Fredericksburg, VA Real Estate News

By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
With so many foreclosures out there now, selling for so much less than some comps out there, my question is this.Do appraisers look any differently at foreclosures when doing appraisals? For instance, in my neighborhood of 400-550k homes, there is a new foreclosure listing for $299k. It is in really nice shape, no damage that a good cleaning would not take care of.I assume that when it sells for $275k, it will be a comp, and will affect the values of other homes in my neighborhood. I have had a couple of people say otherise, but a sale is a sale, and if it is comparable to other properties, then it is a comp, right? Kevin McGrathThe Wallace & McGrath TeamColdwell Banker Elite"Selling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Area"www.fredva.com 
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
In a sales meeting today I heard a comment that I am still trying to get my mind around. I heard that banks will grade agents on BPO's. Basically - if you do a BPO and get the listing, you are graded on the percentage that it sells for in reference to your BPO price. But if the market is in a free fall, and the banks are dumping (see Stacy Magids very interesting blog from earlier this evening) then how can they grade the agent? Does anybody have any experience with this?Thanks The Wallace & McGrath TeamKevin McGrathColdwell Banker Elite"Selling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Area"www.fredva.com 
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
So you are a brand new real estate agent. You got your license, you got your cape, you signed up with the broker of your choice, and you hit the street.But now what? How do you keep youself motivated in todays market? As you plod along, day after day, trying this, testing that, trying to build a sphere of influence in a market where buyers can often be few and far between, hiding in the shadows like ghosts, ready to dissapear in an instant once you spy them.As I sat in a sales meeting this morning, and I looked around the room, I was reminded how fortunate I was to land at Coldwell Banker Elite. Sure it is a great brokerage, but as anywhere, it is the people that make the difference. After spending a number of years working for a builder, I dove into real estate full time about a year a...
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
RELO - A chance to make money - or a chance to spend money.Recently we got a client through a personal referral. During the listing presentation, the seller presented us with a RELO addendum from one of the big RELO companies. I won't name names for obvious reasons, but you know who you are, and your mother would be very ashamed of you. We put the listing on the MRIS, contact the RELO company and submitted to their littany of paperwork and reports that somewhat resemble a prostate exam. We aggressively marketed the home. 2 open houses. A brokers open. Lots of pictures on the internet. Color brochures. You name it, we did it. Unfortunately, it was just not a home that was bringing a lot of traffic or offers. Mostly price.Fast forward to the beginning of October. It is time for the client...
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
I recently was fourtunate to get a fairly big block of REO business that is working out rather well so far. A very nice suppliment to our regualr business. One afternoon I was having a conversation with my broker about business in general, and when I described my good fortune, I happened to use the term "luck" in describing my good fortune.Without missing a beat, he said "But you have to put yourself in a position to be lucly."I have been thinking about this a lot lately, especially when I am in our office, which is sort of like a ghost town on some days. There are some agents in there, working it hard every day (my good friend Vince McKamy is a fine example), and then there are agents you rarely see. When you do see them, the tend to whine and groan about how "nothing is happening" or ...
Comments 7
By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
RELO - A chance to make money - or a chance to spend money.Recently we got a client through a personal referral. During the listing presentation, the seller presented us with a RELO addendum from one of the big RELO companies. I won't name names for obvious reasons, but you know who you are, and your mother would be very ashamed of you. We put the listing on the MRIS, contact the RELO company and submitted to their littany of paperwork and reports that somewhat resemble a prostate exam. We aggressively marketed the home. 2 open houses. A brokers open. Lots of pictures on the internet. Color brochures. You name it, we did it. Unfortunately, it was just not a home that was bringing a lot of traffic or offers. Mostly price.Fast forward to the beginning of October. It is time for the client...
Comments 9
By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
I recently was fourtunate to get a fairly big block of REO business that is working out rather well so far. A very nice suppliment to our regualr business. One afternoon I was having a conversation with my broker about business in general, and when I described my good fortune, I happened to use the term "luck" in describing my good fortune.Without missing a beat, he said "But you have to put yourself in a position to be lucly."I have been thinking about this a lot lately, especially when I am in our office, which is sort of like a ghost town on some days. There are some agents in there, working it hard every day (my good friend Vince McKamy is a fine example), and then there are agents you rarely see. When you do see them, the tend to whine and groan about how "nothing is happening" or ...
