This is a sponsored post by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.
In my Just Sold blog on Monday, I talked about the large amount of housing inventory we’re carrying in Reston. My oft-repeated caution to sellers is that to be successful in a crowded market it is critical that you do everything you can to separate your property from the crowd. The way to do that is to be the very best-priced and best-presented home in your category. You want to try to create a market of one.
Sellers who come on to the market with “room to negotiate” built into their price will usually sit on the market. The larger the difference between your list price and the market price (based on similar homes that have sold in the past 90+days), the longer you can expect to sit on the market and the less money you will make on your home sale. If we look at a few of the recent sales you can see how this truth has played out in the real world.
One of the listings included in the “Just Sold” group on Monday was a condo in “Nantucket At Reston.” If you’re not familiar, it’s a great condo community that sits above Lake Audubon across the street from South Lakes Village Center. This was a 2- bedroom, 2-bath unit that was on the market for 390 days. It originally listed for $385,000. The pictures from the original listing show a vacant, neutral property.
When it sold over a year later it went for $267,000 with $3,500 in closing costs, or a net of $263,500. The seller also had to pay the carrying costs of about $9,300 for condo fees, Reston Association dues, taxes, and insurance while the property sat vacant.
If they had a mortgage, that was probably another $12,000 to $15,000 in carrying costs. The final selling price is within a few thousand dollars of what similar units have been selling for in that condo.
Compare that with another recent sale over on Saffold Way. The property came on the market looking great. It was well updated, clean as a whistle, new windows, and was priced within a few thousand dollars of where other homes of similar style and size have recently sold.
One significant difference between those houses and this house was in the presentation. The property sold for full list price of $435,000 and was on the market for just 17 days. Similarly a home that recently sold on Old Brookville Court listed right at market- meaning the seller listed their home at the same price as very recently sold houses on the street.
This home sold in 5 days for $5,000 over the list price due to many, many “extras” like specialty light fixtures, custom paint and generally looking like it was owned by an interior decorator. This seller created urgency in the buyer–the buyer knew if they came in with anything less than full price they wouldn’t get the home so they came in with more.
So sellers: you have a lot of competition out there, you have to make your property the best one if you’re going to grab the buyer’s attention.
Here are a few of the new house on the market this week in Reston.