The time between signing a listing and actually hitting the market varies from seller to seller. In the case of this Campbell’s Trace piggyback style townhouse in Campbell’s Trace, the sellers signed the listing agreement September 26, 2021. It hit the market exactly five months later on February 26, 2022.
The reason for the delay was fairly simple. With a job relocation taking employment out of state for one half of the couple, the trailing spouse still needed time to lock down permission to work remotely for the job they still had in the Northern Virginia area. That took time. In the meantime, knowing that the job relocation would mean an advance move with most of the furniture following the spouse with the relocating job, leaving the trailing spouse with sparse furnishings in the home come marketing time, we decided to have the home professional photographed before that out of state move. Maybe you noticed the orange tipped leaves on the trees to the right. These photos were taken in early November.
While the market had improved come February, there was one sale outstanding in Campbell’s Trace that had overshot on list price and hadn’t yet closed. A townhosue of the same style had hit the market at an exuberant $408,000, gone under contract quickly, but hit the market again at a lower price of $390,000. To a full-time, professional agent that sure did smell like a low appraisal problem. It was for this reason I advised my sellers to stick with the list price we chose in the fall of $379,000 and let the market work.
After four days on the market, we had four offers, all above list price. The sellers didn’t even pick the highest offer. The reason was that the highest offer had a low appraisal guarantee that didn’t span the entire difference between list price and their offer. (Buyers do these when they can’t afford to waive appraisal entirely.) The same with another, higher offer. When you took their low appraisal guarantee amounts and added them to the last highest price the neighborhood had seen, it was the same price the sellers had in two other offers.
The sellers decided to take an offer with no contingencies at all and a $20,000 earnest money deposit. Nothing shows a seller that a buyer is serious like an offer with no contingencies and an earnest money deposit that is four times higher than what is typical in their price range. If the buyer failed to close for any reason that was not the fault of the seller, that $20,000 would be liquidated to the seller. The other offer with no contingencies only offered a $5,000 earnest money deposit.
Today, this Campbell’s Trace piggyback style townhouse closed for $400,000. That is a new high price for this style of townhouse in the neighborhood. It didn’t happen by accident. The market is great and favors sellers, but after seeing a suspected low appraisal issue in the neighborhood already, it was all about pricing right and not chasing fool’s gold. Before that, it was about preparing the home to enhance buyer enthusiasm which created that multiple offer situation. And finally, locking in a back up offer so if the first deal didn’t go through, there was no hitting the market again, leaving buyers and agents to wonder what was wrong with the house.
If you have been considering taking advantage of the seller’s market, get in touch with me for a no obligation consultation. Helping you properly prepare for market and create buyer enthusiasm with professional marketing is what I do. Weeding through multiple offers and helping you understand the strengths and weaknesses of each one is where the rubber meets the road. It is not all about price if a buyer can’t pay what they offered without an appraised value matching it. Having me on your side navigating the process will have you at very top of what the market will bear.
Chris Ann Cleland
VA License #0225089470
Long & Foster Real Estate
Call or Text: 703-402-0037
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not Long & Foster.