The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

April 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

April 2017

Greetings!

The Spring marketing is kicking in, with very slight increases in inventory, and multiple offers.  The March median sales price in our area reached the highest on record (since 1997) up 5.3% from March last year. Sales and pending sales were at the highest level in a decade and the inventory level declined for the 11th month in a row (but is still above the 5 year average). Median Days on Market (DOM) in our area for March was 15. That is down 12 days from this time last year!
We’re seeing multiple bids on most properties that are priced to sell, and significant offers over asking in a few pockets of DC. Properties are moving FAST and often competing with other offers on terms.  But not everywhere…why is that?
As the Stephen S. Fuller Institute reports, the main driver is the local job market. While we have enjoyed low unemployment in our area for many years, we have not seen an aggregate increase in real wages in some time. The already large gap in affordability in our area doesn’t leave much room for price growth when wages are not growing as well. If you are looking to buy, this is potentially good news. Mortgage interest rates have retreated again to the lowest rates since last November (if perhaps temporarily) despite the Fed’s increase in the benchmark rate in March.  Even though the market is competitive, with the right strategy and team of negotiators (that’s us!) you CAN be successful in this market.
We continue to urge our past clients who have been on the fence about selling to make a move. Inventory remains tight, even now, entering the peak of the housing market. Buyers are out and ready to move! If you have been considering a move, start the conversation with our listing team to get an idea of what this market means for your specific property.
Client Appreciation Event: Afternoon at the Winery
On April 1, we were joined by a great group of clients and referrers for a wine tasting and picnic at the Winery at Bull Run. Over the course of the afternoon, we tried 10 wines (some many times!), and lots of great food. This was our first event at the winery, but we are already talking about next year. If you aren’t on our event list yet, it is easy to get an invite- buy or sell with us or refer a friend!

Clients and Friends Who Have Referred to Us:
Save the Date: Baseball Event, Sunday, July 9th
Our next client appreciation event is our annual trip to a Nats game. Mark your calendars for Sunday, July 9th, and watch your mail for more details on reserving your tickets.
Love us? Review us! Your reviews mean so much to our business. Share your experience online at yelp, zillow, angie’s list, or on Facebook, and you will be entered into a quarterly drawing for a $100 gift card. Plus, you will instantly receive our deepest gratitude!
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need please reach out. We’re here to help!
The Wethman Group

This Month in Real Estate April 2017

April 17, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

This Month in Real Estate March 2017

March 15, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

March 7, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

March 2017

Greetings!

Whether it is the weather, or stabilized interest rates, the 2017 DC Metro housing market is off to a roaring start! January closed sales in our area were up 11.5% over last year, to the highest volume in a decade and median sales prices was up 3.9% over last year.
Inventory remains low, which means we are seeing new listings move FAST! We had two of our listings go under contract the first week this month- one in just 2 days! Overall in our area, Median Days on Market for January was down 10 days from January last year. New listings saw an increase of 12.8% over January of last year, but active listings (those remaining available on the market) were down 12.7% compared to last year and 3.1% from last month, meaning those new listings were gobbled up quickly. January inventory levels reached the lowest since 2014.
I know we have been saying this for months now, but if you are considering selling this year and have some flexibility in your move plans, now is a GREAT time! Buyers are looking and inventory is low. We are seeing big turn outs at our open houses and fast offers on our listings. Start the conversation with our listing team to decide on the best time to list given your goals and circumstances.
Buyers, over the next month or so we are expecting a seasonal uptick in inventory (though based on data we’re seeing, you should still expect the market to move quickly), which means the property you’ve been waiting for could come on the market. Get ready by learning about the home buying process ahead of time, and getting pre-approved with a lender. We are hosting our popular First Time Home Buyer Class in a few weeks, details below, and work with some fantastic lenders, so ask us for recommendations. If you can’t make the class, reach out with your questions- we are here to help!
Past clients, the best thanks we can get is your reviews and referrals! Leave us a review on zillow, yelp, or facebook to be entered into a drawing for two free Caps tickets (they’re doing great, by the way)!
Client Appreciation Event: Afternoon at the Winery
Wine Tasting and Picnic for Wethman Group clients!
Saturday, April 1st 12pm-3pm
Join us for an afternoon at a local winery to sip and learn about a variety of wines and enjoy our warm spring weather. Clients, watch for your invitation this week or contact us for your free tickets.
Upcoming First Time Home Buyer Class
Tuesday, March 21st, Capitol City Brewery Register Here
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need please reach out. We’re here to help.
The Wethman Group

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

January 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

January 2017

Greetings!

