On March 17th (2021,) I had the opportunity to give the public the word that 11900 Rocky Brooke Court in Manassas was Coming Soon. A coming soon listing is quite valuable these days. Truly great buyers agents have trained their clients to look for them and schedule appointments ahead for the day they come active. This means booking before there are professional photos, but in the day and age of exclusive showing appointments, having the appointment is golden. If you see the pictures and have second thoughts, cancel the appointment.
All told, maybe a dozen agents made appointments when the listing was coming soon. It wasn’t until this listing went active with professional photos on March 23rd that the flood gates opened. It was right there in the remarks that our offer deadline was March 28th at 9pm. Forty-eight showings later, my seller had six offers in hand.
Nonetheless, buyers and their agents kept calling. “We just saw this listing online. Can we get in and, if we like it, make an offer?” Unfortunately, the madness has to end sometime, and that’s the point of an offer deadline. Even still, a buyer that had seen it on Sunday came through with an offer the day after the deadline. It changed the entire landscape of offers whose final tally was seven.
Tonight, this gorgeous single family surrounded by woods on 5.75 acres in Manassas is under contract, but it wasn’t without buckets of stress and emotion. You may think it’s easy to be a listing agent right now, but breaking hearts is not something an agent with a soul enjoys. The business of evaluating offers is all business. Letting buyers down that didn’t win is all heart. It’s emotionally exhausting, especially when those that lost tell you they could have paid more.
The time to tell a seller what you will pay and what the terms of your offer will be is when you make the offer. By the time you get the let down phone call, it’s too late. In the spring 2021 Prince William County market, you need to swing for the fences. You only get once chance at bat per property. Negotiating with a seller is highly unlikely in these competitive times.
Stay tuned for the final sold price on this one. It will knock your socks off.
Last week I shared this property at 11900 Rocky Brooke Court as a Coming Soon listing. My own photos never do a property justice. The professional photos of the home were even better than I could have imagined. If you want to see the entire virtual tour, you can do so by clicking this link. Right now, I’m going to share some of my favorite features and rooms.
It is pretty rare to find four garage parking spaces in a Manassas home. Both enter into the mud room, off the kitchen. Speaking of the kitchen…
This gourmet ktichen features Uba Tuba granite counters and island. I just love the contrast of the dark appliances and counter to the white cabinets. And though the floor is vinyl, it is the perfect accent to the room. (Not pictured is the breakfast nook, though you can see a hint of the glass table in the left foreground.)
The family room is quite large and just like every window in the home, has fantastic wooded views of the surrounding 5.75 acres of forest. The stone surround fireplace is wood burning.
The owner’s suite is grand and features a large bedroom separated from the sitting room by a double sided gas fireplace. Hard to get a shot of that entire area, but the adjoining owner’s bath brings the same black and white contrast from the kitchen. Black cultured marble extended vanity and double sinks with ceramic tile floor and bath surround. Not pictured is the water closet and separate shower, which would be to the left of where the photographer was standing when this shot was taken.
Those are just a few of my favorites from the photo shoot. Please be sure to check out the entire virtual tour. And don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.
This home has already had a lot of interest. Don’t delay if you think this could be your next home. If you don’t have an agent, I would be happy to connect you with a fantastic one in our Gainesville office.
Coming Soon in Manassas: Large Single Family Home on 5.75 Acres
Want live in your own wooded oasis with plenty of garage parking, four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms and privacy all around? This single family home in Forest Brooke, located at 11900 Rocky Brooke Court may be just the ticket.
When I first met the seller of Rocky Brooke, the Paul McCartney song “The Long & Winding Road,” came to mind. The driveway isn’t winding, but it is long. Set back a substantial distance from the cul-de-sac, by the time you arrive at 11900 Rocky Brooke, you are surrounded by wooded. The only reason you can see your neighbors right now is that the trees haven’t filled in.
Inside you are going to love the open floor plan. Every day rooms (family room, breakfast area and kitchen) are open to one another. The formal rooms are to themselves on either side of the foyer entry. And there’s even a main level study with two windows of wooded views. Perfect for those working from home.
Heading upstairs, you have a choice as to which staircase you wish to use. The formal staircase in front or the informal staircase off the kitchen. Once you’re up, the first place to start is the owner’s suite. An expansive space awaits with double sided fireplace separating the bedroom from the sitting room. Two large, walk-in closets will fill your closet needs. In the sitting room, you’ll want to finish the room to include a wet bar. (Rough-in is there.) Make it a coffee and wine bar!
