homes.

  • We expect buying activity to continue to improve — modestly — through the rest of the year.
  • While the abundance of condo inventory will gradually be absorbed, there will continue to be relative bargains available to purchasers of smaller units.
  • Continuing a trend from the last couple of months, there will be marginally more new listings coming on the market than homes going under contract. That will gradually begin to ease the very tight supply of attached and detached homes.
  • Based on our own projections and the BrightMLS forward-looking Home Demand Index, almost every area of the City will be in the “high demand” category, signaling a healthy second half of the year.
  • The area with the highest demand will likely be the West End.
  • By price range, we will likely see detached homes priced between $700,000 and $1,250,000 continue to be exceptionally strong. For attached homes, the hottest price range will be $500,000 to $1,000,000. In both cases, these will be what we consider “extreme” seller’s markets.
  • For condos, the hottest part of the market will be for units priced between $500,000 and $800,000, but that price range will not be as strong as the market for attached and detached homes.

Read our full mid-year Market Report online for more data on Alexandria City, as well as Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland and Washington, D.C.

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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Photo taken pre-COVID. All cleaning professionals wear masks while in your home.

Believe it or not, Labor Day is just around the corner, marking the unofficial end of summer.

Whether you have plans to travel, host family and friends, or just want to decompress amid the back-to-school chaos, get your home professionally cleaned ahead of the three-day respite.

And Well Paid Maids, based in the D.C. area, is here to help.

Well Paid Maids isn’t your typical cleaning company. It’s committed to paying its workers a living wage of at least $20 an hour or more. Even more: Cleaners are employees — not contractors — meaning they get benefits like health, dental and vision insurance; 22 paid days off a year; and 100% employer-paid commuting costs.

What better way to honor our country’s workers than to support a company that pays fair, livable wages?

It also uses healthy and sustainable cleaning products, rated “low concern” or “lowest concern” by the Environmental Working Group.

So whether you want to return to a clean home after vacation or host your family and friends for the weekend, book your summer cleaning today before spaces fill up. It takes less than 60 seconds!

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Just Listed in Alexandria

Just Listed highlights Alexandria City properties that came on the market within the past week. This feature  is sponsored by the Jen Walker Team (Licensed in VA) of McEnearney Associates Realtors®. 

Welcome back!

Jen Walker here with The Jen Walker Team! We are a real estate group based out of Alexandria. I, along with my two rock-star team members, Sue Kovalsky and Micki MacNaughton, have more than 35 years of experience in real estate and sold over $107 million in 2020.

208 Adams Avenue, #1/2, Alexandria, VA 22301The Jen Walker Team

In this week’s Just Listed, find this fabulous 3 BD/1.5 BA Del Ray duplex on a quiet and friendly street! Beautifully remodeled kitchen with an open concept flow, crisp white cabinetry and stainless steel appliances. Enjoy all the prep space and storage in the large peninsula island!

Upstairs, you’ll find three bedrooms, hardwood floors throughout and a full bathroom. The lower level features a recreation room and loads of storage — a half bath could easily be expanded into a full bathroom. A large fenced yard and screened-in patio makes this house a home! Park your car in your long driveway, and walk to the Metro, shops and restaurants in Del Ray. Welcome Home!

1412 Dogwood Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302The Jen Walker Team

Up next is a lovely townhome near shopping, coffee shops, dining and more! Welcome to 1412 Dogwood in a friendly neighborhood of Kenwood Towers. This home features three bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, and a great layout with hardwood floors throughout and over two levels. Enjoy your private backyard space and a great front yard in the neighborly area of Alexandria City. No HOAs!

Walk anywhere — near Bradlee Center, Fairlington shopping center, Great Harvest Bakery, Cafe Pizzaiolo — just to name a few! Take the bus at the stop nearby for easy commuting. Easy access into D.C. via 395, Pentagon, Reagan airport and more.

Click here for Just Listed properties in Alexandria and call The Jen Walker Team to schedule a home tour at 703-675-1566 or email [email protected].

