Q: How has COVID changed the real estate market?
A: In 2020, more buyers were competing for fewer homes on the market. The median sales price was up 9.8% in Bethesda due to a drop in inventory of 14.7%. But to us, the bigger message was the way COVID changed our definition of “home.” It’s no longer just an asset, wealth builder or a place to sleep; it’s a place for work, play, school – even vacation. It’s where we can find comfort in a sometimes scary world. It’s the total package.
Q: How do you recommend buyers and sellers navigate this competitive market?
A: The best way to succeed is with a well-executed plan. For buyers, this means connecting with an agent early in the process. They may not realize that the seller pays all the commission and in Maryland, buyers must have representation. There isn’t a buyer who wins in a multiple-offer situation who wasn’t backed by a strong, seasoned agent fueling a great strategy for their client. For sellers, the best way to gain a competitive edge is by investing in smaller things that will yield larger returns – like updating a light fixture or renting a storage unit to declutter a home. These things can easily add an extra $25,000 to a sales price. Today, more than ever, buyers prefer a home that’s move-in-ready. Our job is to advise sellers on those things that will attract buyers and add value to their home. We support them throughout the process to make it easier for them.
“Since COVID, your home is not only your most valuable asset; it’s where your life is centered. It really is your everything.”