August 2009 Real Estate Update

Uptrend Continues in Pending Home Sales:  Source:

For the first time in six years, pending home sales are up for the fifth consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors®.  The last time there were five consecutive monthly gains was in July 2003.

“Historically low mortgage interest rates, affordable home prices and large selection are encouraging buyers who’ve been on the sidelines.  Activity has been consistently much stronger for lower priced homes, said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

Yun expects existing-home sales to gradually rise over the balance of the year, with conditions varying around the country.  “It appears home sales are on a sounder footing and inventory is gradually being absorbed.”  

Updated July 2009 Washington area sales statistics are available at and at

Time Running on First-time Home Buyer’s Credit: Transactions Must Close By November 30 

Because it may take as long as two months to close on a home after signing a contract, first-time buyers must act fairly soon to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit because they must close on the sale by November 30. 

If you plan to take advantage of the credit, plan to have a contract ratified in October.  Because disclosure timeframes required by new legislation slow the closing process, buyers and sellers must expect to settle no less than 30-45 days after contract ratification.  See  HVCC, HERA Disclosure Timeframes Slow Closing Process, Ensure Accuracy, posted on

 More Positive Economic Signs:  Impending Return to “Normality”

According to a new report that appeared on the Reuters Web site, White House Economic Adviser Larry Summers said recently that the foundations for a return to growth had been laid and there were signs that “economic life was getting back to normal”.

Speaking to an audience attending a social security conference at the Washington, D.C. National Press Club, Summers cited large and small signs the financial crisis was easing, although it will take a while for it to be over entirely, he conceded.

“In more obvious indicators like the stock market, less obvious indicators like credit spreads, the spread between LIBOR and federal funds, forward markets and what they suggest about housing prices…what one sees is a substantial return to normality,” Summers said.

Buying – Selling – Leasing Soon?  Review Your Preparations NOW

The Fall market, which runs approximately to Thanksgiving, is upon us.  New sales listings are coming to market now before Labor Day weekend to take full advantage of smart timing and favorable buyer and seller and leasing conditions.  If you are planning to sell or buy during the upcoming Fall or Spring markets, call me now for a complimentary consultation to review your preparations for auction, sale, lease, or purchase. 

If you are selling, I’ll give you my free Homeseller’s Handbook for planning your strategy.  In getting ready for the sale, I will identify items that can enhance the presentation of your home and elevate it above the competition. 

If you are planning to buy, I’ll provide my free Homebuyer’s Handbook and I’ll help you evaluate the target market and identify home and neighborhood characteristics you want.  We will review what is available and what is likely to come on the market this Fall.

Finally, if you have property to lease, now is the time to list it for occupancy within the next 2-3 months, and I’ll guide you on licensing requirements and the necessary federal and state disclosures.

You Deserve the Advantage of a Full-time, Dedicated, Professional Realtor®: Protect the Largest Investment of Your Lifetime

Whether it is an in-town residence, vacation home, farm, commercial property, or resort, buying or selling or leasing real estate can be challenging.  It is a complex contractual, marketing, legal, and financial process.

I work very closely on each stage with my clients and advise them throughout it.  I combine my training in law and negotiations with an in-depth knowledge of buyer and seller expectations, the requirements of each jurisdiction, neighborhood trends, and today’s market.

My business comes primarily from referrals, and I appreciate them greatly.  I always have time to help you, your friends and neighbors, and your family.  My goals are to provide the best service, to represent my clients fully, and to exceed their expectations.

Hill Slowinskimiller-logo-rgb-2607, serving clients in DC, MD, and VA
W.C. & A.N. Miller Realtors, A Long & Foster Company

4701 Sangamore Road,  Bethesda, Maryland  20816

Cell: 301-452-1409  Direct: 301-320-8430  Ofc: 301-229-4000

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