Our Virginia Association of Realtors has recently published the results of a survey conducted among their Realtor members. Below are the shared nuances of the Spring 2021 real estate market in Virginia.
Making An Offer
• Nearly every REALTOR® responding to this survey said that buyers are making offers over list price or including an escalation clause in their offer. Nearly 90% said offers over list price were “very common” and another 8.5% said they were “somewhat common.”
• Buyers in this market are facing stiff competition, and almost all are offering some type of concession in an attempt to make a successful offer.
• About 87% of Virginia REALTORS® said it was “very common” or “somewhat common” for buyers to waive the home inspection. Some REALTORS® commented that buyers were having an inspection done for information purposes only, but not making the offer contingent on the home inspection results.
• Nearly 70% of Virginia REALTORS® said that waiving appraisals has become “very common” or “somewhat common.” Many REALTORS® note that buyers are including a provision that they will pay a certain amount over any appraised value. Other REALTORS® have pointed out that this trend in waiving appraisals has put VA buyers at a disadvantage because they cannot opt out of an appraisal.
• The following tradeoffs are also “very common” or “somewhat common” in today’s market: increasing the earnest money deposit (79.2%), waiving the home sale contingency (66.2%), and offering a shorter loan contingency timeline (68.6%).
Buying A Home
• The fast-paced market and historically low inventory has forced buyers to re-evaluate their housing and neighborhood preferences, widen their search, and make tradeoffs on amenities. Nearly nine out of 10 Virginia REALTORS® members (87.7%) said that it is “very common” or “somewhat common” for home buyers to look outside of their preferred neighborhoods as they realize how few homes are available.
• Buyers in this market seem less likely to make tradeoffs on the size or style of the home they are looking for, but they are willing to consider homes that need major upgrades or updating.
• Only 34.2% of Virginia REALTORS® said that it was “very common” or “somewhat common” for buyers to settle for a townhome or condo instead of a single-family home.
• A little more than half (51.0%) said that it was “very common” or “somewhat common” for buyers to compromise on space or number of bedrooms.
• More than three quarters of Virginia REALTORS® (75.2%) said that buyers were willing to consider homes that need major upgrades or updating.
• As the inventory of existing homes shrinks, some buyers have turned their sights to new construction. About 56% of Virginia REALTORS® said that building a new home, rather than purchasing an existing home, had become “very common” or “somewhat common” among buyers.
• Finally, the tight market has discouraged many buyers. In fact, more than 70% of Virginia REALTORS® said that it is “very common” or “somewhat common” for buyers to decide to put off buying a home altogether in this market.
Contact your realtor to learn how these findings apply in your particular area and price range.