Buy Alexandria Real Estate: Rainy Day Real Estate Agent Traffic Jam

Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Blog

Rainy Day Real Estate Agent Traffic Jam

This morning while out showing homes to some very motivated clients, we happened upon a scene that I haven't seen since around mid-2005.  After viewing 3 or 4 rather lackluster homes on this rather rainy day in Northern Virginia, we drove down a hill and around the bend to a cul-de-sac.  At the end of this street stood a home, that on paper looked very good.  Indeed, my clients reviewed the MLS printout and decided to skip the rest of the homes on our tour and head directly to this one. 






Since this home just came on the market yesterday, we didn't expect the chaos that shortly ensued.  As we pulled in to the cul-de-sac in this usually quiet and not-so-trafficked residential area of Falls Church, we knew something was different when we saw 8 or 9 cars parked all around the circle.  And in the center, standing out in the drizzle, was an agent speaking to her clients (the stack of MLS printouts and reflection of the REALTOR pin on her blouse gave her away).  As we entered the home, without having to use my lockbox card, we were greeted by the site of an agent hurriedly telling her clients over the phone that they "MUST come right now to see this home!"



Upstairs and downstairs we ran into other agents and their clients viewing the home.  Unlike other foreclosed homes that I've viewed, this one was crawling with clients-- not cockroaches! 

The Telltale "We like it" Wink


I quickly followed my clients through the interior, peeked into the backyard, until I received "the telltale wink" from my clients that meant "Let's go write an offer!  NOW!  We like this one.  A lot."


And they should.  The previous owner paid $840,000 for this home in December 2005.  It's on the market for less than half that price.  We left the house, dodging agents and homebuying couples on the way out the door.  Everyone viewed each other with suspicion.  Are they going to write a contract?  Can we get one in too?  What should we offer? 


We hit the gas and peeled out (not really -- that just makes the story sound more exciting) and raced back to write an offer.  My clients lender e-mailed me their approval letter.  Initials.  Signatures.  Ready to go.



The listing agent returned my call.  2 offers already received.  He's gotten tons of calls.  And why not, at this fantastic price?

I e-mailed my clients offer over to the listing agent, and now we've got our fingers crossed and we're waiting.

A Rainy Day Real Estate Agent Traffic Jam! 

REALTOR Traffic Jam

What does it mean?  Buyers getting off the fence?  Is it a fluke or is it a sign of things to come and sunnier days ahead?


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Comment balloon 44 commentsBrian Block • March 27 2009 10:18AM


I always tell my clients that he right price does it every time. It sounds like they found the price at which people would almost be forced to write...good luck with it!

Posted by Holly Weatherwax, A Great Real Estate Experience ( Associate Broker, Momentum Realty) about 9 years ago

That is great for the sellers and hopefully your buyers!! Good luck with the offer! 

Posted by Jeanna Martinez (RE/MAX Access) about 9 years ago

Wow what a story... and yes the car peeling out did help the story!!! I sure hope this is the sign of things to come!!

Happy Thursday!!


Posted by Lori Isaacson (Credit Restoration Consultants) about 9 years ago

Good luck! Let us know the outcome!

Thanks for sharing.


The Real Estate Investment Lady

Posted by Amy Ellis, Amy N. Ellis (Benham Real Estate Group) about 9 years ago

I hope your buyers get the deal.  My curiosity is why was the home at half price?

Posted by William German (NetWorks Real Estate LLC) about 9 years ago

William, maybe it wasn't clear in the narrative, but this home has been foreclosed and is being sold by the bank.  Hence, the low price, albeit probably priced too low!

Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) about 9 years ago

It is a great time to buy - rates low, prices low, and an 8k tax credit - what is the hold up? :) I hope you get the contract!

Posted by Naoma Doriguzzi, New Media Director (Virginia Beach) about 9 years ago

Brian any luck mowing a few of the Realtors down leaving the property:)

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) about 9 years ago

Bill, Bill, Bill.  Isn't there something in the Code of Ethics about that?  LOL!

Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) about 9 years ago

Brian - There's plenty of incentives these days for qualified buyers (low interest rates, large inventory, $8000.00 tax credit, having Brian Block as their Realtor, etc).  Spring has sprung, let the traffic jams ensue!

