For the past 3+ years the DC Metro area has been in what realtors would call a “seller’s market.” In a seller’s market, where demand outweighs housing supply, homeowners may be tempted to forgo certain maintenance tasks or overlook the condition of their homes because of the perception that their home will sell no matter what. However, regardless of market conditions, maintaining and presenting your home at its best is crucial to getting top dollar. By prioritizing upkeep and addressing any potential issues, you can maximize your chances of attracting buyers, securing favorable offers, and ultimately achieving a successful sale.

Here are some reasons why maintaining your home is a good idea when it comes time to sell:

  1. Stand Out from the Competition: In a seller’s market, there is often increased competition among homeowners trying to sell their properties. By ensuring your home is in excellent condition, you gain a competitive edge. Buyers are more likely to be drawn to a well-maintained home that stands out from others on the market. Attention to detail and a pristine appearance can make a significant difference in capturing the attention and interest of potential buyers.
  2. First Impressions Matter: When it comes to selling a home, first impressions can make or break a deal. Buyers often form initial opinions within moments of entering a property. By maintaining your home’s excellent condition, you create a positive and inviting atmosphere right from the start. This includes well-kept landscaping, a clean and clutter-free interior, and ensuring that all essential systems and fixtures are in good working order. A strong first impression sets the tone for the rest of the viewing and increases the likelihood of buyers envisioning themselves living in your home.
  3. Maximize Appraisal Value: Even in a seller’s market, appraisals remain an essential part of the home buying process. The condition of your home can impact its appraised value. Well-maintained homes with minimal repairs or issues tend to appraise higher, providing a solid foundation for negotiating a favorable sales price. Neglecting maintenance tasks and allowing your home’s condition to deteriorate could result in a lower appraised value, potentially leading to challenges in finalizing the sale.
  4. Smooth Transaction Process: A home in excellent condition tends to encounter fewer obstacles during the transaction process. Buyers and their agents will likely feel more confident about the property, leading to smoother negotiations, inspections, and potential financing approvals. By addressing any maintenance issues beforehand, you reduce the chances of surprises or setbacks that may arise during the sales process. This can save time, minimize stress, and increase the likelihood of a successful and timely closing.
  5. Preserve Buyer Confidence: When buyers see a well-maintained home, it instills confidence in the overall quality and integrity of the property. Conversely, a home with visible issues or neglect may raise concerns and create doubt in the minds of potential buyers. By proactively maintaining your home, you build trust and reassure buyers that they are making a sound investment. This confidence can translate into more competitive offers, fewer contingencies, and a smoother negotiation process.

In a seller’s market, it’s easy to assume that the demand for homes will outweigh any concerns about their condition. However, markets can change quickly and maintaining your home remains crucial. By prioritizing upkeep, making necessary repairs, and presenting your home at its best, you will ensure your home is a valuable asset that can lead to a successful and profitable sale.

Contact Properties on the Potomac at 703-624-8333 to learn more about what it takes to get your home sold.

Windows play a crucial role in our homes, providing natural light, ventilation, and a connection to the outdoors. However, over time, windows can deteriorate, leading to drafts, dirt and grime inside, reduced energy efficiency, and outdated aesthetics.

A few years ago, I had the windows in my home replaced with ones that would help cut down on the road noise since we live in the city. We could feel the difference the minute the last window went in: it was like the feeling you get when your ears finally stop ringing. The dust and pollen stopped coating our windowsills and our energy bills showed a notable dip.

There is undeniable value in updating your windows. Here are six long-term benefits new windows can bring to you and your home:

