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March 26, 2016
February 2016 Housing Sales and Market Update For Washington, D.C. & Surrounding Area
*Market information courtesy of RBIntel.com
4 Brothers Buy Houses is proud to share this update on current Washington D.C. area housing sales and market conditions.*
Overall, Area Housing Prices Decreased Compared With February 2015, but Show Slight Increases in 2016:
In February, the median overall home sale price in Washington D.C. and the surrounding area was $380,000, an average of $10,000 less than sales prices in February 2015. Some counties did see slight increases in housing prices, but these were offset by lower overall prices in the region.
However, home sale prices were slightly higher last month than in January 2016, indicating a small market increase since the start of the year.
Regional Housing Sales, Inventory,& Listings Increased in February 2016:
According to figures published by RBIntel.com:
2,874 home sales closed successfully in Washington D.C. and surrounding counties in February 2016, and half of those houses were on the market 44 days or less.
4,533 homes were listed as “sale pending” at the end of February, an increase of 32.4% over January’s numbers.
These figures reflect sale increases in all residential housing types, with condominiums, townhouses, and single-family detached homes all showing higher total sales numbers.
As of the end of February 2016, there were 8,293 homes “for sale” in the region, approximately the same as the month before but a slight increase compared with the number of homes for sale during January and February 2015.
In February there were 5,171 reported new sale listings in Washington D.C. and the surrounding area, a number 8.5% above the 5-year average. This increase in new listings may be partially responsible for the drop in some area sales prices; more inventory on the market means more buyer choice, which often has a negative impact on sales prices.
Increased Inventory Often Means More “Days on Market” Before a Sale.
In February, the median days-on-market for listed homes was 44 days, the same as median days-on-market during January, and a slight increase from February 2015 (when the median days-on-market number was 42).
The region’s fastest-selling area is Washington, D.C. (February median days-on-market: 20), and the slowest February regional market was in Falls Church City (February median days-on-market: 107).
Sales numbers vary from county to county, and even among neighborhoods, and the speed and success of a housing sale is dependent on many factors, from listing price to home condition and comparable listings in the area. Your personal experience may vary, but knowing the average numbers is still helpful when making plans to sell your home, either through a realtor or to an investor.
March 19, 2016
Why Do Most Home Renovations Cost More Than Expected?
Many homeowners start a remodeling project with starry-eyed dreams of high-end results at a budget price, only to face discouragement when the time and costs of renovation prove much higher than expected. Taking a careful look at these common reasons for unexpected cost increases can help you keep your remodeling project on track and on budget:
- Failure to Obtain Multiple Estimates. Contractors’ prices vary widely, even for the exact same work. Always obtain at least 2-3 estimates before hiring a contractor, and let the contractors know you’re interviewing multiple candidates for the job. Contractors generally offer more reasonable estimates when they know the contract isn’t guaranteed. Also, make sure each estimate covers the exact same scope of work.
- Working Without a Contract. Many homeowners hire contractors on a handshake, with only a handwritten estimate that might or might not stand up in court. These estimates may or may not protect you against costly overruns or contractor failures, leaving homeowners liable for thousands of dollars in extra expenses—or stuck with incomplete work when a contractor walks off the job. While contracts can’t prevent every problem, homeowners who insist on a contract generally have fewer problems—and more remedies—than those who hire contractors on a handshake.
- Unrealistic Budgets & Expectations. Far too often, homeowners start the renovation process without a clear idea about the renovations they actually want, and without an understanding of what remodeling actually costs. Homeowners who under-budget often end up spending more than people who investigate the costs and options thoroughly before the work begins.
- Homeowner Indecision. Many homeowners ask for changes after the work begins. These changes cost significantly more than alterations made before the start of construction, sometimes adding thousands of dollars to the overall cost of renovations.
- “DIY” Isn’t Always the Cheapest Option. Popular television shows often make home renovation look easy, and homeowners sometimes opt for “Do It Yourself” renovations in an attempt to save time and money. Unfortunately, most remodeling isn’t as easy as it looks on TV, and hiring a contractor to fix your mistakes can be more expensive than hiring a professional to handle the renovations in the first place.
- Unnecessary or Unhelpful Renovations. Not all renovations will increase the value or sales price of a home. Homeowners often embark on costly remodeling or improvements, only to discover that the payoff is lower than expected—or, in some cases, nonexistent. Buyers often care most about “visible improvements” like granite countertops and updated bathroom or kitchen fixtures, but these renovations sometimes cost more to install than they add to the sales price of a home.
Investigate your planned renovations carefully before hiring contractors or starting construction.
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March 12, 2016
What to Do if Your House Listing Expires
Many people think that listing a home for sale with a broker or Realtor “guarantees” a successful sale—not so. Market fluctuations, inaccurate pricing, and other issues can prevent your home from finding a buyer before the listing ends.
