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This week’s Q&A column, sponsored and written by McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria, is a bit of a departure from our usual format. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact us at 703-549-9292. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Beyond Selling Homes

As we head into the holiday season, it’s a wonderful time to give back and thank the communities that helped McEnearney Associates grow to the number-one hyper-local firm it is today.

For forty years, our firm’s focus has been on going above and beyond selling and buying homes for clients and building a brand that invests in the communities where we live and work.

In partnership with Rebuilding Together DC • Alexandria and Atlantic Coast Mortgage, McEnearney Associates rolled up their sleeves and got to work on 4 homes in our Alexandria community. We painted, landscaped, decluttered, organized, and rebuilt to help revitalize our communities.

We would also like to highlight some of the community organizations we have worked with over the years. Our individual Associates have also supported many more throughout the DMV. We offer our sincere thanks to these organizations that strengthen our communities and to all those whose donations of time, money, and resources make it all possible.

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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This week’s Q&A column is written by Rebecca McCullough of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Rebecca at 571-384-0941 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: What terms are negotiable in a real estate sales contract?

Answer: I often write articles about current market conditions, because let’s face it, it’s been fun to write those articles for the past couple of years. My last article was about how the market is changing. That continues to be true. The market certainly changed — interest rates have more than doubled, and buyers are largely hibernating.

Despite this, I believe housing prices will remain somewhat consistent over the next year and buyers will adjust to the new rates. As wise investors in any arena will tell you, it’s impossible to time the market. Buying a home is no different: buy what you can afford, when the time is right for you. If rates go up, you’ll be glad you bought. If they go down, you can refinance.

In this current environment, now that buyers can take a breath and really think about what they want to offer a seller, buyers need to understand what a Virginia housing contract entails, how it protects them, and what it does not protect them from.

The Virginia Residential Contract

In Northern Virginia we use the “Residential Sales Contract” that is suggested by the Northern Virginia Associate of Realtors (NVAR). It is 11 pages with 33 sections. Over time it has evolved with the changing market conditions. Typically, we see tweaks in January and July of every year. Sometimes changes are administrative, and sometimes they are deal-altering.

Here’s a recent example: until January 2022, the contract stated that an earnest money deposit needed to be delivered to a broker or settlement company within a certain number of days post contract ratification. During one transaction where I was representing the seller, I was nervous about a buyer who had not yet delivered their deposit per the terms of the agreement. I looked into what my recourse was. There was none. Hmm. No credit to me, but not too long after that the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors contract committee, likely having some pushback for this “no recourse” scenario, changed the Residential Sales Contract such that if a deposit is not received by the stated timeline in the contract, the seller has the right to void the contract.

It is useful to know that, generally speaking, the buyer holds almost all of the cards after a contract is ratified. The only way a seller can terminate a contract would be the above-mentioned earnest money deposit situation. All the terms are such that the buyer has control of the decision to void a contract if they cannot come to terms with the seller.

The contract itself is quite simple. There are a few details a buyer will determine in his or her offer. They are:

  1. Price
  2. Type of Financing, if any
  3. Down Payment/Earnest Money Deposit
  4. Settlement Company
  5. Settlement Date
  6. Are they going to have an inspection and/or radon test
  7. What will convey (remain) in the home upon sale
  8. Are they going to do a lead-based paint inspection
  9. Whether they would like a wood-burrowing insect inspection
  10. Whether the buyer would like a home warranty

Then, the remaining sections explain to the buyer and seller general, but very important, information about what the contract is and is not intended to do.

Each of the ten items above are negotiable. Sometimes, one particular aspect can make or break a deal. The settlement date is a common example: if the buyer cannot close for two months, the seller may not agree to the contract.

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This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Hope 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 703-244-6115 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Should I cancel a contract if the home inspection uncovers a long list of issues?

Answer: So, you fell for a house that you want to make your home and now you’re under contract! Ideally, one of the first things that your Realtor did was schedule a home inspection for you. The amazingly thorough home inspector has now come up with a list of 30 items that should be fixed or at least addressed in the home. Yikes! What to do now?

Most home inspectors provide a clear and concise report, where they list every possible issue. They will check every outlet, all appliances, the roof, and much more. And they will almost definitely come up with a long list. This is a good thing! However, it can also be scary.

The key is in knowing what home inspection issues can easily be dealt with or are somewhat normal versus the deal breakers.

Inspection reports often start out with a summary, listing the items that the inspector considers defective, as well as some that they might consider marginal. Then there is a more detailed section with all the photos and some commentary. The list can often seem very daunting and scary.

