Happy New Year!
Before looking ahead, let's take a quick look back at real estate sales for 2007. Whether you plan to sell your home in 2008 or are interesting in purchasing a home this year, it's important to understand some numbers. Everyone likes to look at prices. That's fine. However, you also need to look at number of sales and the amount of inventory available.
How many homes sold in Northern Virginia in 2007?
ALEXANDRIA CITY 2,207 Homes Sold in 2007
ARLINGTON COUNTY 2,973 Homes Sold in 2007
FAIRFAX COUNTY 13,293 Homes Sold in 2007
FALLS CHURCH CITY 141 Homes Sold in 2007
LOUDOUN COUNTY 4,963 Homes Sold in 2007
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY 4,897 Homes Sold in 2007
How many will sell in 2008? That's anyone's guess. You may as well try to guess how many gumballs are in this antique gumball machine. Anyway, there's no prize for right answers. Everyone likes to make predictions and prognostications, yet even the so-called experts are always revising their numbers up, down, diagonally and sideways as the year progresses.
As of the start of 2008, here are the inventories of resale homes listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service:
ALEXANDRIA CITY 665 Homes Available
ARLINGTON COUNTY 674 Homes Available
FAIRFAX COUNTY 5,868 Homes Available
FALLS CHURCH CITY 48 Homes Available
LOUDOUN COUNTY 2,804 Homes Available
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY 4,757 Homes Available
What does all this mean? In Arlington, the inventory of homes available is 22% of the number of sales that were completed in 2007. Contrast this with Prince William County where inventory represents over 97% of the total number of sales last year. This means that it will be increasingly difficult to sell your home in Prince William County than it is in Arlington, due to the high inventory numbers. This assumes that home sales continue at the rates that they did in 2007. What if sales continue to slow through 2008? People who wish to sell their homes will have to lower their price to get the home sold.
You can't control the market. You can't control the prices or the number of sales.
YOU CAN CONTROL HOW YOU PRICE AND MARKET YOUR HOME!
2008 is NOT THE TIME to price your home high and "test the market." If you need to sell your home, you must price it right from the beginning.
2008 is NOT THE TIME to try to sell the home by yourself. You need to expose your home to the broader market and utilize the expertise of a professional Realtor to market and sell your home.
2008 is NOT THE TIME to leave your home a mess and expect buyers to overlook the condition. To compete in the marketplace, your home needs to be in tip-top condition and may need professional staging.
2008 IS THE TIME to get expert advise, a skilled negotiator, and a savvy internet Realtor who knows how to market and sell your home.
Whether you are considering buying or selling a Northern Virginia home in 2008, here are some important articles that you should read:
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