Which Award Means the Most?

Chris Ann Cleland receiving 2020 Production Awards with Zhanneta Nekrich

Which Award Means the Most?

Today the Long & Foster office I am affiliated with hosted its annual agent awards. In the waning days of the pandemic, social distancing was still advised, so we had a red carpet pick up of our awards after a Zoom ceremony.

It was no surprise to me that I was the top individual agent in our office for volume, units and gross commission income. I had my best year yet in 2020. It also wasn’t a surprise to be recognized for the business referred to our affiliates at RGS Title, Prosperity Home Mortgage and Long & Foster Insurance. It was nice to hear kind words from each of those affiliates that went beyond an award presentation. Doing business with people you genuinely like is so rewarding.

The award that caught me off guard was this one:

Normally, I am recognized for blogging. Evidently, I am the only person in our office who blogs. Being the only one doing something doesn’t necessarily make it noteworthy year after year. So I was more than pleasantly surprised to be recognized for something I take great pride in–Doing the Right Thing.

My broker recognized me as an agent who knows the contract inside and out, follows the rules, knows the ethics of this business and genuinely cares about everyone. And if anyone in the office ever wondered what they should do in a given situation, call me. Now THAT is an award I will take with pride.

I may have to invest in a fancy dress for next year so I’m not under dressed when I accept my awards, whatever they may be. The great news is that doing the right thing, helping my clients and selling a lot of homes can be done very easily in blue jeans…and that is my style.

Just Sold in Hopewell’s Landing

15124 Santander Drive, Gainesville, VA Sold for $676,000 on February 23, 2021

Just Sold in Hopewell’s Landing

The story of my listing at 15124 Santander Drive started in the summer of 2020 when the sellers consulted with me about listing their home for sale in the beginning of 2021. There was a job relocation on the horizon and they wanted to get an idea of what their home would be worth and what projects they should do between then and listing.

At the time of our first meeting, the home was in good shape, but had an unfinished basement. A list price of $599,000 would have been reasonable. Between that first meeting and hitting the market on January 22nd, the basement was finished, giving this four bedroom home, two more legal bedrooms, one more full bathroom for a total of four full bathrooms and recreation space. They also refinished the hardwood floors on the main level. We looked over comparable sales and got to $635,000 for the list price.

Opening day on the market, January 22nd, it was obvious this home was going to be more in demand than even I had anticipated. We had two open houses, one Saturday, one Sunday, and met Sunday late evening to go over the twenty-six offers the sellers had received. They quickly narrowed twenty-six offers down to four by focusing only on the offers that waived ALL contingencies. They were under contract on Tuesday with their second highest buyer of the four, when the first had expressed some doubt after being dubbed the winner.

Today, February 23rd, this home sold for $676,000….$41,000 above its list price.

If you have been waiting for the top of the market to sell your Gainesville home, this is the time. NAR (National Association of REALTORS®) anticipates prices to continue to increase this year. Of course, we will only know we have hit the top when we start the decline and see the top behind us. The great news about the ride to the top of the market, there is very limited inventory which is what is driving us to the top. By the time we are headed down, you’ll have more competition.

Get in touch with me for a free, no obligation consultation if you want to investigate the sale of your Gainesville home.

The Best Day of the Week to List Your Home

The Best Day of the Week to List Your Home

Because I list more homes than an average agent in the Bristow-Gainesville marketplace, I have occasion to interact with a lot more sellers. The biggest question is always the generic, “When is the best time of year to list?” Nowadays, in our market with extreme buyer demand and limited inventory, anytime is a great time to list. And to be honest, even in the least friendly seller markets that I have worked, there was really only one or two months to avoid–July and August. Sure, school may be out, but that means most folks are on summer vacation and not house hunting. Not this year (2020.)

The more specific question about timing I get is, “What is the best day of the week to hit the market?” While opinions may vary, I will throw my Top Producer credentials and many years of experience behind my own opinion–Thursday.

If your property becomes active on Thursday, buyers and their agents have time to schedule to see it for the weekend. You get maximum exposure to buyers and by Sunday night or Monday afternoon, you have enough offers to wallpaper a large bedroom in your home.

That doesn’t mean that listing any other day of the week is bad. Certainly not. I’ve had sellers list on Monday and be under contract within a day or two. However, if you are living in the home you are selling and want to minimize the pain-in-the-butt factor of showings, starting on a Thursday afternoon or evening is perfect.

Want more information about listing your home and when the best time would be for you? Get in touch and let’s talk it out.

Risk Averse Buyers Are Finding it Hard to Get Under Contract

Risk Averse Buyers Are Finding it Hard to Get Under Contract

Being a Top Producing Real Estate Agent in the Bristow-Gainesville marketplace, the majority of my business is done as a Listing Agent. So far this year, I have been at the helm of a dozen multiple offer situations. This means I have first hand knowledge of what offers buyers are presenting in the market. What I have found with my buyers this year is that, until they are willing to take on some risk, they are writing offers that just aren’t competitive in a multiple offer situation.

What are buyers willing to do to get their offer accepted? Here are some ideas:

  • Offer over list price
  • Use an escalation clause to go above list when other offers are present
  • Have home inspections with the right to void only
  • Not have home inspections at all
  • Waive radon inspections
  • Waive appraisal
  • Offer low appraisal guarantee
  • Waive termite inspections
  • Offer free rent back to sellers
  • Offer to pay a certain amount of seller’s closing costs

You can see where it would be hard to compete if a buyer was risk averse and not willing to have a home inspection with the right to void only, or offer only list price. In the current seller’s market that our Bristow-Gainesville area is experiencing, buyers have to swing for the fences to get an offer accepted. That means offering things, or not including contingencies, that would otherwise be typical in a balanced market.

Of course, every buyer’s capabilities are different. Working with a Buyer’s Agent that understands what are reasonable risks for you is important. An example would be whether or not you should have a radon inspection. Well, testing for radon during a home inspection is at least three times more expensive than getting an over the counter kit. The worst that would happen in either scenario is that radon level would be above EPA limits and you would need to install a radon remediation system. Obviously, in a seller’s market, sellers are not getting many offers asking for a radon inspection. If you can handle the worst case, which is the $1,000-$1,200 installation of a radon remediation system (price typical on homes built within the last 20 years or so) it is not a big risk to forego the radon inspection and test after you purchase.

Talking out your financial capabilities and your tolerance for risk are very important conversations to have with your agent. If you haven’t hired a buyer’s agent yet, get in touch with me. I’ll be happy to help you through the stressful process of making offers in multiple offer situations….and most importantly, making offers that can get accepted based on your capabilities.

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