Resales Competing With Builder Closeouts-Make Sure You Do Your Homework

By
Real Estate Agent with Integrity Real Estate Group

Woodbridge VA Resale Home OptionThroughout Northern Virginia builders are pulling out all the stops to close out communities that were stalled during the housing slowdown.  In those same communities homeowners are trying to sell their own properties.  It's great for buyers to have a choice but as a seller have you included the new construction in your pricing strategy?

Most agents concetrate on looking in the MLS for pricing stratagies, setting price based on short sales, foreclosures and of course "regular" sales.  Not many take a look at the local tax records to find the sales that aren't in the MLS, such as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and builder sales not recorded in the MLS.   The number who stop by the sales office to ask for current pricing an incentives drops even lower.

Over the last few weeks I've had buyers out looking at both new and resale properties.  Many of them were in the same community.  It didn't take long to discover the builders who were offering a signficant amount of money towards upgrades and incentives were going to beat out a resale on both price and concessions in almost every case.  It makes it hard on an owner who has to sell.  In some situations it could mean a home is going to end up languishing on the market until the builder finishes sales.  It could also mean a seller may have to postpone their sale and of course if the sale is a result of job transfer that a short sale may be the next option.

For example looking in one Manassas neighborhood my clients contracted on a new Stanley Martin home with loads of upgrades include a fully finished recreation room with den and full bath for under $475,000 plus closing cost incentives.  The closest resale home on a smaller lot with an unfinished basement was only $10,000 below the builders price.

Woodbridge New Construction OptionsIn a Woodbridge condo community the builder is closing out their final completed 2 level condos with prices for nicely upgraded end units between $232,000 to $242,000 and have one interior unit with a few less upgrades for $220,000.  A comprable resale of the same model is priced at just a few thousand less and has been on the market for a long time.  A quick glance at the Prince William County land records shows dozens of homes sold by the builder in the same time-frame the resale has been available.

If you are considering selling your home and the builder hasn't left the neighborhood yet, make sure you take a look at what they are offering.  Make sure your pricing strategy puts you in the same ballpark or your home can blow the builders model out of the water.  Otherwise you might be in for a long ride.

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If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Absolutely.  Why would a listing agent not include new construction in a comperable report??  I've advised sellers to look at ALL of their competition before pricing. 

In fact, I remember writing a post several years ago that home sellers can take a lesson on how to sell homes from local builders.

Feb 25, 2011 05:13 PM #1
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Based on what I've seen in the last few weeks, the listing agents aren't paying attention to the builder.  In some cases the new homes are ready to deliver NOW so there is no waiting to be built.  A few thousand dollars difference is going to tip the buyer right into the builders contract.

Feb 25, 2011 05:27 PM #2
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Competing with new construction can be brutal.  One of my very first short sales was the first resale in Haymarket's Active Adult community of Regency. They still have four buildings left.  It was hard to convince the bank that the home was not worth what new construction was worth.  Took 18 months to sell that thing.

Feb 26, 2011 12:36 PM #3
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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

I have 2 clients under contract with new construction with builds completing in 90 days from contract to completion.  Shorter than most short sales and a better deal than most of the resales we toured.

Mar 31, 2011 03:12 PM #4
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Cindy Jones

Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
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