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January 28, 2017

December2016 Housing Sales and Market Update For Washington, D.C. & Surrounding Area

*Market information courtesy of RBIntel.com

4 Brothers Buy Houses is proud to share this update on current Washington D.C. area housing sales and market conditions.*

In December 2016,Median Housing Prices Reached the Highest December Level On Record.

In December 2016,the median home sale price in the Washington D.C. area was $410,000 – an increase over November’s median prices and also the highest-ever median sales price for the area during the month of December.This is true even though sales volume decreased slightly (though still less than 1%) from the numbers we saw in December of 2015. The total number of home sales that closed in December was also 4.2% lower than last year’s December numbers.Overall, the year-to-date median sales prices of homes in the Washington D.C. area is up by 3.8% compared with last year and almost 1% higher than last month.

Falls Church Citywas the region’s “most expensive”location (measured by average prices), with December median sales prices of $678,750; Prince George’s County remains the most affordable, with December median sales pricesof $265,000. The prices of individual homes and neighborhoods may vary, but the average numbers in December show an increase that suggests the continuance of a strong sales market in the greater Washington D.C. area.

Pending Sales Increased, But New Listings Declined in December 2016.

According to figures published by RBIntel.com:

Pending sales at the end of December were up by almost 2% compared with December of 2015, and down by almost 15% from last month’s numbers – but decreases in month-to-month pending sales are fairly normal at this time of year, due to the winter weather and holiday season.

The number of new listings in the Washington D.C. area decreased in December, with only 3.089 new residential listings coming on the market. Condos showed an increase in listings, with 3.8% more units coming on the market in December than in the previous month, but the number of new listings for single-family detached homes and townhouses were both lower than the total of new listings that came on the market in November.

On-sale housing inventory decreased in December, with almost 14% fewer houses on the market last month than were listed for sale in December 2015, and 18.5% fewer listings available than at the end of November 2016.

Average “Days on Market” For Listed Properties Remained Unchanged.

The median days-on-market for listed properties in Washington D.C. and the surrounding counties in December2016 was 29 days,six days longer than the DOM for November but five days less than the average days-on-market for houses listed in December of 2015.

FairfaxCity remained the slowest regional market in December (median days-on-market: 56), while Washington D.C. was the fastest-moving market, with amedian DOM of 21.

Sales numbers vary from county to county, and even among neighborhoods. The speed and success of a housing sale is dependent on many factors, from listing price to home condition and comparable listings in the area. Your personal experience may vary, but knowing the average numbers is still helpful when making plans to sell your home, either through a realtor or to an investor.

January 20, 2017

Common Questions (And Answers) About Lender-Required Repairs

Few, if any, houses are in perfect condition, even at the time of sale. While many buyers are willing to overlook certain defects when purchasing a home, some lenders (including the United States Fair Housing Administration, or FHA) may require repairs before agreeing to fund the buyers’ loan.

Are Lender-Required Repairs Mandatory?

Generally, yes, in the sense that any lender-required repairs are conditions to funding of the loan. This means that the lender does not fund the buyers’ loan, and the seller does not get the purchase money, unless the repairs are made.

Most people can’t afford to buy a house without a loan (sometimes called “purchase money financing”),so lender-required repairs are mandatory for the sale to close.

How Do Lenders Learn About The Need For Repairs?

Lenders normally receive a copy of the appraisal report, which contains information about the condition of the property being sold. Lenders may also receive a copy of any disclosures provided by the seller, including disclosures relating to the property’s condition.

What Kind of Repairs Do Lenders Require?

The type of repairs a lender may request depends on a number of factors, including the size and type of loan, the lender’s business preferences, and the overall condition of the house in question.

Structural issues, like problems with a roof or foundation, and termite infestations often trigger a request for repairs from conventional lenders (generally, banks and mortgage companies). Conventional lenders rarely ask for repairs aside from these issues (although it can and does happen in certain areas or with certain types of loans).

Loans obtained through the United States Federal Housing Administration (commonly known as the FHA) typically have far more required repairs than loans obtained through a conventional lender. FHA loans are subject to a number of government guidelines, including repair guidelines, that must be complied with before the loan can fund and the sale can close.

FHA lending guidelines typically require the seller to repair any issues that negatively impact the house’s structural integrity, as well as conditions that create health and safety risks for the buyers and their families. After reviewing appraisal and inspection reports, the FHA lender (or representative) will provide a list of conditions and repairs that must be completed before the loan can fund.

Who Pays For Lender-Required Repairs?

The short answer is: it depends.

Sometimes, the sales contract signed by the buyer and seller dictates who will pay for certain kinds of repairs. When the contract is silent (meaning its terms do not resolve the issue) the parties normally negotiate who will pay for mandatory repairs.

However, the loan does not fund if lender-required repairs are not made, so sellers often agree to bear a large portion of the burden to ensure the sale will close.

