Fewer homes on the market push sales lower

The first month of 2018 saw housing inventory fall again in Northern Virginia, with confident consumers out shopping for homes but not finding an ideal selection to choose from. Overall, the shortage of homes for sale pushed prices higher, according to a report from Long & Foster.

Lack of homes on the market meant lower sales volume in Northern Virginia compared to a year ago, said Larry “Boomer” Foster, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. Despite the shortage of properties for sale and strong demand, prices have increased only moderately.

market-conditions

Ongoing lack of inventory is concerning, because a trend of increasing prices could lead to consumers being priced out unless wages and earnings keep up with rising home values, Foster said. However, consumer and builder confidence levels are high.

“Builders know they can sell their product, and when consumers are confident, they buy and sell homes,” Foster said. “The fundamentals of our economy are strong right now.”

Move-in ready

A homeowner who wants to sell is likely to get top dollar, especially if their property is move-in ready. The Home Value Estimator at LongandFoster.com is a good place for buyers and sellers to begin if they’re wondering what a property might be worth.

To accurately determine a home’s market value, it’s important to have a real estate agent who is familiar with the area perform an analysis of recent nearby sales. An agent will also take into account the home’s location, condition and upgrades when determining a fair market value. Sellers who go to market at the wrong price risk losing money, either by not netting as much from the sale as they could have, or by missing that all-important initial window for attracting buyers’ interest when a home is newly listed.

“Automated valuation tools are fun, but artificial intelligence can’t replace a real estate professional helping you position your home correctly in the marketplace,” Foster said.

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.