Sunday, November 30, 2008

Website Marketing Pays Off!

Last year our team decided to pump up our marketing and built a website at . I crunched our numbers on our website today and found out that our numbers have doubled just in the last month due to changes in how we market the featured listings. The reason I can do this is because MegaAgent has a Traffic Stats option that shows you where your visitors are coming from and where they're going after they're done. It also shows you visits by day, month, region and so on. This then allows me to see what marketing campaigns are working and why. Here's what I've seen happening with my website:
November 2008 1,864 Visits Total
126 from Craigslist
57 from Google
49 from
10 from
11 from (These were just the familiar places)
October 2008 683 Visits Total
49 from Google
38 from
8 from
As you can see, the hits jumped big time and the referring URL's changed as well. Here's what we did different:
1) Included a hyperlink in Craigslist listings (prebuilt in Postlets) that takes viewers straight to
my featured listings.
2) Included a website link in all Postlets listings.
3) Started Blogging again on Twitter, Active Rain and Blogger and updated all my info.
4) KEEPING my website - price changes, closings, under contract updates, etc. UPDATED on a
daily basis so the return visitors will keep coming as well.

I'm always up for more info if anyone else has more ideas. Good Luck to you in your marketing efforts!

Monday, November 24, 2008

NoVa's Arlington County Home Sales Hold Strong!

While October 2008 average sale prices for homes in Northern Virginia dropped an average of 20% throughout the state (compared to Oct 2007), sale prices held strong in Arlington County, dipping by just 2.73%. All other stats held strong as well:

Arlington County Oct 2008 Oct 2007 Percent Change
Average Sale Price $541,339 $556,517 Down 2.73%
Days on Market 66 66 No Change
Average Sale Price
(as percentage of average List Price) 94.64% 94.92% Down .28%

Compare this to another popular area of Northern Virginia, Prince William County. This is an area sought after many times by home buyers searching for lower prices and who want to stay south of the “big city”. Prince William County encompasses cities like Woodbridge, Dumfries, etc. The sales price stats for October 2008 were much lower compared to this same time a year ago. This, while the DOM was down and the % of List Price was up:

Prince William County Oct 2008 Oct 2007 Percent Change
Average Sale Price $228,581 $357,061 Down 35.98%
Days on Market 114 128 Down 10.94%
Average Sale Price
(as percentage of average List Price) 90.31% 89.71% Up .60%

You can see what some of the recent foreclosed homes have sold for on my website or send your email address to for active listings and coming soons!

**Stats in this article are from Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc (MRIS)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Home Sales UP 53% - Prices DROP by 23%

FOCUS on the Market - Nothern Virginia

These past 6 months have kept our team extremely busy staying up on the latest changes in our rapidly moving real estate market. The increasing number of foreclosures and the 'credit crisis' within the tightening loan industry have both led to decreased home values. We saw this trend play out a couple of months ago when the average sales price in Northern Virginia in September dropped by 23%. That’s compared to sales prices in September 2007. This downward pressure on prices was especially evident in the suburban counties. While this is not great news, there has been a positive change as well. While the average sales price in No Va decreased by 23% in September, the total number of residential sales has increased by 53% compared to the same time last year. This indicates that lower prices have led to increased buyer activity and more contracts. Although this increased buyer activity was slowed down for the 'first time buyer market' in September 2008 when FHA eliminated the Down Payment assistance programs, activity still remains strong compared to Fall of 2007. Something else to note is the average days on the market, which have also increased from 85 to 93 days. That means it is taking listings longer to sell.
It’s a lot to consider as we look to the future, but I do think we will continue to see increased buyer activity through the rest of 2008 and early 2009. This is mainly because prices will remain low and buyer affordability will continue to increase. At the same time, prices will begin to stabilize due to less foreclosures on the market. According to recent news outlets, we are expected to see a decrease in the number of foreclosed homes as banks will now be more inclined to negotiate short sales and loan modifications with home owners. We're seeing this trend already, with major banks like Washington Mutual and Chase deciding to temporarily halt foreclosures through January 2009. Others are likely follow. In addition, President Elect Barack Obama has promised a moratorium on all foreclosures for 90 days once he is in office. This will likely result in new legislation for banks, the foreclosure process, and alternatives such as short sales and loan modifications.
While we cannot predict what is likely to happen to real estate prices in the short term, especially in the midst of this unprecedented time in history, real estate remains a solid long-term investment if you have a modest amount of cash to put down (3.5% minimum), or the ability to obtain a VA loan. It is also a great time to buy investment properties, as decreased prices and a strong rental market now make it possible to find cash flow positive rental properties. This is even true if you have only a minimal down payment to invest.
Now, if you’re a homeowner who bought in the height of the market with an Adjustable Rate Mortgage and your payment has now adjusted, there can be good news out there for you as well. You’d be surprised what can be done to help ease the burden of needing to sell when your loan is “upside down”. Because we work closely with banks, we are in a unique position to assist clients with short sales and loan modifications. If you or someone you know wants to learn more about a short sale, loan modification, or buying or selling in the current real estate market, please call or email us at We'd be happy to serve you!