Selling a Braemar Single Family Home in October

Selling a Braemar Single Family Home in October

The Braemar real estate market has been shifting amid rising mortgage interest rates. What is happening in Braemar is no different than the surrounding Bristow/Gainesville market or the larger Northern Virginia market. Having been from Frederick County to Fairfax County representing sellers this year, I have to say that Western Prince William and our sweet spot of Braemar has been outperforming some other locales. Of course, a quick look in the MLS today at single family home activity in Braemar between September 1st to October 4th revealed that the success I had with 9528 Ballagan Court may not be what is now typical.

Since September 1st, there have been seven single family homes in Braemar sold. They average sixteen days on the market. There are two Braemar homes under contract, averaging eleven days on market. Currently available single family homes in Braemar are averaging twenty-one days on market…and there are two more Coming Soon listings that will be hitting the market soon. More concerning are the two Braemar single family homes that have been temporarily removed from active status and one home that was withdrawn from the market entirely. Mortgage interest rates increasing (most recently to 7.5%) has had a chilling effect. Yet, 9528 Ballgan Court went under contract in only two days on the market.

The sellers of 9528 Ballagan Court contacted me earlier in the summer about listing for sale. However, they had some home work to do. De-cluttering was a must. Installing new carpet upstairs and flooring in the basement was another must. Finally, a gorgeous, expansive deck needed to be refurbished or demolished. Refurbished was the best plan of action.

When all the work was done, the sellers allowed me to come in and spruce up a few areas with light staging prior to professional photos being taken. The result was the professional marketing that I love to present on behalf of all of my sellers that lifts buyer enthusiasm. Of course, not getting overly optimistic on price was another saving grace. The market for frenzied buyers had passed by the time this home hit the market. It was no the moment to press for a higher price in a home with little cosmetic updating. We looked over the numbers, found what we thought was a fair number and sure enough, a buyer in the market thought it was fair too. The deal was struck in only two days on the market.

My sellers were thrilled to give nothing in closing cost help and have to make absolutely no repairs from their home inspection. They were also relieved to get a rent back at no charge, allowing them to stay in the home until their next home can get to closing.

The Braemar real estate market is changing and anyone looking to sell needs to be sure to engage an actively engaged, full-time real estate agent in the area that knows the pace of the market at any given moment. Nothing makes me happier than getting my Braemar sellers properly prepped for the market, priced right and getting professional marketing behind the process. A home doesn’t need to be the most updated on the block, but a buyer must be able to picture themselves in the space.

When the time comes to sell your Braemar home, I would love to tell you how your home fits into the current resale landscape and how you can improve your takeaway. Since 2005, No One Knows Braemar Better!

Chris Ann Cleland 
Associate Broker, Licensed in VA
Long & Foster Real Estate
703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com
www.SellingBraemar.com
www.UncompromisingValues.com
www.ChrisAnnCleland.com

Under Contract in Two Days: A Tale of Unusually Fast Turnaround in Braemar

Under Contract in Two Days: A Tale of Unusually Fast Turnaround in Braemar

When 9528 Ballagan Court hit the market on Saturday, September 19th (2022,) I was cautiously optimistic that we would be under contract in less than two weeks. After all, my my most recent Braemar listing success had just closed the day before. That home at 12607 Cessford Drive had gone under contract in an impressive eleven days. Back in July, Braemar homes were lingering a bit longer.

The sellers on Cessford had done the pre-listing preparation and I put my professional marketing to work. Since the market hadn’t changed much for the better, I was thinking a similar time frame to Cessford would be fantastic. Low and behold, the first day on the market, the very first buyers through, were interested and wrote an offer. Woo-hoo! How did that happen?

Just like the sellers of Cessford, the sellers on Ballagan did the pre-listing preparation. It involved refurbishing a large deck, replacing carpet and putting LVP flooring in the basement, and doing the least favorite chore of every seller–de-cluttering. By the time the professional photographer was there, the house was smiling and saying cheese. That is the beginning of creating buyer enthusiasm.

