Sunday Open House: Monday Morning Quarterback


I haven't done the open house story in a while, but I couldn't help but notice the slew of ads in yesterday's paper touting "New Listing!" and "New Price!" August is pretty much the dead season in real estate and the weekend after Labor Day traditionally signals the start of the Fall market.

"Traffic was about 50 percent higher than mid-summer — July 1 to August 15," says Long and Foster Realtor Steve Agostino, who sells in upper North West DC and the Maryland 'burbs.

A few things about Fall: Prices are generally lower because you're not seeing the family move-up buyers, as parents don't want to uproot their kids mid-year. It's a short spurt from September to Thanksgiving. Nothing sells in December, as all funds are focused on the holidays. First time buyers rule the Fall, and we all know much of that demand was pulled forward last Spring from the tax credit.

So how was the weekend? "It's a waiting game." That's what one Northern Virginia seller says. He and his wife have already lowered their asking price once. If it doesn't sell soon, they'll pull it off the market. Their agent says about 80 percent of her clients have had to lower the price at least once.

Back in DC, Agostino says there is "just a slight increase in inventory. Certainly not a rush of pent-up support."

He did have multiple offers on a property he put up two weeks ago, but he says it's all about the right price.

I took a drive around upper-crusty Chevy Chase, MD and saw a "For Sale" sign on nearly every block. Even more interesting, I saw an awful lot of "For Rent" signs, which I assume are folks who either can't or don't want to sell in this market. There was definitely some foot traffic up there.

I'd love to hear about whatever you guys are seeing in your local markets. So please send in your comments and we can all discuss!

Questions? Comments?