Step from the sitting room into the owner’s bathroom and you’ll be ready for a soak in your jetted tub. A long vanity, complete with double sinks and a make up stool, is more than enough space. Don’t miss the separate shower and water closet.
Of the remaining three bedrooms, all generously sized, one has an en-suite full bathroom. The other two sit on opposite side of a hall access full bathroom.
The basement has a walk out exit and has been framed, but not completely finished. Another project for the next owner. Make a guest suite down here if you like. There’s a rough-in for a full bathroom.
Outside is an entertaining size wood deck. Like the entire property, it enjoys seclusion in the woods. You may even hear the stream babbling when you are relaxing out here. The sun graces this area in the mornings from the right, or from the left in the evenings (as seen above.)
Two attached, two car garages give you a total of four garage spaces. While the driveway starts as gravel off the cul-de-sac, it transitions to rubber gravel and finally to a paved parking pad.
Situated on 5.75 acres off of Purcell Road in Manassas, this location is private, but not far from shops. Think this might be what you’ve been looking for? Get in touch with me, if you don’t have your own agent, for a tour. We should be on the market next week.
What Can a Seller Do to NOT Sell in a Seller’s Market?
This past weekend I saw four townhouses with buyers who are absolutely ready, willing and able to buy. Of course, there are a ton more buyers right behind mine who are ready to make a deal. That means sellers are in the driver’s seat. They just sit back and let the offers roll in.
Out of the four houses we saw, one really was stunning. Updated top to bottom. Well maintained inside and out to include a deck and fenced yard. Priced appropriately and in a very sought after neighborhood. That townhouse ended up with forty-five offers. My buyers were crushed when we got our rejection email. When sellers do the updating and make sure the home shows well, the offers come flooding in.
By comparison, I just got an email from another townhouse that had been a consideration until one too many issues popped up. They were asking one of the highest prices in the neighborhood and needed their deck shored up (it swayed from side to side) and new carpeting. As the final poke in the eye, they were taking their washer and dryer from a laundry room that needed new flooring….badly. The email was not a final call for offers or announcement of when offers would be reviewed, but an update that the washer and dryer were staying. Apparently, not one buyer in this seller’s market wanted to bite on it.
What made this listing not go in the madhouse seller’s market? They overpriced for the condition of the home. It’s a common mistake made by sellers who see dollar signs in a seller’s market and underestimate buyers and their willingness to pass on homes that just aren’t worth the high list prices.
Getting buyers into a bidding war on your home requires more than slapping a For Sale in your yard and putting the home in the MLS. For buyers to truly clamor for your home, you need to prepare your home for the market and choose an appropriate list price for what you are offering. Hire an agent that will level with you about your home’s condition and what the market will bear for it. A professional marketing agent like myself knows how to create buyer enthusiasm for a property to get multiple offers and the best terms.
When you are ready to sell, it still takes planning and preparation to get the highest price. Give me a call and let’s talk about how to create buyer enthusiasm for your max profit.
Pictured above is the Flat Stanley project my young cousin mailed to me from Pottsville, PA over a decade ago. It has very little to do with being a licensed Virginia real estate agent, but doesn’t that custom Virginia touristy t-shirt look great? That’s me going the extra mile, something I do for my clients every day. Incidentally, Flat Stanley attended one of my broker pre-licensing classes when he visited Virginia. He may know more about Virginia real estate than a well decorated agent, licensed in Maryland and Virginia, that sent me an offer on listing recently. Yes, that’s an exaggeration, but not by much.
Buyers have no idea how important it is to have a competent, well respected agent in the area where they are looking to purchase. When you are buying in the western suburbs of Prince William County, located about forty-five minutes from the closest point in Maryland in light traffic, you may want to hire an agent that does the majority of their business in Virginia. In multiple offer scenarios, full-time local agents that have thriving businesses know what their buyers are likely up against. They also likely have relationships with the local listing agents. Finally, they have knowledge of the Northern Virginia Residential Sales Contract inside and out.
In an intense multiple offer situation recently, I received an offer for my seller from an agent in some poody-doo production club with a well known franchise brokerage. Opening the document, what struck me was that it was over ninety pages. The average offer was about twenty-four pages. I was afraid I was going to find every piece of buyer brokerage paperwork in it. What I found was a document that repeated itself with Maryland disclosures and when I got far enough in, an offer for another home. The competence issue was immediately apparent. This agent had ZERO idea what a Virginia offer had to contain and was so flustered getting it together she included another offer for another property.
