TTR Sotheby’s International Realty Welcomes Bo Billups to its Downtown Washington, D.C. Brokerage

TTR Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to welcome Bo Billups to its Downtown Washington, D.C. brokerage. 

A veteran Realtor® and long-time resident of Washington, D.C., Billups joins TTR Sotheby’s International Realty as one of the region’s most respected real estate professionals.

Named to Washingtonian Magazine’s 2017 list of the 100 Best Real Estate Agents, Billups also brings previous experience as a residential loan officer and real estate investor. 

“I’m thrilled to have joined TTR Sotheby’s International Realty for this next chapter in my real estate career,” says Billups, whose insights into residential real estate have been the subject of appearances on HGTV and New Channel 8.

“The brand is synonymous with quality, service, and excellence and my clients will benefit from TTR Sotheby’s International Realty’s global presence, technology initiatives, and innovative marketing.

An advocate for stronger communities, Billups worked hand in hand with members of Washington, D.C.’s local government to help establish a free ID program for homeless residents.

“The company’s sincere commitment to community service reflects my own passion for volunteerism and community building, says Billups, who remains an active volunteer with Toastmasters International and a member of the Shakespeare Theater Company’s Artistic Circle.

“In my short time at the firm, it already feels like I’ve found my professional ‘home’ and am looking forward to many exciting years ahead.” 

TTR Sotheby’s International Realty is a licensed real estate brokerage in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

The Amazon Effect: Exploring HQ2’s Impact on the Washington Metropolitan Area’s Real Estate Market

As reported today by The Wall Street Journal, Amazon, the world’s largest technology company, announced the locations of its newest corporate headquarters.

Dubbed HQ2, Amazon will deliver new corporate outposts in New York, New York and Arlington, Virginia.

The announcement, which introduces new jobs and infrastructure to the Washington Metropolitan Area, presents serious questions about the impact on home values and the real estate market at large.

To help understand the impact of Amazon HQ2 on the Washington Metropolitan Area’s housing market, we spoke with Mark C. Lowham, CEO and Managing Partner of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

4075 35th Street North, Arlington, Virginia presented by Holly Tennant of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

Manage Expectations

While Amazon’s selection of the Washington Metropolitan Area will undoubtedly result in an increase in demand for housing, the planned 25,000 jobs will likely be filled over the course of the next three to five years. So while the immediate impact on the local marketplace will be meaningful, consider managing expectations around a sudden boom scenario.

Supply and Demand

Throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area, the housing inventory pipeline remains relatively fixed. As a result, it will take several years for new projects to move through the development pipeline. While we can expect more competition and upward pressure on prices in the existing rental and for sale housing market, it’s important to understand the near and long term effects.

Furthermore, location matters. As a result, submarkets with access to public transportation and proximation to Arlington and Crystal City will likely be impacted most by the move in the immediate and long term.

How Amazon’s HQ2 Announcement Could Affect Your Rent »

4036 35th Street North, Arlington, Virginia presented by Donna Martin of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

Find a Trusted Broker

Each year, thousands of military personnel, government employees, and professionals from the world’s leading corporations relocate to the Washington Metropolitan Area.

When considering a personal or professional relocation, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced real estate professional in your target marketplace.

With seven real estate offices across Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty offers a best in class relocation platform, including partnerships and preferred broker relationships with some of the world’s leading corporate relocation companies, including Cartus, SIRVA, and Graebel.

What Amazon’s HQ2 decision will mean for the area’s real estate market » 

2323 Ridgeview Road North, Arlington, Virginia presented by Daniel Heider of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

Finally, as we welcome our friends from Amazon to the Washington Metropolitan Area, we are reminded of the power of the Sotheby’s International Realty network.

Offering unparalleled access to the world’s finest homes, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty’s 450 real estate professionals are uniquely positioned to help buyers and sellers alike navigate the dynamics of our ever-changing real estate market.

Alongside our colleagues at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, whose service areas include Long Island, Queens, and Suffolk, we encourage you to reach out for a personal consultation on what Amazon HQ2 means for you and the market at large.

TTR Sotheby’s International Realty is a licensed real estate brokerage in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

A Sophisticated Penthouse Loft In Washington, D.C.’s Shaw Neighborhood

Condominium for Sale at 928 O St NW #3 928 O St NW #3 Washington, District Of Columbia 20001 United States
The living room of The Penthouse Loft, a stunning multi-level residence in Washington, D.C.’s historic Shaw neighborhood.

The historic neighborhood of Shaw represents one of Washington, D.C.’s most desirable locations. 

Featuring some of the city’s most charming homes and some of the nation’s finest restaurants and bars — including The Dabney and The Columbia Room — Shaw offers charm, walkability, and amenities matched only by the nation’s most desirable neighborhoods.

Learn more about 928 O Street NW #3, Washington, D.C. » 

Condominium for Sale at 928 O St NW #3 928 O St NW #3 Washington, District Of Columbia 20001 United States
The stunning penthouse residence offers 3 bedrooms and over 2,700 square feet of living space.