When it’s time to sell your Braemar home, slow marketing times don’t have to be your marketing times. Reach out for your free consultation when a move is on your horizon. Helping Braemar sellers reach the top of the market is my speciality. Since 2005, No One Knows Braemar Better!

Chris Ann Cleland 
Associate Broker, Licensed in VA
Long & Foster Real Estate
703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com
www.SellingBraemar.com
www.UncompromisingValues.com
www.ChrisAnnCleland.com

What’s One of the Most Popular Floor Plans in Braemar Worth in Late 2022?

12607 Cessford Drive in Braemar Sold for $675,000 on September 9, 2022

What’s One of the Most Popular Floor Plans in Braemar Worth in Late 2022?

The housing prices in Braemar, just like the surrounding area, have been going through the roof since 2020. Slow and steady growth was trampled when inventory availabe to purchase did not come close to meeting buyer demand in 2020 and 2021. Even the beginning of 2022 felt like it was going to be more of the same with bidding wars putting buyers in a position to give up practically every conceivable contingency and escalate above already high list prices, just to have a chance at winning a home.

July 2022 saw a slowing down of the buyer frenzy. In addition to increased mortgage interest rates in the spring, the seasonal slow down that tends to happen in our Bristow market in July and August was what my sellers at 12607 Cessford were facing as they hit the market on July 19th. Of particular concern was the same floor plan listed just a block away that had started at the same list price of $675,000 that had dropped their list price to $625,000 before going under contract just days before. Yikes! Our market was building inventory.

Being a full-time agent specializing in Braemar since I moved here in 2005, I gave the same advice I give every seller–make sure the home is de-cluttered, clean and let my professional marketing do its work. After the listing preparation of a neutral paint on the walls throughout was complete, photo day was nearing. A quick run through the home and it became evident that my sellers had taken my de-cluttering advice extremely seriously. I brought in some staging items to warm up rooms and give a little life with pops of color.

Within nine days, the sellers were under contract with buyers that saw the value of the home at list price. Given the price reductions that happened around the corner, they were elated. Even the buyers’ request for closing cost help didn’t throw them into a panic. They negotiated the amount down to about one percent of the sales price and were very happy when the buyer accepted.

The road to closing was largely uneventul. There were no appraisal problems here, despite lower comps around us. That’s the advantage of hiring a full-time local agent like myself. You don’t just get a contract sales price that is satisfactory. You get the appraised value to match so you don’t have to lower your price further into the process. That’s because I do everything in my power to give the appraiser information on updates, special features and hand selected comps.

Today, September 9th (2022) this Yardley went to closing for its list price of $675,000. While it may seem insignificant to those who have been reading of above list price sales for two plus years, it is a substantial win in a slow sales season with buyers facing affordability issues with rising mortgage interest rates.

No matter the market, or season in which you sell, the goal is to get you the best terms. My professional marketing and pre-listing preparation advice increases buyer enthusiasm to that end. My skill set that has been honed as a full-time Braemar Real Estate Agent for over seventeen years is what keeps it there come appraisal time. When you are ready to sell, please reach out for your complementary consultation. It is my honor to help my neighbors hit the top of the market. Since 2005, No One Knows Braemar Better!

Chris Ann Cleland 
Associate Broker, Licensed in VA
Long & Foster Real Estate
703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com
www.SellingBraemar.com
www.UncompromisingValues.com
www.ChrisAnnCleland.com

How Many Days Does it Take a Single Family Home in Braemar To Go Under Contract in July?

How Many Days Does it Take a Single Family Home in Braemar To Go Under Contract in July?

On July 19th (2022) I brought 12607 Cessford Drive to the market. The sellers had been putting the finishing touches on their listing preparation as quickly as possible. Yours truly, the one that has been keeping you updated on the Braemar real estate market for over seventeen years, cautioned that July and August are slower than usual due to buyers being on vacation. Is it better to hit the market quickly and ill prepared when facing less motivated buyers or should the listing preparation get done no matter how much time it delays you getting on the market? The sellers wondered. My answer, get prepared.

