I was searching for a town home with a client last week in Centreville, Clifton and Fairfax and saw an interesting trend. The trend was in homes that were regular sales, not the foreclosures or short-sales which seemed to be about 50-60% of the market.
So, let’s consider the regular sales to be 40% of the market in the under $425k price range that we were walking through at a furious pace. At first we weren’t walking so quickly, but so many of the homes were in less than showing condition that we were both eager to get a move on. Things like piles of laundry, dirty dishes, food on counters, odd food aromas, smelly bathrooms, big dogs, well I consider real estate sales an adventure sometimes.
I noticed that the homes with the most updates were literally flying off the market with multiple offers and escalation clauses. These homes were the creme de le creme (top 1% of the 40%) of the market because they were priced low to compete, and then looked like bargains against the homes that needed fixing up. Hey, who has the cash to do that stuff anymore?
For all of you looking for a sign that the market has turned, well, this is not it. These homes were just selling quickly at 99-101% of asking price. The trend that I recognized was that updated homes in very good condition and priced well are selling at list price in less than a week. If these same homes had been priced higher, then they probably would still be sitting on the market.
Market trends are market trends.