  1. Increased Energy Efficiency: Older windows can be a significant source of energy loss. By updating to modern, energy-efficient windows, you can significantly reduce heat transfer, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This translates into lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint. Newer windows often feature double or triple glazing, low-emissivity coatings, and advanced weatherstripping, all designed to enhance insulation and minimize air leakage.
  2. Enhanced Comfort: Outdated windows may allow drafts, noise pollution, dust and debris, and uncomfortable temperature fluctuations. Upgrading to new windows can improve the comfort of your living spaces by reducing drafts, minimizing outside noise, a cleaner home, and maintaining a consistent indoor temperature. You’ll be able to enjoy a more pleasant and tranquil home environment year-round.
  3. Improved Natural Light and Views: Windows not only serve as functional elements but also contribute to the aesthetic appeal of your home. Updating your windows can provide an opportunity to enhance natural light and maximize your views. Consider options such as larger windows, strategically placed skylights, or bay windows to bring in more sunlight and create a brighter, more inviting atmosphere.
  4. Upgraded Safety and Security: Older windows may have outdated or worn-out locking mechanisms, making your home more susceptible to intrusions. Modern windows often come with advanced security features, including multiple locking points, impact-resistant glass, and reinforced frames. These upgrades offer peace of mind, ensuring the safety of your loved ones and your valuable possessions.
  5. Reduced Maintenance and Longevity: If you have older windows, you’re likely familiar with the regular maintenance they require, such as scraping, painting, and repairing rotting frames. Newer windows often feature low-maintenance materials like vinyl, fiberglass, or aluminum, which resist peeling, cracking, and warping. Investing in updated windows can save you time and money on maintenance while increasing their lifespan.
  6. Increased Property Value: When it comes to selling your home, updated windows can significantly enhance its market appeal and value. Prospective buyers recognize the benefits of energy-efficient, well-maintained windows, and are often willing to pay a premium for them. High-quality windows not only improve the aesthetics of your home’s exterior but also contribute to its overall curb appeal and desirability.

Updating your home’s windows brings a multitude of benefits, ranging from improved energy efficiency and increased comfort to enhanced aesthetics and higher property value. Whether you’re motivated by energy savings, a more pleasant living environment, or an upcoming sale, investing in new windows is a wise decision.

If you need help deciding whether new windows are a good idea for you or finding a contractor to replace your windows, contact Properties on the Potomac at 703-624-8333. Your long-term return on your investment is important to us.

As realtors, we often get asked by those looking to sell their home about potential remodels or updates. Friends and family with long-term value in mind want to know if remodeling their kitchen, or installing new flooring, or adding an addition will be worth the investment when it comes time to sell.

But what about bathrooms?

Here’s the truth: updating a bathroom can be one of the most cost-effective ways to increase the value of your home. According to a report from Remodeling Magazine, an average bathroom remodel can recoup up to 60% of its cost at resale, making it a valuable investment for homeowners looking to increase the value of their property.

Here are some reasons why updating your bathroom before selling your home can be a smart investment:

  1. It improves the appearance of your home: a dated and worn-out bathroom can be a major turnoff for potential buyers. Updating the bathroom with new fixtures, flooring, and lighting can significantly improve its appearance and make a better impression on buyers.
  2. It increases functionality: upgrading the bathroom can also improve its functionality and make it more appealing to buyers. Adding a double sink, a larger shower, or a separate tub can make the bathroom more functional and appealing to buyers.
  3. It boosts energy efficiency: updating the bathroom can also include the installation of energy-efficient fixtures and appliances, such as low-flow toilets, LED lighting, and water-saving showerheads. These updates can help reduce energy and water consumption, lower utility bills, and appeal to eco-conscious buyers.
  4. It adds value to your home: a bathroom remodel can add value to your home, making it more attractive to potential buyers. By investing in the bathroom, you can increase the overall value of your property and potentially earn a higher selling price.
  5. It increases your home’s competitiveness: with many homes on the market, updating your bathroom can help your home stand out from the competition. A modern and updated bathroom can be a major selling point for potential buyers, especially if it offers features that other homes in the area lack.

When updating your bathroom, consider making updates that are neutral and timeless. Avoid trendy designs or bold colors that may not appeal to all buyers. Opt for classic fixtures and finishes that can appeal to a wide range of buyers and make the bathroom look clean, bright, and spacious.

In short: updating your bathroom can be a smart investment before selling your home. It improves the appearance and functionality of your home, boosts energy efficiency, adds value to your property, and makes your home more competitive in the market. By investing in your bathroom, you can increase your chances of selling your home quickly and for a higher price.

Thinking about updating your home with resale value in mind? Give Properties on the Potomac a call at 703-624-8333 for a free consultation!

In recent years, smart home technology has become increasingly popular, offering homeowners greater control and convenience over their living spaces. From security systems to smart lighting, there are a variety of devices available to turn any home into a smart home. And, with real estate in mind, today’s buyers appreciate the added value of a smart home already installed for them. If you’re interested in making your home a smart home, read on…

Start with a smart hub
The first step in making your home a smart home is to invest in a smart hub. A smart hub is a device that connects to all your smart devices, allowing you to control them from a single app. There are several popular smart hubs on the market, including Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit. Once you have a smart hub in place, you can begin adding other smart devices to your home.

