First, The Bad News
If you are considering selling your Virginia Active Adult Community home, you will be facing a Buyer’s Market. That is, there are many more sellers than buyers and that means downward pressure on prices and a longer sales cycle.
A good indicator of the market are these statistics on Prince William County single-family homes (from MRIS, the multiple listing service for Northern Virginia):
Basically, in the last year, inventory has doubled while sales have fallen by almost half.
Consider these Active Adult Community per month re-sale numbers compiled from MRIS:
Units Sold per Month
Jan ’05 > Dec ’05 Jan ’06 > Dec ‘06
Dunbarton 4.0 1.2 (-71%)
Heritage 9.5 4.4 (-53%)
Regency 3.7 1.3 (-53%)
Leisure Wld 2.7 2.3 (-62%)
Four Seasons 2.8 0.9 (-68%)
A broader indicator is the total number of resale listings in Northern Virginia. Currently, there are over 200 Active Adult Community homes listed for sale in the multiple listing service and about 10 or 12 “For Sale By Owner.” Six months ago, the combined total was less than 100. There is a lot of inventory and it is moving slowly. And, there is more inventory coming; builders have 8,000 units planned for Virginia over the next decade.
Fortunately, there are over 70 million “Boomers” and interest rates will eventually come down. It may take a year or two but the active adult market will stabilize.
“But, I have to sell now…”
If you are in a “must sell” situation, there is hope. This is what it will take and what I will help you with:
Price realistically – First you must face the reality of the market you are entering. In order to help you set a realistic price, I will perform a Comparative Market Analysis for your home that will cover all homes currently on the market and recently sold in your Active Adult Community.
Market Aggressively – I will implement a highly aggressive marketing program that will include:
A virtual tour with as many photos as required to highlight all the best features of your home.
Comprehensive advertising including appropriate local newspapers, Web search engine ads (Google, Yahoo, MSN and others), direct mail, and others. (Note that according to Realtor.org, over 70% of buyers begin their search on the Web.)
Open houses that are advertised and promoted locally and on OWL55.com.
A listing on Realtor.com, the highest traffic real estate site on the Web.
A “Featured Listing” on the home page of OWL55.com linked to the dedicated Website for your home.
One variable in the sales equation overrides all others: price. While every property is unique, any type home in any location, in any condition, in any market, will sell at the right price. What a seller “needs” or “wants” has nothing to do with it; the market decides what a home is worth. If a home sits on the market for months and months with few visits and no offers, the market has decided: “over-priced.”
If you would like a free, no obligation consultation on what it will take to sell your home, use the email address or telephone numbers below to contact me for an appointment at your convenience.