There has been some discussion recently about the changes in the process for buying and selling homes that might lead people to believe they should “go it alone” and not use a Realtor as Buyer Agent. Quite frankly, a crazy idea.


Here is why:


  1. The seller pays the real estate commission anyway, and if you think you will lower the price of the home by finding the direct Listing agent and “working directly with the listing agent,” don’t kid yourself. The Listing Agent will still take a piece of the Buyers side commission (if not all of it), and his/her loyalty is totally with the seller.
  2. The internet is not entirely accurate. Outdated comps, conflicting forecasts (many of which are so far from reality as to be a joke), and different rating schemes all cloud the issue. A Realtor definitely has the latest information, and if you choose someone who has great knowledge (choose your Realtor wisely), you will benefit greatly from the comfort and accuracy he/she provides.
  3. You are looking into a neighborhood with which you are not totally familiar. A professional who understands the neighborhoods you are looking into can give you information about market developments that you will never be able to find yourself. His or her knowledge of the intangibles and potential future developments also are extremely important.
  4. Negotiating Ability. I must admit that this is an intangible at which there is huge disparity in ability from one Realtor to the next. However, I am assuming you have done your homework on Realtor selection, and will choose somebody who is better than you would be when going up against another real estate agent. Perhaps MUCH better.
  5. Do you really have time for all this? Hiring a professional to help in your search and your analysis is so worth it. Really.

Let’s eliminate much of the uncertainty in your next home search.

Allow me to do what I am well trained to do: help you !



Ray Wedell, CFA

Samson Properties


YouTube: RayWedell (subscribe)






During the past few months, listings in the area have dried up considerably, and the current market is one identified with more willing buyers than desirable properties available for sale. In other words, despite relatively light transaction volume overall, the pressure is coming from the buyer side of the equation, not the seller side.

As the weather warms up, and we approach the traditional D.C. area “spring market”, potential sellers are beginning to inquire about the proper time to sell.

In Chapter 12 of the book “Zillow Talk”, by Spencer Rascoff (CEO, Zillow) and Stan Humphries (Chief Economist, Zillow) the Zillow executives go into great detail analyzing their deep data base to study this question. Although each market is different, and the economic conditions vary from year-to-year, the overall data suggests that to both sell fast and make more money, sellers should, “Put your home on the market after you fill out your NCAA March Madness basketball brackets, but before someone slips on an ivy-green jacket at the Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National.” 

What they are saying is that according to the data, the best time to list in this March-early April time frame. This is often the time when buyers begin to surface in a serious manner, and not too many listings have hit the market. So rather than wait for the traditional barrage of listings in April and May, get slightly ahead of the curve. To list any sooner risks have the home accumulate days on the market, but getting March exposure is likely to be the most advantageous from a supply/demand perspective.

From my intuitive and empirical observation of conditions in the Reston market today, and the markets in most of the D.C. area as well, the dynamics described above are in place.

I welcome a call from you to discuss this in detail. If you are thinking of listing your home for sale in the near future, I specialize in helping sellers reach logical economic decisions in how and when to list their home for maximum sales price in minimal time on the market.


5-star service and expertise


Ray Wedell, Zillow Premier Agent

Realtor, Samson Properties

Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA




The housing collapse and fall out for those caught in its crossfire is not yet a distant memory; however, millions of previous home buyers may be ready to enter the housing market over the next two years. This segment of the market has prematurely been identified as potential buying sources in the recent past; however, now that pundits have mostly turned away from them, clear factors are in place for a strong increase in buyer demand from previous homeowners recently shut out of the housing market.

What is a “boomerang buyer”? The general definition for a boomerang buyer is someone who was a former homeowner who was forced to go through a short sale, foreclosure, or bankruptcy in the past, and who has since been saving money and improving his/her credit rating to better able to qualify for a mortgage loan again.

What has precluded this group from stepping up and buying in the past few years? There are many factors here, and each case is different. The most often cited reasons are as follows:

  • The mortgage regulations are very strict in not allowing recent homeowners who have lost a home through short sale, foreclosure, or bankruptcy to re-enter the market using most of the available alternative lending platforms.
  • Mortgage qualifications have become much stricter in response to the market collapse of 2008-2010. Political leaders were lax to see the negative impact of overly aggressive mortgage policies leading to millions of “bad loans” being made, and the response to improve lending quality has resulted in much tougher qualifying standards for all Americans.
  • It takes time to rebuild, whether it be to rebuild individual credit scores or rebuild savings necessary for a down payment and closing costs on a home purchase.
  • The general shock and debilitating emotional effects of losing a home also impacts any potential buyers from re-entering the market as owners again. This factor is slowly eroding over time.


Why will sales to these people increasingly look to re-enter in 2017-2018?

  • Most boomerang buyers are market savvy; they understand my basic Ten Reasons to Own a Home, and realize that in the long term, the benefits of owning outweigh the benefits of renting in most cases. They want back in.
  • Rent rise, and most boomerang buyers have seen increases in monthly payments for housing, whereas home buying provides an opportunity for stable payments for the life of the loan.
  • They understand the many tax benefits of owning versus renting.
  • Markets have stabilized, and many are showing early signs of a major rebound.
  • The elapse of time: Credit agencies are reporting that credit scores for large numbers of previous short sale victims are rising rapidly. In fact, 68% of people in this class have higher average credit scores than all others combined. As the length of time since losing one’s home increases, the effect of a negative, or derogatory, credit event on one’s score decreases or may even be eliminated. There are several timeline points to be aware of, and I welcome a call from you to discuss details. However,  for purposes of this essay, keep in mind that seven years is a key time elapse from time of short sale to one’s present circumstances to clear derogatory credit of this nature. And given the importance of a raw credit score to home loan qualification, this is probably the major reason for a buying surge from boomerang buyers in 2017-2018. Given the large numbers of short sales and foreclosures in 2010 through 2012, millions of those who lost their homes and have been renting, will be strong qualifiers for a new loan. Most of them know the mortgage qualifying from previous purchases, and want to be home owners, not renters.
  • Extended period of low interest rates: Most potential boomerang buyers are accustomed to much higher interest rates than what is available today. In fact, today’s long-term fixed mortgage rates are lower than the first year “teaser” period on ARMs that existed when they were homeowners. This is no small factor in terms of actual economic benefit, and psychological/emotional reasons previous homeowners will want to be owners again.
  • Prices increases could get boomerang buyers “off the fence” faster than other other buying groups: Prices have not increased in our area as much as one might expect given extremely low interest rates and higher rents. For the most part, boomerang buyers are well aware that the current market favors buyers over renters in most economic situations. Once they see a market that looks very active and threatens to bring back days of bidding wars and the like, they will likely jump in in much larger numbers.
  • The shear increase in those who will satisfy the needed required time frames since foreclosure/short sale to qualify again will drive up the potential buying pool, regardless of factors stated above. In summary, an elixir for more buyer demand may be brewing. The impact of this increasing buyer group, on the margins as economists are and of reminding us, should not be minimized.


I welcome all questions and discussion on this important topic and anything related to D.C. Area residential housing.


Ray Wedell

Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA

5-star service and expertise

Samson Properties







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