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) about 9 years ago

Brian, we are in a Sellers Market here with foreclosure's too. We are living on the same highway as you, multiple offers. But a buyers market for existing homes. Such a dicatomy. Good luck, my friend.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 9 years ago

Hey I view this is a great sign, people interests are sparked regardless of the great deal or not.  This is what its all about and this is just a small taste of whats to come in the future!  I hope your clients get the deal!

Posted by Justin Williams, Loan Officer (Independent) about 9 years ago

Looks like a Sellers market there in Virginia,

Great time for buyers to buy, lowest rates in 40 years, plenty of motivated sellers.

Good luck to you in 2009,

Keep the faith


Posted by Karina Morgan (CENTURY 21 Regency Realty) about 9 years ago

Do I hear SPRING?  Glad it was raining for you today, otherwise you would've had to push your way into the house! =0)

Hope the listing agent has their act together to persuade the bank to decide SOON, before getting 100 contracts! 

Gooo Brian!

Posted by Kathy Dipp (Century 21 Redwood Realty) about 9 years ago

Brian, so it sounds like you might have to shake the dust off of the old escalator clause! 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Brian, I love this.  Let's communicate to buyers across America that smart buyers are out there looking at and buying houses today.  The time for waiting and watching is OVER!

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 9 years ago

No question in my mind that this frenzy in some areas is interest rate driven.

It deja vu all over again.



Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Don't forget the home inspection :-)

If this is happening in Virginia, it should be coming to Kentucky in about 5 to 7 years. The Midwest is usally behind the trends on the East and West coasts. 5 to 7 years is what I've been told.

Posted by Andrew Haslett, Heartland of Kentuckynulls, Best Home Inspector (Van Warren Home Inspections, NAHI CRI) about 9 years ago

Everyone wants the killer deal around here. Good luck with your clients. :)

Posted by Kristi DeFazio, Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468 (RE/MAX Advantage) about 9 years ago

This has been happening here, too.  And I always tell my clients this is what happens next - the bank instructs their agent to ask for everyone's 'highest and best' offer.  So buyers have to decide if they'll go higher or sweeten the deal some other way.  Of course, the listing agent won't be allowed to reveal what the offers are for, so the buyer could be bidding against themselves.  It's very stressful, but great when they get it.  One thing for sure - it'll go for more than asking price!

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) about 9 years ago

I am crossing fingers with you gotta a contract :)

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Century 21 Liberty Homes) about 9 years ago

Brian, You're quite the storyteller and had me on the edge of my seat! Please let us know the outcome!

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) about 9 years ago

Brian - Great Post - Yes the watching and waiting time is over!!!  I called around yesterday making appointments and on admin said wow this is the 3rd appt I've set for this house!!!  Hope I run into other agents tomorrow when I'm showing - it always shows your buyers they are not the only ones looking - creates a sense of urgency!  Good luck with the offer!



Posted by Kathy Carson, Realtor, Lynchburg, VA, VA Homes - Lynchunberg,Bedford, Campbell (John Stewart Walker, Inc) about 9 years ago

Maybe we could arrange for four to five agents to be at one house with clients to get some motivation!  Just kidding!! 

Posted by Shelly Fisher, Property Specialist - Lake Burton Club, Rabun County (Lake Burton Club Realty-Clayton Ga) about 9 years ago

Great post, I have to ask what condition was the home in. It had to be great consdering the multiple properties your clients left behind.  A properly priced home in show condition will always attract the masses.  Great job on getting the job done. Good luck with the offer!

Posted by Darwin Barker about 9 years ago

You know, I didn't think about this till now, but I have lost out on a couple foreclosures like this in the last six months.  If a foreclosure is in good shape, it moves.  We all know that property will sell for more than it is listed.

Posted by Brien Berard, Maryland Real Estate Agents - Laurel Real Estate (Remax Professionals Laurel MD) about 9 years ago

I don't think it is a fluke.  If homes are price well and are NOT foreclosure or short sales, multiple offers are the norm!  However, there are not too many houses like this so there is DEMAND (and not supply)! so there you have it.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 9 years ago

Good luck, Brian!  Hope your clients get it.  Sounds like my situation a couple of weeks ago.  A Freddie Mac owned home came on the market and had 14 offers on it.   My clients bid, but withdrew when LA called to say NO CONTINGENCIES at all.  My people loved the house, but not enough to buy it without a few simple contingencies. (HI, Aprsl, Fng) 

Posted by Natalie Langford, Winchester, VA Real Estate (Realty Negotiations) about 9 years ago

Best of luck with the offer! Keep us posted!

