We’re no newbies to election years at Dana Rice Group. In fact, with four election cycles under our belt, we’ve picked up on a trend or two. As DMV natives, we know that transfer of power comes with an inherent fear of the unknown. From the 2000 Bush v. Gore “hanging chad” debacle to the more recent 2021 attempt to prevent the certification of the election, the unpredictability of an election paired with the lack of graceful handoff has inevitably affected more than the political arena- it affects the real estate market too. 

How to pivot if you’re a seller or buyer

The ebbs and flows in real estate are a natural part of how the housing market operates. For most, the spring market is HOT, while summer tends to slow down before a few weeks of action in the fall, and again - a slow down in the holiday winter months. 

The DRG team prediction? Given that we’re in the nation's capital, we expect a standstill (ahem, dead) market after October 1st until the looming election plays out. 

So what does this mean for sellers and buyers? Get your sales in before May. 

The Seller Strategy

Sellers, we have three words to live your year by: set your expectations. 

Politics, interest rates, and inventory aside - when push comes to shove - we empower our sellers to make the decisions they need to make for their family. Much like surfing - riding the waves of the selling process is a must so you don’t wipe out. 

Our seller “hot tip” - consider removing the previous conditions that used to be considered status quo. As much as possible, you want to avoid creating a sense of “baggage” between you and potential buyers. 

We recommend focusing on getting the best buyers in the door by offering a “co-op commission”, or a buyer-agent compensation/concession, up front. Here’s why:

  • This will increase an interest in showings right off the bat. When a seller’s  agent or broker offers part of their commission to the buyer’s agent, it encourages cooperation to help facilitate the transaction faster. 
  • There is representation that is covered in the loan. The seller would pay for a cooperation agreement, as it is part of the sales price. The buyer would only pay for what they paid for the house or as part of the mortgage, rather than as an added expense. These fees do not have to be paid up front.
  • Maryland is experienced in co-op commissions. Around here, we know how co-ops work. This process already exists in Maryland, and has for over 30 years, as well as the DC area, while other markets are unfamiliar and unequipped to negotiate a fair co-op commission. 

A lawsuit between The National Association of Realtors and DOJ is currently in the process of a $418 million settlement surrounding decoupling commission structure. The DOJ is seeking to force a complete separation of compensation for buyers’ agents and sellers’ agents. Seller’s should not stop offering buyer-agent co-op while the lawsuit is still in progress. 

The Buyer Advantage 

The pendulum eventually swings in the opposite direction, and after years of being at the mercy of an ultra-competitive sellers market  - buyers are back in control. 

Here’s the deal - sellers are on the market for a good reason and although inventory may be low, your voice is being heard! 

Here’s our advice for buyers: 

  • Don’t take your foot off the gas. This is still a proactive market with opportunities to be had. As sellers feel the strain of market conditions - you have more leverage to negotiate. The first one in the door has the advantage! 
  • You’re not adversaries with the seller. Right now, competition is not deep which means you can ask for conditions that you may not have been able to ask for before. Go for it!
  • Keep your internal bias in check. Stop worrying about what others think about how the buying process has changed. Get your inspection done and celebrate the win! DC is known for being a “formal” marketplace, but right now is the time to channel your inner New Yorker or Miamian! Whereas Washingtonians can be swayed by social proof to justify their purchases - our buyers down south and up north act quickly, seemingly without fear. Pioneer your experience! Be confident in what you want/need and go for it!

Experience is seen in the application 

All the insights and predictions aside, we need you to know that our advice is rooted in experience and commitment to service to our clients. Desperation to make a sale can be sniffed out a mile away. For us, through our buyer and seller consults, you’ll come to understand the importance of communication that’s not only consistent - but borders on relentless. From photos, to videos, texts and the perfectly timed meme - you’ll feel held and included throughout the entire process. You deserve to have control, whether you’re buying or selling and we understand that the tiny every day details are the BIG details. 

If you’ve gotten this far - you’re the real MVP! If you’re a repeat DRG client, this is old news for you - but if you’re considering partnering with our team, know that when you’re in the DRG circle - we protect you. While you’re off kicking butt in your world, we make sure to have ALL the details covered in ours. We do this in a million ways that you’ll likely never be aware of -  but at the end of the day, it’s the difference between selling or buying a home and not. 


Dana Rice Group of Compass empowers clients through elevated and unrivaled real estate expertise. If you’re ready to partner with a tactical real estate team with a proven process, email us at [email protected] or call 202-669-6908.

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Go Ahead --- Get To Know us!

Dana Rice Group team brings more than 45 years' combined expertise to work for our clients. Dana, Lisa, Kcrystal, Karen, Kate and Catie work as interchangeable parts so our buyers and sellers always have access to personal, hands-on support. With varying backgrounds in architecture, staging, marketing, sales and communications we have unique perspectives on the market -- servicing both first time buyers and those looking at properties in the upper brackets with diligence, care and excellence. With decades of living in Maryland and D.C. between us, we work together to ensure that clients achieve success.
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