Frederick County: How Successful Sellers Are Moving Homes in a Crowded Market
Some homes in Frederick County are moving very quickly. Of the 348 homes sold in August in Frederick County, 79 of them were on the market for just 10 days or less. Also, there were 47 homes sold that were on the market for only 11 to 20 days. No seller could complain about that, especially in this crowded market of 1,311 active listings in Frederick County. That's an increase of nearly 40 percent when compared to August 2013, when there were 937 homes listed.
So what about everyone else whose home still sits? They're bring up the average days on the market, which was 67 days this August compared to 55 days in August 2013. What is their next step in getting their home sold?
"Think of it as a price war coupled with beauty contest," says Michael McKenna, the vice president and associate broker of WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony. "When you have the best looking home with an outrageous price, that won't work. Same thing when you have set a lower price, but the look of the home doesn't meet buyers' minimum expectations. You need to price it right, plus take all the traditional steps to preparing your home for the market: de-cluttering, deep cleaning and tidying up the landscaping."
McKenna explains that beyond those basic steps, it may be something that you can't control that makes your property "the one" for buyers. "Maybe it's the backyard, or that the yard is fenced, or the size of the pantry or bedroom closets," McKenna says. "But you can control the price."
Realtor® Denise Davis of The McKenna Group of WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony advises sellers to work with an agent who can help them set a price that gets them the most money and still sells the home in a reasonable amount of time. "We use a sophisticated price-trend analysis to predict prices so that your home is competitive with homes entering the market at the same time as yours, not just with what is already there."
Frederick County's close proximity to Washington, D.C. and Virginia has helped to keep the market steady year over year. The average sold price of all property types in August 2014 was $302,381, and $289,838 in August 2013. That's a comfortable 4% increase.
"I think that blend of the suburban/country lifestyle that Frederick County offers is part of the trend," McKenna says. "You have lots of open spaces and communities that are tight, along with the good schools and the types of amenities you'd find in a more developed suburban area."
Detached homes with four bedrooms or more sold at an average price of $398,422 in August, which is very stable when compared to August 2013 when the average was $398,164. Three-bedroom detached homes saw a jump to $273,623, versus $256,109 in August 2013.
Townhouses and condominiums have seen strong growth year over year, and they are priced competitively against detached homes. The average sold price of an attached home with four bedrooms or more was $270,616 in August, compared to $243,033 in August 2013. That's an 11% increase year over year. These homes are priced more than $125,000 less than detached homes with the same number of bedrooms.
Three-bedroom attached homes increased to $236,550, from $218,704 from August 2013. They are currently selling at $37,000 less than detached three-bedroom homes.
"Townhomes are a great value and offer excellent resale opportunities," McKenna says. "That is something important for first-time buyers to consider."
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