The tale of 4516 Edsall Drive began in February 2021 when I met with the sellers to discuss what was needed to prepare the home for market and to sign a listing. At my recommendation, the sellers agreed to new carpet, luxury vinyl plank (LVP) in the upper level bathrooms, new electrical sockets, switches and covers and were repainting.
As it turned out, the listing preparation between handyman and flooring went over budget, but not by too much. The sellers trusted the process and the fact that they would get a nice return. Boy did they.
We hit the market priced at $525,000 on April 23rd. The listing preparation was evident in the professional photos. Not surprisingly, with nearly three days on the market, we had thirteen offers to review on the following Tuesday.
It came down to two offers. One had no contingencies and offered $575,000. The other was $585,000 and had only a financing contingency. We called each offer to see if they could come up in price (for the lower offer) and remove financing (for the higher.) Within a matter of minutes, the one with a financing contingency went without and raised their price another $10,000. That made the seller’s choice easy.
On May 26th, this pipe stem home with five upper level bedrooms, sold for $595,000. That’s $70,000 above list price! The sellers were ecstatic and the buyers thrilled to have landed a sought after location in Woodbridge.
Every home will sell in a seller’s market, but for how much is determined by two things: 1) listing preparation and 2) marketing. This listing is a prime example of what happens when a well prepared listing meets professional marketing. Get in touch with me if you want the absolute maximum the market will bear for your home.
On April 23rd (2021,) 4516 Edsall Drive in Woodbridge hit the market priced at $525,000. The plan was to allow showings from Friday morning until Sunday evening and go over all offer Monday afternoon. It was an easy plan and was telegraphed to each and every buyer’s agent through the MLS. There were no surprises.
This listing had been presented as Coming Soon status with limited exterior pictures to give folks an idea of what the sellers had to offer while the final touch ups were being put on inside. There was also a written description of the home that included the features. Many serious agents knew to get their showing booked early. With no overlapping showings, that’s critical.
Of course, once the professional photos hit the day before it went Active in the MLS, that’s when a whole slew of buyers perked up and paid attention. Unfortunately for many, it was too late. The sellers had taken every listing preparation note and the home was saying cheese in every photo.
Thirteen offers arrived to parse through with the sellers. All but one was over list price. Most had seriously limited contingencies like no inspections or low appraisal guarantees, if they had appraisal at all. In the end, it came down to three offers. The sellers looked at the down payments, who the lenders were and when they had responded to my inquiries, earnest money amounts and naturally, their bottom line. It was a hotly contested home and in the end, a deliriously happy couple was notified their offer had been chosen.
Dream Crusher 2021 (me making rejection calls) rolled in after we ratified the deal and gave the bad news. That is the worst part of this job. While I represent the sellers and wholeheartedly have their best interests in mind during the offer review process, that soft human side we all have hurts making the rejection calls. Thankfully, all the buyer agents took their rejections in stride. Unfortunately, like George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air, I have become well practiced in delivering bad news.
For buyers, make sure you aren’t waiting for photos before you schedule an appointment to see a home. When something meets your needs, get a showing on the books as soon as you see the listing hit the MLS, even if it is photo-less. And make sure you are working with an agent takes their job seriously and knows to read agent remarks and use showing schedulers. Better yet, to look for properties on your behalf before you find them. We had three agents attempt to gain access today, and one that actually submitted an offer well after our deadline.
The great news is my sellers got so much more than they expected out of the top offers. Can’t wait to share with you the final sold price, which won’t be until May 26th. Stay tuned.
Appraisals are top of every listing agent’s mind in the frenzied seller’s market that all of Northern Virginia,mm and most of the country, is experiencing in 2021. Homes, even listed for reasonable prices, inevitably get bid up seven to ten percent of list price on average. A lot of times, it is even higher than that.
Most savvy listing agents are advising their sellers about sky high offers with appraisal contingencies. Those offers are only going to be as good as the appraised value. It’s a number meant to make a seller say yes, without thinking of the ramifications of low appraised value.
The way that buyers are getting sky high offers accepted is by waiving appraisal all together, or by offering low appraisal guarantees. Back to the practices of savvy listing agents, those are the ones that understand the importance of appraisal coming in as close to that offer price as possible. A buyer can feel immediate remorse if they are shelling out tens of thousands of dollars just to make up for a short fall in appraised value. So meeting the appraiser is critically important.
Knowing the appraisal process, as taught to me by an actual appraiser when I studied for my broker’s license, I know what they have access to, what paperwork they get and what they are looking for when they are putting together a report. It is astounding how many agents don’t. Some think that if they just raise the list price to the offer price after the contract is ratified, it helps with appraisal. Not in the least. In fact, it may hurt your seller if that deal falls through and the entire MLS service area now knows exactly how much your seller had. They may come in slightly below once you hit the market again. They sure aren’t coming in over.