The New Year is off to a quick start in the real estate world.  Is buying or selling a home one of your New Year’s resolutions?  It’s time to get started!  December median home prices in our area were the highest on record, up 4% from last year, but relatively stable since November, up only .08%. Inventories are typically low in the winter months, which is compounding the already very low inventory trend we are seeing in this area. Inventories are still 15% above the all time low in 2012, but below the 5 and 10 year averages.
Buyers are still quite active. We have several clients right now waiting for inventory to hit the market in the next few months to make a move. Buyers and sellers alike may be feeling the pressure to move while interest rates have, perhaps temporarily, leveled off since the increase that began in late October.
I know we have been saying this for months now, but it’s a great time to sell! If you are able to be flexible with your move plans, don’t wait until spring- talk to us about getting ready to go on the market now. Sellers, our experience shows that February is a great time to list – often resulting in multiple offers!
Buyers, get ready for the spring pop in inventory by educating yourself about the home buying process, and getting pre-approved with a lender. We are hosting our popular First Time Home Buyer Class next month, details below and work with some fantastic lenders, so ask us for recommendations based on your goals and circumstances.
We need reviews!  If you’re a past client, don’t forget to leave us a review to be entered into a drawing for two free Caps tickets (they’re doing great, by the way)!
Upcoming First Time Home Buyer Class
Tuesday, February 21st, Capitol City Brewery Register Here
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need, we’re here to help.
The Wethman Group

This Month in Real Estate January 2017

January 17, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

December 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

December  2016

Greetings!
Despite increasing interest rates, November closed home sales reached the highest November level since 2009, up 16.5% over last year and reached the highest median price since 2005. Inventories saw a double-digit decline for the fifth month in a row, to just slightly below the 5 year average, but well below the 10 year average, and 14% lower than this time last year. This shows buyers are still out and active, but have less to choose from. It’s a great time to sell! We expect this low inventory trend to continue through the winter months.
Interest rates have been creeping up steadily since the election, from 3.47% in late October to 4.16% this week. The long-predicted benchmark rate increase by the Federal Reserve was confirmed on Wednesday, December 14th, but has not yet affected home loan rates, which are more closely tied to long-term Treasury bonds. Last year following the only other bump in the benchmark rate in the last 10 years, we saw home loan interest rates drop after an initial increase. However, as Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac chief economist noted to the Washington Post, the uncertainty following the election makes the future hard to predict. “The consensus of the committee points to more rate hikes in 2017. However, the experience of this year combined with the policy uncertainty that accompanies a new Administration suggests a wait-and-see outlook… If rates continue their upward trend, expect mortgage activity to be significantly subdued in 2017.” We don’t have a crystal ball, but our bet aligns with a few experts that interest rates will continue to climb, but the ascent will remain slow and steady for the near future. If you’ve been considering buying in the next few years, please contact us so we can help think through the best strategy and timing for your needs.
Client Appreciation Event: Breakfast Movie Party with Santa
It was so wonderful to see all the clients and their little ones who joined us for Breakfast with Santa and Disney’s Moana. This is quickly becoming our favorite new holiday tradition.
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need, we’re here to help.  Wishing you all happy holidays and a bright start to the new year!
The Wethman Group

This Month in Real Estate December 2016

December 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

Katie Wethman’s Real Estate News

November 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

November  2016

Greetings!

The election over and everyone around the world is asking “Now what happens?”  That’s too big a question for purposes of this little real estate newsletter but here’s what we know so far as it relates to real estate. The markets are still digesting their ‘best guesses’, but so far the 10 year bond market has spiked, and most mortgage pricing is tied to that (not the 30 year, as some might assume). This means higher interest rates for now. It is too soon to tell if it’s the start of a trend, or a blip.  We’ve known for some time that rates couldn’t stay that low forever though, so my money is on ‘trend.’