Set within Shaw’s Blagden Alley historic district, the stunning Naylor Court Lofts offer an unparalleled urban living experience.

Delivered in 2017 by Brooke Rose Development, this extraordinary penthouse residence begins at the ground level, where a private foyer leads to a personal elevator that traverses each of the residence’s four levels, including a southern-facing rooftop terrace with inspiring views of the city.

Condominium for Sale at 928 O St NW #3 928 O St NW #3 Washington, District Of Columbia 20001 United States
The penthouse residence is outfitted with amenities of unparalleled quality.

A spectacular floating staircase runs through the core of the residence, which delivers sunlight from the windows and skylights above.

On the main level, a sprawling living room and dining room with 14 foot ceilings and a stunning glazed brick fireplace serve as an inviting venue for entertaining.

928 O Street NW #3, Washington, D.C. is presented by Paul Pike of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

TTR Sotheby’s International Realty is a licensed real estate brokerage in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

The Art of the Comparative Market Analysis

Of the many tools and techniques a successful real estate agent must possess, the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) remains key.

An examination of “comparable” properties — typically those that have sold — CMAs are used by real estate agents to determine the price to list a home (or the price to offer for a home that may be on the market).

To understand CMAs and their role in the real estate marketing lifecycle, we sat down with Maxwell Rabin, Vice President at TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

First, what is a CMA?

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a process that helps determine the valuation of a property by comparing it to similar properties in the same area that have recently sold. An effective CMA will consider similar properties to your subject property and then normalize the comparable properties based on specific criteria and data points, adding consideration for unique attributes of the property that either add or detract from its value.

How do you prepare CMAs?

First, you have to have a reliable source of data from which to reference. I almost always use the MLS, which, for real estate professionals, offers comprehensive data on properties both on and off the market. 

Next, you need to determine your primary data point. For me, it’s price per square foot. While most properties include bedrooms and bathrooms and list prices and sales prices, normalizing your CMA around one data point is helpful.

Then, you have to look at the type of property you are analyzing. Is this a condo in the middle of city center or a sprawling estate in the countryside? Typically, the more comparable properties you have (meaning, the more types of properties that have sold that are of similar makeup of your subject property) the more parity there will be in pricing. 

In the case of a condo in city center, chances are that there are many sales and comparable listings to analyze, so pricing becomes more focused on location, the floors, amenities, etc. 

For a sprawling country estate, on the other hand — where the price point is higher and there are fewer sales to compare to on a relative basis — it can be more difficult. 

In every case, I have a boilerplate template that gets customized based on the nuances of the subject property and the market. 

Townhouse for Sale at Georgetown 1659 34th St NW Washington, District Of Columbia 20007 United States
1659 34th Street NW Washington, D.C. presented by Michael Brennan Jr. of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

What is the most important metric or data point in a CMA? 

Personally, I use Price per Square Foot with the advertised square footage that the agent provides in the listing. If advertised square footage is not available, I will then defer to the tax records. As an example, if I the subject property is a tear down or a new build, you won’t have tax records so you will have to defer to the advertised square footage.

When do you present a CMA to a client?

There’s no better time to present a CMA than during your listing presentation. Ideally, going into this conversation with your prospective client, you will have already done your homework on the subject property and can use the CMA to help seal the deal. In many ways, the preparation of a CMA is table stakes for having a productive conversation with a potential client, and presents an opportunity to deliver value from the start.

Can you give us an example of how you would prepare a CMA for a condo? 

Sure, so as I mentioned I have a boilerplate template which has certain criteria and data points mapped out. The first process is to enter the basic information of your subject property, including beds, baths, and price..

Next, I’ll add in specific unique qualities of the subject property, such as HOA fees, parking, and location (corner, basement, etc.).

Finally, I’ll add in my own curated knowledge of the area or neighborhood as well as the comparable sold listings from the past year or so.

For example, I may know that one comparable property has amazing views, so there is a bit of an edge there – or, I know that even though the subject property and the comparable properties are in the same condo building, the subject property on floor 2 has a better layout than floor 6 (even though each has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and the same square footage).

Once we have everything mapped out, we will focus on one or two properties as the primary comparables to the subject property. 

Single Family Home for Sale at 2169 Logans Mill Rd 2169 Logans Mill Rd The Plains, Virginia 20198 United States
2169 Logans Mill Road, The Plains, Virginia presented by Gloria Rose Ott of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

In the case of a price adjustment, how would you approach the conversation? Can you use a CMA to help inform a new price?

Absolutely. Just recently in Capitol Hill, I had a listing that was simply not selling despite a very healthy market where a lot of inventory was moving fast. When I took over the listing, I knew upfront the listing was likely over-priced, but I had to prove this to my seller client before putting it back on the market.

To help sell the price adjustment, I put together a CMA including all sold listings from the past year as well as all new comparable listings that were coming on the market. The baseline was to look at sold properties, all of which were indeed coming in lower than our original list price. Then, we looked at what’s coming on the market and provided updates weekly so we understood the velocity of new sales and the price point that buyers were gravitating towards.  

