D.C. neighborhoods where homes sell fast

March 31

In Mount Pleasant, 77.5 percent of the homes sell in two weeks and the sale-to-list ratio is 101.5 percent, according to Redfin. (Kathy Orton/THE WASHINGTON POST)

Marshall Park is a D.C.-based real estate agent at Redfin. 

Speed is the name of the game in the D.C. housing market. I was shocked to see how many homes sold within less than a week last year.

I’ve been a real estate agent for almost 10 years and I’ve never seen that kind of speed. Although the 2014 housing market started off slower than last year, homes here still sell incredibly fast.

One reason for the hot housing market here is that D.C. is often insulated from national economic issues because of the stability that the federal government lends to the area. But this is just one part of the puzzle. Residents of this region are technologically savvy, and new technologies are changing the way we buy and sell real estate.

Through smartphone apps and online, buyers can receive updates when a new home hits the market, and some want to tour homes and even make offers immediately. For example, Redfin Instant Updates alert home shoppers within 15 to 30 minutes of when a new property hits the market.

No matter what changes in real estate, one thing will always stay the same: Location is king. I can personally attest to this. My family and I are looking for a home and want to live in Vienna because of its neighborhood feel, the short commute and the proximity to shops and restaurants. Because of low inventory and a competitive, fast market, we’re still waiting to find the right home in our price range.

In the chart below, we rank neighborhoods by the number of homes sold in 2013, how quickly they sold and if they sold for more than asking price. The median days on market in each of these neighborhoods was seven or fewer. The sale-to-list ratio hovers near 100 percent for each neighborhood, which means that buyers in these communities are willing to pay top dollar.

What is it about these neighborhoods that keep homes flying off the shelves? Everyone is looking for affordability, proximity to downtown and amenities just outside their front door.

Neighborhood % of Homes Sold in Two Weeks Median Days on Market Median Sale Price Sale-to-List Ratio
Takoma Park

65.7%

6

$439,000

97.6%

Park View

70.2%

6.5

$512,500

102%

Mount Pleasant

77.5%

6.5

$656,825

101.5%

Hill East

69.5%

7

$563,750

100.3%

Dupont Circle

63.7%

7

$425,000

99.6%

Cleveland Park

67.9%

7

$439,700

100.6%

Downtown DC

69.9%

7

$446,000

99%

Mount Vernon Square

68.8%

7

$459,000

102%

Massachusetts Avenue Heights

64.1%

7

$610,000

100.1%

Glover Park

69.0%

7

$530,000

99.5%

American University Park

68.1%

7

$934,998

104.5%

Lanier Heights

71.3%

7

$415,000

100%

Brookland

72.2%

7

$465,000

103.3%

Eckington

67.4%

7

$475,000

100%

Edgewood

65.4%

7

$404,994

101.3%

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in one of these neighborhoods — or in other popular communities in the area — chances are you’re in for a wild ride. Here are a few tips to stay ahead of the game and walk away from the transaction satisfied:

Tips for buyers

• Search for homes in price ranges where you have the flexibility to offer more than the asking price. When you look only at your max price, you’re at a disadvantage against competitors who can bid higher than you.

• Anticipate the seller’s needs and write your offer with those terms. If you know the seller is moving out of state and needs to close quickly, be flexible with your closing date.

• Knock on doors in your desired neighborhood and simply ask the owners if they would consider selling. This sounds crazy, but it works.

•Set up searches on a brokerage site that has access to the local multiple-listing service (MLS). Some sites will send you e-mails when new homes hit the market, which can give you a jump on the competition.

Tips for sellers

• Plan for a lot of foot traffic through your home from the day you list until you accept an offer.

• Have an exit strategy before you list your home. Know when you want to close and whether you need a rent-back.

• Be wary when someone gives you a deadline to respond or they will withdraw their offer. How seriously do they want the house with that type of mentality? This signals the potential for buyer’s remorse or someone who might try to walk away after entering mutual acceptance.

• Set a deadline when offers will be accepted and reviewed. This lets interested buyers know how long they have to submit an offer and will help attract the most bids, giving you a chance to select the best option.

Previously from Marshall Park:

Tips on winning a bidding war in D.C.

 

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