The sellers had the entire home painted a neutral, on trend color. They de-cluttered everywhere and allowed me to come in and help stage the home. The day after professional photos were taken, we were on the market. Then the test of patience began.

Waiting for a buyer to act during a typical seasonal slow down is sometimes hard enough. Add in the far more deliberate actions of buyers amidst rising mortgage interest rates during that seasonal slow down and the passage of time can feel ten times slower than normal.

After eleven days and fifteen showings, the feedback was great. The home showed very well and buyers liked it. They just wanted to be sure before writing an offer. Then, last night, out of practically nowhere, an offer came in. My sellers were thrilled. Those eleven days felt like a lifetime. Of course, the Braemar real estate geek in me wants to know, how did we do? I practice what I preach. Did it make a difference to be properly prepared and professionally marketed with a full-time local agent?

Well, in the last thirty days, the homes in Braemar that have gone under contract have taken on averagge seventeen days to go under contract. The median days on market for Braemar single family homes that went under contract in July was a little lower at thirteen. Eleven is better than average and the median.

Meanwhile, of the available single family homes to purchase in Braemar, their average days on market today is twelve. Median days on market, fourteen. Those days continue to roll until the homes are chosen by buyers.

When you are ready to sell your Braemar home, get in touch with me for your complementary consultation. It is my pleasure to get my sellers top of market, no matter the season or the market conditions. I would love to be put to work doing the same for you. Since 2005, No One Knows Braemar Better!

Chris Ann Cleland 
Associate Broker, Licensed in VA
Long & Foster Real Estate
703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com
www.SellingBraemar.com
www.UncompromisingValues.com
www.ChrisAnnCleland.com

Just Listed: Move-In Ready Yardley Model for $675,000

Just Listed: Move-In Ready Yardley Model for $675,000

Welcome to 12607 Cessford Drive in Braemar. This Yardley model is freshly painted, has new carpet and LVP (luxury vinyl plank flooring) on the upper level and an on trend kitchen with white cabinets, granite counters/island and stainless steel appliances. Move right in.

The Yardley model is one of the most popular floor plans for a mid-sized single family home in Braemar..and with good reason. The main level floor plan gives a slight twist to the typical Northern Virginia colonial. Formal living room and dining room are offset from one another, not open to each other. When you enter the foyer, the living room is the left, formal dining room around the staircase and to the right, and family room beyond the staircase ahead.

The kitchen contains a dining area/breakfast nook and is open to the family room. This configuration is very pleasing to buyers looking for an open concept floor plan.

Perhaps the best feature of the Yardley model is the upper level bedrooms, particularly when it has the fourth bedroom. The owner’s suite is always going to be the largest. It is no disappointment here. Two walk-in closets and an attached bathroom with soaking tub, dual sinks and stall shower give you all you need without eating up valuable space.

The smallest of the secondary bedrooms is still generous in size at eleven feet by thirteen feet. It is the fourth bedroom, originally an option for the new construction buyers, that is huge. It rvials the size of the owner’s suite at fourteen feet by thirteen feet.

Downstairs, a partially finished basement is home to a large recreation space. Laundry room is located just off the basement landing. More space can be finished (a den and full bathroom) or keep it the way it is and enjoy plenty of storage.

The lot is the part the sellers enjoyed the most. Having no next door neighbors on Cessford itself, this lot enjoys more privacy than most. It is situated near a gas line easement on the north side, making having another home impossible. To the east side, there just wasn’t enough room to build another home. Enjoy quiet nights on the deck. The rise of the lot works as a privacy buffer.

This Yardley model is listed for $675,000. Recent improvements not yet mentioned include a new front door and new slider with built-in blinds in 2022; a new roof in 2021, and new water heater and furnace in 2019. The a/c is not original, having been replaced at some point in the past, but not within the last five years. Great news is that it is still humming along.

If you would like to see this home, please get in touch with me for a tour. Since 2005, No One Knows Braemar Better!

