The first time I bought a house, I wrote my offer by hand on a piece of foolscap paper, during the open house. My husband and I offered what was asked, no questions asked. The seller actually accepted it … I think because she had a crush on my husband.
That was ten years ago. These days, before you make any offer on a house or condo, I urge you to take a look at the local neighborhood trend information — and particularly the price reduction charts — that are available for free on www.redfin.com/washingtondc. Sellers will find this helpful too. The level of detail is incredible and it lets you see important differences between the condo and house markets.
For example, the chart shown below is a summary for Georgetown properties sold or taken off the market in the last 90 days. It shows that one-third of all properties had at least one price reduction. But you can also see that among those properties, houses had a median of two reductions, and a total median percentage reduction of 10% off the original list price, compared to only 5.8% and one reduction for condos. This knowledge could save you thousands of dollars by helping you price your offer in the right way.
Check out a few neighborhoods and you’ll start to see the differences from one area to the next. The price reduction stats for Columbia Heights are similar to Georgetown, for example, but if you look at Shaw you’ll see that more than 75% of condos had price reductions and 50% of houses. There are also graphs on all these pages that show exactly how many reductions all the properties had, and over what timeframe.
Just for interest, looking at NW Washington, DC as a whole, I found that about 40% of all properties (condos and houses) had at least one price reduction. For condos, the median reduction from the original list price was 5.8%, similar to Georgetown. For houses, it was 7.5%.
Need help for your search?
Type in the neighborhood you want using the regular Redfin search box. Then click on the “Stats & Trends” words that come up under the search box once your search listings appear. Scroll down the Neighborhood Stats & Trends page and also read the fine print of how these charts and graphs work. It is worth the 5-10 minutes you’ll spend to understand them.
You can also access the neighborhood detail pages from the bottom of any individual property listing page. Just click on the neighborhood names.