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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – February 2020

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams
February 2020
Bidding wars and sight-unseen offers...what is going on out there?!
Left: Months of Supply of Inventory in DC reach expected annual lows in Dec, Jan.
Our inventory crisis (< 1 month supply in Northern Virginia, and < 2 month supply in DC -- see charts above and below) continues, and is being exacerbated as a result of some unintended consequences of the regional MLS's new "Coming Soon" policy.
For those that don't know, starting Feb 1, the MLS imposes fines of $5000 on any agent who publicly markets a listing as Coming Soon more than 24 hours in advance of it going active in the MLS IF they are allowing showings; for properties that can't be shown, they can still be publicly advertised. As a result, some agents are no longer posting these types of listings on Zillow and similar sites, and aren't posting signs in the yards, but continue to advertise via word-of-mouth and through 1:1 conversations with agents. So it's more important than ever to have an experienced, well-connected buyer agent! For "coming soon" properties that are NOT allowing showings (and thus in compliance with the new policy), we've seen multiple instances where buyers are making offers even though they haven't seen the inside--and waiving contingencies too!
For properties that are in excellent condition, we're also seeing bidding wars in Arlington and DC already--in one case, our client bid on a $1M Logan Circle condo that went for 10%+ over list with no contingencies. All 6 offers were at least $75k over list price. Of course, sometimes this is the sellers' strategy, as in the case of this Falls Church house, listed at $799k, but valued at $870k, which received 37 offers and sold for $969k. We personally saw a home in Annandale priced about $50k above the recent comparable properties, and it sold another $30k higher than that with NO contingencies. We expect to see even more homes going for well above their estimated values--be careful out there, buyers!
Below: Months of Supply of Inventory in Northern Virginia reach expected annual lows in Dec, Jan.
We're starting a new feature: Tips and tricks for all things related to home buying, selling, and owning! Need some advice on something specific? Just contact us!
Homeowners: Now is a great time to refinance! Rates are extremely low, and spring sales comps are high to aid in valuations (very helpful to try to get to 20%+ down to eliminate any PMI!)
Home Sellers: While painting and staging is great bang-for-your-buck, don't forget about 'staging' your entryway! Buyers and agents are there for a few minutes while the agent deals with the lockbox, and you want your buyer to be admiring how clean, fresh, and well-lit the area is. Clean away winter grime and put out some hardy potted plants that can survive overnight low temps.
Home Buyers: As discussed in our main article above, the new prohibition on public "Coming Soon" advertising is having some unintended consequences and has led to hidden inventory. Contact us to find out how to access some secret sources!
THANK YOU for voting our team one of the "Best of Arlington" for 2020 in Arlington Magazine! See us in the January/February issue on news stands now and read our profile online here.
Here's a quick excerpt:
What’s an example of something in your professional life that you’re particularly proud of?
I’m most proud of the outstanding team that we’ve built. Everyone approaches each client as if we’re taking care of our own family, and we give honest advice even if it means that we don’t get any immediate business. We’re confident that by doing the right thing, our business will continue to grow.
Credit Score Changes
Credit score changes are coming. Starting this summer, FICO will use a new scoring algorithm that is harsher on missed payments and debt levels. On the plus side, if a missed payment is more than 1 year old, the consumer could see a slight increase in score. These changes primarily affect consumer debt, not mortgage algorithms, but it's important to be aware when checking your own credit score--don't make assumptions about your ability to qualify based on what you think your score is.
Need help with your credit score? Our lenders have specialists who can talk through strategy with you. Just contact us for a recommendation!
Buying in 2020?
Catch our brief video on getting started with your home search and learn more about working with us!
Starting Your Home Search with the Wethman Group
As always, if we can ever help with your
real estate needs,
please don't hesitate to reach out.
Wethman Group Perks: 10x10 Canopy Tent
Hosting a spring party but worried about the weather? Borrow our folding canopy tent to keep the rain (or bright sun) off! Available to all clients to borrow FREE! Contact us: wgperks@wethmangroup.com for more info.
We're happy to help with all your residential and commercial real estate needs throughout the DC metro area. Remember to Like us on Facebook for market updates and real estate tips!
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