Median sale prices increased in much of the Winchester region last month, according to the Long & Foster Real Estate Market Minute report. The two areas with the most notable rise included Winchester City, with a 52 percent increase, followed by Shenandoah County with a 22 percent upturn in sale price compared to November 2017. The number of homes for sale was also on an upward trend throughout most of the region, with the exception of Warren County, which saw a 7 percent decline in inventory.
“For most of the country, inventory has been declining for the last 36 months, but Winchester bucked that trend in November,” said Larry “Boomer” Foster, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “In recent months, those long-term inventory declines have become a drag on unit sales in many markets. With interest rates so low right now, there are still great opportunities to buy.”
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, he said.
“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.”