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Observations from a Weekend Open House: Buyers Know More Than We Think! May 13, 2009

Posted by Laura Schwartz in Arlington, First-Time Buyers, Keller Williams Realty.
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Yesterday, I held a great listing on 934 N. Daniel St in Arlington, VA. It’s located in a great neighborhood of single family homes called Lyon Park. Close to the Clarendon metro, close to the major highways leading to Tysons Corner as well as downtown D.C. Currently there are 11 properties listed in the neighborhood, with 3 under contract. In our market, you can count on a few open houses every weekend, regardless of how long the property has been listed.

The house I held open, has been on the market for 25 days, still listed at the original list price of $699,900, and is a 2 bedroom, 1 bath updated bungalow. After 25 days and 3 open houses, it’s amazing that I still got 21 groups through a 1-4pm open. I am continuously blown away by the questions buyers are asking…

-How long has it been on the market?
-Have there been any price reductions?
-Does it have A/C….no? Well then it’s $XX over priced
-I saw a window from the outside, is there an attic or just storage/crawl space?
-The listing on Main Street has an extra bathroom and bedroom, and a bigger kitchen….but it’s priced only $15k higher than yours….what do you think of that listing and your price?

The other amazing thing about this buyers market, is that they’ve seen EVERYTHING that’s held open. They’re comparing listings on their own and know what they’re capable of getting at different prices ranges. Since my personal goal each month is to do 3 open houses, and I mostly work the North Arlington area – I tend to see some of the same groups of people come to each open. It reinforces the need to KNOW YOUR MARKET and know your competition. I try to go to most of the Arlington Brokers Opens and see the new listings coming on for sale. You have to be able to talk apples to apples with your open house traffic…because some of them will know more than you if you don’t.

The other thing about proactive buyers that go to see these opens is that they don’t like the B.S., they don’t need hand-holding…they just want the facts. I like this, I want to buy this…what do I need to do next? That’s when they need you, the expert. But you have to show them you’re the expert first….

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