Higher rates are likely to slow the growth in home prices, but that’s a double edged sword. Prices down + interest rates up = still unaffordable for buyers in our area.  Plus, sellers will be less willing to sell ‘at a loss’ meaning inventory could well go down.  SMR Research Corp, a mortgage research firm, estimates that rising rates will contribute to a decline in price for 1/3 of US homes by the end of 2017.

Most experts expect a rolling back of financial regulations put in place after the last housing crash, which will be a welcome change to Wall Street.  New regulations made lenders very risk averse, so this could open up looser borrowing qualifications-good for some buyers, but not without long term risk to the market.

The big wildcards still out there are GDP growth, inflation, job growth, and consumer confidence.  We’ll be keeping an eye on those.

Obviously these are uncertain times, and the market could shift quickly.  If you’re thinking of buying or selling in the next two years, please contact us so we can help think through the best strategy and timing for your needs.

Pie Day

We loved having the chance to connect with clients and friends just before the holiday for our annual pie day. Thanks to those who stopped by!

If you weren’t able to make it you have another chance to get together for our Movie Party in December.
Client Appreciation Event: Breakfast Movie Party with Santa

December 3rd, at 10 AM we are hosting a Breakfast Movie Party with Santa at the Tysons AMC Theaters. Join us for breakfast, prizes, and a screening of Disney’s Moana.

As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need, we’re always here to help.

The Wethman Group

 

 

This Month in Real Estate November 2016

November 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

This Month in Real Estate October 2016

October 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

This Month in Real Estate September 2016

September 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

September 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

August  2016

Greetings!

This month, the DC housing market saw a new record, the lowest inventory since 2009! Prices were up from this time last year, but down slightly from last month. Sellers, it’s a good time to talk about listing. If you are thinking about getting on the market, but worried about the season, don’t be. There are a lot of interested buyers still looking that aren’t tied to the school year. With inventory and interest rates this low it’s a good time to list. If you are interested in learning more about the market from the seller’s perspective, how to think about improvements, staging and marketing, and how to buy a new place while selling your current house, join us for our Seller Class
at the Shirlington Library on Tuesday, September 13th. If you can’t make that date, I’m always happy to answer your questions one-on-one, just reach out.
For those considering buying, rent in the District continues to rise double the national average. Interest rates are low, but still projected to rise by the end of the year.

Did you know we provide FREE educational seminars on home buying and selling to offices, alumni associations, community groups, and others. Attendees love these!  If you know a group who might benefit, let us know, we’d love to set something up.

If we can help you or someone you know with your real estate needs, please do reach out. We always love to hear from you!
The Wethman Group

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

July 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

July  2016

Greetings!
July is hot, and so is the Wethman Group!  We are thrilled to be named to the list of Washingtonian’s Best Realtors in the DC area for the 2nd year in a row! Thanks to all of our past clients and friends who continue to support us and make us great. We’re honored!
June numbers show the market is as hot as the temperatures outside! Sales reached the highest point since 2009, and the median sales price for the DC area reached an all-time high. But the overall median sales price skews the story. Some pricier neighborhoods like Georgetown and Adams Morgan saw a fairly large decrease in median price last month compared with this time last year. This is a trend we have been seeing for the last several months. Buyers are active, the volume of sales closing are up, but there is still flexibility in price in some neighborhoods and on certain listings. A recent list of DC’s most and least expensive neighborhoods, is both interesting and somewhat shocking (Dupont in most affordable?), but this type of analysis isn’t comparing apples to apples (Dupont makes the list because of the number of smaller apartments and condos for sale). The Washington Post just named 3 new neighborhoods that are heating up.  Deciding where to buy can be a complex decision, especially with the market as interesting as this one. When you are weighing your options, reach out for a quick chat on what we are seeing in the neighborhoods you are considering.
One thing is certain, following Brexit, we are seeing near record low interest rates! If you are consideringrefinancing, reach out- we can recommend several great local lenders to work with to get the best rates. Another constant – inventory is low and continues to decline. Sellers, it is still a great time to get on the market! Let us walk you through a timeline that makes sense for you and our plan to maximize your return on investment.

Did you know we provide FREE educational seminars on home buying and selling to offices, alumni associations, community groups, and others. Attendees love these!  If you know a group who might benefit, let us know, we’d love to set something up.

