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Homebuying competition drops in D.C. real estate market

smiling couple sits beside moving boxes

The stories about homes for sale receiving multiple offers, contracts with waived contingencies and properties purchased sight unseen may soon be coming to an end.

Rising interest rates, inflation, high home prices and an uncertain economic forecast have helped put the brakes on a runaway housing market that for several years has made it incredibly difficult for homebuyers to gain any traction – first-time homebuyers especially.

Redfin reports that the number of sales contracts written by Redfin agents and facing competition has dropped to the lowest levels in two years, 49.9% nationally.

In Washington, D.C., the real estate market remains competitive but also shows signs of calming. Last year, nearly 65% of home offers written by a Redfin agent saw competition, while this year the rate has dropped to 50.6%.

This could be good news for D.C. homebuyers if the trend continues. Homebuyers who can still afford to buy should strongly consider it now, despite higher interest rates, because they may find they have more leverage to make a deal than they have in some time.

Some home sellers are anxious that they missed the peak and are looking to lock in a ratified sales contract quickly. Homebuyers can use this to their advantage.

Whereas during the frenzy of the pandemic years, homebuyers were practically forced to accept any contract under the seller’s conditions so as not to jeopardize the deal, now homebuyers are finding they can ask for concessions like price reductions and insist on choosing their own title company for additional closing cost savings.

With fewer homebuyers to compete against and a market that’s changing to give homebuyers more advantages, those who’ve been discouraged or felt reluctant to explore homes for sale may want to speak with a real estate agent and reconsider their options.

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