When it comes to the real estate market, everybody has an opinion. Sellers are anxious to sell their homes. Buyers are looking for the perfect deal. When things work out, the two come to a meeting of the minds and reach terms.
REALTOR.com Senior Economist George Raitu said in early October that “September inventory trends, especially in the mid-market may be the canary in the coal mine that we could be headed for even lower levels of inventory in early 2020.”
However, what you hear from the talking heads on television, or read in the newspaper may not necessarily reflect an accurate representation of the local market.
That is why the Williamsburg Area Association of REALTORS® (WAAR) has commissioned a specific study on the Williamsburg real estate market by Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist of the Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR). She will provide a detailed look at the historic triangle at least four times a year for the purpose of helping the public and REALTORS® understand our market.
Because all real estate is “local.”
Suzanne Dana, Williamsburg Realty Associate Broker and Company Trainer, recently had the opportunity to spread the word about the status of our Historic Triangle real estate market in her class for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (formerly the Christopher Wren Association), which is sponsored by The College of William & Mary.
“We are in a fairly stable real estate market, but the adage, “location, location, location” is hand in-hand with the price point. “While we might have a surplus of homes in the higher price points, the range between $225,000-$375,000 has much lower inventory due to demand,” she explained.
Dana used the VAR report and her personal knowledge of the Williamsburg market to guide her class presentation. “Overall, sales inched up in the second quarter from last year at this time.”
Sales activity varies by city or county. York County showed the biggest growth with an increase of seven percent over last year at this time. James City County showed a mere one percent drop and the City of Williamsburg remained the same from a year ago. Overall, the Williamsburg area’s housing market and regional economy remains strong, bolstered by historically low interest rates.
“Good inventory that is priced right is extremely important, but the condition of the home matters, too” said Dana, an award-winning REALTOR® for many years. “Some price points are better than others. Homes in the $200,000 to $300,000 are hard to find. Higher priced homes usually take longer to sell.”
Home maintenance and staging are also important when presenting your home for sale.
“If you have a home to sell, make it ready to sell. It is important to spruce up what you can. Get the help of a professional to look at what you have to offer. Many REALTORS® can often tell you what you need to do before putting your home on the market and have access to professional stagers who can take what you have and arrange it so it shows off your home in the best light.
“We need to remember that when selling your home, it becomes a commodity and must be treated as such.”
An overpriced home can have a very real negative impact and can slow the sale down. “The most activity when a home is put on the market is in the few couple of weeks,” she said. “A poorly priced home may get overlooked in the searches. That is why a home that is priced right has a much greater chance of selling quickly.”
In closing, Dana also pointed out that the Williamsburg real estate is currently a balanced market. “Listings aren’t selling like hotcakes, but they’re not staying on the market too long either.”
– By Sam Mayo, Associate Broker
General Manager, Williamsburg Realty