Prince William County Real Estate Information

I've been trying to get current information and insight into the Prince William County real estate market. I contacted a few local realtors and asked them to answer the questions below. So far, I've not received a reply. Rather than wait indefinitely, I did a bit of research with a friend and together we came up with what we think would be likely or common responses from a local real estate agent.

I do know a couple agents, so feel free to contact us if you'd like a referral. So, here's the sample Q&A we came up with.

What is your background in Prince William County? I grew up here so I know the area like the back of my hand. My dad is a real estate agent so I saw the workings of the business from an early age. My older brother took the same path so it was just natural for me to do the same. Between the three of us we know every square mile of Prince William County.

What is your background in real estate? As stated above, I grew up in the business. I learned how to take care of my clients so that we become lifetime partners. This is the most important lesson my dad taught me, if you over deliver every step of the way, you will spend you time selling real estate, not drumming up business. You want to handle all of the real estate transactions for your clients, not just once, but for the rest of their lives.

Immediately out of high school I went to college to earn a business degree. At the same time I was earning my real estate license. I started helping my dad and my brother part time, and by the time I was out of college I was well on my way to being one of our companies leading agents. I had not passed my dad, or my brother, at that time, but it did happen.

Do you specialize in any particular geographic area or type of real estate transactions? What do you enjoy doing most?

I work all of Prince William County but I prefer the upscale neighborhoods, and I especially like Gainesville. That’s where I grew up and it’s where I live. I like working close to home. I sell houses to investors and families, this would be my specialty. I have never had an interest in commercial property or vacant land. The part I enjoy the most is helping a family buy the house of their dreams. It might be their first house, or maybe a major step up in the world, but I love being a part of making it happen.

What services can you offer people? I work through a major real estate broker and we offer any service imaginable, real estate related. My specialty is finding you the perfect home. I have access to all the listings in the county plus an extensive client list. Finding the right home for you is what I do best. I have sources, and the commitment, to do whatever it takes to find the home that matches all of your needs.

What is the outlook for real estate in Prince William County? Are prices headed up, down, or sideways? What do you think? And why? There could not be a better time to buy a house. It may take many years for home values to get back to where they once were. But that is no reason not to take advantage of the great deals on the market today. With an average on the market time of less than two months these homes are not lasting long. Prices will go up, how fast is not known, what we do know is they will go up. We have hit bottom and are on the rise. If you need a home, now is the time to buy. If you are an investor looking for rental homes, you need to be working hard because the good ones are going fast. If you are renting because of a foreclosure, you need to be working to rebuild your credit, and working with someone like myself that can put you back into your own home again.

What advice do you have for someone just entering the real estate market; maybe buying their first home? That’s an easy one. Find someone like myself, someone who specializes in first time buyers, someone who has the knowledge and the recourses to help you find that perfect home. Buying a home is not like it used to be, with all the sub prime loans, but there are still many ways to find good quality homes for first time buyers. Especially now, with the abundance of bank owned property still on the market. These homes won’t last long, and then things start to get a little tougher for first time buyers, but now, now is good time to get that first home.

What about someone who owns a home, but wants to trade up? That’s a little tougher. Houses are selling again, so that’s good. The question will be how much is your home worth? You have to be realistic and work off of today’s prices. If you are upside down in a home you bought five years ago upgrading might not be in your best interest just yet. You may need to work on getting out from underneath that ugly mortgage, even if it means short selling your home. You can move on from there. A realistic goal would be to get you back into a comparable home with a lower payment. But there are all kinds of options. Some people are sitting just right in their homes and will do just fine in a sell and buy kind of thing. That is not nearly the percentage of my business as it used to be, but we still do it

We hear lots about foreclosures and some about how good deals can be had. What do you think about that? What is it really like buying a foreclosure home? A big part of a realtor’s job lately has been dealing with foreclosures. I am no exception, so yes, I can certainly talk about that. Foreclosures and short sales are great ways to buy homes at discounted prices. We are selling homes at prices we would have never dreamed possible several years ago. But it happened, and here we are. Buyers just need to be aware of all the costs involved. Some of these homes are pretty well trashed and need a lot of work. For others that’s not the case, but you really need to know what kind of money you are talking. If your home needs all new appliances, roof repair, plumbing repair, and so on and so on, you need to know these things. It is so easy to buy a money pit, but not have the money to make it livable. These are the things I try to help you with. We try real hared to make all the numbers work. Many of the repairs are required by the lenders, these are the easy ones. It’s all that other stuff that adds up. This is where my knowledge of real estate can be a huge asset. I won’t let you buy a home that will forever keep you in dept with repairs.

Same question about short sales? Short sales can, in many cases, be the best buys on the market. They may not have the low sales price as foreclosures but the repairs are usually much less, these homes are usually livable as is. Investors buy them right and left because they can have them ready to rent in short order. When a home is rented, it is producing income. First home buyers often find short sales that are the perfect combination of selling price and cost of repairs before they can move in.

For all those facing that tough decision of letting your home go, or possibly a short sale, stop by and let’s talk. Let’s make sure you have made the best use of all your options. If we can help to relocate you, and save your credit, that’s what we will do. There so many ways around just walking away from your home, again, stop by and let’s talk.

What are the pros and cons of selling without a realtor? Well, you should always sell with a realtor, I thought everyone knew that. But seriously, not everyone needs the expertise that a qualified realtor brings to the table, but most people do. It is very possible to buy and sell real estate without the services of an agent, and many people do. But if you are not schooled in the market, if you have not done this before, we can be a valuable asset. I have many professional investors on my calling list, when I find what they are looking for, I call them. Why would a professional investor be willing to pay for my services? I find them what they are looking for, I help them with the financing, I provide them with the stat sheets showing them the investment is good and I help them close the deal. They are busy managing their properties and do not mind outsourcing an important part of their business. That holds true for the common homeowner or home buyer. If you have the years of knowledge in real estate, if you know the value of you home, and just how to market it and show it, if you have the time to devote to maximizing the potential of your home, then you probably do not need me. If you have other priorities in life, like a job and a family, or whatever, someone like myself, can help you get the most money for your home, or help you buy the best home for your money. It’s pretty much that simple. If you have the time to become an expert in real estate, you probably do not need my help.

Anything else you would like to add? Only that now is a great time to buy a home, either for your family or as an investment. Come on in and let’s talk, we will look at some houses together, and find something that fills all of your needs. I look forward to seeing you soon.

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