However, if you have a good inspector, he will talk you through many of these items and discuss how serious they are. Equally as important, your Realtor should be able to help you gather the information needed to make an informed decision on whether to move forward with the purchase.

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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 703-855-5089 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: With the rise in interest rates, has the inventory of homes for sale in Alexandria increased this fall?

Answer: As interest rates have risen, it’s not surprising that there has been a reduction in demand for homes compared to the overheated markets of 2020 and 2021. Even when we look back to 2019, which was considered a modest sellers’ market, the number of contracts is lower now.

We might expect inventory to have increased significantly as a result, but that has not happened due to significant decreases in the number of homes coming on the market. And why aren’t we seeing a jump in new listings? Homeowners who have a sub-3% mortgage are thinking twice about giving that up to buy their next home with a much higher-rate mortgage and we see little reason to believe that will change.

The charts below look at the data for the City of Alexandria and South Alexandria (Fairfax County portions of Alexandria) during July, August, September, and October of 2019-2022. We have included the number of new listings, the month-end inventory, and the number of new contracts.

City of Alexandria

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This week’s Q&A column is written by Trudy McCullough, VP of Relocation & Client Services, and Britni Spurlock, Relocation Specialist, at McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article, contact Trudy at 703-639-7387 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: How can my local real estate agent help me move long distance?

Answer: Buying and selling a home can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. Locally, most people know at least one real estate agent; whether an agent they have used before or someone they are acquainted with. If not, recommendations from a friend, family member, or trusted advisor are a great place to start.

However, there may come a time when you have a real estate need outside of your local real estate market. When looking for an agent, you have to remember that anyone can build a beautiful website and hire a professional marketing team to support them, that doesn’t guarantee they are experienced or the best agent for your needs.

We want to ensure you receive the same professional service anywhere in the world that you receive from us. The three most common reasons clients reach out for recommendations outside our local area include: job relocation, family needs, and life-style changes.

Job Relocation

Many employers offer a variety of packages from full relocation to flat-fee services, while other employers are not equipped to provide relocation services. If Realtor recommendations are part of your relocation program or suggested by a co-worker, you should still do your research. Job relocations add an extra level of stress due to time constraints of the position start, selling your current home, relocating family, and more.

The right Realtor is experienced in your market but also “relocation best practices,” fully understanding the relocation processes, additional paperwork, and requirements of the employer so that you can take full advantage of all relocation benefits. When you are not offered relocation benefits by your employer, you must find the right agent on your own; not just an experienced one, but an agent with a true relocation background, because it will make all the difference in your move.

Family Needs

From growing families to downsizing, inherited homes to vacant land, relocation trained agents are equipped to assist with all types of family situations as they arise. For example, when parents are no longer able to age in place, relocation agent services can include: complimentary market analysis noting as-is and repaired/improved values; supplier introductions from repairs to improvements and cleaners to movers.

A relocation trained agent is a full-service Realtor who specializes in the area and type of transaction you are navigating, as well as proficiency in working with out-of-town clients.

Life-Style Changes

Often buyers are comparing multiple areas as a potential destination for retirement, investment property or even a second home. Relocation specialists offer more than housing information; they provide cost of living comparisons, area tours, local life-style information, and market trends to assist you in decision making.

How is McEnearney Associates able to help?

Knowing a Realtor who is part of a truly global network of vetted professionals is key. At McEnearney Associates, we are fortunate to be a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE). LeadingRE is home to the world’s market-leading independent residential brokerages in over 70 countries, with 550 firms and 136,000 sales associates making 130 client introductions, producing 1.2 million global transactions in 2021. Our by-invitation-only network is based on the unparalleled performance and trusted relationships that result in exceptional client experiences.

When you need an agent recommendation, anywhere in the world, McEnearney Associates are happy to help. We are your Trusted Relocation Resource.

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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This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Ann Duff of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Ann at 703-965-8700 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Am I ready to turn the page?

Answer: Are you feeling either unsettled or bored?

Take a look at challenges faced by five of my recent buyers and see if you find yourself in their shoes.

  1. Active, handsome fellow using lots of energy walking his dog, but cursing his aching knees when climbing stairs in his townhouse.
  2. Dynamic, world-traveler in need of pizazz, after years in her large Arlington house, proud of her garden but tiring of lawn-mowing and repair responsibilities.
  3. Couple well-known in Atlanta for their neighborhood parties, transferring and forced to give up their famous outdoor pizza oven for urban living.
  4. Busy professional woman deciding whether to up-light the dramatic landscaping around her estate-sized home ($$$) or explore a totally new lifestyle instead.
  5. Fun duo living with history, contemplating stepping away from years of renovation and restoration to find classy new one-level living with water views.

