Potomac Home Sales Slow But Steady

Potomac Home Sales Slow But Steady

Appearance and pricing are keys to selling.

“It’s the homes that are staged properly and priced accurately that are jumping. That is of paramount importance.”

— Alison Shutt of Washington Fine Properties

The residential real estate market in Potomac didn’t have quite the boom this spring that some Realtors had predicted. The first four months of 2015 have brought slow, but steady sales.

"Potomac is a submarket that has faced challenges and is still recovering, but we have seen slow and steady improvement this year,” said David DeSantis, Partner/Managing Broker, TTR Sotheby's International Realty. “There is about 4.5 months of inventory on the market right now, which is certainly not tight like closer in Montgomery County or the District, but anything below 6 months of inventory is a healthy market.

Proximity to downtown Washington, D.C. and public transportation is a hurdle for Potomac sellers. “The trend right now is people not wanting a long commute,” said Potomac-based real estate agent Michael Matese of Long and Foster. “People want easier living. They don’t want the maintenance of a large home on a large lot.”

More homes have sold so far this year compared to last year. The average home price in Potomac this year is $1,445,307, down from $1,615,000 during the same time last year.

“There are 44 that went to settlement in the first quarter this year, but average sale price this year is down dramatically,” said real estate agent Nancy Itteilag of Long and Foster Christies International Real Estate. “I think sellers are adjusting their prices down to be more realistic.”

Many of the people who are purchasing homes in Potomac are young families who looking for a quiet lifestyle. “A lot of people buying their first house,” said Itteilag. “I still think the public schools are a draw.”

Homes with a polished appearance and a realistic price tag sell faster in Potomac. “It’s the homes that are staged properly and priced accurately that are jumping,” said Alison Shutt of Washington Fine Properties. “That is of paramount importance.”

Avenel and River Falls are two neighborhoods where this is particularly true. “Many of these homes are 25-30 old and still owned by the same owner who are now empty-nesters,” said Itteilag. “The owners haven’t updated the houses and don’t want to spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to get them in shape.”

“People aren’t willing to pay top dollar for a house in Potomac that needs work,” added Matese. “Selling real estate in Potomac right not is not an easy thing.”