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Neighborhood Expert: How’s the real estate market doing?

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or Laura@GuidingYourMove.com.

Fall of 2022 was the height for interest rates, hitting 7% and slowing down our real estate market, as intended.

Houses sat, loan offers introduced the 2-1 rate buy down program (where you could get an interest rate 2% below market for the first year, 1% below market for the 2nd year, and then up to market for the 3rd year and beyond). We had buyers get below asking and credits from the sellers. We had inspections, appraisals, and other contingencies coming back into play.

Enter in 2023.

Rates have dropped. Gina Myers at Cross Country Mortgage quotes that rates are currently sitting at:

  • 30 year fixed — 6.0%, no points — jumbo (any loan over $726,200 at 80% LTV)
  • 10/6 ARM — 5.375%, no points — jumbo (any loan over $726,200 at 80% LTV)
  • VA and FHA 30-year fixed — 6.125%
  • 10/6 ARM — 5.375
    • A 10/6 ARM is where you have a fixed rate for the first 10 months, and then the rate adjusts every 6 months after that.

Many buyers are choosing to go with ARM products knowing that rates are expected to continue to decline and buyers will likely refinance when rates drop. If you have specific questions related to financing, please reach out to Gina.

You may have heard the term that “real estate is local”, so let me show you what that means. As buyer demand heats up as the year begins –which is typical of every year as our spring market cycle takes off — there’s just not enough supply to keep up with the demand. In the fall, we had more sellers entering the market and more buyers exiting the market, so the supply grew and demand fell. Now we have more demand and not enough supply, which is causing another sellers market.

Examples:

See a trend? I picked homes at different price points to show you that many homes are getting multiple offers again.

Anecdotally, it’s not just Vienna and McLean. I recently listed this cute rambler in Annandale for $725,000. We received 8 offers and this will close soon for well over asking. 

If you’re considering selling a home this year, you may want to consider speeding up your timing if you’re able. Take advantage of the low inventory before other spring sellers wait out the end of the school year to list their homes. 

If you’re considering buying a home this year, you really should talk to a local lender to get the financing piece in place before you jump into the competition. That part needs to be rock solid or you won’t stand a chance. Also work with a local real estate agent who has their pulse on things. (For example — me), but if not, someone who knows how to navigate the chaos that multiple offers can bring. Strategy really does matter.

I’d like to add one thing. I’m going to say something to you that your realtor may not have the guts to say. If your home is listed and it’s not selling in this climate, you’re priced too high. It’s always price. Price is #1 and #2 of your listing strategy and presentation is a really close #3. If it’s not 100% HGTV ready, you need to price it to account for that. If you push on price, you won’t get it. The buyers in todays world are very educated. They do lots of research and they know when something seems off. 

Follow me on Instagram for more home selling and home buying tips!

Photo via Tierra Mallorca/Unsplash

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