Add smart lighting
One of the easiest ways to make your home a smart home is to add smart lighting. Smart light bulbs can be controlled from your smartphone, allowing you to turn them on and off, dim them, and even change their color. You can also set schedules for your lights to turn on and off automatically, making it look like someone is home even when you’re away. Lighting options include Philips Hue, LIFX, and TP-Link Kasa.

Install a smart thermostat
A smart thermostat is a smart home device that can save you money on your energy bills. Smart thermostats can learn your habits and adjust the temperature of your home accordingly. They can also be controlled remotely from your smartphone, allowing you to adjust the temperature even when you’re away from home. Thermostat options include Nest, Ecobee, and Honeywell.

Consider smart security
Smart security devices can give you greater peace of mind by allowing you to monitor your home from anywhere. Smart security cameras can be accessed from your smartphone, allowing you to check in on your home at any time. You can also receive alerts if the camera detects motion or sound. Other smart security devices include smart locks, which allow you to lock and unlock your doors remotely, and smart doorbells, which allow you to see and talk to anyone who comes to your door. Smart security options include Ring, Arlo, and August.

Add smart entertainment
Finally, you can make your home a smart home by adding smart entertainment devices. Smart TVs can be controlled from your smartphone, allowing you to change channels, adjust the volume, and even launch apps. You can also add a smart speaker, such as the Amazon Echo, Sonos, or Google Home, to stream music, podcasts, and audiobooks throughout your home.

Making your home a smart home can be a fun and rewarding experience. By adding smart devices, you can make your home more convenient, secure, and energy-efficient. Whether you’re looking to add smart lighting, a smart thermostat, or smart security devices, there are plenty of options available to suit your needs and budget.

Want more tips and tricks for upgrading your home and/or making it more valuable for homebuyers? Give Properties on the Potomac a call at 703-624-8333.

Spring is finally here (in case the pollen count had not already alerted you) and what better way to celebrate the season than by exploring the abundance of parks and natural areas that the DC area has to offer? From the lush gardens of the National Arboretum to the tranquil waters of Lake Needwood, there’s no shortage of natural beauty to discover in and around the nation’s capital. Whether you’re a nature lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat from the city, gather up your favorite food, a blanket, and a friend and head out to one of these beautiful parks in or around DC.

Rock Creek Park: Rock Creek Park is a 1,754-acre park that offers miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, and recreational activities like tennis and golf. Parts of Beach Dr are closed to vehicles making it a fun place to ride a bike, roller-skate/blade, run, and walk! It also includes the National Zoo and the Carter Barron Amphitheatre.

Lake Needwood: Lake Needwood is a beautiful 75-acre lake located in Rockville, Maryland, surrounded by 1,500 acres of scenic parkland. The lake offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including boating, fishing, and hiking on the nearby trails. Visitors can also enjoy picnicking and grilling in the park’s many picnic areas.

Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park: Visit Great Falls Park on both sides of the Potomac. Great Falls Park in Virginia is located just 15 miles outside of DC and offers stunning views of the Potomac River and the Great Falls. Want to stay on the Maryland side of the river? There is another Great Falls Park in Potomac, MD. Visitors to both sides can enjoy hiking trails and picnic areas.

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Theodore Roosevelt Island: Theodore Roosevelt Island is a peaceful 88-acre oasis located in the Potomac River, accessible by footbridge from Arlington, Virginia. The island is home to miles of scenic hiking trails, lush forests, and a variety of wildlife habitats. Visitors can also explore the island’s rich history through its monuments and exhibits dedicated to the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt, including the 17-foot-tall statue of the president located in the island’s central plaza.

Meridian Hill Park: Also known as Malcolm X Park, this park is located in the heart of DC. It is a beautiful 12-acre park that was recently updated by the National Park Service to make it more accessible and added more trees and shrubs. It features a cascading fountain, a historic statue, and a vibrant weekly drum circle.

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens: Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is a hidden gem located in Washington, DC, offering visitors a unique opportunity to explore the beauty of aquatic plants and wildlife. The park features acres of stunning water lilies, lotus flowers, and other aquatic plants, as well as hiking trails, fishing piers, and picnic areas. The annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival, held July 15-22, 2023, is a highlight of the year, where you can see the lotus and water lilies in full bloom.

Anacostia Park: Anacostia Park is a sprawling urban oasis located in the heart of Washington, DC, offering visitors a wide range of recreational activities. The park’s 1,200 acres includes hiking and biking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, and athletic fields, as well as access to the Anacostia River for kayaking, fishing, and boating. The park also hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, including concerts, movie screenings, and cultural celebrations. It’s an ideal destination for families, nature lovers, and anyone seeking outdoor fun in the city.