Appraisers are members of the MLS. They can see what we do to listings. They can see original list prices and the changes we make and when. They get copies of the sales contract itself. They know what the buyers have offered. Finally, they don’t care about your list price. They don’t care about the neighbor’s list price. They care about recent sales in the neighborhood. Sometimes, they care about pending sales. They also care about seeing the multiple offers on the property, as that is a demonstration of what the market thought the value was. Really important, they like seeing a list of major updates by year, going back at least five years, no more seven or eight. Let’s face it, an HVAC isn’t new just because it isn’t original.
Changing list price to reflect the contracted sales price is a poor business practice. It tells the world what the seller accepted before the deal is done. That’s a big no-no in real estate. And since the appraiser has a copy of the contract, it is truly pointless.
What’s the practice of the listing agent you have in mind to sell your home? Might want to make sure you are working with a listing agent that understands the appraisal process and won’t compromise your negotiating position if your first buyer gets sudden remorse. Take a look at my service areas to the right on the chalkboard and let me know if you would like my expertise on your side to get you those multiple offers, keep a buyer in a deal and never compromise your negotiating power.
It isn’t very often that you get a chance to list a true five bedroom home with all bedrooms on the upper level of the home. This pipe stem located home has five upper level bedrooms, with a door between the owner’s suite and the fifth bedroom, making the fifth bedroom a perfect nursery, home office or even work out space.
All the bedrooms on the upper level have brand new carpeting and the smallest of the five measures ten feet by eleven feet. The owner’s suite has soaring ceilings in the bedroom and the attached owner’s bathroom. Shower recently remodeled and LVP (luxury vinyl plank) flooring installed. The same floors are in the second bathroom. And both bathrooms have skylights.
The main level has brand new carpet in the family room while the rest of the main level is hardwood flooring. The wood burning fireplace is the focal point of the family room. Kitchen has plenty of Corian counter space and a breakfast nook with a bay window. My favorite feature of any kitchen is a sink with a view of the back yard. Check! Laundry room is on this level as well.
Step outside onto the deck from the family room and you will see the privacy and space this property has to offer in the fenced back yard.
The basement is freshly carpeted and has an LVP landing from the walk out exit. Enjoy lots of recreation space, a nearly complete additional kitchen (minus stove) and den with attached full bathroom. There is even a connection to the chimney in the basement rec area in the event you want to add a wood stove.
All of this is listing for $525,000 starting April 23rd. Showings will only be permitted from Friday to Sunday with an offer deadline Sunday evening. Get with your agent and book your appointment now. If you don’t have an agent, give me a call and I will happy to connect you with a Long & Foster buyer’s agent.
In general, I like to think the people we come into contact with in our daily lives and give us advice have nothing but the best intentions. In my professional life as a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, I have not found the advice that neighbors give to be particularly useful. In fact, it is not unusual for me to have to fend off bad advice from neighbors, friends and family when helping buyers or sellers. Again, I try to take a deep breath and remember, they probably think they are helping.
Today, a text message popped up from a Coming Soon seller. Her neighbors have told her she is under pricing her home. That alone is not helpful. Add in the other accusation they leveled, which is my seller’s price on her home is going to hurt their appraisals for the contracts they have accepted on their homes. Absolutley not helpful. Let’s unpack the reality.
For starters, my seller has to do what is right for her. Their list price was as much her business as her list price is theirs. My dad would call that noneya. None of your business.
Secondly, my seller hired me to go over comparable sales with her and identify a reasonable list price. When we did, my seller wanted to nudge that number a bit higher than that. Given the improvements she was in process of doing, I happily obliged. Let’s face it, the market isn’t going down. If I felt she was shooting herself in the foot, I would have told her.
Thirdly, a lot of agents are misinformed on how to get homes to appraise at a contracted sales price. That trickles down to their sellers who are now running around giving bad advice to my seller. They somehow have a false belief that list prices have an impact on appraised values. Misinformed listing agents go to the extent of changing their list prices to the contracted sales price when they go under contract. That’s another subject entirely, but I will simply say, why would you tell the whole world your existing contract sales price? You’ll never sell for more if something happens to the first deal. The long and short of it is that list prices have no bearing on appraised value. Market value is determined by looking at SOLD homes in the area that are recent and most similar to the subject property. Since these neighborhood listings are farther along in the process, they will probably be sold and more likely to affect our appraisal than we have a chance of ever affecting theirs.
With all of that out being said, my seller took a deep breath. She felt better. After all that, I was curious and asked, “Just how much were their list prices anyway?” The answer was simple, lower than hers. Yet they are under contract for much more than their list price and somehow think she will only sell for list price. Don’t even get me started. You can’t make this stuff up.
When you are listing your home, hire a full-time professional agent that knows the ins and outs of the entire sales process, including appraisal. Your odds of success from beginning to end are far superior. Secondly, don’t listen to your neighbors. Be polite. Thank them and call your agent if you have concerns.