Winchester – Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Report – 11/2016

Winchester – Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Report – November 2016

Well, there are 11 down and 1 to go. Months, that is. The Winchester – Frederick County, VA real estate market is back in stride after the election slowdown. November still had signs of an election hangover, but like an Alka Seltzer and a good nights sleep, time will cause that hangover  to fad away over the next weeks.

Winchester – Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market: By the numbers

The overall sales for November 2016 (this would be homes contracted in late September, October and early November) were 140. That’s a 10% increase from the same period in 2015. Of that number, Stephens City carried 20% of those sales. Frederick County had 114 sales, and the city of Winchester had 26.

The only lagging number in local real estate sales was the total days on the market. November 2016 showed 109 Winchester - Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market Report - 11/2016average days on the market compared to 64 in 2015. Here again, an election year affects how the market responds to the uncertainty of an election cycle. Mid-term elections have a very small impact on the Winchester – Frederick County, VA real estate market, but presidential elections can have a large impact on the market.

Winchester – Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market: What’s in the numbers?

There were a number of very positive changes in the numbers this November. The average sale price is up $23,008 from 2015. The November average sales price was $268,024, compared to $245,016. Home prices have been steadily climbing in 2016. A recent Real Estate News article on Realtor.com revealed that home prices have surpassed 2006 numbers.

One of the most encouraging numbers is the distressed properties. Distressed properties are short sales and foreclosures (or REOs). The distressed properties in the 2015 November market were 19% of total sales. In the November 2016 market, that number fell to 8%. Eight to nine percent have been an average for most of 2016. The large decline year to year is another great sign that the market is back on track. Mortgage Daily News reports that negative equity is down 24% year to year.

That is a good sign for home sellers. Buyers will pay a little more for homes in 2017, but home sellers who have been treading water for the past 6-8 years are finally going to get a little relief in their ability to sell at a profit.

As noted above, the only negative numbers for November relate to the days on the market, and it is reasonable based on historical facts to pin that increase in days on the market to the election uncertainty. Peering into 2017, the Winchester – Frederick County, VA real estate market looks poised to have a great year.

Winchester – Frederick County, VA Real Estate Market: Get a home-buying-selling advantage in 2017

If you’re a buyer or seller in the in the Winchester – Frederick County, VA real estate market, make sure to call Cornerstone Business Group, Inc. We are your local real estate sales pros.

 

Home sellers, ask these questions before hiring a Realtor.

Home sellers, ask these questions before hiring a Realtor

Home sellers, ask these questions before hiring a Realtor. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list of priority questions to ask Realtor candidates before hiring one? Absolutely. Home sellers, ask these questions before hiring a RealtorUnfortunately, a lot of homeowners don’t know what questions to ask.

For instance, if you only look at an agent’s production, does that tell you the story of the agent? Not really. An agent may have 50 listings in your community, and you may see his/her signs everywhere, and I can promise you if an agent has that many, he/she is selling homes. What that number doesn’t tell you is how many went into foreclosure, short sale or never sold. Some agents will take any, and all, listings no matter the condition of the property or the price required by the seller.

What you want to look for is quality. Does the agent really know the market? Does he get along with other agents? Can he negotiate? Does total sales really mean an agents is the best? An agent may sell 25% less, or even 50% less than the top producer’s number of sales, but his/her clients received 98% of the desired final sale price. Where as, a top producer may only deliver 88% – 92% of the desired sale price. Which one would you want working for you?