Real estate listings are contracts, and should have an ending date. When the listing expires, the broker-seller relationship ends, and the seller has several important options. Instead of signing a listing extension, consider each of these critical questions and let the answers help you to decide the best next steps for your home:
Why Are You Selling?
People sell houses for a variety of reasons and motivations. Are you moving? Seeking a larger (or smaller) space? Have you inherited a relative’s house, or recently gotten married (or divorced)?
If you don’t want to sell, or lack the motivation to accept a reasonable offer, expired listings may be a hint that you should take your house off the market, either temporarily or permanently. But if you need to sell—particularly if you need to sell quickly—it might be time to consider selling your house to an investor instead of signing another lengthy and possibly unsuccessful listing contract.
Was the Listing Price too High?
Houses don’t sell when the price doesn’t match the property. Sometimes, Realtors set the listing price too high, either at the seller’s request or because they hope to “test the market.” Don’t let the listing agent use your house as a guinea pig. If the listing expires, examine the housing market in your area and evaluate how your listing price compares to comparable houses that recently sold.
Is Your House in Saleable Condition?
Evaluating the proper sale price for a home requires not only an examination of comparable houses, but also an honest look at the home’s condition. Houses that look old or in need of repairsgenerally sell for less than newlyremodeled homes in good condition.
If your house is in disrepair, you may get a better selling price from investors than you would from an owner-buyer. Investors don’t care if the house needs paint or repairs, and make an offer based on the same comparable sales information real estate agents use to evaluate prices. If your house’s condition is partially—or completely—to blame for the lack of a sale during the listing period, investors may give you a better price with far less hassle and delay.
Did Your Listing Agent Have a Proper Marketing Plan?
Listing agents should prepare a plan to market and sell each home they list. Your agent should have reviewed this plan with you when you signed the listing contract or shortly thereafter. Without a proper marketing plan, and marketing follow-through, even a well-priced house in good condition may fail to sell. If your agent failed to create and execute an effective marketing plan, you may not want to extend the listing agreement, or take a chance on a new one.
Would You Rather Skip the Hassle and Sell Your House Immediately?
If your house didn’t sell before the listing agreement expired, consider contacting an investor like 4 Brothers Buy Houses. We’ll buy your home for cash, regardless of its condition, and close the sale in days instead of weeks. Renewing or extending a listing agreement won’t guarantee a sale, especially if your house didn’t bring in acceptable offers the first time around. Consider all your options before you sign another listingcontract.
Curious about how to sell your home to investors, or how much your property is worth?Click here to get more information or a no-obligation quote today.
March 4, 2016
Three Surprising Benefits of Selling Your Home to an Investor
Many homeowners believe that listing a house for sale with a real estate agent is the best (or only) way to sell a home. Not true! In today’s difficult real estate market, selling directly to an investor offers homeowners important, and often unexpected, benefits. To name just a few:
Speed. Unlike conventional real estate listings, which may take weeks or even months to sell, and then involve a lengthy escrow, investors can close a deal quickly—and in cash. The average home sale takes 4-6 weeks from acceptance the buyer’s offer, and sellers don’t get their money until the process is complete. By contrast, investors like 4 Brothers Buy Houses don’t have to rely on inspections, or wait for financing approval, which means they can often close a deal in less than ten days.
Savings. Homeowners often fail to realize just how expensive it can be to sell a house through a Realtor.In addition to real estate agent commissions, the homeowner has to pay closing costs, escrow charges and, often,the costs of repairing issues discovered during inspections. Together, these costscan easily reduce the seller’s proceeds by 7-10% (that’s $25,000on a $250,000 home). Investors don’t perform inspections, and don’t ask sellers to pay for repairs. Best of all, the homeowner pays no commissions on the sale.
Security. Almost 30% of real estate sales fall through. The primary causes of failed sales are buyer financing failure, low appraisals, and poor inspection results—none of which are issues when a homeowner sells to investors. Real estate agents cannot control their clients’ decisions during the escrow process, and can’t guarantee theirbuyers can actually qualify for a loan. When a homeowner sells directly to an investor, for cash and without inspections or lengthy escrows, the deal has much more security than a third-party sale through Realtors.
And these aren’t the only benefits of selling to investors. Listing a home for sale requires cleaning, staging, repairs, and scheduling showings for curious buyers. Open houses can increase a homeowner’s chance of being robbed. Investors don’t need the house staged or repaired, and won’t ask the owner to open the house to the public.
In addition, investors base their purchase offers on comparable sales in the area, using much of the same information real estate agents use to establish a listing price.
For all these reasons, investors offer a valuable alternative to the risk, expense, and annoyance of listing and advertising a home for sale through a traditional real estate agent or broker.
Curious about the price 4 Brothers Buy Houses would offer for your home? You’re only a click away from the answer: find out here with no obligation!