Happy House Hunting!

In our highly competitive Alexandria market, the Jen Walker Team has the insider knowledge to connect you with homes that are not even public yet. With more than 35 years of experience, the Jen Walker Team has the expertise to answer questions, calm fears, and streamline your transaction. Want to see other homes not featured in this article? Contact our team today!

Please note: While The Jen Walker Team provides this information for the community, they may not be the listing agents of these homes. Equal Housing Opportunity.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 #WeAreAlexandria

Just Listed highlights Alexandria City properties that came on the market within the past week. This feature is sponsored by the Jen Walker Team (Licensed in VA) of McEnearney Associates REALTORS®.

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This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Kathy Hassett, a partner with the MPH Home Team. MPH is with McEnearney Associates Realtors, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Kathy at 703-863-1546 or email her at [email protected] You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: What is home staging?

Answer: Staging is preparing a home for market by furnishing and decorating it specifically to attract potential buyers. Through the use of furniture and accessories, staging helps buyers envision how the space can best be used and makes the property appealing. It puts the home in its best possible light by accenting the home’s positive features and helping enhance the flow of the rooms.

Will the stager use the seller’s furniture or bring in furniture?

There are many different approaches to staging, depending on whether or not the seller has moved out of the property. In a vacant home, a stager will bring in furnishings, rugs and accessories. This is the most effective approach because the stager is working with a “clean slate” and is able to create a home atmosphere appealing to buyers with on-trend items that the stager has preselected just for that purpose.

A stager may also work in a home still occupied by the seller and use the seller’s furnishings. In this situation, the stager first goes through the home with the seller, removing and packing up as much of the seller’s belongings as possible. Off-season items, personal photographs, collections and infrequently used items are some examples of what is packed away. If there are packed items that the seller needs to use on a daily basis, the stager will ensure those items are accessible. Once the home is cleared out of excess items, the stager will rearrange furniture, rugs, window treatments and lighting to enhance the home’s atmosphere. Frequently, additional items are brought in from the stager’s inventory of furnishings to round out what is in the home and complete the staging effect.

Is the entire house staged or only certain rooms?

It depends on the size of the property and the staging budget. Standard rooms to stage are usually the living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, primary bedroom and a bathroom. The secondary bedrooms do not need to be staged unless one is to be staged as a home office. With everyone working from home in the last year, a home office is now also standard for home staging. Even if it is not a separate room, having a dedicated space for a desk and work area is an important feature.

Staging outdoor space is now popular as well. Outdoor spaces do not have to be full kitchens or outdoor wet bars as seen in luxury magazines and home television shows. Showcasing a patio off the kitchen with a table and chairs as an alternative dining area or highlighting a fire pit with Adirondack chairs in either the front or backyard as a gathering spot is appealing to buyers who value having that additional living space at their home.

How much does staging cost and what are the benefits to the seller?

Prices for staging vary widely in Northern Virginia depending on the company and services being used. On the lowest end, a staging consultation may cost several hundred dollars for a few hours of advice. For full service, a vacant home that has staging in the living room, dining room, primary bedroom and bathroom, home office, family room, and patio will cost approximately $3,500 to $5,000 for the first 30 days. Renewing for a second month will usually be slightly less.

Staging offers big benefits for the seller, including a higher sales price and fewer days on the market on average. Research shows that staged homes sell for 20% more than homes not staged, and they sell 88% faster than homes not staged. The seller must be willing to invest in the staging costs at the time of listing or be willing to pack up most of their personal belongings to realize these benefits.

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113 W. Mason Avenue (via Google Maps)

In the past seven days, 34 properties in Alexandria were reduced in price, according to Homesnap.

In total, there are 517 homes for sale, including 352 condos, 98 townhomes and 67 single-family homes. The median list price is $495,000.

Below, find several recently reduced properties:

Image via Google Maps

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Just Listed in Alexandria

Just Listed highlights Alexandria City properties that came on the market within the past week. This feature  is sponsored by the Jen Walker Team (Licensed in VA) of McEnearney Associates Realtors®. 

