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3 Reasons To Avoid Dual Agency When Buying or Selling a Home

Dual agency, when one real estate agent represents both the buyer and the seller in one transaction, can be fraught with perils and pitfalls. 

Dual agency is a bad idea and I won’t do it – and neither should you.

Before I explain my reasons why you should avoid dual agency, let me first list the types of real estate representation that are available when you buy or sell a home:

4 Types of Real Estate Representation by Meg Ross, Arlington Virginia Top Realtor

When Are You Likely To Encounter Dual Agency?

A common way that a dual agency situation can arise is if you visit an open house as a buyer before you’ve hired a real estate agent, and tell the agent showing the home that you are interested in buying the house. Then the agent, who is working for the seller, offers to help you write an offer on the house. If you accept that offer, you will be working with a dual agent or representative.

3 Reasons To Avoid Dual Agency Entirely

1) There are no benefits to homebuyers
A dual agent can’t be your advocate since the agent is representing both parties. Plus, you could be losing out on the opportunity to have an agent search for properties and represent only your interests.

2) A conflict of interest is inevitable
A dual agent is not required to disclose the lowest price or terms the seller will accept, or the highest price and best terms the buyer is willing to offer. That creates a conflict of interest since the seller wants the highest possible price and the buyer wants the lowest possible price.

3) Your interests as a buyer compete directly with the seller’s interests
While your agent is bound not to share any information you provide, would you feel comfortable telling someone also working for the seller the top price you would be willing to pay for a home?

Homebuyers and sellers can avoid these scenarios entirely by hiring someone who will exclusively represent ONLY their interests.

2 More Reasons To Steer Clear

If you’re wanting more information about this important topic, here are 2 ADDITIONAL REASONS to avoid dual agency:

4) A dual agent has a large incentive to close a sale
This could create issues where the agent may not adequately represent one or both parties for fear of spoiling the deal, and losing out on not one, but two commissions.

5) Dual agency is lawsuit prone
Dual representation is the most common cause of lawsuits in the real estate industry because it poses serious ethical risks.

Interested in buying a home or selling a home in the Arlington, Virginia area?

I welcome your emails, calls, or text messages. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at 703.447.0970 for a no-pressure, free consultation – I would love to see if I could help you!

~ Meg

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3 Tips For Buying a Fixer-Upper That Won’t Zap Your Home Buying Budget

Every so often, an opportunity arises for Arlington, Virginia, area homebuyers – and investors – to purchase homes at a good price because the homes are in need of light (or dramatic!) repairs, improvements, replacements or cosmetic attention.

While buying a house that needs some TLC can have real advantages (like being able to update it the way you want), the renovation process is not without its challenges.

So before you invest into any level of home buying inspired elbow grease, do consider the following tips to help preserve your home buying budget:

  1. Check Local Zoning
    Zoning regulations specify how a property can be used and can – or cannot – be changed. Think about how you may want to change the property. (For my Arlington-focused buyers, you can start checking your local zoning from this interactive zoning map or by checking out Arlington County’s Zoning Ordinance PDF from here).
  2. Investigate Local Building Codes
    Building codes are designed to ensure the structural and fire safety of buildings. Codes cover pretty much everything relating to building design, construction, additions, enlargements, alterations and even repairs and maintenance including standards for plumbing, electrical and mechanical construction. (Arlington buyers, start investigating local building codes here.)
  3. Check Permits
    Have changes already been made to the home that required permits? If so, check the county website to make sure the permits exist and have been satisfied. (Homebuyers interested in Arlington County homes, check residential permits via this link)
  4. Bonus! One more consideration: Investigate development plans
    Conduct research to find out whether the city, county or state has plans or has approved private-entity plans that might adversely affect the home’s value.

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ARLINGTON REAL ESTATE MARKET SAW SALES REBOUND AS PRICES REMAINED STEADY IN 2021

The Arlington, VA, real estate market remained steady in 2021 with the big news being that home sales increased 27 percent while the average home sales price was up 1.3 percent compared to 2020.

Here’s a look at the 2021 housing market numbers in Arlington:

Arlington Home Sales Were Up 27% In 2021

There were 3,546 homes sold in Arlington County in 2021, a 27.1 percent increase compared to the 2,793 sold in 2020.

The sales rebound in 2021 included the condominium market, which stalled during the height of the pandemic in 2020 as buyers sought more space.

  • Condo sales were up 31.8 percent.
  • Townhome sales jumped 22.1 percent.
  • Single-family home sales rose 25.6 percent.

Arlington Home Prices Were Up 1.3% In 2021

While the number of home sales was up strongly, the average home sales price in Arlington in 2021 was relatively flat, up just 1.3 percent overall, to $783,488 versus 2020’s $777,296.

However, price changes vary depending on the type of residence with single-family homes and townhomes showing strong gains and the condominium market slipping.

  • Condo prices decreased 1.0% to $463,894 from $468,408.
  • Townhome prices jumped 3.3% to $730,605 from $707,213.
  • Single-family home prices were up 2.2% to $1,214,250 from $1,188,730.

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Arlington Housing Market Stayed Strong In 2020 With Prices Up 10.5%

While the Coronavirus pandemic upended life in 2020, it did not impact the Arlington, VA, real estate market as much as expected.

The Arlington County housing market remained strong with the number of homes sold in 2020 remaining steady while the average home sales price increased 10.5 percent compared to 2019.

One notable change was the shift to home buyers moving away from purchasing condominiums and instead to buying townhomes as people looked for more space to accommodate home schooling and home offices.

Now, let’s take a little deeper dive into the 2020 housing market numbers:

Arlington County Home Sales Overall Were Flat In 2020

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