Posted by Jessica Jones, Destin Sandestin 30-A Real Estate (Sandestin Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Brian I certainly hope your clients acted accordingly in their offer based on the obvious competition for this property!  I have noticed a big change in our market activity in this type product also.  I think the drop in interest rates has brought the buyers out to shop for the deals that are in abundance!

Posted by Debbie Hutchins about 9 years ago

Brian, good luck with your offer. Sounds that final price will be higher than asking. Indeed, it's a plenty of ready and able buyers who are willing to steal the houses. Your case sounds like a real steal. Good luck to you and your buyers!

Posted by Svetlana Stolyarova, Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663 (Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution) about 9 years ago

Grreat to hear about multiple offers again. Real Estate at half off and the price of money to buy the real estate almost at half off as, Whats not to Like! I hope your clients win the shootout.

Posted by Scott Baker, Realtor Homes for Sale in Cincinnati, West Chester, Mason, OH Area ( Coldwell Banker West Shell) about 9 years ago

Dear Brian,

Excellent post! I hope this is part of a trend!

I also hope your buyers didn't do what several of mine did earlier this year. Both properties were under-priced and new listings. Both already had one offer on the table. Both of my buyers till made lower offers. Both lost the game! Both regretted it!


Posted by Barbara Delaney (Park Place REALTORS, Inc.) about 9 years ago
Brian, this has been normal in my market for several months now. Of course houses can be purchased in the 40s so the feeding frenzie has begun. You need to buy a tablet pc so you can write deals on the spot. That really irks the competition :)
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) about 9 years ago

Whatever it is, it's good!  Best of luck to your clients.

Posted by Patsy Overton (Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia) about 9 years ago

I would love to see that at one of my properties!  Hope everything pans out for you!

Posted by Bridget Cella, e-Pro, Realtor (Re/Max Connection) about 9 years ago

Wow, how great is it to have that many people interested in one houes.  I'm sure the seller is happy.  Hope your buyer's get the house!

Posted by Kristen Hall, REALTOR, Shippensburg Real Estate (Jalex Real Estate Services) about 9 years ago

Brian - Yes, we work in the rain, snow and sleet. Sometimes you just never know what happens. I hope good things happen to you.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Frisco TX Real Estate Co.) about 9 years ago

Brian, Great to know there are that many ready buyers. I had thought so but you seeing them all at one property sure tells us the truth. Good luck hope you get the deal!

Posted by Valorie Stover, Realtor for Casta del Sol, Mission Viejo,CA, Active Adult Community! (Casta del Sol Real Estate / HomeSmart Everygreen Realty) about 9 years ago

Yes, using the low-ball price to generate business, and bidding wars.  Nice touch . . .

I hope you told your clients all about this tactic.  REO's and short sales will use an unrealistic price to bring the buyers out, in droves.  And the sense of URGENCY at seeing someone else getting it before you do . . .

Marketing . . . gotta love it!

70% of offers submitted to banks on REO's and shorts don't make it. 

This is an example of :  Supply and demand in the simplest form . . . the LCD (lowest common denominator).  And yet . . . we're not seeing this as it really is?!?

OUCH -- crawling with clients . . . not cockroaches.

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) about 9 years ago

Brian...good luck with the contract deal.  Virginia realtors are busy as bees....

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker) about 9 years ago

What's next after the traffic jam? Maybe a rise in prices?

Posted by Judy Chapman (Referral Network of Illinois LLC) about 9 years ago

You certainly don't see a nice home a nice price very often when it comes to the foreclosures we see. It is normally a nice price and something that you feel like you need to take a shower after seeing or above retail because the bank wants to get all their money back.

Glad to see you found the exception to the rule and I really hope that your clients get the property, please update us!


Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) about 9 years ago

We are having some of the same signs here in Central Texas of things getting better.  We have not been hit as hard as other areas by any means but we always love it when we see more buyers in the market to buy right now.  It could be the spring feeling...people are in better moods and ready to buy!

Posted by Tara Campbell, Broker/Owner, GRI, CDPE (RE/MAX Family) about 9 years ago