If you don’t want to worry about lender-required repairs, consider selling your home to 4 Brothers Buy Houses instead. We never ask for repairs, and buy for cash, so there are no lender contingencies.Click here for a free, no-obligation quote and more information.

January 14, 2017

5 Top Tips For Selling Your Home in Winter

Cold, stormy winter days may not seem like an ideal time to list a house for sale, but buyers purchase homes in every month and every season. If you want (or need) to sell your home this winter, consider taking advantage of these tips to help your listing look its best in this chilly sales season:

  • Use Strategic Lighting. Bright, well-lit houses sell better in any season, but proper lighting is particularly important during winter months, when natural light is dimmer. Install strategic lighting, and ensure that lights are on when buyers visit.
  • Clear Away Snow From Drives And Walkways.Buyers don’t want to slog through snow—or risk a slip on dangerous ice—in order to tour an open house. Keeping paths and driveways clear improves accessibility and also makes your home seem more inviting—and easier to maintain—in the minds of buyers. If you don’t already have them, consider investing in proper maintenance tools to keep your property clear of snow and ice.
  • Maintain Heating and Ventilation Systems.Keep your house’s heating and ventilation system well-maintained, and always ensure the house is warm and properly ventilated during showings and open houses.
  • Keep Entries and Mudrooms Clean. Dirty boots and dripping coats can quickly soil a house’s entry during winter months, but a dirty entrance makes a poor impression. Take extra care to keep your entry (or mudroom) clean and organized, especially in advance of visits from potential buyers.
  • Organize and De-clutter. Cleanliness and organization – inside and out – are important parts of selling a home at any time of year, but even more important in winter months, when homeowners can’t depend on colorful flowers and lovely spring and summer views to boost a home’s desirability. Cluttered houses feel cramped, especially in winter, so make sure your home is extra-clean when listing it for sale in colder months.

These tips are supplementary to the standard advice for listing a home, all of which applies to selling houses at any time of year. Make necessary repairs, improve the landscape and curb appeal as much as possible, and price your home appropriately for its size, condition, and location.

If you need to sell in a hurry, or don’t want to take the extra time to prepare a house for listings, showings, and open houses during the winter months, consider selling directly to the investors at 4 Brothers Buy Houses – we don’t request or require repairs, and can close a sale quickly, for cash, and without the hassle of inspections, long escrows, and loan approvals. Click here for a free, no-obligation quote, or to get more information now.

January 8, 2017

November2016 Housing Sales and Market Update For Washington, D.C. & Surrounding Area

*Market information courtesy of RBIntel.com

4 Brothers Buy Houses is proud to share this update on current Washington D.C. area housing sales and market conditions.*

In November 2016,Median Housing Prices Reached the Highest Level Since 2005.

In November 2016,the median home sale price in the Washington D.C. area was $407,000 – the highest median sales price for the area since 2005.Sales volume increased by more than 14% over November 2015, and last month saw the largest number of total sales in any single month since 2009.

The year-to-date median sales prices of homes in the Washington D.C. area is up by 0.7%, with the greatest year-to-date increases seen in Prince George’s County and Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. replaced Falls Church City as the “region’s most expensive location” (measured by average prices), with November median sales prices of $549,000; Prince George’s County remains the most affordable, with November median sales prices of $260,000. The prices of individual homes and neighborhoods may vary, but the average numbers in November show a strong housing market in the greater Washington D.C. area.

Pending Sales and On-Market Inventory Declined in November 2016, But New Listings Increased

According to figures published by RBIntel.com:

Pending sales at the end of November were down almost 1% compared with November 2015, and down by 14.5% from October 2016 numbers. However, new listings increased last month, with 4,264 new residential listings coming on the market in November. This increase applied across the housing spectrum, with single-family homes, townhouses, and condos all showing an increase in the number of new listings.

On-sale housing inventory at the end of November 2016 was 14.4%lower than this time last year, and 12% lower than at the end of October 2016.Most likely, these decreases reflect the greater sales volume and the closing of pending sales before the end of the month.

Average “Days on Market” For Listed Properties Remained Unchanged.

The median days-on-market for listed properties in Washington D.C. and the surrounding counties in November 2016 was 23 days,exactly the same as October’s DOM, and two days lower than the average DOM in November 2015.

Fairfax City remained the slowest regional market in November(median days-on-market: 32) though this number is significantly lower than the 52 average days-on-market for listings in Fairfax City this time last year. Falls Church City was the fastest-moving market last month, with a median DOM of only 9 (down from 14 in November 2015).

Sales numbers vary from county to county, and even among neighborhoods. The speed and success of a housing sale is dependent on many factors, from listing price to home condition and comparable listings in the area. Your personal experience may vary, but knowing the average numbers is still helpful when making plans to sell your home, either through a realtor or to an investor.