Chris Ann Cleland 
Associate Broker, Licensed in VA
Long & Foster Real Estate
703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com
www.SellingBraemar.com
www.UncompromisingValues.com
www.ChrisAnnCleland.com

Maplewood Carriage Home in Braemar Just Sold for a Record High Price

What an honor it was to list 9477 Cromarty Court. Walking in to the listing appointment I knew I had a gem on my hands, which was going to be immensely helpful. Being a Maplewood model carriage home, it is the smallest square footage one could have in Braemar and still be considered a single family home. The sellers were all too aware of the very limited living space and had made some very wise renovations to the home to give what is essentially a detached townhouse, a roomier feel. One of my favorite renovations was the removal of a cabinet to open up the galley kitchen to the family room. They also added a live edge cherry breakfast bar so the breakfast nook could be more open space.

The thing that would make buyers fall in love and make the limited space work was going to be the lot. It was the only unobstructed water view in the neighborhood.

This charming home, with farmhouse decor throughout, hit the market on April 22nd priced at $584,000. The market around us was on fire. The original list price was going to be a tad lower. After watching the activity on Cromarty with a couple other listings, we upped the price before hitting the MLS as a Coming Soon listing.

The very first day on the market the first buyers through made an appointment. An offer was in my email within hours of that showing. With the sellers out of town and an offer deadline set for Monday, April 25th, that offer survived competiting with five additional offers. And today, those very happy buyers were able to close the deal on this gorgeous home. The final sold price was $620,000. That is a new record sold price for a Maplewood model in Braemar….EVER. The closest before this was one in February (just a few months ago) that sold for $576,000.

Did the highest offer win in the multiple offer situation? No. It is not always how high someone will bid, but how much of a low appraisal guarantee they can swallow if the home doesn’t appraise. In the case of the winning buyers, their offer was $10,000 lower than a competing offer, but they offered $50,000 more in a low appraisal coverage than those buyers did. That meant, not matter what, the home would sell for $620,000. With the highest sold price to date at $576,000, a low appraisal was a real concern. As it turns out, it happened not to be a concern. I make sure to arm appraisers with as much information as a I can even when appraisal is something a buyer will deal with in the event of a low outcome. It’s not a win, if it’s not a win for everyone.

At the closing table, it was obvious that the new owners are going to love the natural surroundings by this pond as much as the sellers did. There was talk of turtle eggs that will be hatching by the pond and a birds nest where eggs are found every season. The new buyers were delighting in hearing of their new outdoor neighbors.

It was a smooth road to closing with zero bumps in the road. Best of all, my sellers gave me a closing gift that made me smile from ear to ear.

The sellers had been receiving my Braemar Property Value Reports for years and that is why they chose to list with me. The fact that they gave me this personalized Yeti mug could not have been a better compliment. Now I’ll be taking this coffee mug with me to listing appointments in the neighborhood and letting folks know that sellers that hit a record high sold price for a Maplewoood gave it to me. Let me know if I can be of assistance to you.

Since 2005, No One Knows Braemar Better!

Chris Ann Cleland 
Associate Broker, Licensed in VA
Long & Foster Real Estate
703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com
www.SellingBraemar.com
www.UncompromisingValues.com
www.ChrisAnnCleland.com

The Braemar Carriage Home with a Water View is Now Under Contract

9477 Cromarty Court Listed on April 22, 2022 for $584,000

The Braemar Carriage Home with a Water View is Now Under Contract

The only carriage home in Braemar with a water view is now under contract. Yes, the Maplewood located at 9477 Cromarty Court, listed on April 22nd for $584,000 sure did spike a lot of interest. There were several buyers through the two open houses held during the weekend. Having hosted one of them, I can tell you the upgardes inside were as popular as the water view itself.

Ultimately, six buyers were bold enough to step and make offers on this lovely home. Every single offer was above list price. Not surprising when you have sellers that have left no detail unattended. The home showed like a shiny new penny.

Did the market give any indication of shifting during the three days that sellers allowed showings? None that I could tell. I have heard talk of a shift in buyer demand, but the sellers who do listing preparation and hire professional marketing agents are not noticing the slow down.