Sample questions, home sellers should be asking

  1. How long have you been in the business and how many companies have you worked for? This is important because an agent who has been in the business for 10 years and has worked for 10 companies needs to explain the company hopping. Is there something in his/her personality that makes him/her difficult to work with? Every company can’t be a terrible place to work. Every agent has to be able to work with other agents, lenders, home inspectors and closing companies to get a sale done.
  2. Do you prefer working with buyers or seller, and are you comfortable working with both? This is important because some agents do better on one side of the fence or the other. My ratio is about 60/40. I work with more buyers than sellers, but I’ve had great success with sellers too. It just happens that more buyers call than sellers. In some cases, an agent prefers working with sellers. Or, an agent only works with buyers. I recently had a house under contract with a great couple who needed to sell their home in another community. We had originally talked about Cornerstone handling both ends and I was happy and confident that would could do so successfully, but in a last-minute change of mind, my buyers decided to list with an agent in their community that boasted she only sells in their community. That was enough to convince them that she was a superstar who knew how to get things done. She didn’t. Their deal with me fell through because their listing agent didn’t get their house sold. Actually, it was hardly ever viewed, and they lost the funds they had spent on a home inspection, plus they tied up a seller’s house for 45 days. When it was all over they realized that their listing agent didn’t represent them well at all.
  3. How many homes did you sell last year? Now, this can be deceiving. An agent who works on a team may be the team leader taking credit for every sale. He/she may have sold 10, but he/she takes credit for 50. Or, an agent may have a threshold price-range that he/she will not go below. An agent doesn’t need to sell a lot of $500,000 homes to have a nice income. So, he/she may choose to only sell a dozen in a year. On the other hand, an agent may sell a lot of $75000 homes. It takes a lot of those homes to make a good living. The real number of homes isn’t really that important, but I put that question in this list because you want to make sure the agent is selling something. If the agent said 2, or zero, you may have picked the wrong agent. That isn’t always the case, but if you need to sell, and you if you want to stay as close to your list price as possible, 2 may be a sign of inexperience, and you may need a more experienced agent.
  4. Have you had any clients go into foreclosure, have a short sale or not sell while you had their home listed? If the answer is yes, and if it is more than one, you may have an agent who will take any and every listing just to get a sign in the yard. Hundreds of signs give the impression that the agent smiling on the sign is highly desirable. The signs tell the story. Not always. I see some of these listings end up in foreclosure and short sales. If an agent is willing to take any listing at any price just to plant a sign, the odds are not in your favor that he/she is going to care about your sale. This is not a negative for these agents, it’s a business technique they find useful, but is it the best technique for you?
  5. Home sellers, are you comfortable communicating with me the way I choose? With the wonderful electronic devises we have today, communication should never be a problem. The only problem is the want to. Some of my clients want communication even if nothing is happening. Some, don’t want me to contact them unless something is happening. It is different client by client. With modern technology, there is no reason for a seller to feel like he/she is in the dark. A quick text, email or call only takes a minute.
  6. What method do you use to market property? In my market, the local paper and the Homes guide only make up 1-2% of sales annually. Why would an agent waste money on something that performs that poorly? What other methods could work? The Internet is a fantastic tool for marketing real estate. Estimates show that 89% of buyers find the home they want on the Internet before contacting an agent. What works best in your market?

Home sellers, the list could go on and on, but you get the idea. Picking a solid listing agent may be more than how many homes he/she sells. There are other factors that should come to play. I had a potential client recently send me a questionnaire before deciding on who he wanted to hire. Unfortunately, many of his questions really didn’t tell him anything about the agent he would choose. He had the right idea, but his efforts followed a traditional path and not a path to an effective decision. Don’t be afraid to ask your agent candidates tough questions. After all, it is your future you’re protecting, not theirs.

Home sellers, ask these questions before hiring a Realtor

Home Sales in Stephens City, VA – Third Quarter 2016

Home sales in Stephens City, VA – Third Quarter 2016

Home sales in Stephens City, VA continued their upward trend in the third quarter of 2016. Stephens City, VA real estate sales made up 23% of the Winchester – Frederick County, VA real estate sales for the same period.

Home sales in Stephens City, VA were down 9% from the same period in 2015. That is a reflection of the broader market from 2015 to 2016. The overall Winchester – Frederick Co., VA real estate market dropped 3% year to year.

