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Reston VA Real Estate High~Low

Reston, VA Real Estate The High~Low Game

So let me come clean here and admit that the the title this post isn't original. In fact I've, err, um, well lets just say I've borrowed it from another blogger, our own local mystery man (I assume man) blogger, Restonian.

Of course when he writes about the high and the low of Reston real estate he's full of witticisms that I will not be able to replicate. However I love the idea and would like to offer some insights into the high/low and in between real estate in Reston.

Reston Town Center

Reston Town Center - Image by Matthew and Tracie via Flickr

We are fortunate to have so much diversity in our real estate market. There are 115 properties in between the high and the low--which is a painfully small number of properties On the low end we have a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo listed at $102,500.00, it's a short sale over in South Reston. At the other end of the spectrum is single family home with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and 2 fire places also in South Reston listed at $1,399,000.

The inventory in Reston, (yes, inventory is what we real estate agents call your home once we've put it on the market), has been low for the past 18 months. While this lack of inventory usually creates pent up demand, the market is still very price sensitive, leaving properties listed above market value languishing unsold, while appropriately priced properties sell fairly quickly. The average price of these 115 properties is $461,000.00. The housing types include 26 single family home, 47 townhouses and 42 condominiums.

What does this mean for you?

If you're a buyer it may seem there's not a lot to choose from, but doing a little home work could make all the difference. Consider focusing on properties that have been on the market for more than 90 days. Have your agent pull comparable listings and make your offer based on the data. Most important: when you find the home you want, don't wait! If it's priced right it won't last. If you feel it's priced too high still-- make your best offer. There's nothing worse than losing "the one" because of inactivity.

If you are a seller low inventory suggests that the market is in your favor and it is... At least, it could be... If you've cleared away the clutter (including your husband's college beer can collection), put fresh neutral paint on the walls and priced it within spitting distance of the comparable properties in your area. Then you are in good shape and can expect a sale within a fairly short period of time. However, if you add an extra 10 or 15 thousand to the number your agent recommends so that you'll have some "room to negotiate" it's going to be a long winter.

Bottom line -- when inventory is tight, and the market competitive, all sides are best served by coming well prepared to the high/low real estate game.

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  1. Kate T on

    I am considering downsizing from my single family home to a condo. I'm debating trying to get my house listed ASAP to take advantage of the small pool of houses for sell vs. waiting for the Spring market. Do you think there will be strong increases in property values? I'm in Reston.
    • Eve Thompson LastName on

      Hi Kate, I think I would focus on making sure that your house is really ready to sell; meaning super clean, de-cluttered, painted if needed, plus current on any miscellaneous repairs or maintenance. My experience is that this takes longer than you imagine. My recommendation to sellers is to go through the house as if you were getting ready to pack it up-- so clean out closets, get rid of old paint cans, the whole nine yards. Today is January 20, 2011 it's 59 days until the first day of Spring, so chances are you will be ready just as we are entering into the Spring market. Unless of course you are one of those rare super organized types. If that's the case I would go ahead and list it now--you might lose on a little bit of appreciation but that will also be true on the property you purchase. The market tends to rise together across property types. Please call me if I can help! Good luck.