Welcome to another episode of “What’s Working Now!”

Today I want to share some tidbits from an upcoming Q&A feature I did with Marissa Kashino of The Washingtonian about tips for navigating the D.C. real estate market. Here’s an exclusive look at some of her questions and my responses.

“What street or streets tend to be especially desirable? That is, where houses sell fast and where buyers stalk listings?”

A different perspective is to consider the potential impact busy streets have on desirability. In a balanced market, a home on a busy street might be discounted 15% to 20% and take a long time to sell. In today’s market, due to the scarcity of homes, the ones on busy streets sell quickly and at a much smaller differential in price.

“Which neighborhoods are you most bullish on right now?”

Cleveland Park, North Cleveland Park, and Woodley Park—pretty much a blend of the uptown locations for the in-town convenience. You’ve got the metro location, movies, shopping centers, libraries, post offices, etc. Buyers are competing fiercely in those areas and most homes are generating multiple offers and selling for more than their full price.

“What is your best quick tip for clients who need to make their house look clean in a pinch for a last-minute showing?”

Pick up around your house and clear your surfaces of all your family photos and anything personal. Leave no more than two or three items on a surface. Open all your shades and blinds, turn on every light, and clean your windows.

“What is the biggest potential problem a home inspection won’t always find?”

In today’s market, it isn’t so much what isn’t found, but rather the buyer’s expectation of the new house’s condition. No matter how old the house is, it’s possible that everything that’s found needs to be repaired, replaced, or removed.

“Besides a premium price, buyers should offer sellers certainty and convenience.”

“Do you have a tip for getting a seller to accept an offer before they hold the first open house other than offering a ridiculously high price?”

In addition to a premium price, offer the seller certainty and convenience. This means no financing contingency, no appraisal contingency, and no inspection contingency. Do your inspections in advance. You can also offer a quick settlement with a free rent back. Give the seller a deadline to accept your offer before it expires, too.

“What is an impactful but easy and cheap way to improve a house’s curb appeal?”

Trim the shrubbery and paint the front door.

Thanks for tuning into another episode of “What’s Working Now!” Be on the lookout for my next video where I’ll recap my “Tips for Right-sizing and Decluttering” seminar, which was cosponsored by the Cleveland and Woodley Park Village and the Northwest Neighbors Village. This event was free and open to the public and attended by more than 40 neighbors.

If you have any questions in the meantime or are thinking about buying or selling a home, please feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help!