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Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

Our mission at The Gresh Group is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

3 Questions to Ask Any Agent Before You Hire Them


Before hiring a real estate agent, you need to do some vetting. Here are the questions that we recommend you ask.
Selling your Greater Washington DC area home?
Buying an Greater Washington DC area home?

Buying or selling a home is a major project. Having a trustworthy agent to guide you through that project can be an invaluable asset. But how can you vet potential real estate agents to see who would be a good fit for you? Here are three important questions you should ask to get started: 

1. "How many homes have you sold in the last 12 months?" Many real estate agents will tell you the number of years they have in the business. That's useful, but their recent activity can be more relevant than their total experience. Asking this question can tell you how well they know the market, as well as how successful you can expect them to be in your case.

Bonus Question: You will probably want to ask whether the agent works primarily with buyers or sellers, because many agents specialize to some extent in one or the other.

2. "Can I have the contact info for your last three deals?" Anybody can say they are a marvelously effective real estate agent. But talking to actual past clients can help you decide whether this is true or a bunch of hot air. When you do talk to a real estate agent's previous clients, you don't need to get too fancy to get useful information. Simply ask them to share their experience.  

You want to get a sense that this agent is somebody you can trust.

3. "What is your strategy for my specific needs?" As a buyer, you will want the agent to explain how they will search for your new home, how many homes you can expect to see, and how the agent handles multiple offers. As a seller, you will want to know how and where the agent will advertise your home. 

So what kinds of answers should you look for to these questions?

Ideally, you will want to get a sense that this agent is somebody you can trust and that you feel comfortable working with.

At the same time, you will want them to be experienced and diligent, as evidenced by recent successful deals and a concrete plan of action for your situation. 

If you ever want to know how I measure up on these questions, you can always give me a call at 703-328-3434 or send an email to Janet@TheGreshGroup.com. I'd love to hear what your specific situation is and whether I would be a good match to help you in the current Northern Virginia real estate market.

Monday, April 23, 2018

3 Things to Know About the Spring Real Estate Market


Here are a few things to know about the real estate market as we head into spring. It should be a great season.
Selling your Greater Washington DC area home?
Buying an Greater Washington DC area home?

Each year, spring is the hottest season for real estate. However, spring 2018 looks to be an especially important time for anyone looking to sell a home. Here are a few facts to get you thinking:

1. Demand continues to outstrip supply. The number of homes on the market is near an all-time low, and listings of existing homes have plunged 8.1% over the past year. While this means that the total number of sold homes has actually decreased, demand continues to be strong.

2. Home prices are still surging. Home prices are up 6.3% year over year in the last quarter for which we have data. It's not just Northern Virginia that's doing well — areas around the country keep posting record highs for home values. 

3. Mortgage rates are finally rising. The Fed increased its benchmark rate several times over the past year, but this did not translate to an immediate increase in mortgage rates. However, mortgage rates do seem to be finally responding, and the 30-year fixed rate is now hovering around 4.5.%. While this is a four-year high, it is still near historical lows, and makes mortgages affordable to would-be buyers.  

It’s not clear how long this favorable situation will last.

Put together, what do these facts mean if you are considering selling your home?

First off, they mean that right now is a very good time to sell. That's because of the strong demand and the high level of current prices. In other words, if you were to put your home on the market right now, you could get top dollar, and you would be able to sell quickly and without hassle.

Second, it's not clear how long this favorable situation will last. As I mentioned, mortgage rates are on the rise. Currently, that is not enough to dampen demand. But if rates continue to rise, it might drive more buyers out of the market, eventually driving down prices and making it more difficult to sell your home. 

Another thing to consider is the effect of the new tax plan. It's not entirely clear how it will affect the real estate market, but odds are good it will make home buying more expensive. That's because of a new cap on state and local tax deductions, which could combine with higher mortgage rates to push more buyers out of the market. 

To sum up, if you have been considering selling your home, consider selling now. The current moment is very favorable, but it won’t last forever. If you have any questions for me about how to get started buying or selling a home, don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call at 703-328-3434 or send us an email to Janet@TheGreshGroup.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

When Do the Experts Think the Best Time to Sell Is?


The best time of year to sell your home might not be what you think it is. Here’s what we mean.
Selling your Greater Washington DC area home?
Buying an Greater Washington DC area home?

There's a bit of a controversy brewing among real estate experts. The topic is the best time of year to sell a home. On one hand, real estate agents across the country agree: Spring is the best time to sell your home.  


However, do the facts actually support this view? The folks at real estate web platform HomeLight wanted to find out, so they crunched the numbers on actual home sales in different markets to see when the best time to sell a home actually was. 

In general, spring did come out on top in many situations. However, there were also many exceptions. 

For example, in Greenville, SC, the best month was July, beating out the average sales price by 150%. In Breckenridge, CO, February was the winner, with a 106% increase over the average. In Tomball, TX, homes sold in October for 133% more than the average for the year.  

It’s not as simple as saying that spring is the best time to sell your home.

What does this all mean for you? If you want a broad recommendation for when to sell your home, then simply listing your home now at the very start of spring is a recommendation that can't be beat. 

There are plenty of other details that go into the optimal decision. Weather is a big one. Recent real estate trends in the area would be another. The specifics of your own home and the kinds of homebuyers it is likely to attract is a third and crucial aspect. There are fewer homebuyers in the fall and winter, but they tend to be more serious and eager to find a home before the holidays. In the summertime, there might be added pressure to buy a home before the school season starts. 

In short, it's not as simple as saying spring is the best time to sell your home. If you have any questions for me, give me a call at 703-328-3434 or send me an email at Janet@TheGreshGroup.com and we can discuss all the unique attributes your home, put them in the context of recent trends in the Northern Virginia real estate market, and come up with a winning strategy of when you should list to get the best price. I look forward to hearing from you soon!