In the case of this property, the listing was in a fantastic location in a hot neighborhood, but had no parking and no basement — despite being priced almost identically to properties which had both of these key features. In this case, lowering the price turned out to be the right move and we ultimately sold the property, but this wouldn’t have happened if I was not able to present data in an easy and digestible manner. 

In what other cases would a CMA be helpful?

In Washington, D.C., we work with real estate developers who purchase row homes, subdivide and renovate them to be sold as condos. In this case, we often prepare CMAs so the property developer — in this case, our client — can understand in-out costs and so they can manage expectations on how lucrative the project may be.

For a real estate developer, in the context, it’s helpful to know of similar projects in the neighborhood and the acquisition costs for the original properties, as well as the list and sale price for the new renovated units that will eventually hit the market.

If you as the real estate developer know you have to hit a certain profit margin for the project, but have an ambitious renovation ahead of you that may not make you whole, it’s better to know that before you start the project rather than after. A CMA helps.

Single Family Home for Sale at 3911 Bradley Ln 3911 Bradley Ln Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815 United States
3911 Bradley Lane, Chevy Chase, Maryland presented by Jonathan Taylor of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

How do you discuss Zestimates when introducing your CMA?

This is something we’ve dealt with many times.

In the case of a seller wanting to list her house at the Zestimate price — in which case, the Zestimate was high, in our opinion — we simply go back to the CMA.

In this case, we will take the subject property and compare it to the Zestimates of comparable sold listings as well as their actual sales price on a cost per square foot basis.

 In this case, we are trying to educate our client — not necessarily that a Zestimate is bad, but that it may not reflect the reality of the marketplace.

In this case, the Zestimates of the sold comparable properties were around 10% higher than the actual sold data. In an alternate reality, you can imagine acquiescing to the owner’s wishes and listing at the Zestimate price, but then — because it was priced too high — having to make concessions via price improvements.

About Maxwell Rabin

Maxwell Rabin began his real estate career in 2000 working as a sales associate at TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. Now an associate broker, Maxwell has grown his business alongside the founder of the firm, Jonathan Taylor — their team is perennially ranked among the highest producing in Washington, D.C..

Maxwell has facilitated hundreds of transactions, covering every type of residential property, including: large single-family homes, historic properties, condominiums and cooperatives, multi-family buildings, new construction, as well as several commercial real estate transactions.

A native Washingtonian, Mr. Rabin grew up in Chevy Chase and was a member of the Adams Morgan community for 11 years. Currently, Maxwell resides in Georgetown.

A graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., and later of the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston, Maxwell is also an accomplished guitarist and music instructor with a specialization in jazz performance and composition.

TTR Sotheby’s International Realty is a licensed real estate brokerage in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

An Inspiring Country Estate in Warrenton, Virginia

Single Family Home for Sale at Elway Hall 8394 Elway Lane Warrenton, Virginia 20186 United States
Designed for entertaining, Elway Hall is one of the most celebrated and inspiring estate offerings in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Virginia’s Horse and Wine Country is one of the premier rural destinations in the United States.

Featuring an array of idyllic small towns and historic venues, including the esteemed Gold Cup steeplechase races, Virginia’s Wine and Horse Country presents boundless opportunities to explore some of America’s finest country homes and rural estates.

In the historic town of Warrenton, just one hour outside of Washington, D.C., the extraordinary Elway Hall captures the essence of the Virginia countryside.

Learn more about Elway Hall » 

Single Family Home for Sale at Elway Hall 8394 Elway Lane Warrenton, Virginia 20186 United States
Designed by Barry Dixon, Elway Hall brings the past into the present by incorporating the most modern conveniences while maintaining the timeless elegance of the Edwardian period.

Set on nearly 300 acres of verdant Virginia countryside, Elway Hall is one of the finest country estates in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Built in 1907 by prominent industrialist and railroad tycoon, Johnson Newlon Camden, this extraordinary 20,000 Edwardian mansion captures the timeless essence of a bygone era.

Single Family Home for Sale at Elway Hall 8394 Elway Lane Warrenton, Virginia 20186 United States
Original Tiffany windows overlook the grand carved oak staircase.

For the past two decades, Elway Hall has been home to internationally celebrated American interior designer Barry Dixon.

Designed to maintain the elegance of the Edwardian era — while introducing modern amenities, including a stunning country kitchen and butler’s pantry, — Elway Hall features soaring 13-foot ceilings, 10 dedicated bedrooms, 7 baths, 17 fireplaces, and wine cellar among the long list of elegant amenities.

Along the property’s sweeping grounds, a swimming pool blends perfectly with the landscape, while a classic brick barn and silo with copper roof serve as an entertaining space for friends and visitors alike.

Elway Hall is presented by Mark C. Lowham of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

TTR Sotheby’s International Realty is a licensed real estate brokerage in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.