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Like Us on Facebook! Check out for our latest updates! Follow Us on Twitter! @GCAARNow Capital Area Realtor ® The official newsletter of the Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® March - April 2013 USPS: 017-467 Volume 19, Number 2 GCAAR REALTORS® Make it Work in the Low Inventory Market You’ve seen the news articles, heard the reports, and more importantly, you’re living it every day. The housing market is coming back with a vengeance – especially in the DC metro area. With the low inventory and demand from buyers for properties, what are GCAAR REALTORS® seeing and what are they doing to get the listings? By Bobette Banks Inventory shortage There are several reasons for the shortage in available properties. George Mason University economist Lisa Sturtevant said on the March 26 edition of WAMU Radio’s Kojo Nnamdi Show that several factors are contributing to the housing shortage, among them: people whose homes are underwater, the sequester situation in the federal government, and people simply waiting for the market to turn around. GCAAR Immediate Past President Bonnie Casper, who joined Sturtevant on the radio program, stated additional reasons for the shortage, including lifestyle changes – baby boomers want to downsize and move to transit-oriented heavy areas, but their kids also want to move to these areas, so parents are competing with them for properties. Also, people are looking for the “walkability factor,” which makes certain areas more popular than others. View from the street Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® 8757 Georgia Avenue, Suite 600 Silver Spring, MD 20910 Peg Mancuso, a board member and 30-year agent with W.C. & A.N. Miller REALTORS®, a Long & Foster Company, describes what she’s observing. “As far as what I’ve seen, even the $800k-$1M is moving very quickly due to low inventory. Agents and I’ve even heard of buyers walking neighborhoods seeing if people are interested in selling. The higher end is moving much more slowly (above $1M), but is generating a lot of activity as far as showings are concerned. To this point I’ve seen no evidence of the bearing of sequestration furloughs and, obviously, rates continue to be extremely low, making loans affordable. We’ve personally written 5 or 6 offers with escalations clauses that didn’t win. The other thing we’re seeing is buyers coming in all cash and doing pre-inspections so as to be able to remove as many contingencies from contracts as possible.” Darrin Davis, Principal Broker and Owner with Anacostia River Realty, says he’s also seeing competition in the more popular areas east of the river. “The inventory in Anacostia is probably at 2005- 2007 lows. We are receiving a lot of calls from both investors and owner occupants about purchasing in Historic Anacostia, but at this time only four properties are on the market. Owners realize that the inventory is low and are overpricing these homes. The highest listed property is now $400,000. I am urging my clients to consider other areas outside of the Historic District, like Barry Farms, Randle and Marshall Heights, and Deanwood.” Danai Mattison, an agent with Long & Foster, and part of NAR’s 30 Under 30 Class for 2013, says that back to basics is the order of the day for her. “I’m sending out prospecting letters, following up with past clients, and looking for move-up buyers,” she says, “but I’m also on the hunt for properties that have not yet been listed, and going through tax records to see what opportunities may be available.” continued on page 7 April is Fair Housing Month • April 2013 marks the 45th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act. Each year REALTORS® recognize the significance of this event and reconfirm their commitment to upholding fair housing law as well as their commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property. • As a REALTOR®, I agree to: • Provide equal professional service without regard to the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin or sexual orientation of any prospective client, customer, or of the residents of any community. • Keep informed about fair housing law and practices, improving my clients’ and customers’ opportunities and my business. INSIDE THIS ISSUE Association 3 Ask the 4 GCAAR in the 4 Board 4 International 5 NAR Director’s 6 • • • • • Develop advertising that indicates that everyone is welcome and no one is excluded; expanding my client’s and customer’s opportunities to see, buy, or lease property. Inform my clients and customers about their rights and responsibilities under the fair housing laws by providing brochures and other information. Document my efforts to provide professional service, which will assist me in becoming a more responsive and successful REALTOR®. Refuse to tolerate non-compliance. Learn about those who are different from me, and celebrate those differences. Take a positive approach to fair housing practices and aspire to follow the spirit as well as the letter of the law. Develop and implement fair housing practices for my firm to carry out the spirit of this declaration. NAR Midyear 6 7 Meet Your GCAAR Staff & Committees ����������������page 8 Green 8 9 MC & DC Market 10 Public 14 Annual 16 MC Affordable Housing Summit ��������������������������page 16 Broker/Manager 17 GCAAR Cares 17 Education 19 Membership 20 20 Legal 21 22

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