Stay cool out there and beat the heat with this map of every pool in the district!
If we can help you or someone you know with your real estate needs, please do reach out. We always love to hear from you!
The Wethman Group

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

July 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

June 2016

Greetings!

This huge shift in weather has brought buyers out in droves! May closed sales reached the highest numbers since 2006. But, as the Washington Post noted, that’s only part of the story of this market. Prices overall are actually either staying flat or declining slightly despite the increase in demand and low inventory. Though that is just on average. On the front lines we are still seeing multiple offers in a few hot areas, but other neighborhoods are seeing closer to list price while competing more on the terms of the offer. But homes are still selling fast. Half of the houses in the area sold in less than 14 days last month. We expect some market upheaval as the election gets closer, and now with news of Brexit, there’s speculation that interest rates could drop EVEN LOWER!  Not sure if this is the right time for you to buy?  Contact us for a quick, no obligation conversation or attend one of our classes!
Attention Home Sellers: Are you or someone you know thinking of selling in the next 12 months?  We’re hosting a free Home Seller’s class onTuesday, July 26 at our McLean office.  We’ll be discussing market stats and outlook, which upgrades and repairs make sense, staging tips, and a process overview. You can register using this link!
Home Buyers: We haven’t forgotten you!  We’re starting up our free home buyer classes again, with the next one scheduled for Thursday, July 14 in Virginia Square.  Register here.
Client Appreciation Event: This month we headed to the ballpark and had a great time with over 100 clients and friends who joined us Sunday, June 12th to watch the Nats beat the Phillies in a nail-biting finish. With the Nats down by 1, bases loaded, and 2 outs, Jayson Werth hit a well-placed single to bring home Bryce Harper (pinch hitting) and Danny Espinosa to win.Thanks to all our clients and friends who referred clients to us — our business depends on you!  

If we can help you or someone you know with your real estate needs, please do reach out. We always love to hear from you!
The Wethman Group

This Month in Real Estate June 2016

June 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

April 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

April 2016

Greetings!
April Fool’s Day may have passed, but this market is also no joke!  We’ve said it before: List your home early in the year. Buyers have been out for months, and most sellers are still de-cluttering. We had five successful closings in March and we are looking forward to warmer weather and new listings in April and May. If you are thinking of listing your home this spring, give us a call. In most neighborhoods the inventory is still low, and well priced homes are going fast, but reviews are mixed on how the market is doing.  While we’ve seen bidding wars in some neighborhoods and at certain price points (particularly moderately priced single family homes), but rapidly growing inventory in other segments, like condos.  Our local MLS reported that inventory was up a whopping 20% in March 2016 vs March of last year–the highest level of March inventory since 2007.  Typically April inventory spikes even higher.  We’re still below 2.5 months of inventory, but that’s no consolation that sellers that haven’t priced well and are wondering why they have no offers.  Across the nation, there are rumblings of a slow down in the market–could it actually come our way this time??
We’re off to the races again this year! The Wethman Group is literally headed to the races at Gold Cup with clients and friends at our Client Appreciation EventSaturday, May 7th. If you are going to the races also please stop by Tent #124 (North) and enjoy a cocktail with our team–we’d love to see you.  We’ll also have some cornhole, friendly wagers and raffles to keep the action going between races.  Clients, if you haven’t received your invite, please contact us asap!
As we settle into spring it’s important we do some seasonal home maintenance.  Click here to view a checklist we created to help you get started. Should you need a referral to a vendor, please give us a call we have many preferred vendors we refer our clients to.
Have you or someone you know always thought about a career in real estate?  The first step is taking the class to be eligible to sit for the licensing exam.  Katie will be teaching a real estate pre-licensing class startingSaturday, April 30 and going for 4 weeks. You can sign up here.  (There are lots of other classes out there…contact us if you have questions or want additional information!)
As always, don’t hesitate to call us if we can help with your real estate needs.
The Wethman Group

This Month in Real Estate February 2016

February 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

Reasons to Sell During the Holidays!

