Arlington, VA Real Estate News

By Kathleen LoGiodice Fong, Arlington expert- DC METRO area
(Keller Wiliams -Citywide)
I've been staging homes since I first began in real estate 15 years ago. With a background in fine arts that took me from stage to camera- it was clear to me that most people can't visualize when purchasing items they can't see. For example- selling homes from blue prints takes exceptional imagination on the part of buyers. This is why most new homes communites have models or prototypes that can be visited by prospective buyers. Our listings go on the market as close to model homes as is possible. Our time from list to sell is generally quicker than surrounding homes and we know it's because when a buyer visits our listings-they can see themselves living there. We remove as many obstacles and objections as possible BEFORE we are in the multilist system- because we know that there are vi...
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By FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com
(Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc)
Summary: FranklyRealty.com discusses Arlington Condos switching back to rental units!Update 2-13-08 The Phoenix Condo in Arlington Reviewed The Joule condos, formerly owned by Ed Peete (Arlington Virginia) recently announced a transformation from new condos (delivery Fall 07) ownership to apartment rentals. Canceling hundreds of contracts in the process.A dozen local condo developments have taken this route and I predict that Zoso condos (also from Ed Peete) in Arlington Virginia will be next.How can I make this prediction? Lets look at the obvious facts:Ed Peete just did it with the Joule condos in Arlington.Only 60% have been sold at Zoso. That is nothing. The bank will require certain milestones be met and I bet that most of those sales were in the first 6 months, with maybe a sale o...
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By FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com
(Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc)
WHY in the WORLD WOULD A BUYER SIGN THIS?How could signing ALL YOUR RIGHTS AWAY ever help you, the buyer? Where is the "What's in it for me?" in that proposition?First of all, what is an "Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement"?This is a contract that a buyer is oftentimes asked to sign by a buyer agent Realtor. In part it commits the buyer to use this one agent exclusively for several months.But, don't you still want to be able to:Use another Realtor if you don't like this one?Buy a FSBO and have no commission be paid!Walk into a New Construction and sign papers, who needs a Realtor for that? I got them down $50k!Have 2 or 3 eager Realtors compete for your business. Each one working their tail off to find you that hidden gem. Doesn't cost you anything, so why not? (just like the Double Agen...
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By FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com
(Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc)
Somebody must be reading this (actually 60 people a day) since this GREAT question came in from a customer on my regular blog. I would love to get Broker feedback on this one.Q. My listing agent is taking commission plus a $395 administrative fee. What is the administrative fee all about?Great question! Why didn't I think of that?First of all I don't know what you mean by "taking." If you are telling me that you signed a listing agreement for a certain percentage and the $395 was NOT mentioned in there, and suddenly you are expected to pay it at the closing, I think your exact words should be "over my dead body."Shameless plug: FranklyRealty.com has never charged an Administrative fee. I just never understood what it was. It is a junk fee, but allowed if you agree to it.What is an admi...
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By FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com
(Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc)
First of all I would like to thank MRIS for warning agents about illegal MLS fudging. (more at the end)*Now I have reported to MRIS another violation.Lets see what they do about it.New Construction Fudging the Reporting of Seller Subsidy... how conveeee....enient.On the MLS, when a listing closes a Realtor must enter in the closed price. This can easily be verified by the tax records once it comes out. A Realtor is also required to post the seller subsidy amount. The "seller subsidy" is the "cash back to buyer" or "cash toward closing costs" and it is a marketing scheme to make a listing look more favorable, even though I tell my buyers to ignore them and just to net everything out. A $515k place with $15k back should be viewed as a $500k. Don't let that marketing confuse you.Damn side ...
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By FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com
(Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc)
Ok, everyone here talks about how busy we are and how important time is.What about the time of our clients? Lets start with: What does your voicemail say? Is it long winded and polite? Maybe mentions a website or how you are honored by referrals. Maybe it is even in two languages? But does your voicemail give the person an option to skip all your sweetness and get to the damn beep? Every carrier has a different number. Verizon is * or #, Sprint is 1 etc. So call your phone from another phone and try pressing 1. If that doesn't get you the beep, hang up and try again, this time pressing star and then pound etc.  And then at the beginning of your voicemail say "Press 1 to skip this message..." That extra minute and a half that the client saves will tell them that you appreciate their time...
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By FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com
(Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc)
I mention Switchboard.com in my posting about GPS with traffic but it deserve a separate shout out. This is the holy grail of route creation for BUYER AGENTS. This is a secret tip that I normally just give to my Realtors. Only one website will give you a "fastest route" search. Switchboard.com . Just last week most of the other mapping website launched "add location" options for mutli-stop routing (google, yahoo mapquest) but none will re-sort for fastest route. I know some software will do that, but who wants software. (please let me know if you know of other sites, I like being proven wrong and I probably am wrong)  So with Switchboard you start your location with your house and you end location with your house and you can map out up to 5 locations. If you need to do more, you have to...
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By FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com
(Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc)
MRIS stands for Metropolitan Regional Information Systems. They are the company that provides the Washington DC area MLS system for all Realtors. They also provide data to consumers and the press to reveal how the market is doing. The only problem is that the data is limited and can easily be misinterpreted without giving proper clarification. When I first saw these numbers, I was shocked that the zip code 22204 was able to get 98.6% of the list price. Only a drop of 1.4%? How is that possible in such a slow market?So I set out to recreate the numbers and I finally think that I understand how they came up with their data. I don't question whether the data is correct, I just question how it is presented.I believe now that the "% of Asking Price" means the "% of the last and lowest asking...
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By FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com
(Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc)
Recently NAR (National Association of Realtors) came out with this ad:Click for PDF of ad and read: NAR's site supporting the adThe ad talks about the benefits of buying today, yet it says "or sell"!Here are the benefit of "buying or selling" as explained in the ad:1) INTEREST RATES NEAR RECORD LOWSFrankly comment: While rates are low compared to the last 40 years, rates are higher than just a year or two ago. As a percentage as much as 50% higher with ARMs! So the buying power for a $600k house is now about $400k for a buyer using a 5 year ARM (note that the 5 year ARM is about the same price as a 30 year fix, so far fewer people are buying ARMs). On the flip side, will rates go up more? If they go from 6 to 7%, it isn't a 1% increase, it is a 16% DECREASE in buying power. So this poin...
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