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Bethesda, MD Real Estate News

By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
Single Family Homes Sold in August 2007 - Bethesda, MD (Montgomery County) 20814  StatusClose DateOriginal PriceList PricePrice at SaleDiscountSubsidyDOMAddressSubdivisionSOLD8/13/2007$499,500$499,500$525,000105%$0115605 GROSVENOR LNWILDWOOD ESTATESSOLD8/28/2007$575,000$575,000$535,00093%$20,000134704 EDGEFIELD RDPARKWOODSOLD8/6/2007$615,000$594,000$560,00091%$16,800379800 RALEIGH TAVERN CTNORTH BETHESDA GROVESOLD8/29/2007$549,900$581,000$581,000106%$02084506 JONES BRIDGE RDGLENBROOK VILLAGESOLD8/30/2007$599,999$599,999$593,00099%$17,790349316 EAST PARKHILL DRPARKVIEWSOLD8/17/2007$625,000$625,000$615,00098%$074420 CHESTNUT STROSEDALE PARKSOLD8/6/2007$639,500$639,500$625,00098%$15,625208128 OLD GEORGETOWN RDBATTERY PARKSOLD8/16/2007$625,000$625,000$635,000102%$15,000109823 OLD GEORGETOWN...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
(BETHESDA REAL ESTATE) When a buyer looks at a home, they look at all the factors: foreclosures, distressed sales, bankruptcies, divorces, and area market fluctuations. All too often sellers mistake the appraisal value of their home as what a diligent buyer would pay. An appraisal is an opinion of value for an entirely different purpose than selling your home - often to provide a bank information to fund a loan. If a lender is motivated to loan you money, his appraisal may come in higher than the true market value of your property. The appraiser might ignore other issues in his analysis, such as foreclosures in the market or distressed sales. Thus the real picture of the market is clouded by an overly optimistic assessment.Many sellers use the appraised value of their home in order to j...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
(BETHESDA REAL ESTATE) Some of the traditional advertising tools agents have used are print ads and open houses.  In truth, print ads bring little to no activity to the home and less than 1% of houses ever sell at an open house. Agents use open houses to attract buying prospects, not to sell your home, although the more buyer prospects I have as an agent the better I am able to market directly to them.  Knowing that 3-4 buyers are looking right in one area for a certain home means I can match them up when listings come up that meet their criteria.Successful marketing of your home - getting the best price, at the right terms, and with the fewest problems - requires much more. In fact, over 80% of all buyers start on the Internet so that's why the most competent agents will have a broad r...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
(BETHESDA REAL ESTATE) If you make the right improvements often it will help your home stand out from the crowd and become that #1,2 or 3 home on the buyer's list.  If they can get the feeling of space, newness, light, privacy or security the emotional desires are met and the buyer has an instant feeling of "home."  Very simple and inexpensive improvements can provide an improved emotional response in a potential buyer. The improvements we are talking about are not the major renovations but the minor changes that can add great value and help the house show better.  There is something that can be done at every budget level to improve the condition of the home.Paint:  A very inexpensive solution with tremendous payoff is fresh paint.  The modern palette is easy on the eyes and very soothi...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
(BETHESDA REAL ESTATE) Everyone wants to realize as much money as possible when selling their home. It's a completely natural inclination to price the home high, thinking you can always come down in the future.  The old "let's just try it at this price to see what the market will do."  The fear of leaving money on the table overwhelms the desire to make an actual profit.  But the beauty of the market is it corrects for under pricing with quick or multiple offers.  The correction for overpricing follows...A listing price that is too high frequently nets the seller even less money than an original price at market value. I'm often asked, but how can that be? For one, because people looking for homes in your price range will reject your home in favor of other homes in a reasonable price ran...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
 (BETHESDA REAL ESTATE) The decision to sell your home can involve any number of stresses.  So many of today's sellers are motivated by circumstances outside their control: foreclosure, job change, job relocation, health issues, financial changes, divorce, death.  Other sellers need to move because their families have grown or they need different school systems or it's just time to downsize to something easier to maintain.   Whether you've lived in your home for one year or for a lifetime, it's not just a roof over your heads but it's really a central core where memories were created and where dreams were either born or fulfilled.  It's the nest where we raised our family and watched them fly with wings of their own, allowing the cycle to begin anew with their own families. Is it any wo...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
