As you can imagine, I hear this question all the time, as soon as I say what I do for a living, 90% of the time that is the following question. At first, I kept answering it as you’d expect: giving some general statistics, then talking about the neighborhood were in, etc. Then I realized that a lot of times the market is not the same for buyers and sellers… if it’s the seller’s market – the market is great for the sellers and not so much for the buyers and the vise-versa.
There are times of course when the Washington DC real estate market is steady – but right now this is not the case for real estate in Washington DC area. Right now, it’s a seller’s market, the likes we haven’t seen in a while. Some parts of Greater DC area have seen a 25% increase in sales over the past year, that’s a lot! A single-family house in a good location, in a reasonably good shape and size, will get 5-10 offers within 72 hours and many will accept an offer the same day and take the house off the market in less than 24 hours of the market. And this is only happening in smaller price ranges or counties closer to DC, it’s happening across the board.
Clearly being a seller in this market is like hitting the jackpot, but how about being a buyer? Well, things are very competitive for buyers… The truth is that if a buyer wants to live 30-45 minutes away from DC, they will have to make some hard choices… In some areas like Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Rockville, Potomac, Silver Spring, etc. buyers right now should expect that a single-family house in a neighborhood with higher rated schools, that has easy access to a highway will go for a 3%-8% above asking price… And that’s on average, there many (however anecdotal) cases when house go 18% event 20% above asking price… They will also have to make a hard decision about waving all or most contingencies…
Obviously not every house sells for above asking price, some still stay on the market for longer and drop their prices, but on average it’s really good to be a seller if you are selling a single-family house or even a townhouse. On the flip side, it will take longer to sell a smaller sized condo, but if they will sell, if priced right. Bottom line: if at any time in the last few years you were thinking about selling your property, now is the best time (no, really, it is J).
Below is a link to a detailed report about the real estate market Greater Washington DC area.