Region Experiencing Inventory Crunch PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 February 2013 00:00

For anyone getting ready to commence their home search in the greater DC area, prepare to experience firsthand what those already engaged in their searches have come to know: inventories are extremely tight (historically so), and you can expect a long, hard slog in the search for your dream home.  Where for several years in the aftermath of the financial crises the measure of an agent was, "how much off of the list price can you negotiate?", today it is which agent will be able to get you into that home when you are competing against five other offers.  And to be sure, price isn't everything - a skilled and experienced agent will help you navigate and structure for maximum attractiveness, while trying to protect your contingency inclusions to the greatest extent possible.  I am happy to say that I have helped several clients in coming out on top in a number of these situations since January, but I could not have guessed how strongly (or early) this dynamic would have taken hold this year.

Whatever news or data you read online or in a newspaper, remember it is all backward-looking, usually by at least a month.  The market is heating up beyond anything the journalists or data trackers will be able to put in your hand in a timely manner, and it is wise to go into this market expecting as much.

As for sellers with attractive properties and the rare ability to turn on a dime, this may be the perfect window of opportunity to act on.  Marketing is still crucially important in generating that initial spike in buzz that leads to multiple offers; the difference might be a sale for list price in five days vs a sale for $20K over in the same period.  Or more importantly, the difference between a sale in a week vs slipping off into multi-month limbo.  (I will note for a moment that multiple months was not considered limbo at all just a few short years ago... it speaks to where things are now.)

For many sellers, however - primarily those looking to buy themselves and move into new properties in the region - this market will prove to be as frustrating and mercurial as it is for the would-be buyers of their home.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 20:51

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
4500 Old Dominion Dr, Arlington VA 22207
Phone: (703) 524-2100 Fax: (703) 524-9014