Comments 7
By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
Yes - It felt like I traveled back in time - back to those crazy days of 2004 & 2005. I listed a property on Friday night - it was shown 8-10 times over the weekend - and by Tuesday afternoon I had competing contracts.I also noticed a definite uptick in showings on many of my properties in the 250k to 350k range.This is a great business ! I hope many of you are have the same good fortune. The Wallace & McGrath TeamKevin McGrathColdwell Banker Elite"Selling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Area"www.fredva.com 
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
Another day - another contract. It's a great day. Another day, another incomplete contract. Why is that? Why can't we get a contract that is complete, with all the proper addendums, and with all of the information filled in. And legibly. By the time this thing has been faxed back and forth a couple of times, it is almost impossible to read it. I know, in my listing it says "EMAIL ALL CONTRACTS TO.....", but nobody sees that. And why can't agents use AUTO CONTRACT? There - got that off my chest. I feel much better. Thanks.  The Wallace & McGrath TeamKevin McGrathColdwell Banker Elite"Selling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Area"www.fredva.com 
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
Often I will meet an agent, and after a casual conversation, we will exchange cards. How many times have I had to look at the card, look at the agent, then look at the card again? The internet is a great tool; we can have all kinds of pictures out there. Pictures of us. Lots of potential clients see us before they meet us. I wonder what they think when they see us on the internet and yet when they open they door it looks like we have aged 10 years?Is business so bad agents can not afford to get a new picture every couple of years?The Wallace & McGrath TeamKevin McGrathSelling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Areawww.fredva.com 
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
The "I'm Sending Over An Offer" Call I get them all the time now. "I am going to write on your listing and send it over". OK - great I say. Please feel free to call me at any time, with any questions. Here is my fax and my email, and again, I am always available for any questions.And that is the last I ever hear of it. Is there some point to this? Are they testing their cell phone signal at my expense? Do they think I will get all excited, then do an emotional crash and burn when they fade away, and then get my client to lower the price? Or are they just practicing their agent-to-agent communication skills?I don't know about the rest of you, but my feeling is - if you have an offer - send it on over. I will present it to my client immediately, that I can promise you. But don't call me j...
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
I saw a story a while back in, I think 60 Minutes ?, and I had someone tell me the other day that they were coming into our market (Northern Virginia). No big deal; to me it is no difference than if any other broker opened up in town. I think selling homes is still a person to person business, but I am curious if anyone has run across them, and if so, what was the experience like? Kevin McGrathThe Wallace & McGrath TeamSelling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Areawww.fredva.com 
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By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
I get them all the time now. "I am going to write on your listing and send it over". OK - great I say. Please feel free to call me at any time, with any questions. Here is my fax and my email, and again, I am always available for any questions.And that is the last I ever hear of it. Is there some point to this? Are they testing their cell phone signal at my expense? Do they think I will get all excited, then do an emotional crash and burn when they fade away, and then get my client to lower the price? Or are they just practicing their agent-to-agent communication skills?I don't know about the rest of you, but my feeling is - if you have an offer - send it on over. I will present it to my client immediately, that I can promise you. But don't call me just because you "think" you might wri...
Comments 7
By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
Realtors - Do Some Of Us Expect Something For Nothing? I have a dog. Sometimes I think I have trained him; sometimes I think it is the other way around. As you can see, he lives a very hard life. Anyway, as I was working around the house today, and as I fed him what seemed like his 42nd snack of the day, it got me to thinking. When he does something good, I give him a treat. That comes from training. I get that. But lately it seems like when he comes in from outside, he expects a treat. When I get up in the morning, it seems that in his mind he has accomplished something, and he expects a treat. Sometimes, when I merely wander into the room, I can see him eyeing the treat jar.Have we, as realtors, become like my dog. Do we expect a treat just because we take the listing? When I search t...