(Bethesda Real Estate)The net sheet is really the crux of the whole transaction.  I've developed this handy spreadsheet that serves not only our purposes at the beginning of the process but for understanding how an offer price will affect the bottom line.  There are so many numbers to track but really in the end the number in the red circle is what we generally care about!  What I find is that when clients focus there instead of on individual costs they really make better overall decisions.  In Montgomery County, we generally split the transfer taxes between buyer and seller since this can be such a significant portion of the closing costs.  Those are fixed to the sales price so as it adjusts the numbers in my spreadsheet adjust with it.  Each county handles these taxes differently so I...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
Single Family Homes Sold in September 2007 - Bethesda, MD (Montgomery County) 20814  StatusClose DateOriginal PricePrice at SaleClose PriceDiscountSubsidyDOMAddressSubdivisionSOLD9/20/2007$799,900$799,900$800,000100%$0115925 CHESHIRE DRWILDWOOD MANORSOLD9/28/2007$825,000$825,000$825,000100%$01038107 KENTBURY DRCOLUMBIA FORESTSOLD9/27/2007$869,500$869,500$860,00099%$044702 ROSEDALE AVEROSEDALE PARKSOLD9/7/2007$969,000$949,000$900,00093%$0927812 ABERDEEN RDENGLISH VILLAGESOLD9/4/2007$1,095,000$1,095,000$1,090,000100%$0157824 GLENBROOK RDBATTERY PARKSOLD9/14/2007$2,200,000$2,200,000$1,905,00087%$0477809 FAIRFAX RDBATTERY PARK What Does It Mean?Bethesda Neighborhoods covered by this report are:Battery Park Columbia ForestEnglish VillageRosedale ParkWildwood ManorOne of the first things is t...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
(BETHESDA REAL ESTATE) If you read the article in The Post earlier you'll note that the Montgomery County Council is considering legislation that would increase the Recordation Tax on all purchases.  This increase has not passed as the Washington Post reported yesterday.  There has been quite a bit of confusion over what that legislation says because there have been five different versions of the bill.  The current version of the legislation, which passed a test vote on Monday and is subject to a final vote this Tuesday, is as follows:All purchases $500,000.00 and under will continue to be taxed at a base rate of $6.90 per thousand with an exemption for the first $50,000.00 if the property will be a principal residence. Any portion of a purchase that exceeds $500,000.00 will be taxed at...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
8 Reasons a Home Sells The Seller Sets the PriceThe Agent Brings the MarketThe Market Sets the RangeThe Buyer Sets the Value I often think of my job as a 50/50 partnership with clients who are selling real estate in Bethesda, but in reality the job distribution is heavily weighted towards the seller's responsibilities!   When all of their job is done mine can get done to the best of my ability.  But when even one of the factors in that red box gets short shrift I'm generally already swimming upstream.  Let's look at each one:Items the Seller ControlsChoice of real estate agent - I'll put this one first because it's the most important choice a consumer can make.  We are not all alike and all homes and sales are not equal either.  Those of us who are good at our jobs understand that we'll...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
 The Washington Post had an article this weekend about how buyers are piecing together a deposit for a down payment on a house.  Imagine actually putting money into homes again!  I know that brings up old fears of needing to put 20% down, but actually what they state is that 5% is the new norm.  On a $400,000 purchase that's $20,000.In our cash poor, credit driven society that's a tough number to come up with for so many people and it doesn't take into account the other funds required for closing which can add another $10,000-$15,000 on top of that.  Where does this money come from?The article points out that the best place is the buyer's own funds if you've managed to save that much.  If not, tap into your 401K via a hardship withdrawal or a loan back to yourself.  You'll pay tax on th...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
Single Family Homes Sold in August, 2007 - Bethesda, MD (Montgomery County) 20816Close DateOriginal PricePrice at SaleSold PriceDiscountSubsidyDOMAddressSubdivision8/31/2007$715,000.00$715,000.00$665,000.0093%$0.00164803 MONTGOMERY AVEGLEN COVE8/13/2007$789,000.00$739,000.00$735,000.0093%$0.00604914 JAMESTOWN RDWESTGATE8/22/2007$799,000.00$799,000.00$773,000.0097%$2,000.00355316 ALLANDALE RDGREENACRES8/8/2007$785,000.00$785,000.00$785,000.00100%$0.0096205 VORLICH LNFAIRWAY HILLS8/27/2007$829,900.00$829,900.00$799,950.0096%$0.00236015 MASSACHUSETTS AVEGLEN ECHO HEIGHTS8/16/2007$819,000.00$819,000.00$809,000.0099%$0.0026002 MILO DRWOODACRES8/31/2007$849,000.00$849,000.00$839,500.0099%$0.0045144 WESTPATH WAYSUMNER8/31/2007$849,900.00$849,900.00$845,000.0099%$0.0095145 MASSACHUSETTS AVEWEST...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
Single Family Homes Sold in September, 2007 - Bethesda, MD (Montgomery County) 20816Close DateOriginal PricePrice at SaleSold PriceDiscountSubsidyDOMAddressSubdivision9/28/2007$599,500$599,500$580,00097%$0665208 VENTNOR RDGREENACRES9/25/2007$625,000$625,000$600,00096%$064808 PARK AVEAMERICAN UNIV PARK9/14/2007$795,000$795,000$790,00099%$0266212 WALHONDING RDGLEN ECHO HEIGHTS9/17/2007$985,000$985,000$1,106,000112%$095303 WRILEY RDWESTHAVEN9/14/2007$1,175,000$1,175,000$1,205,000103%$045108 BALTAN RDSUMNER9/13/2007$1,357,500$1,357,500$1,357,500100%$004414 CHALFONT PLWESTMORELAND HILLS9/27/2007$2,595,000$2,475,000$2,375,00092%$25,0001015113 WAPAKONETA RDGLEN ECHO HEIGHTSWhat does it mean?In September, there were only 7 sales this year vs 16 last year.  So the volume of sales was down for Be...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
