The number of homes for sale in the Charlottesville region continued on a downward trend last month, prompting home prices to rise across most of the region, according to the Long & Foster Market Minute report. Greene County saw the largest increase at 43 percent, bringing the median sale price to $263,668 compared to $183,900 for the same period last year. Another notable increase was in Albemarle County, where a 20 percent jump brought the median sale price to $390,000 compared to $325,000 in November 2017.
“When it comes to declining inventory, it’s been the same story for the past 36 months. In the last three months, the low inventory has been a drag on unit sales in the market, which we saw in parts of the Charlottesville region,” said Boomer Foster, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “With interest rates so low, there are still opportunities to buy, but it may take more time to find them.”
Some of those opportunities require vision, Foster said. Most buyers are seeking the move-in ready homes that sell quickly, but there are many homes that sit on the market much longer, often because they aren’t updated. Being open to those properties can help buyers create a home that fits their needs and tastes.
“It helps to be aware and do your homework – being an informed buyer is very important right now,” Foster said. “Often consumers don’t know that there are construction and renovation loan options that roll the cost of renovating a home into the mortgage loan. This is why it’s so important to have a knowledgeable, professional real estate agent, like those at Long & Foster, representing you on the biggest investment you’ll ever make.”
For home sellers, it’s important that they base their list price on the actual sale price of comparable homes in their neighborhood. Foster said if buyers don’t feel the features and benefits of the home justify the list price, it won’t sell.
“People worry that they’re going to price their home too low, but if a home is underpriced, it will receive multiple offers that push the price up to what the market will bear,” Foster said. “Most consumers don’t sell homes very frequently, which can make it hard to understand the importance of pricing, but agents do it every day. Trust their opinions and recommendations.”