For so many reasons and personal experiences, I am finding buyer after buyer wanting to turn the page. These wise ones are not following, but creating, a trend to reward themselves with their own “happy” place. They are figuring out what they want but do realize that some compromises will be required. I hear them saying to themselves “step away from the warming drawer and embrace the wine refrigerator,” “let’s bag snow shoveling and applaud the work of doormen and porters,” and “next steps, no steps.”

Consider me your part-time life whisperer. I ask questions such as “how often do you really have houseguests?” “Would you like to simply pack a bag and head to the airport for Nantucket or Florence?” “Is that cherry buffet from your great-grandmother cherished by other family members who would like it delivered next week?” “Will you read those books a second time?” and “Do you need the phone number for 1-800-GOTJUNK?”

After “whispering,” it’s time to consider individual concerns and get real life suggestions. Do you need that amount of square footage? If you’ve always wanted a place for a piano, go for it. Concerned about making paint selections and appropriately-sized furniture choices — hire a designer! What really will make your life more enjoyable?

So, what happened to each of my friends above?

  1. He happily garages his car, takes a short elevator ride up to greet the waiting dog ready for her walk and lives in a glamorous, one-level condominium complex at the north end of Old Town. (We sold the pretty townhouse to younger-kneed people).
  2. Three days after settlement of her detached house, she moved into a very hip-and-cool new condominium in D.C.’s Dupont/Shaw, took delivery of all her furniture stored in a POD during house marketing and is getting to know her neighbors.
  3. Amazingly, their big NW D.C. luxury residence gives them almost more useable space than their detached Atlanta home, so they are inviting lots of friends and family to visit this special historic condo while searching for the best brick oven pizza in town — ideas?
  4. Still a work in progress, she is looking toward a 2023 move, while we study a wide range of striking D.C., Alexandria and Fairfax properties which must accommodate a grand piano or two.
  5. Since those wished-for water views might not be in Florida but in Alexandria instead, they are enjoying the fruits of their labors in their restored circa 1880 townhome, now almost ready for the market when the time is right, and the special water view residence is found.

So where are you in your journey — beginning, middle or already “in your happy place?” There is no script for getting there, just decisions, compromises and making it up as you go along. Without naming names, I can share the experiences of others and provide resources that will help… from suggesting handymen/women, painters, designers, movers and more. We Realtors are important partners in your “page turning.” Of course, the stocking of that wine refrigerator for those discussions is a good place to start, too!

See you soon.
Hugs, Ann.

These thoughts and years of experience are brought to you by Ann Duff, Realtor, with McEnearney Associates. Based in Alexandria, Ann is busy day-in and day-out in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, listing, selling, and leasing distinctive properties with and for wonderful people — and all with a splash of fun! Let’s Get Busy… contact Ann at 703-965-8700 or visit her website AnnDuff.com.

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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This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Hope 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 703-244-6115 or email [email protected] You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: When is the best time to put my home on the market?

Answer: Many sellers I have spoken with lately are worried that they may have missed the best time to sell their home, with the recent increase in interest rates. However, according to the latest data, in our area we’re still in a modest sellers’ market for most property types. It’s definitely cooled off a little, but the market is still busy, and we expect early spring to be even busier.

Our company, McEnearney Associates, does a great job of tracking the market on a weekly basis, looking at over 9 jurisdictions in Northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland. We are fortunate to have such localized and specific data at our fingertips, to guide both sellers and buyers on the state of the market. Our team closely looks at “Absorption Rates” — which are measurements of how quickly homes sell within a certain time frame.

To arrive at the absorption rate for a specific market, the number of homes that have recently sold is divided by the number of currently available homes. Absorption rates over 60% are considered an extreme sellers’ market, and we saw this in some areas of Northern Virginia in 2021.

In Alexandria, the absorption rate for “attached homes” — such as the many historic townhomes we have — has hovered around 55% for the last couple of years. The rate in September of 2022 for Northern Virginia homes was at 44%, so it has slipped. It’s still considered a sellers’ market, just not an extreme sellers’ market.

Although the market has cooled compared to this time last year, there were some significant anomalies influencing the market in the past couple of years. While the stats from September 2022 may seem to be in stark contrast from September 2021, it’s not significantly different from September 2019, before the pandemic and before interest rates dropped below 3%.