Welcome back!

Jen Walker here with The Jen Walker Team! We are a real estate group based out of Alexandria. I, along with my two rock-star team members, Sue Kovalsky and Micki MacNaughton, have more than 35 years of experience in real estate and sold over $107 million in 2020.

Featured in this week’s Just Listed is a gorgeously renovated 2 BD/2 BA Warwick Village townhouse less than one block to “The Avenue” in Del Ray. Enter the home and prepare to be wowed by the kitchen. Renovated in 2017, you will never want to leave this space that features an oversized island with waterfall quartz countertops, fabulous shaker style cabinetry and new stainless appliances — this is truly a chef’s dream. The kitchen overlooks the living and dining rooms, and the beautiful wood floors (refinished and stained in 2017) provide for a seamless flow.

Upstairs, find a primary suite with a wall of closets and plenty of space for bedroom furniture and even a sitting area. The secondary bedroom and a hall bath can also be found on this level. Head to the lower level and you will find a great recreation room area. Renovated with updated flooring and a new bathroom in 2019, this would be a great guest space, office or family room for movie night!

Additional updates include: A new roof (2018, under 10-year warranty that transfers with American Home Contractors), new attic insulation (2018), exterior window fixtures (2018), interior waterproofing system and new sump pump (2019, 50-year warranty from AAction Waterproofing), new front landscaping (2019), and new HVAC handler and compressor (2021).

This home is in pristine, move-in ready condition and is just steps to The Avenue! Enjoy walking to shops, restaurants and more — you will love living at 11 Kennedy Street! Welcome home!

11 Kennedy Street, Alexandria, VA 22305The Jen Walker Team

Click here for Just Listed properties in Alexandria and call The Jen Walker Team to schedule a home tour at 703-675-1566 or email [email protected].

Happy House Hunting!

In our highly competitive Alexandria market, the Jen Walker Team has the insider knowledge to connect you with homes that are not even public yet. With more than 35 years of experience, the Jen Walker Team has the expertise to answer questions, calm fears, and streamline your transaction. Want to see other homes not featured in this article? Contact our team today!

Please note: While The Jen Walker Team provides this information for the community, they may not be the listing agents of these homes. Equal Housing Opportunity.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 #WeAreAlexandria

Just Listed highlights Alexandria City properties that came on the market within the past week. This feature is sponsored by the Jen Walker Team (Licensed in VA) of McEnearney Associates REALTORS®.

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Address: 2308 Sanford Street
Neighborhood: Del Ray
Listed: $850,000

Situated in a peaceful community bursting with character, 2308 Sanford Street is an end-unit townhome filled with brilliant light and is guaranteed to WOW any buyers! It’s completely renovated from the ground up and provides a spacious and versatile layout for any desired living concept — and comfort for entertaining any sized gathering.

Tall ceilings and pristine hardwood floors complement rooms and extend throughout the home. The beautifully designed eat-in kitchen is a vision that offers unique stone floors, under-cabinet and recessed lighting, top brand stainless appliances, granite countertops, and sleek cabinetry finished with modern hardware. Dining and living rooms progress naturally into one another and present classic details like crown molding, chair rail accents and crisp neutral wall colors. The living room is enhanced by a wood-burning fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows. Three bedrooms possess private bathrooms. Every bathroom in the home — 3.5 total — has been updated to include new floors, vanities, and fixtures. Closets have been outfitted with customized organizers to keep things tidy. The patio allows for owners to enjoy al fresco dining and grilling.

This townhome is nestled into a half-acre wooded area within a desirable part of Alexandria City that cannot be developed. Assigned parking (#2) comes with the home. Ample guests parking is available (a private lot or street parking on Sanford), and additional spaces can be rented. It’s close to Del Ray, historic Old Town and D.C. for endless entertainment, dining and shopping excitement, as well as quick commutes to work.

Listed by:
Sue Goodhart
The Goodhart Group
703-362-3221
[email protected]
thegoodhartgroup.com

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