Tonight there are five disappointed buyers who will be looking for the next opportunity in the neighborhood. Will you be the next seller to hit the market with this experienced, top notch listing agent who knows Braemar like the back of her hand? If so, you are going to love the results when you heed the preparation advice given to increase buyer enthusiasm. Homes don’t have to have unobstructed, natural water views to get buyers excited. Get in touch today for your listing consultation. Since 2005, No One Knows Braemar Better!

Chris Ann Cleland 
Associate Broker, Licensed in VA
Long & Foster Real Estate
703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com
www.SellingBraemar.com
www.UncompromisingValues.com
www.ChrisAnnCleland.com

Just Sold: A Braemar Christmas Season Closing

12423 Selkirk Circle Sold for $375,000 on December 21, 2021

When I was contacted by the owner of 12423 Selkirk, my mind twirled over the familiarity of the address. Had I listed that home before? I know that I had listed a Braemar townhouse on Selkirk years ago that was a Short Sale. Despite many attempts to make the bank understand why Short Sale was a good idea for upside down sellers who had outgrown the space and needed to move, the bank would not approve that sale. Sure enough, a quick glance at my past listings and 12423 Selkirk was that townhouse.

Looking back at the tax records for the property I saw that indeed, my failed Short Sale listing had turned into a bank owned property. Simply stated, the bank that had refused to come to terms with the sellers in 2012, had foreclosed. In 2013, it sold from the bank to a private owner, sold again in 2015 from that 2013 purchaser, and again in 2017 from the 2015 purchaser. The new owner purchased it in 2017 and was ready to move on.

At the listing appointment I told the owner my familiarity with the property. In addition to expressing my neighborhood expertise in Braemar and my professional marketing, I added that on a personal note, I would love the opportunity to have a good outcome by listing the townhouse. My marketing is all professional grade now with professional photographs and even some light staging in vacant homes. I was so thrilled to be hired to do just that. Take at look at the virtual tour.

This two bedroom townhouse listed on November 11th and was under contract within five days! The hardest part in getting to the closing table was negotiating the home inspection. Yes, the market has changed enough where home inspection contingencies are being seen more often than not. The buyers, through their agent, over-estimated the cost of many items they deemed as problems. Part of my job in that situation is to convey that small items of concern are not legitimate problems, and to help the seller get quotes on actual solutions. A home inspector will see a light not operating and tell a buyer to consult an electrician. I change a lightbulb, snap a photo that the light is working and the issue is dissolved. You get the idea. The repair credit of the buyers was negotiated down by about 30% to a number the seller could deal with to move the deal forward.

Today, December 21st, this Braemar townhouse closed for full list price of $375,000. There is always more to the yearend holiday market than meets the eye.

Whenever the time comes to sell your Braemar townhouse, I would love the opportunity to help you achieve the most successful outcome. I have made it my business to know our neighborhood inside and out. Since 2005, No One Knows Braemar Better!

Chris Ann Cleland 
Associate Broker, Licensed in VA
Long & Foster Real Estate
703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com
www.SellingBraemar.com
www.UncompromisingValues.com
www.ChrisAnnCleland.com

Just Listed: Two Bedroom Braemar Townhouse for $375,000

12423 Selkirk Circle in Braemar Listing on November 11th (2021) for $375,000

Just Listed: Two Bedroom Braemar Townhouse for $375,000

It is my pleasure to present 12423 Selkirk Circle to you. Priced at $375,000, this two bedroom, two and a half bathroom townhouse is sure to be a hit.

In this particular model (Auburn by Ryan Homes) all three levels are above grade and the front enters on the first floor, stepping you down into the living room, or living/dining combo. Immediately you will notice the luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring which goes from the foyer entrance all the way back into the kitchen. If you want to make the front room just a living room, there is plenty of table space in the kitchen, even with the portable island that conveys.