To quote McEnearney’s recent Market-in-a-Minute report: “Unit sales and contract activity in August 2022 were only slightly lower than August 2019, there were 500 fewer homes on the market, seller concessions were lower, and the urgency index was higher. Perhaps most importantly, the 1.4 months overall supply of homes was actually a little lower than August 2019’s 1.5 months. The real estate market in Northern Virginia is no longer overheated, but it most certainly isn’t crashing either. It’s normal.”

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 This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Brian Bonnet, Senior Loan Officer (NMLS ID# 224811) of Atlantic Coast Mortgage, LLC (NMLS ID# 643114). To learn more about current mortgage rates and the home loan process, contact Brian at 703.766.6702 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: What are the benefits of paying points to buy down my interest rate?

Answer: Historically, and on average across the nation, most consumers have paid just under one discount point to obtain the rate for their mortgage. One point is 1% of the loan amount. In the Washington metropolitan area — where the average length of time a consumer owns their home is lower than the national average — buyers have typically paid zero discount points at closing for their mortgage interest rate.

During the past decade (with interest rates truly at historic lows), there was little incentive for borrowers to increase closing costs by “buying down” their rates. As home prices rose, down payment and closing costs also increased, and most consumers saw little benefit of increasing their cash requirements further by paying points to secure an even lower rate.

With a shift in the housing market and with rates on the rise, there is renewed interest in the potential benefit of buying down the interest rate. First, there is the psychological impact of securing a lower rate. If a buyer is flush with cash, they may choose to apply some of that toward obtaining what they perceive to be a more palatable rate, but available cash is still an issue for many buyers.

Here is where the market shift comes into play. Sellers have had no incentive to offer or agree to concessions over the past number of years. With multiple offers on the table, sellers did not need to sweeten the pot for buyers. As the market changes, however, sellers may see more offers where the buyer is asking for closing cost assistance which can be used to buy down the purchaser’s interest rate. Depending on how anxious the seller gets, they may be inclined to agree to such a request.

The decision to pay points is really a cost benefit decision. The buyer should consider the additional upfront cost of buying down the interest rate against the benefit of the lower monthly payment associated with the lower rate. Those costs and benefits shift as rates move up and down, but the analysis process is always the same. Today for instance, the rate for a 30-year fixed rate loan of $750,000 with zero points would be 6.625%. The monthly principal and interest payment would be $4,802.

If the borrower pays one discount point and buys the rate down to 6.250%, they will lower the payment to $4,618 per month. The cost of that buydown would be an additional $7,500 at closing and the benefit would be a monthly savings of $184. The borrower would break even in 41 months, not taking into account the tax deductibility of paying points when purchasing a primary residence. Paying two discount points would drop the rate to 5.875% and lower the payment a total of $365 per month with the same break-even period of 41 months. The real benefit comes every month after the break-even point.

There are some federally-imposed limits on how many points a buyer can pay and still obtain a mortgage the federal government classifies as a qualified mortgage. Generally, a buyer can pay no more than 3 discount points, and often, the calculations end up limiting the points to just under 3.

For a seller, there may be benefit in offering to assist a purchaser in buying down their interest rate. It may make a seller’s property more attractive to prospective buyers. An alternative to lowering the asking price for a property may be to offer a buyer closing cost assistance which can be used to lower the rate. Closing cost assistance from a seller — if used to lower the interest rate — can have a larger impact on the buyer’s monthly payment than a reduction in the sales price of the same amount.

Take for instance the example of a $750K mortgage and assume that represents 80% of the seller’s asking price of $937,500. We have already seen that paying 2 discount points to buy the rate down will lower the payment $365 per month. The cost of that is $15,000 at closing. A reduction in the sales price of $15K with a loan equal to 80% at the zero-point interest rate of 6.625% would result in a monthly payment of $4,725. That is only $77 per month lower than the payment on the higher sales price. .

If you are in the market to purchase a home, discuss the costs and benefits of paying points with a qualified mortgage professional. It can be an important tool in today’s market.

If you would like more information about financing a mortgage in today’s market, please contact Brian Bonnet at [email protected] or call 703-766-6702.

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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This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Lisa Groover of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Lisa at 703-919-4426 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: How do I prepare my home for the market without breaking the bank?

Answer: I am often asked this question when I am working with a seller getting ready to put their house on the market. Interestingly enough, I am currently in the process of helping several clients determine their pre-market punch list.

