C’Ville Market Snapshot, Expensive Lesson Learned | Monthly Note Archives

Archives of my subscription-only monthly notes. The blog is more searchable. Interested in not waiting a few months to read it? Learn more here.   For these posts, I don’t do much formatting/changing as I’m more concerned about simply having the content here forever (because I own the blog, and I don’t own Tinyletter)



It feels like 2005 …

If you are thinking about selling, now would be a good time. 434-242-7140.

An Untrained Psychiatrist. Or is It Psychologist?

Whatever you want to call it, a lot of what I do as a realtor is not about real estate – it’s about life. And listening. And asking questions. And listening. And listening some more. Knowing when to step back and let the conversation flow, and when to subtly interject a needed and necessary question is one of the skills at which I have become adept.

Our discussion the other morning (and visiting that house – which was rather sobering) was invaluable – thank you so much! It really shed some light on the decision – particularly on not focusing on just the 2-4 years that (our daughter) may be going to school.  Right now if we can figure out a couple of alternatives to getting her to school here  … from her Mom’s house than I think we want to stay here in (our home). We’re going to work on that first – so any house hunting will be on hold till we sort through that…
I’m going to chalk that up as an investment in a long-term relationship. I did the right thing, gave great advice, and whenever they’re ready, I hope they’ll call me. I didn’t earn any income from that relationship this year, but relationships are a long-game.

A snapshot of the market

tl;dr – some pockets are smoking hot, others are not.

Days on Market

In the City of Charlottesville and County of Albemarle, not-new-construction homes, as of 2/8/2017, 150 homes went under contract. 57 of those went under contract in under 7 days. Key point: not everything is selling immediately. 43 of those 150 that went under contract had been on the market for at least 4 months.

Solds in January 2017

In Charlottesville (27) + Albemarle (97), 124 homes (including new construction) closed in January.  For context, in January 2016, 32 sold in the City, and 63 sold in Albemarle.

2017 Median Price was $349,500
2017 Median days on market was 28

84 of the 124 were single family – Median price was $436K, median DOM was 48. Median price per square foot was $164.

28 of the 124 were attached – Median price was $252K, median DOM was 18. Median price per square foot was $148.

11 of the 124 were condos – Median price was $119K, median DOM was 15. Median price per square foot was $126.

The highest asking price was $5M; that one sold for $4.65M.
The lowest asking price was $36,900; that sold for $43K.

But … if you look at one of the hottest segments in the City of Charlottesville – single family homes under $425K, the picture is a bit different.

For homes under $425K – As of right now – 12:30 on 8 February

  • There are 21 homes under contract
  • Pulling out the 2 outliers with days on market over 100 days (one new, one oddly located/priced), we have 19.
  • Median price per square foot is $182, median days on market is 4, a median price of $289.
  • There’s no way to discern, other than anecdotally, how many of these have multiple offers — I’d wager at least 15 of these did.

Soccer Season Begins Again

It’s not even spring, and I’m getting ready to coach girls soccer again, for what I think to be the 14th year. God help me.

I’ve told my clients for years that the only thing I don’t negotiate is coaching – practices and games. I don’t think I’ve lost a client yet due to that rule.

When growing up, my mom, a indefatigable single mom realtor, worked seemingly 22 hours a day, but made it to virtually every one of my soccer games. That’s a life lesson I have never forgotten, and make every attempt to convey to my kids, and to my clients.

But really, God help me. Me versus 13 Under-14 year old girls for 5 hours a week?

An expensive lesson. Bolding is mine.

(c) If Purchaser’s obligations under this Contract are not contingent on a professional home inspectionof the Property, then Seller warrants that all appliances, heating and cooling equipment, plumbing and electric systems will be in working condition at the time of settlement or of Purchaser’s occupancy, whichever occurs first. Purchaser and Purchaser’s agents, inspectors, and engineers shall have the right to conduct a preoccupancy or presettlement inspection to verify that the condition of the Property conforms to this Contract and that no material damage or changes necessitating repairs have occurred to the Property after the date of this Contract. Seller’s obligations in this regard are limited by the Remediation Limit set forth in paragraph 18 of this Contract.

That’s from the VAR Contract to Purchase. Many years ago, when I was a newbie agent, I was representing a seller. An unrepresented buyer made an offer on the house, not contingent on the home inspection. “Great!” I thought, when he did his home inspection. The inspector found part of the furnace wasn’t working. “So what,” I thought.

At the walkthrough the day before closing, the buyer noted that the boiler wasn’t working. “And?” I responded … then he pointed out the above section to me.

I paid the $800 to fix the boiler, and didn’t tell my seller until several years – and several transactions – later.  She asked me why I had 1) done that and 2) hadn’t told her.

I said that 1) I was embarrassed as I’d been outwitted by the buyer, and 2) it was the right thing to do.

That $800 was a painful lesson, but it’s one that has stayed with me, and has made me better at what I do.

Experience matters. I’ve said for years that if you’re not doing a sufficient number of transactions per year, then you’re not screwing up enough to be good at what you do.  Consumers – when you’re evaluating whom to hire, ask about experiences and mistakes. If the realtor has neither, maybe you’d be best to consider different representation.

A New Note

I’m writing a new note – only for active buyers and sellers. It’s much more of a one-on-one type note. I found I was saying much the same thing to all of the buyers and sellers with whom I am working, and thought this would be a way to 1) streamline my communicative stream and 2) Provide value to my clients.

A sample of this note

This is a test. There might be only one note in this series.

I’m sending this out to a few of the buyers with whom I’m working right now. What do you think? Useful? Would you subscribe to an occasional note like this, in which I share thoughts for active clients?   

Feedback from the note was quite good. I might do another.

What I’m Reading

On the Blogs

RealCentralVA – I wrote more in January than I have in a while


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