5 Trends That Signal Real Estate is Bouncing Back

While economic downturns typically aren’t good news for the real estate market, this is the first in American history to result in more people moving. This opportunity is transformative because unlike past cataclysmic events that have limited mobility, this one has increased it — and at Compass, we are helping our clients seize the opportunity. 

Even our colleagues based in one of the few markets experiencing uncharacteristic lulls know that activity will pick back up because of the way people are seeing the value of their home in a new light. Everyone is taking this time to reevaluate what they need in a home and in a community and for many, that’s resulting in a desire to move.

Here are 5 trends we’re seeing nationally that indicate the market is making a comeback.

1. Mortgage rates reached an all-time low in July, causing a spike in mortgage applications: finally dropping below 3% after weeks of speculation, rates settled around 2.87% bringing buyers out of the woodwork. There was a 33% increase in mortgage applications for the first week of July vs. this time last year. 

Source: Mortgage Bankers Association Index  
2. National home sale activity rebounded: Existing-home sales in June rebounded 20.7% month over month, the highest monthly increase ever recorded. 

Source: Wall Street Journal
3. Home prices are at all-time highs: Median existing-home prices grew 2.8% to hit an all-time high, for the 100th consecutive month, highlighting the opportune environment for sellers. 

Source: National Association of Realtors
4. Homes are selling at the fastest rate ever recorded: 20 average days on market before sale. 

Source: Inman
5. Homebuilder sentiment is at 72: Increasing by 14 points in July, the last time we had a yearly average as high as 72 was in 1999. 

Source: National Association of Homebuilders

If you’re interested in a more detailed look at how the market has been performing in your neighborhood, let us know! We’d be happy to provide you with our insight into the ever-changing real estate landscape.

Connected with Compass

During the last three months, many of us have begun to re-evaluate what we need from our homes. Some desire more space, maybe with a terrace, garden, or pool, while others may be ready to downsize into a low-maintenance lifestyle. Some might be ready for a residence in warmer weather, while others are looking for a cooler escape. 

Over the next few months and subsequent years, there will be many changes made to the places we call home. At Compass, we are connected to the best real estate professionals in regions all across the country who are ready to help you explore and navigate your options. 

With trusted colleagues in over 130 markets nationwide, we’re here to help — no matter where your move takes you.

If you ever have any questions about anything involving real estate, please send us a message, schedule a time for a phone or video call, or give us a ring!

What Happens After A Contract is Accepted On My Home?

by Eddie Rangel & Steven Dean, REALTORS

After a contract is accepted for the sale of a home, we keep working for you. Here is a list of the actions that typically have to happen to get from contract acceptance to the settlement table:
1. Contract Delivery: Your contract isn’t binding until it’s signed and delivered. We ensure that it’s delivery and confirm that it’s delivered.
2. Report the Sale: We report the sale to the local multiple listing service, so other agents are aware of the contract. This allows your life in your home to begin to return to normal without the flow of constant prospective purchasers.
3. Verify Loan Application: Contact the Loan Officer for the Purchaser to verify that the loan application is complete and that the sale is moving forward.
4. Verify Funding: If the Purchaser is not obtaining a mortgage, verify that they have the funds to complete purchase.
5. Wood-destroying Insect Inspection: Confirm the date and time for the termite inspection. Provide access for the inspector.
6. Wood-destroying Insect Treatment & Repairs: If needed confirm the date, time, and cost for the termite treatment and repairs. Provide access for the contractors.
7. Appraisal: Confirm date and time of the appraisal. Provide access for the appraiser, and provide data on comparable sales.
8. Home Inspection: Confirm date and time for the home inspection. Review the Home Inspection Notice when received and negotiate as needed.
9. Home Inspection Repairs: Assist with locating contractors to perform repairs required by the Home Inspection.
10. Contingencies: Verify that all contingencies have been removed from the contract, and that the sale is moving forward.
11. “SOLD”: Once the contract is non-contingent, place a “SOLD” sign on the property.
12. Title Work & Survey: Confirm that title work and appropriate surveys are ordered.
13. Completion of repairs: Verify that all repairs required by the contract are completed
14. Wood-destroying Insect Reports & Certifications: Forward copies of the termite reports and any needed certifications to the settlement company.
15. Title Work Status: Once an abstract of title has been received, confirm the status of the title work with the settlement company and the Seller.
16. Title Issues: If title issues arise, advise the Seller how to resolve the title issues.
17. Schedule Closing: Confirm the date and time of settlement with all parties.
18. Movers: If requested, give movers access to the property to create moving bids.
19. Closing Costs: Obtain closing costs figures for the Seller.
20. Walk-Through Inspection: Schedule the date and time for the final walk-through inspection by the Purchaser.
21. Attend Walk-Through Inspection: Meet the Purchaser and the Purchaser’s Agent for the final inspection.
22. Negotiate Walk-Through Inspection: If any issues arise during the final walk-through inspection, negotiate a resolution.
23. Remove Sign & Lockbox: Remove the “FOR SALE” sign, the lockbox, and bring the keys to settlement.
24. Attend Settlement: Attend the Settlement and bring copies of paperwork related to sale of the property.
This is a general guide. For specific guidance, please contact us.

