Selling your home? Staging is key!

When searching for a home, the photography can make or break a potential buyer’s interest in the property. And when a potential buyer steps into a house, staging can be critical in helping them imagine a property as their home. … Continue reading

Grateful for What I Have – Happy Holidays

Hello folks…

Today I am reflecting on 2011 for all of the great things that came my way…

#1 thing to be GRATEFUL for is Joan Stansfield!

Joining forces with Joan midway through the year was truly a blessing for me!  We are a wonderful pair where I feel that one plus one definitely equals WAY more than 2 – maybe even 4 or 5!  She bring such a terrific energy and a huge heart to our business!

#2 thing to be GRATEFUL for is all of our clients!  

In 2011, we have had the pleasure of helping over 30 families buy, sell, rent or invest in real estate – and it’s been a great year!  We know that as we grow we will be able to help so many more and that is thrilling – the team is growing and we look forward to continuing to assist you with ALL of your real estate needs – and beyond – whether you just need to consider refinancing or re-decorating; whether you are re-landscaping or experiencing a plumbing disaster; whether you want a book recommendation or need an electrician – we hope to be your one-stop-shop!  Concierge level, Client Centric, Focused on YOU!

#3 thing to be GRATEFUL for is the state of the market in the DC area!

We are so fortunate to be in an area that has not suffered such great losses as many of our colleagues around the country have.  We are relatively stable, homes are selling, values are holding, interest rates are STILL unbelievable!

Life is good, my friends.  So thank you for an amazing 2011 and here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2012!


The Short Sale – 2012 Style

It’s been a while since I first wrote my series on Short Sales (Short Sale Part 1) (Short Sale Part 2) (Short Sale Part 3) (Short Sale Part 4) and a lot of water has crossed under that bridge.  It’s interesting how this process has evolved and how we are seeing it change.  Just a little side story… last summer I had a short sale listing with a very competitive, all-cash offer at around $260K with “VERBAL” approval from the bank – oh, that was until they changed their mind and wanted $40K MORE at the last minute (which they felt was still leaving $25K on the table) – I thought they were nuts, the buyer’s agent thought they were nuts, and most importantly the buyer thought they were NUTS and the buyers walked away – it went to foreclosure and the bank ended up taking $50K LESS than our offer was for…. REALLY??? What kind of fruitcake were they listening to about market value?  Because they sure weren’t listening to me!

That was my last short sale listing – it was so draining and seriously maddening to know that we had a bona fide offer at market price and the bank was SOO stupid!  But I hear times are a’changing!  I hear that Bank of America has committed to a 60 day approval policy – I hear that banks are coming to the realization that they don’t want to own real estate (REO) and figure out a way to not get taken to the cleaners every time they have believed a BPO.  Their greed drove them to make some pretty bad decisions so perhaps now some will get smart?

Before, I would dread the thought of showing a short sale listing to a prospective buyer – it just never seemed like a good deal for a buyer! Left to wonder if it would ever be approved or if my client’s money would be tied up for months and months only to one day receive word that it has been approved and now settlement must occur within 15 days???  How is that good or reasonable? and then the vicious cycle would start over again.

So here’s where we are now – I believe banks are finally starting to wise up that they better play nice or they will end up holding a lot of inventory that they have been duped regarding its value.  Hopefully we will see easier approvals, easier and more reasonable communication and settlement expectations, etc…  I have faith that this is a positive step to continue to move us through this part of the financial crisis.

If you are considering a short sale (and if you are, I sure hope it’s before you have drained yourself financially) please think about calling on our team to help you out.

Happy Friday

Jennifer & Joan

Is the Northern Virginia Market on the Move???

This time of year we talk a lot about the market slowing down.  Some agents are hunkering down for the holidays, perhaps some fall short on follow up, perhaps some recommend that properties be pulled off until after the first of the year…  Whatever your situation is I thought I’d share some quick numbers with you today – So here’s the set-up… for homes that have gone under contract in the last 30 days – here’s how long they were on the market:


McLean/22101 – 28 properties under contract in the past 30 days
<13 DOM = 9
13-30 DOM = 3
30-60 DOM = 8
60-90 DOM = 3
>90 DOM = 5

Arlington/22207 – 28 properties (weird coincidence)

<13 DOM = 11
13-30 DOM = 2
30-60 DOM = 6
60-90 DOM =  4
>90 DOM = 5

Vienna (22180, 22181 and 22182) – 45 properties

<13 DOM = 8
13-30 DOM = 11
30-60 DOM = 11
60-90 DOM = 4
>90 DOM = 11

North Reston (20190 and 20194) – 27 properties

<13 DOM = 11
13-30 DOM = 6
30-60 DOM = 2
60-90 DOM = 4
>90 DOM = 4

What this tells me is that there are a significant number of properties selling within the first 2-4 weeks – especially in Reston!  It’s also showing me that in each of these areas (except Vienna) there is roughly 1 property each day going under contract.

Are you considering selling your home?  If so, let us help consult you through a successful experience of selling in the winter.  There are buyers entering the market every day, whether due to a job change, a move, or perhaps the end of a lease coming up.  Call us today to see if now would be the right time to get your home on the market.

Happy Wednesday!

Jennifer & Joan