National Arboretum

National Arboretum: The National Arboretum is a 446-acre living museum located in Washington, DC, showcasing over 6,000 species of plants and trees from around the world. Visitors can explore the park’s collections through self-guided tours, educational programs, and special exhibits. Highlights of the arboretum include the iconic National Capitol Columns, the Bonsai and Penjing Museum, and the picturesque Capitol Hill neighborhood vistas. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone interested in horticulture, botany, or simply seeking a serene natural escape in the heart of the city.

Fort Washington Park

Fort Washington Park: Originally built to defend the river approach to Washington DC, Fort Washington is a historic site located in Fort Washington, Maryland. Visitors can explore the fort’s rich history through exhibits, tours, and ranger-led programs. The park also offers scenic views of the Potomac River and opportunities for hiking, fishing, and picnicking. It’s a great destination for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Huntley Meadows Park: Huntley Meadows is a 1,500-acre natural oasis in Alexandria, Virginia, offering visitors the chance to explore a variety of habitats, including wetlands, meadows, and forests. The park’s boardwalk trails and observation platforms provide excellent opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. Visitors can also participate in guided nature walks, photography workshops, and educational programs hosted by the park’s rangers. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone interested in nature and outdoor recreation.

Properties on the Potomac realtors know more than just real estate. We can also help you find your new favorite neighborhood park, coffee shop, or restaurant. Give us a call at 703-624-8333 to find your new neighborhood.

Why does one house sell in a day and another on the same street stays on the market? The answer is often an intangible “feeling” that one house provides over the other.

That feeling is happiness. Happy houses sell faster even if they are not perfectly staged and pristine. The occupants have decorated their house with joy and incorporated elements that they love. The house feels authentic and welcoming. Unlike formulaic staging, happiness cannot be “staged.” It has to be accumulated over time in layers and often begins on the day the occupants moved in.

Often, homeowners decorate and improve their houses for “resale” value; not necessarily that the improvement pleases them. That is when the authenticity issues rise. Those who design and furnish their homes to their taste, incorporating personal and family treasures and art, remain authentic to themselves and their homes show it.

Whenever my husband and I bought a new house, I decorated for our taste. I boldly painted two walls in a two-story foyer in a gloss “shutter green.” At the time, beige was the color of choice. Every time we entered our foyer, we were thrilled with the color. Neighbors and family expressed concerns that nobody would buy the house with the colors. The reality was that when we decided to sell it, we received two full price offers almost immediately.

Clients often ask me to give them “permission” to improve their homes for resale value even though they may have just moved in. My response is categorically, “Will this improvement make you happy?”

We spend a lot of time in our houses. Our environment must please us and not a prospective buyer. Tastes and trends change quickly so best to design and enjoy the home for yourself and your family.

When the time to sell approaches, that is when condition and design must be evaluated. Below is a list of improvements to make to improve resale value:

  • Replace carpets
  • Declutter
  • Clear closets
  • Clean landscaping and mulch
  • Seal driveway
  • Have windows washed
  • Replace/remove any worn or broken elements
  • Paint, if walls show wear or if paint is dated
  • Make sure that everything works properly
  • Have the house professionally cleaned

Below are some things not to do in preparation for sale:

  • Do not replace appliances
  • Do not change kitchen or bath counter tops
  • Do not remodel bathrooms or kitchen
  • If the basement is not finished, do not finish it for resale

When we meet with potential sellers, we discuss what it will take to get the house sold. We suggest improvements and staging, if any. Our goal is to make your house sell well and quickly.

If you are considering a move, please contact Properties on the Potomac at 703-624-8333 to review your house and design a plan for making it irresistible.

While scam artists have always been around, modern technology has made their work easier and more effective. Readily accessible public records are fodder for them.

Recently, I received a text with the look and feel of an authentic inquiry. The writer inquired about commissions and timing. When I called the writer, he answered the phone. Our dialogue was typical of a potential seller. They responded with an Outlook email address to my request for their email address. The property address and description matched as well as the name given during our conversation.

The potential “seller” knew about the property’s features, details, and general acquisition information. My intuition had an initial twinge when I learned that the caller was out of town and wanted to sell as soon as possible. My scam antennae were on mild alert. I was planning identity verification measures before concluding the initial conversation.

