Market, Trump, Great Customer Service | Monthly Note, November 2016

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The Market

The end of 2016 is near

We’re closing out 2016, and I’m going to do a full wrap-up in next month’s note (as full as possible, for December). For now, a few points, and a few data points for perspective.

Questions about the market? Thinking about putting your house on the market in the Spring, or considering buying?
Call or email me anytime. 434-242-7140 –

Data points to consider, when evaluating 1 August to 23 November, 2015 vs 2016 in Charlottesville + Albemarle

  • In 2015
    • At least* 581 attached + detached homes sold. Median Price was $310K
    • Average Days on Market was 71. High DOM was 838; low was 0
    • Low price was $40K; high was $7M; both the $40K and $7M transactions were cash sales.
  • In 2016
    • At least* 693 attached + detached homes sold. Median Price was $315K
    • Average Days on Market was 56. High DOM was 1163; low was 0
    • Low price was $30K; high was $7M. Amazingly, in the $7M cash home sale, the seller conceded $5K at closing. Real estate is weird sometimes

What impact will the election have on the Charlottesville real estate market?

Who knows? Now that Trump will be president, what is going to happen? I’m not going to say that I don’t care, but I’m certainly not going to make any predictions other than I predict that most predictions made are going to be wrong.

I’m hearing from more than a few people that they have uncertainty and anxiety about what 2017 is going to bring with respect to a Trump presidency. I’ll refer you to my October 2014 Note:

Real estate – buying, selling, representing buyers and sellers – can be and often is an extremely stressful thing, an experience that can be either joyful or traumatic, and sometimes both. But perspective is crucial. Many years ago, I was representing buyers when the transaction took a decidedly negative turn. In the midst of the angst, the stress, and the pain, my client looked at me and said, “Look, this is nothing. My friend dying in my arms this year (in a country in the middle east) – that’s something worth getting upset about.”  (All worked out in the end.)

Those words have stayed with me, and I tend to reflect on them on a near-weekly basis. Yeah, I know. This sucks sometimes. Find 15 minutes and watch John Oliver talk about what really sucks (Hint: drones raining hellfire down upon you.) And then practice the Serenity Prayer with me.

Listen to the Hidden Brain podcast (episode 51, “What Happened”?) — and then tell me what you think the next few months are going to yield — in the real estate market.

Bottom line: we need to wait for the details, but there will probably be a modest stimulus boost for 2017.
What he said. Wait and see.

Galibier/Great Customer Service

Everyone in my cycling club knows I’m a fan of Galibier. I was looking for some knickers last week and started with their offering. I found some made by a different company, and was torn. So I emailed Galibier asking their thoughts. One of the guys there responded quickly saying that he’d worn the same pair for years and they were super high quality, so I took his input, and bought the non-Galibier knickers.

I’ve already bought some other stuff from them, and will continue to do so. He gave me his honest input. When I’m representing buyers, I want them to buy the right house for them – not any house, but the right house. I’ve told countless buyers countless times that my advice is to either walk away or not make an offer … because it’s the right thing to do.

Galibier’s customer service is why I continue to visit them, and it’s the sort of candor – and availability/accessibility – I offer to my clients. With the pound being where it is, I’ll be buying more Galibier stuff soon.

My new Doctor

Not particularly real estate related, more of a community thing, but I have a new doctor. One of the “concierge” doctors I’d heard about. Long story short: I was sick (an extraordinarily rare thing) and called my doctor, where was told I needed to come in, then I was put on hold for 10 minutes. And then hung up on. Frustrated, I found my way to Dr. Maura McLoughlin, who answered her phone when I called. The doctor. Answered. The phone.

A client – a young guy –  told me years ago that his parents told him that when he moved to a new town, he should get an attorney, a doctor, and a real estate agent. I’m 40, and I’ve just found a doctor. Health care is broken, but this may be a start on the right path.

Bringing on an assistant

I’ve long been told that I should have an assistant. Finding the right person has been one of the most monumental challenges, but I’m at a point now where I’d like to think I’ve found the right person. Bringing her onboard has been an interesting, and evolving experience. Evaluating systems, refining checklists, thinking about what goes into representation, and seeing her growing awareness for just how much work real estate representation is – and how much fun and full of minutiae is involved.

Look for me to write about this process in the coming months. Inlookers, and longer-time readers: I’ve found Slack to be enormously useful for this process.

What I’m Reading

The Blogs



What I’ve Donated to.

I hesitate to put this out there, but we’re in interesting times. I’m giving a bit of money to the causes that I think are going to benefit our society in the coming weeks, months, and years.

Next month: Looking at the 2016 real estate market, unrepresented sellers, growth and meaning of the Crozet Cycling Club, and an example of why so many people avoid HOAs.

Jim on: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn Subscribe to RealCentralVA | Jim’s Instagram

Jim Duncan, Nest Realty, 126 Garrett Street Suite D, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Licensed real estate agent in Commonwealth of VA.

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  1. Pingback: Market, Trump, Great Customer Service | Monthly Note, November 2016

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