Wow! In February, I mentioned things had slowed down slightly. Well, I think I completely jinxed myself. February and March were a complete whirlwind.
When is the right time to sell? If you have been around real estate for a while, you know it’s the evergreen question. The past year has taught us that everything we thought we knew is now out the window.
We had initially planned to stay put until we finished renovating the new house. We didn’t necessarily want to pay rent while transitioning between homes. However, I always tell my clients in this situation that best practices recommend moving out and selling. So, we decided I shouldn’t just preach; I needed to practice as well! We know one thing for sure right now — demand is ultra-high. Although I think it will continue to be a seller’s market for a while, we didn’t want to take any chances.
One of my friends is currently out of the country and had a 3 bedroom/3 bathroom sitting empty. With the slow rental market, he has not been able to find tenants. So, after looking at a few Airbnbs, I mentioned it to Debbie, and we went to take a look. It fit our temporary needs, so we decided to jump at it. It happens to be on Keefer Place, which Debbie and I actually lived on several years ago when we bought our second house together. We still own that house just two doors down!
We moved out of our Kalmia house in February, and back to Keefer we went! We spent a few weeks prepping and staging the Kalmia house, and it is now officially under contract!
What I Am Seeing in the Market
I currently have an equal amount of buyers and sellers, so I have anecdotes from both sides of the action. Without a doubt, it is a complete seller’s market!
On the seller side:
My recent listing on 13th Street had 22 offers and sold for $208K over the list price! We spent about two months doing some renovations before putting it on the market, and the return on investment definitely exceeded my and my client’s expectations. Keep reading below for more details about the renovation and a before and after video.
On H Street, we had six offers, and the home is under contract for $75K over the list price.
On the buyer side:
It has been really tough! My buyers are hanging in there, but it's been a rocky road. In the last 60 days, I have successfully helped three buyers and just got another buyer ratified today on a beautiful home in Gaithersburg. But at the same time, I have buyers that have lost out on some great houses because another buyer was willing to pay much more. In several cases, I had clients who waived all contingencies and offered $100K over list price, and they still didn’t win the deal! We will persevere even though the competition is fierce!
One reason there are so many buyers right now is due to interest rates plummeting in 2020. After a quick spike in December, rates dropped right back down. We are seeing a very gradual climb so far in 2021, but chances are rates will remain relatively low this year when zooming out and looking at the larger picture. A decade ago, a 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.45%. If we go back 20 years, they were at almost 7%, and in 1991, buyers were incurring nearly 10% interest on their home loans!
The listing I mentioned above that sold for $208K above the list price was the result of the Compass Concierge program. When I met with the seller early this year, I estimated the house would sell for around $775-$800K. I felt strongly that if we did about $50K worth of work, the house would sell for $950K.
The Compass Concierge program fronts the costs of renovations, which are then recovered at closing. My client leveraged this program, and we absolutely crushed my estimated return on investment. The house sold last week for $1,058,500! Check out the videos below to see the home both before and after the renovations.
Quick Before & After Comparison (3 min)
Renovating Shepherd Park Update
We still have a long way to go, but progress has been steady at our house on Hemlock. Take a look at what we’ve accomplished so far in episode #2 of Renovating Shepherd Park!
If you haven’t seen the first episode in the Renovating Shepherd Park miniseries yet, head over to RenovatingShepherdPark.com!
Last year, you may remember the story I wrote about a listing near Eastern Market and the memories it brought back of my grandmother. Recently, I had another listing only a block away. Since COVID started, I have missed spending time there and eating lunch at the market, so it was nice to be back in the neighborhood.
This home was another full gut renovation that we started in November, and before we could come to market, a lucky buyer reached out and made us an offer we could not refuse. It sold for $105K over the initial asking price.
We did find another project a few blocks away, so stay tuned for updates! I'm happy things are opening back up around DC and am excited to spend a few spring days eating lunch outside of Eastern Market.