The property in question was a vacant lot of substantial value. Fortunately, I am familiar with the area and the associated lots. My former investigator self was devising plans to verify the veracity of the caller.

Upon my return to my office, I dug deeper into the owner. I discovered phone numbers that did not match the one from which the text was sent. A phone call to the newly discovered phone number confirmed my suspicions. The caller/texter was a scam. The actual property owner confirmed that they had not spoken to me or asked to sell their lot. The owner was naturally upset. Was he being targeted, was someone trying to steal the lot, or was the texter trying to “tunnel” into my computer network?

How can someone other than the actual owner sell a property? There are many ways. One of the easiest ways is a gullible agent. Forged documents, identity theft, an absentee owner, an owner’s death, and many other scenarios can separate a rightful owner from their property.

What can a property owner do to protect the titles to their properties? Here are some ways:

  • If closing on a new purchase, buy owner’s title insurance. However, enhanced title insurance is typically not available for vacant land.
  • Another option is to subscribe to an identity protection service with a title monitoring option.
  • If you own investment property or vacant land, visit your properties, introduce yourself to the neighbors and ask them to alert you to any suspicious activities or strange or repeated visitors, visits or unexpected surveys.

At Properties on the Potomac, Inc., we are implementing new and higher levels of security to safeguard our community from this form of theft. We are educating our agents, working with professionals, and designing stringent security measures. The increased security measures might seem invasive to callers to our office and agents. Please know that we intend to protect property owners’ rights and never be duped to the contrary.

Through our affiliation with the National Association of Realtors, Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, and the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors, we have available sophisticated resources and research tools with which we can help protect our clients and our community. If you have questions or concerns about real estate scams, call Properties on the Potomac at 703-624-8333.

I recently showed a home that was set slightly below the road. I was immediately apprehensive.

Obviously not all homes can be built at the top of a hill—if they were, neighborhoods would look more like tiny Tuscan villages. But whenever a house is set below the road or otherwise at the bottom of a hill, you have to worry about water. Maybe the Tuscans had the right idea—they were protected from invaders and water.

Real estate pictures tend to only show the positive attributes of a home, and many times these photos don’t show the house in relation to the surrounding topography. If only technology came with a scratch and sniff feature, we could easily tell if incoming water was an issue without having to be in the home.

The basement of this home proved my suspicions correct—it had previously had a problem with water intrusion. How did I know for sure? It had been professionally waterproofed. In the unfinished portion of the basement, along two of the perimeter walls, there was concrete repair and a little piece of plastic that sticks out around the edge. These are telltale signs a waterproofing company had trenched around the interior perimeter of the basement and installed a drainage system that empties into a sump pump. The sump pump then pumps the water out and away from the house.

Now the home seems dry, but it will be something that a future homeowner will need to monitor in the future, and it’s definitely something you should know when considering purchasing a house.

If you ever do have issues with water coming into your home, here are some remedies:

  1. If there is a sump pump installed, make sure it is working properly. You might also want to consider installing a backup battery on the sump pump in case of power outages.
  2. If there are exterior stairs to the basement with a drain at the bottom, that drain must always be kept clear. At the very least, install an elevated drain cover to keep leaves and debris from covering it completely. If possible, consider building a roof over top of the stairs, to direct water away.

3. Extend downspouts away from the home. This can be done hrough a gutter extension kit (either above ground or dig a trench and extend it underground). A rain barrel is another good option, just make sure that the overflow extends away from the home.

4. Landscaping should be slightly elevated and sloped away from the foundation. Aside from the aesthetic, foundation flower beds serve an important purpose. They not only direct water away from the home, but the plants also help absorb any remaining water.

5. Put a cover over any window wells. You can purchase an inexpensive plastic cover from your local hardware store. They come in multiple sizes and shapes depending on what you need. If the window well is in a more prominent part of your home you, you can have a custom one made that is more aesthetically pleasing.

6. Apply a sealant to the interior foundation walls. Interior sealants are not a permanent solution but can help keep humidity levels down in the lower level.

7. Have the home professionally waterproofed. This is an effective, long-term solution to move water away from the foundation of the home.

It is extremely important to keep your home dry. Damp basements can lead to mold and mold can travel through the ductwork of your home, creating a toxic health hazard.

If you have any questions about keeping water out of your basement, reach out to us at 703-624-8333. Properties on the Potomac can help guide you to the right contractor.

