HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! With the arrival of 2009, I find it’s time to take a look back at what my team and I have accomplished – while also looking forward to the great opportunities ahead, for buyers and sellers who are looking to get BACK IN BLACK in the new year…
First - a look back at an Awesome year. Thanks to the support of many, the Jennifer Young Homes team managed to earn a TOP Ranking for all of MLS – positioning Jennifer Young as the #1 Real Estate Agent (in volume sales) for Keller Williams Realty in the Washington DC Metro Area, including Maryland and Virginia. This was a huge feat! We sold over 276 homes, 116 of which, sold for original list price or within $5,000 of that price. These numbers also ranked me as #8 of ALL Realtors in DC Metro in terms of sales volume.
These are incredible stats, but rather than pat my own back, I’ve found the need to break down why my team and I were able to make 2008 so successful. And when you work for Keller Williams Realty, your success is determined by whether the deals you make are “Win-Win”. I believe our sales last year were exactly that. Sellers were able to get the asking price they were looking for, while facing a lower number of average Days on Market (DOM). And, buyers were able to find deals they wouldn’t normally have had the chance to grasp, thanks to a shift in availability of affordable homes and to unbelievable opportunities in funding sources.
First, let’s look at what sellers wanted vs. the bargains buyers were insisting upon each day the phone rang in 2008. Buyers wanted homes at low prices, and they would not settle for anything higher than their bottom line. That meant that initial pricing was paramount in order to reduce DOM for sellers and it still is as we look to the new year. With each listing I am extremely detailed in setting that Original List price. This brings a sale faster, while also keeping prices down on the concession side of the equation. Here’s what I mean. Average concessions (amount of $$ paid back to buyers at closing) in 2008 averaged 2.5% nationally. This percentage rises when a home is listed for more than 149 days. As a seller, regardless of what you plan on receiving for an offer on your home, if you price it right from day one, you pay less in concessions over the long haul.
Second, lower interest rates are proving to be beneficial concepts for seller and buyers. Sellers are taking advantage of increased buyer activity, while buyers are enjoying average rates as low as 5.42% according to a survey performed by Interest.com on 12/17/08. Some lenders are even offering rates as low as 4.75% with good credit. That means, on a $200, 000 loan, with 10% down, a buyer’s principle interest payment would be only $938 per month. At a higher 7% rate, with 10% down, the principal interest payment on $180,000 would still only be $1,197. That monthly amount is almost always lower than what most of our callers who rent are paying their landlords each month.