If you ever have any questions about anything involving real estate, please send us a message, schedule a time for a phone or video call, or give us a ring!

How to Hold Title

by Eddie Rangel, REALTOR

For legal advice on how one should hold title, it’s recommended to consult an attorney. Here is some general information on holding title when the property is owned by more than one person.

•  Tenants by the Entirety is available to married couples only. Each spouse owns the entire property. The property cannot be seized because of the debts of one spouse. This is generally considered the best protection available.

•  Tenants in Common indicates that each person on the title owns a share of the property which they can transfer or will to others. The property cannot be seized because of the debts of one of the owners. When an owner dies, the shares owned transfer through the owner’s will through probate.

•  Joint Tenancy  (which is often called Joint Tenancy with the Right of Survivorship) indicates that each person on the title owns a share of the property which transfers automatically to the surviving owners upon death. When an owner dies, the shares owned transfer through the owner’s will through probate. The family of the deceased cannot challenge the transfer as they could a will. There are no protections on the property for the debts of other owners.

Those are the general principals of the three most common ways to hold title.

If you ever have any questions about anything involving real estate, please send us a message, schedule a time for a phone or video call, or give us a ring!

Check out your Credit Reports

Long before you ever make loan application to buy your new home, if you suspect there may be something on your credit report that might cause a problem, you should investigate it.

The federal law requires credit bureaus to share this information with you. In most instances, you may receive one in-file report per year at no charge.

Here is the link for the free credit report: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/

It may be difficult to understand, which is why they will send you a booklet explaining their code system. You may want to make an appointment with a credit counselor to answer any specific questions you may have. Just give us a call and we will help you get started.

If you ever have any questions about anything involving real estate, please send us a message, schedule a time for a phone or video call, or give us a ring!

Setting Up Utilities in Washington, DC

When selling, be sure to notify your utility companies so the buyer can set-up their accounts.

Setting up your utilities for your new home in Washington, DC?

Here is the contact information for the major providers:

Natural gas (Washington Gas 703-750-1000. Or online: https://www.washingtongas.com/my-account/account-services-support/available-services/start-and-stop-service

Electric (Pepco 800-494-4000. Or online: https://www.pepco.com/MyAccount/MyService/Pages/StartStopMove.aspx

Water (The settlement attorney will typically order the final water bill, and expect that your account will be set-up post-settlement. WASA 202-354-3600

Telecommunications (phone, internet, tv)

Verizon:  1-866-896-6837 or online: https://www.verizon.com/local/washington-dc-fios/

Comcast: 1-800-XFINITY or online: http://www.comcast.com

How To Buy A Distressed Property (Short Sale or Foreclosure)

by Steven Dean, REALTOR, SFR

Distressed property is any property facing a pending foreclosure or already foreclosed.

