July 2014: The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

July 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Wethman Group is having a banner spring, with 9 settlements in May, 7 more in June, and 8 on the books for July. But, overall in the DC area, the market slowed down versus expectations in May and June. Closed sales and new contracts decreased from May 2013 by 10.6% and 4.5%, respectively. Active listings increased 30.6%, which is the highest level in 2 years. But that increase, while welcome, is not translating into lower prices. Prices in May were the 28th month in a row of year-over-year increases. (Click here for the full market report)

Despite slightly higher inventory this spring, buyers continue to be frustrated with the selection available to them, leading to consumer pressure to create ‘coming soon’ forums. Zillow recently jumped into the arena by launching a Coming Soon category, creating a lot of concern and confusion in the industry about advertising ‘coming soon’ properties versus ‘pocket listings’ (defined as listings where agents don’t publicly advertise the listing, or advertise only to a select group of buyers, often to the detriment of their sellers.) Expect some articles in the press over the next few months as this plays out. Coming soon actually isn’t anything new…we here at the Wethman Group are part of several networking groups formed for the purpose of giving our buyers early access to upcoming listings. We’ve found that advanced marketing of properties, helps increase buyer awareness and exposure, especially in high demand neighborhoods.

Speaking of Zillow, they continue to make news with the accuracy/inaccuracy of their Zestimates. The Washington Post recently had an editorial here: discrediting the accuracy, and a counterpoint from Zillow, here: supporting its accuracy, about the usefulness of the automated valuation tool. Read our take on it at our recent blog post here: Accuracy of Zestimates

In technology news, our local multiple listing service just signed an agreement with HomeSnap, a free consumer app that allows buyers to look up homes (even homes that are not for sale!) simply by snapping a photo. It offers a lot of cool features including the ability to see lot lines, sales history, previous photos if the property was listed, and more. While some apps out there have some of these features, none are powered so extensively by MRIS, the company that owns our local multiple listing service, and therefore is more accurate than other apps. Special features are also available to consumers who get the app via their agent, so contact us if you want to be invited to use this free service!

We’re taking a break from our first time home buyer classes in July and August but will resume in September. In the meantime, if you know anyone considering buying or selling, we welcome your referrals.

Check out our new website: The Wethman Group and let us know what you think!

Warm regards,
The Wethman Group

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P.S. We have a nationwide network of quality agents–let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city.

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