Comments 6
By Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate Companies
(Long & Foster Real Estate Companies- Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania)
I have a dog. Sometimes I think I have trained him; sometimes I think it is the other way around. As you can see, he lives a very hard life. Anyway, as I was working around the house today, and as I fed him what seemed like his 42nd snack of the day, it got me to thinking. When he does something good, I give him a treat. That comes from training. I get that. But lately it seems like when he comes in from outside, he expects a treat. When I get up in the morning, it seems that in his mind he has accomplished something, and he expects a treat. Sometimes, when I merely wander into the room, I can see him eyeing the treat jar.Have we, as realtors, become like my dog. Do we expect a treat just because we take the listing? When I search the MRIS and I see a listing with no pictures, I think o...
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By Irene Morales Ward, Realtor - e-Pro - Northern Virginia Real Estate
(REMAX Distinctive Real Estate, Inc.)
 One of my favorite things to do on a sunny day or warm evening is take a stroll down Caroline Street in Fredericksburg.  Lined with antique shops, historic buildings, museums, quaint dining, and quirky shops, you'll be amused for hours at the wonderful assortment of things to browse.After a quick stop at Ullman's and Crown Jeweler's (two of my favorite "stop-in-before-the-holidays-with-the-husband" stores), we were trying to decide on a place to eat.  Something quick, tasty, and no-nonsense was in order.  Today led us to a great little restaurant owned by a young chef raised and bred in F'burg, Daniel Battista.  The Old Town Grill and Café offered a nice menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and grilled items.  It's always busy at lunch with a pretty fast pace, simple décor, and a lot of t...
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By Irene Morales Ward, Realtor - e-Pro - Northern Virginia Real Estate
(REMAX Distinctive Real Estate, Inc.)
I have been incredibly busy the past couple of weeks - in a good way, of course.  Lots of clients needed to see homes, listing appointments, calls to make, files to update, you know the drill.  But this past weekend I couldn't resist - I had to put it all away and get outside.My son is the youngest of 5.  As a 10 year old boy, he's incredibly aware of God's gifts - the beauty in a sunny day, the awesomeness of a heron flying across the creek, and the stillness of water.Our outing was to Crow's Nest by canoe, a place I've written about before.  We talked about Pocahontas' kidnapping, the Union Soldiers' encampments, and the two Civil War sites across the creek near our home.     "Belle Plains, which was a primary Union supply port during part of the 1864 Overland Campaign, is southwest o...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
Is it progress or not?  That's a pretty good question.As many of you probably know, the City of Fredericksburg Virginia is deeply rooted in history.  The city can trace its origins to the 1700's and there were many Revolutionary War heroes who were both born in or lived in it.Many of my prior blog subjects dealt with our history and architecture.There is an historic district in Fredericksburg; because this district is nationally recognized, there are covenants which apply to existing and future homes in the historic district.  Trust me, not all of the homes in the historic district are "old" by any measurement.  Consequently, it is possible to see modern structures alongside older homes.  There are many contrasts as a result.Take a look at this picture and see of which I speak!Sometimes...
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By Ed DeChristopher, CRS Fredericksburg VA
(Fredericksburg Realty, Inc.)
Homes for sale in Fredericksburg Virginia continue to stay on the market for longer and longer.  However, that is not the crux of today's blog.It appeared from my perspective that townhomes stay on the market for longer periods than detached homes in the same price range.  Not being totally convinced that my visceral feeling could be supported statistically, I went into our MLS system to see what the system would reveal.  I am going to conduct a similar study of homes for sale in Stafford County and homes for sale in Spotsylvania County.Ever feel like a complete dullard?  Well avid readers, this is not the first time I have felt that way.In the City of Fredericksburg there were 37 detached homes sold during the past 90 days.  The average days on the market for those sold homes was 124.D...
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By Irene Morales Ward, Realtor - e-Pro - Northern Virginia Real Estate
(REMAX Distinctive Real Estate, Inc.)
One of the reasons I was compelled to move to the Fredericksburg area of Stafford was its close proximity to the historic city of Old Town Fredericksburg.  The museums, antiques, abundant little shops, cobblestoned sidewalks, and incredible charm were enough to win me over.  But there was another reason...the University of Mary Washington - or as it was formerly known prior to July 2004, Mary Washington College.Having come from the college town of Towson, Maryland  - home of the Towson Tigers - I had found a sense of comfort coming to this area over 20 years ago.  The large oak trees, the sprawling campus amidst a small city, the quaint coffee shops, and gorgeous sports fields, all drew me here like a magnet.  Fall in Old Town Fredericksburg was positively captivating and the University...
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