Home Sales in Stephens City, VA – Lateral Moves Mixed with Positive Numbers

There were positive numbers mixed with a number of lateral moves in the Stephens Home sales in Stephens City, VA City, VA real estate market. Distressed properties were down 2% from 2015, but at 7% and 9%, that is a near lateral move year to year. The same is true of the days on the market. The 2015 days on the market was 42 with 2016 being 46. The near lateral move tells more about the move to a healthy market in 2015 than a declining market in 2016.

The most positive number in 2016 relates to the average sales price. The average sales price of a home in the Stephens City, VA real estate market was $253,534 compared to $227,565 in 2015. That is a 10% increase in home values year to year.

Homes Sales in Stephens City, VA – New Construction Helps Fuel the Growth

Home sales in Stephens City, VAThe number of new homes in the current quarter was 10% of over all sales. More than 14% of the home sales in the Stephens City, VA market were less than two years old. The market is building up on multiple fronts. The number of new subdivision homes is increasing as the real estate market continues to improve. Ironically, even with the new construction, the average home sold was build in 1995.

The average home sale included three bedrooms and two and one-half baths. Townhouses made up nearly a third of total homes sold in the third quarter. Colonial properties were half of the total homes sales at 54, and ranch homes were 21. The Stephens City, VA real estate market continues to be the epi-center of concentrated growth in the Winchester – Frederick County, VA real estate market.

When you’re ready to sell or buy a home in the Stephens City, VA area, be sure to give Mike Cooper, principal broker at Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. Mike is your local real estate sales pro.

 

How is the Winchester – Frederick Co., VA real estate market doing?

How is the Winchester – Frederick Co., VA real estate market doing? Third quarter 2016.

How is the Winchester – Frederick Co., VA real estate market doing in the third quarter 2016? That depends on what gets you excited about real estate. The market is basically equal to a year ago. The few minor changes from the third quarter of 2015 and the third quarter of 2016 are minimal, but they are mostly positive changes.

Lateral Movement is Better Than a Decline in the Winchester – Frederick Co. Real Estate

Third quarter sales were down slightly in 2016. There were 498 in 2015 and 482 in How is the Winchester - Frederick Co., VA real estate market doing? Third quarter 2016.2016. The 3% drop in sales isn’t significant. If that number doubled over the next quarter, it might be something worth watching, but a minor shift like that is not “concern” worry at this point.

July – August home sales tend to bring the market down slightly because there are not as many buyers in the market during the summer months. There are a lot more tire-kickers than other periods in the local market, but there are fewer buyers who feel under pressure to buy a home. Families are on vacation, students are out of school, and people are traveling. All of those affect summer sales.

The Positive News in the Winchester – Frederick Co., Real Estate Market

The more positive numbers year to year are also minor changes, but they are numbers that are trending up. The numbers of distressed property sales are down 2% year to year. The local monthly average of distressed sales in the Winchester – Frederick Co., VA real estate market has trended down from the beginning of 2016. The first six months averaged 9% distressed properties, but the third quarter has moved to 8%. Here again, that’s not significant, but the trend is moving the right way.

Small, but encouraging numbers in the Winchester – Frederick Co., real estate market.

Another small but encouraging change has been in days on the market. The average days on the market for the third quarter was 59 which is a slight change from 64 in 2015. The biggest change has been in the average sales price. The average sales price for the third quarter of 2016 was $268783. That number was $255,481 in 2015.

You can see that the Winchester – Frederick Co., VA real estate market has reached point where changes, even small changes, are more positive than negative. The trend in the current market has returned to a healthy slowly moving upward trend. The 2003-2008 real estate market shot up like a rocket and passed the point of balance in value. That caused that market to be ripe for a downturn, and when it fell, it fell faster than it ascended.

The current market is making a slow steady rise. Healthy markets move in that pattern. For both buyers and sellers, the Winchester – Frederick Co., VA real estate market has reached a point of equilibrium that can protect both groups. When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Winchester – Frederick Co., VA real estate market, give Mike Cooper, your local real estate sales pro a call.