Starting up the stairs to the second level, you will notice the smell and feel of new carpet. The entire second and third floors have brand new carpet, with the exception of the bathrooms that have the same LVP as the main level. The second level is where you will find the family room, or additional living room. Here you find the added feature of a gas fireplace. The second bedroom and a full bathroom are also located here.

The entire third floor is dedicated to the owner’s suite. Chances are you have never seen as expansive an owner’s suite as this one. Not only is there plenty of room for a bedroom suite, but you could have a home office here as well…or workout area. Maybe do a bit of both. Believe me, there is room! The owner’s bathroom boasts two sinks, a soaking tub and separate shower. And if you were worried about closet space in the owner’s suite, don’t. The closet is just as oversized as the room.

With a fully fenced back yard with paver patio, there is little natural vegetation to regularly control. Set up outdoor seating and a grill and you are good to go.

You may notice some repairs with spackle to the walls that have not been painted. The plan was to touch up the paint, but the owner did not have the exact match left from the previous owner and had no idea what the color was. Odds are the next owner will be placing their own items on the wall in these places, or want to paint to their own color. Either way, these few areas in the second story living area and owner’s bathroom should not be deal breakers.

Recent replacements, besides new flooring throughout, are the new water heater and garbage disposal.

This home will be held open Saturday, November 13th from 12pm-3pm and again on Sunday, November 14th from 1pm-3pm. You can click the link for the full virtual tour if you like before coming to see it for yourself.

In the meantime, if you have been thinking of buying a townhouse in Braemar, don’t hesitate to reach out. Since 2005, No One Knows Braemar Better!

Chris Ann Cleland 
Associate Broker, Licensed in VA
Long & Foster Real Estate
703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com
www.SellingBraemar.com
www.UncompromisingValues.com
www.ChrisAnnCleland.com

Just Sold Another Braemar Home Above List Price

12809 Gentle Shade Drive Listed for $649,000 on July 8th and Sold for $717,000 on August 6th.

Just Sold Another Braemar Home Above List Price

Having recently listed 12148 Formby Street and 9239 Glen Meadow Lane, I have to say I was not about to advise the sellers of 12809 Gentle Shade Drive to raise their list price prior to hitting the market. Those other Bristow homes had not received offers their first weekend on market and one barely sold above list price. The seller’s market of 2021 had changed going into summer. My advice was to stick to the marketing plan at $649,000 and see what buyers thought. There is no such thing as underpricing in a seller’s market.

It was evident right away that this home in Braemar was in high demand. After three offers, it was time to hit the done button. A buyer came in with an offer the sellers couldn’t refuse. Best of all, the buyer could back up their offer price with a sizeable down payment. That meant if appraisal came in low, the sellers wouldn’t require the sellers to lower the sales price.

uAs we waited for appraisal day, since there were no other contingencies, I got a call from a colleague with a listing nearby that had gone under contract sight unseen. The agent was furios that the appraisal had come in below list price while the offer her seller’s held was well above list price. That’s the risk of sight unseen. You don’t get to see market value if you were never exposed to the market. Appraisers take multiple offers into account when they are heading in the same direction. However, one offer that a buyer puts together to make the seller stop the marketing process before it begins should be a red flag to listing agents.

Thank goodness, the listing preparation my sellers had done at my recommendation, combined with my professional marketing got them a fantastic offer. And showing all of the updates, offers and having the marketing to show the appraiser made a difference. The appraisal, we are told, came in at sales price! Which brings me to the very happy ending of this Braemar home sale.

On August 6th (2021,) 12809 Gentle Shade Drive sold for $717,000..$68,000 above list price.

Ready to list your Braemar home? Don’t leave a penny on the table. Even in a seller’s market it can happen. Get in touch with me to get the skinny on listing preparation recommendations and my professional marketing to power buyer enthusisam. Since 2005, No One Know Braemar Better!

Chris Ann Cleland 
Associate Broker, Licensed in VA
Long & Foster Real Estate
703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com
www.SellingBraemar.com
www.UncompromisingValues.com
www.ChrisAnnCleland.com