Supply:The number of single family homes available for sale in Bethesda, MD 20816 is 32Demand:There have been 129 single family homes sold in Bethesda, MD 20816 this year to date Compared to 158 in 2006 to date, this is a decline in demand of 18%Days on market are 51 which is an increase of 44% from last yearDays on market in 2006 were 35 Days on market in 2005 were 22 Days on market in 2004 were 32Sales:The total number of home sales as of today for 2007 is 129The total number of home sales in 2006 was 206  The total number of home sales in 2005 was 208 The total number of home sales in 2004 was 234Prices:Median Sold Price has increased throughout 2007This represents a 10% increase in the Median Sold Price to date as compared to 2006.This figure has ranged from a high of $1,187,500 in ...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
(BETHESDA REAL ESTATE) The Montgomery County Planning Board denied a request this week that would have turned a proposed mixed use retail space into an open green space.  The proposal is at the corner of Woodmont and Bethesda Avenue where there is currently a much used parking lot.  Apparently three local groups submitted an application to keep this site in the Legacy Open Space program but the request was turned down since there is adequate green space close enough for trail users and downtown visitors to access.That's a tough call.  Open space downtown keeps a flavor that encourages a neighborly gathering place but the parking lot that currently occupies the space is much needed.  Selfishly I use that lot all the time since I work right at that corner!  What is proposed is a 540,000 s...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
(BETHESDA REAL ESTATE) I just picked up the Montgomery County edition of the Gazette and read that if you have appealed your real estate taxes and wonder why you've heard nothing back it's because there is literally no one home!  The three member board has exactly zero members currently and a backlog of cases to get through - looks like about 1200 of them.Unbelievable.Even more unbelievable is that one of the members died several years ago and an alternate was never chosen so when the two current members resigned no one was left to do the work.  Sam Viswa, clerk of the Montgomery County Property Tax Assessment Board says that whenever there is a ripple in the real estate market they receive more appeals.  Ya think?  And we are now two years into this market downturn - more perhaps than ...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
Step 2 - Where to SettleWe all have our favorites settlement companies in Bethesda, not because they are cheaper but because they've proven over time that they will get the job done with no problems.  The last thing we want is for the settlement company to create problems for our real estate sales!  But again, if the contract is not so perfect using a settlement company the listing agent trusts above all will ease the fear and make the rest of the offer more workable.  Step 3 - Big Earnest Money Deposit Ain't nothing better than a lot of money in front of the seller!  It was customary in the seller's market to put down 5% but today that is less so with more 100% financing (still occurs!).  This money is extremely important to the ease the seller will feel taking his house off the market...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
It's about negotiation every step of the way and it starts at the unlikeliest of places - the first phone call to the seller to set up the appointment to see the property...Showing PropertyEach time an agent sets up an appointment there is the opportunity to connect with the seller of that property and develop a connection that might have lasting consequences.  Simple courtesy such as:giving a more narrow window of showing times,being flexible with your schedule,understanding sleeping babies, and honoring your showing commitment can go a long way towards a happy transaction down the roadWhile showing the property if the seller is there it pays off to be pleasant and respectful of the property.  It's hard for someone to like you when you've just ripped the decor to shreds and wrinkled yo...
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By Josette Skilling
(Keller Williams Capital Properties)
(BETHESDA REAL ESTATE) Dave Stevens, President of Affiliated Businesses, at Long & Foster wrote this excellent article on the current state of the mortgage correction...The 2007 Mortgage Correction and the Recovery Ahead With the lowering of the discount rate by ½% the Federal Reserve took the first major step to lead the way in establishing a path towards the next stage of the housing cycle. The following will highlight for you the steps that created the current market climate and the reasons why we are poised for recovery in the mid-Atlantic markets.The beginning of the big changeSince the peak in mid 2005, the sale of existing and new homes has slowed, reflecting a correction long overdue after an almost decade long un-interrupted period of housing growth and house price appreciation...
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By Christine Sherrod
(Weichert Realtors)
 The Bethesda, Maryland market is still a hot commodity!  Homes in this area are not staying on the market long compared to other areas of Montgomery County and multiple offers on Bethesda area properties are normal!-Christine Sherrod, Realtor
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