Pre-fabricated homes come in a variety of prebuilt conditions. You may have heard the terms “modular home” or “panelized home” but what do these really mean? Regardless of the name, the ultimate outcome is that the house arrives in some form of units to be assembled on a lot. The idea often conjures up visions of mobile homes or plain houses without character, but the reality of these homes is very different.

Properties on the Potomac has sold homes that were panelized for millions of dollars. In McLean, Virginia, an entire subdivision was developed with modular homes that now resell for over $1.5 million. From a real estate perspective, modular houses can perform similar to those that were stick built on the lot.

Modular homes come in “modules.” Typically, a module would be 12 feet wide. Therefore, many of the rooms in such houses max out at 12 feet. Modules come complete with hung doors, installed windows, and even with drywall.

Panelized homes come in panels ready to assemble. The panels are typically the lumber part of the construction and streamline construction time. Many contemporary designs rely on panels to create the clean lines and tall walls. Panels do not warp and often come pre-insulated.

Another form of panels are precast cement panels used for basement walls. They are taller and energy efficient.

In the modular systems, the houses provide minimum change opportunities from the plans as presented. The key is to find the right plan. These homes save hundreds of thousands of dollars over custom-built or stick-built.

Some of the benefits of using modular include the following:

  • The structure is built indoors and is not exposed to the elements.
  • Because it is not in the elements, the structures remain clean and free of mold.
  • According to the manufacturers, the joints at connections are stronger and more rigid, thus less susceptible to storm damage and soil shifts;
  • The timing of a project is predictable.
  • Modular homes are less susceptible to supply chain fluctuations.
  • Pricing is very predictable and often fixed at time of order.

Modular house square footage can range from under 1,000 to over 5,000. The cost for the package as listed is typically the cost of the building materials. The price does not reflect the cost of land, land engineering, basements and foundations, and water and sewer taps or well and septic development.

The builders that we recommend can build from scratch or build with modules or panels. They can also add to modules, including garages and porches.

If you have considered a custom home only to be discouraged by the high cost of building, let’s explore modular or panelized systems to determine if that would be a good option. Call Properties on the Potomac at

The facts indicate that there is a market shift in progress. Higher interest rates with minimal inventory is spurring some sellers to remain aggressive when pricing their homes for sale. Last year at this time, some listings were selling for as much as 33% over their list prices. However, interest rates were in the low 3% range. In the end, it is about what buyers can afford to pay in a monthly payment.

The active homes (for sale) inventory across our region is at historic lows. The current Washington, D.C. Metro inventory is between a 30-60 day (depending on location) supply based on last week’s contract activities.

My market analysis disclosed that the active to under contract prices show a dramatic price disparity of 15% to 60% (location based) higher than the average prices of the properties that went under contract. Accordingly, the average days on the market for the active properties is also 33-57 days longer (about 66%) than the under contract properties.

In our recently wild market, it was impossible to underprice a property because it would get bid up to above its market value. Therefore, the real estate agent’s role was that of order taker and contract dissector. That condition has now changed. Now, the experienced, knowledgeable agent will analyze the market’s activity, study recent comparable sales, and recommend the best pricing for your property to get is sold as quickly as possible because that is when the optimal price will be received.

Under today’s changing circumstances, we often hear, “If they don’t like our price, they can make us an offer.” The reality is that they will not make an offer and will buy another property that they deem better priced. Buyers do not want to get too creative or too aggressive. They do not want to enter into negotiations that could end badly while losing better opportunities.

In any market, an overpriced property will languish. In fact, not only will the property languish, but it will ultimately sell for below market value. The chart below shows how the initial price affects the sales price. You can see the importance of pricing the property correctly from the outset.

If a property is overpriced by five percent, it is not unusual to have a final sales price of 3%-5% below actual market value. Why give up value on the gamble that a buyer will overpay in today’s market?

In our industry, the saying goes, “The first offer is usually the best offer.” The first offer typically comes in quickly with a good price and strong terms. Missing out on that first offer will diminish the seller’s ultimate return.

How is market value determined? The skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable real estate agent knows their market, their buyers’ expectations, and is well connected with the top agents in the area. Their wealth of knowledge and experience will help you make the correct pricing decision.

The bottom line: properties that are priced in line with buyer affordability are selling quickly. Properties pushing prices beyond market values are staying on the market.

Are prices falling? No. Many homes are being priced incorrectly and need reductions to bring them in line with actual market values.

If you are thinking about selling your property this year, do yourself a favor and call one of our exceptional agents for a market analysis at 703-624-8333. You will know that the price you set on your property will be competitive, thus bringing you the best returns.