1) Have Money Before You Shop: Have cash for your purchase or a mortgage approval before you begin shopping for a distressed property. Many owners who are facing foreclosure do not have the time to see if a buyer can be approved for a mortgage. A purchaser with proof of financial ability to purchase has an advantage in negotiating.

2) Be Mentally Prepared to Wait and to Encounter Red Tape: Buying a distressed property is full of delays and possible ways for the transaction to fall apart. It will likely be the most frustrating real estate transaction ever. That’s just one reason that the price is as low as it is.

3) Limit Your Contingencies: Contingencies in a sales contract for distressed property will often cause the offer to be rejected. Consult with your agent to determine which contingencies you can do without.

4) Purchase the Property in As-is Condition: Most foreclosures will be sold in as-is condition. With short sales, many Sellers have not been able to properly maintain the property. There is often deferred maintenance. Be prepared to accept the property in its current condition. If you’re going to do a home inspection, do it quickly and get beyond it fast.

5) Be Ready to Act! Once you locate a property you like, write the offer right away! You want to make your offer before their is competition. Also, bare in mind that every day that passes on a short sale is one day closer to the property entering foreclosure.

6) Evaluate Your Motivations: A purchaser’s motivations need to become conscious and verbalized. A purchaser may want to find a great value in move-in condition with a quick settlement. If that’s the case, a short sale or a foreclosure is not the property to buy.

7) Bottom of the Market: Many people looking to purchase a short sale or foreclosure want to buy at the bottom of the market. The bottom of the market is a historical point, and it’s never known until it has passed.

8) Quick Settlement: A seller of a short sale will want a quick settlement. Typically, the settlement needs to occur within 30 days of the approval of the short sale. A foreclosed property will typically want to settle in 14 – 30 days after the sale is approved. After a long wait full of delays, the purchaser will be expected to act quickly when the time comes.

9) Inspections: It is always advisable to have a distressed property fully inspected by an experienced inspector. Purchasers will want to budget for repairs and upgrades once they own the home.

10) Examination of Title: A title search by a competent settlement attorney is advisable to any purchaser of a distressed property. Don’t expect the Seller to make repairs.

If you ever have any questions about anything involving real estate, please send us a message, schedule a time for a phone or video call, or give us a ring!

Virtual Open House

The health and well-being of our customers is our #1 priority. Making the move to a new home is one of the biggest decisions one will ever make. At Compass, we are working closely with our support teams to provide a personal virtual open house experience to everyone. While potential buyers may not be physically present for an open house or walkthrough, virtual open houses allow us to continue to provide you with best-in-class service during this time.

Virtual Open House

We have the ability to take a targeted audience on a digital journey through your premier properties. 

Through Virtual Tours, FaceTime and social media, we have been able to showcase the key features of your property to interested clientele. The Compass YouTube channel currently has 3.4M+ views. 

Tour These Virtual Open Houses

490 M Street SW W603
Southwest Waterfront
1 Bed | 1 Bath | Garage

560 N Street SW N413
Southwest Waterfront
1 Bed | Den | 1 Bath
Walk Through or Explore on Your Own

222 Farragut St NW 201
1 Bed | 1 Bath

Compass DMV Market Report

Interested in keeping track of your neighborhood’s real estate activity?

Check out 2019’s 4th Quarter Compass DMV Market Report!

Bringing you regional data four times a year, the Compass Market Report highlights some of the most bustling communities in DC, Maryland, and Virginia for residential activity, so you can stay up to date on market trends in the neighborhoods that you care about the most! 

A new offering for Compass clients

A simple solution to bridge the gap between the home you have and the home you want.

Compass Bridge Loan Services gets you access to competitive rates and dedicated support from industry-leading lenders, with the exclusive option to get up to six months of your loan payments fronted when you sell your home with a Compass agent.

To learn more contact us or visit bit.ly/bridgeloanservices