Being licensed in two states/jurisdictions means nothing if you aren’t competent in what each one requires and work in them regularly. I imagine, for instance, that agents that live in DC or near the borders of their states like Arlington or Lovettsville in Virginia, would regularly be pulled into neighboring jurisdictions. Being based in Prince William County, VA I rarely have a reason to go into Maryland. The idea of being licensed there to get one deal every four years seems awful. When I am representing someone else’s best interests, I need to KNOW what I am doing. The best business practice for me is to refer that buyer or seller to someone who deals with the local contract and market day in and day out. In fact, I just did it earlier this week with a former neighbor needing help selling a family home in Ocean City, MD.
Being licensed in Virginia is definitely enough for me. If you need help in Maryland or DC, I will find a fantastic agent to help you. The goal in real estate is to do what is best for the client. When it comes to dealing with Prince William, Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, I can go that extra mile. That’s because the basics are a walk in the the park when you practice Northern Virginia real estate daily.
There is no question the photo above this post is of an old home. It’s a funny thing about the age of homes. If they are fifteen years or newer, they are pleasing because they are new. If they are one hundred years or older, they are charming because they are old. The in-between, where a lot of homes in Prince William County fall, have the ability to look a lot newer than they do without major renovations.
Middle aged homes show their age in a lot places. Outdated wallpaper and paint colors are obvious, as is worn carpet. What isn’t obvious are switch plate and outlet overs that have been painted over and over, and the yellowing switches or plugs themselves. For relatively minimal costs, you can remove the “age spots” from middle aged homes with crisp white, plain switch plate and outlet covers and new switches and plugs to match.
Another relatively low cost area that can be the equivalent of a botox injection to remove wrinkles, is changing out door hinges and door knobs to what is current. Right now, that would be brushed nickel or oiled bronze.
Freshening up caulk in bathrooms and kitchens is another easy fix and will often be done by your painter as part of a whole house paint job. If you want bathroom grout brightened up, there are companies that specialize in that for reasonable prices if you don’t want to take on the job yourself with a toothbrush, rag and white vinegar.
An experienced listing agent, like myself, can help you when engaged early in the process, to not over spend in areas that are not necessary and focus your budget and energy where it will make the best overall impression. Some sellers have engaged me as far out as two years from hitting the market. You don’t need to worry about bringing me in too early. Helping you with listing preparation consultation is part of what I do.
What It Takes to Be Successful in a Multiple Offer Situation
It only took until the 10th of January for this Top Bristow Real Estate Agent to get her first ratified contract of 2021. I’m sure there are agents out there bemoaning the fact real estate is slow right now. It is not. Buyers are chomping at the bit for homes. And I for one, am delighted to be helping clients no matter the season.
My buyer-clients that got under contract yesterday were house hunting from Haymarket to Manassas. We had been out a few times. The first couple home tours we saw some seriously sad properties that were filthy or sketchy. When they saw the first real possibility, it was only after an offer had already been accepted. So disappointing when Listing Agents fail to set reasonable expectations or communicate openly with Cooperating Buyer Agents. Nonetheless, my buyers stayed on course and we made an appointment ten days in advance of a property coming on the market. That’s what the Coming Soon status is all about…advance planning.
As soon as they saw one particular garage townhouse in Manassas, that was it. That home was the one they wanted. Being first time buyers, I expected a lot more reservations about the advice I gave about how to structure an offer based on the seller market conditions and what types of offers they would be competing against. These buyers wanted that home and put their best foot forward without hesitation. And just like that, with the first offer they wrote, they are under contract.
A lot of buyers don’t understand that you don’t always get a chance to negotiate with a seller in a market where properties are getting multiple offers. You may get a chance to agree to one more thing that favors a seller IF your offer is already strong enough to peak interest. That was the case with my buyer-clients. Because they wrote an offer with a strong earnest money deposit and a strong offer price, which lead to a seller request to tweak one more term in their offer. They decided to adjust that term and got the house. Unfortunately, you don’t get that chance with a strongly buyer favored offer in a seller’s market.
Working with an experienced, full-time, local agent has never been more important in success not just in buying, but selling as well. If you are looking to buy or sell from Manassas to Haymarket, give me a call.