I start at the curb and walk through the property making a list of suggestions. I always explain that my observations are not a criticism of their taste or property condition, but what I am seeing buyers looking for in today’s market. I highlight what I see as the priorities and then we review the list together to decide which improvements to consider, and then get estimates from one of my (or their) preferred contractors.

One of my clients has stayed on top of so much throughout her ownership (new roof, two HVAC systems, and hardwood floors), however, there are a few things that will make a significant difference during the selling process.

The top priority on my list (and often the one that is extremely difficult for sellers) is PAINT! In this case, the previous owner was an interior designer who painted all the doors, trim and cabinets a caramel color. My client loves it because it goes beautifully with her furniture and accessories, however, changing it to white will appeal to a wider pool of buyers. She decided to replace the 25 year old white kitchen appliances, to a stainless suite that she bought during a Labor Day sale and they immediately modernized the kitchen!

And… replacing the cracked tile in the foyer will give buyers a positive first impression when they walk in the house.

One of my neighbors is not planning to move for six months, however, they asked if I would make suggestions for what they could gradually work on in the meantime. Luckily, he is extremely handy and has decided to do everything we discussed. From hanging a chandelier over the dining room table (which I happen to have in my garage), to changing the tarnished brass door hardware to brushed nickel, to repairing some damaged hardwood flooring and replacing old bathroom mirrors.

Decluttering is something that can be an ongoing process, even when you are not planning to sell your house. Nonprofit organizations are back to accepting donations of furniture and accessories, clothing, and household items. If you haven’t used it in 6 months… there is definitely someone out there who can.

As an example of some of the recent projects where a few changes made a big difference are as follows:

Please feel free to reach out to me for questions or to set up a time for a tour of your home!

Lisa Groover is a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Old Town Alexandria, VA. As an active member of the community since 1989, Lisa specializes in Alexandria, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with her friends, neighbors, former clients and their referrals.

In addition to enjoying the Old Town lifestyle and the art related events and activities, she is a member of a number of volunteer organizations. Having had nine Golden Retrievers, she is dedicated to helping other dog owners through the challenges of renting, buying and 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

0 Comments

This week’s Q&A column is written by Rebecca McCullough of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Rebecca at 571-384-0941 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: How do you feel about the fall real estate market?

Answer: New season, new beginnings…

For me, the day after Labor Day — even more than January 1st — represents new beginnings.

In real estate, it’s an excellent time to reflect on the year and consider where the next twelve months may go. I find this particularly so this year. We all know that since just after the global shut down for the pandemic, the real estate market has been on fire. Interest rates were lower than anyone has seen in history, buyer demand was through the roof, and a lack of inventory made for a wild ride these past two and a half years.

However, since late spring, we have definitely noticed a shift in the market. We’ve seen countless headlines wondering if the real estate market is “crashing.” This has been accompanied by countless predictions that housing prices will fall, and listings won’t sell. My take? Nope. Not today, and not likely in the near future, either.

Why no crash? What’s holding up the market?

Two of the three things I have written about in previous articles here have not changed: low inventory coupled with high buyer demand. The only thing that has changed most recently, of course, is interest rates. And while that has been significant (interest rates are more than 2% higher than just a few months ago), buyers still need and want homes.

So, it may surprise some, but we are still very much in a sellers’ market here in Northern Virginia. Yes, still! But there is good news for buyers. The absolute frenzy of the past couple of years appears to be behind us. We are simply back to the “normal” high buyer demand levels of 2018 and 2019.

The prices of homes in our area have gotten significantly higher in the past two years, and I anticipate that will continue to be true in the future. We may not see such increases in value, but I predict the prices will stay where they are, as inventory is still so low. We are still facing “less than a 1.5-month supply” for detached homes. For reference, a balanced market is a 3- to 6-month supply, and a buyer’s market is more than a 6-month supply.

So, while we may not see aggressive bidding like we did in the spring, sellers will list high and get their asking prices, or close to them. Recently, I listed a home that I was confident was listed fairly, but I did worry if buyers would engage at the list price. Did they ever — we had three offers. After quick negotiations, we got our asking price. My colleagues and I are seeing quite a bit of this activity. We are also seeing price reductions, but the reduced price would still be considered high compared to two years ago.

One consequence of higher pricing is fewer qualified buyers, so buyers are able to include contingencies. This was unheard of for hot homes earlier this year in the spring market. Those contingencies are usually for home inspection, financing, and appraisals.

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