January 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Should you keep your home on the market during the holiday and winter months?? Will you get any buyers or traffic through your house? Many clients ask us these questions, as the holidays are approaching and the answer is YES! While the real estate market may slow down more in the fall, compared to the spring, there are still buyers out looking, even during the cold winter months! While it may seem odd, here are some of the best reasons you should list/keep your house on the market during the Holidays!

Serious Buyers
-The weather during the winter and holiday months can be cold and dreary, so buyers out during this time are serious, and not just “seeing whats out there”. Buyers that look at your home through the holidays, are usually serious and ready to make a decision quickly.

Sense of Urgency
-Buyer looking during the winter months, are likely starting a new job, relocating or getting transferred with the government or military. In this case, they have a firm deadline of when they need t find a home!

Less Inventory/Competition
-Since many sellers think buyers won’t be looking during the holidays, many will take their home off the market and relist in the spring. That is good news for those still on the market, because less supply of homes, means more demand ( and showings) from buyers.

More Negotiating Power
-When there is less inventory, and a home is priced well, sellers have more negotiating power. If your home is listed during the holidays, they are not many other houses, and buyers HAVE to purchase, many sellers will receive strong offers and terms.

More time to Search
- Many people are off around the holiday, which means they have more time to search for houses online, and more time to see them! Although some people may be traveling, there are still many than stay home, and will likely be on their phone or computers looking at properties!

Flexible timing
-Despite having your home for sale, you can set specific show hours, or decline appointments that are not convenient. Also, keys can be removed from the lock box over Christmas & New years, to ensure that you wont be disrupted.

Planning
-If you know you will need to sell during the holidays, you can also take pictures in the fall, so that your house looks more inviting compared to bare winter photos.

Houses feel more inviting!
-During the holidays, your home is usually decorated and feels inviting! This is another added benefit for buyers to see the house, from a different perspective.Certainly, less is more, but they can see the benefit of a large wood burning fireplace, and appreciate an energy efficient heating system!

Taxes
-Some buyers may need to purchase before the end of the year for tax reasons, so this increases their motivation even further.

These are all great reasons to sell or keep your house on the market during the holidays! If you have questions regarding your neighborhood, and what would be the best time to help you get the most money in the least amount, contact us for more details!

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

October 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

October 2015

Greetings!

We hope this newsletter finds you well rested and relaxed as summer comes to an end and the kids are back to school. We have continued to stay busy here at the Wethman Group with 20 settlements in August and September! We’re also proud to announce Katie Wethman, our Managing Partner, landed a spot in the Washingtonian’s Best Agents List!  But on to the news…

Market Conditions

Though the press is touting continuing strong market conditions, on the ground our team is seeing the market slow down ever so slightly in our area.  Of course there are still pockets of hyper activity, but we’re seeing inventory drop and some buyers sitting on the sidelines.  The specter of rising interest rates loomed large for buyers in the past few months, but now the Fed has backed down given global economic conditions.  Without that urgency driver, we expect buyers to be taking their time this Fall and Winter.  Staging a home and pricing it well will become more important than ever for sellers.

Sellers, if you think you’ll be selling in the next 4-6 months, contact us now so that we can come up with a game plan for preparation and staging, including photos.

Storm Preparedness

Even though Joaquin looks to be headed out to sea, this is still a good time to prepare for other storms sure to come; homeowners, move small items indoor or store in sheds, and secure anything that might blow away in high winds. And when this rain does clear up, go ahead and trim those trees of any dead or low branches that can become problematic in storms. If you find yourself with water in your basement and need to clean up, you may need to rely on professionals like ServPro.  Act quickly to minimize damage from mold and mildew.   (If you need recommendations for vendors or for waterproofing companies, just contact us!)

Check your sump pumps and battery backups.  Too often we’re not diligent about checking for water leaks and backups until it’s too late.  For extra peace of mind, one of my favorite inexpensive ‘must haves’ for the house is abasement water alarm like this one.  I have several in my home, in fact–near the sump pit, near the water heater, and near the HVAC system. For $12 this little tool gives a lot of peace of mind!

Voter Registration Deadline

Finally, a tip for those who have moved in the past year — most jurisdictions have October voter registration deadline.  Visit your County or City website for instructions on registering in your new district!

As always, don’t hesitate to call us if we can help with your real estate needs.

Stay dry!
The Wethman Group

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