When Muffin Lynham, an agent with Washington Fine Properties, arrived to her open house in American University Park last month, she was amazed to find people snaked down the sidewalk even though it was snowing. True, the white-washed brick Colonial checked a lot of the right boxes for the typical well-to-do pandemic buyer: It was a single-family detached house, in a leafy pocket of Upper Northwest, with a pool and a yard. But still.
Even with the crummy weather, the listing had a packed weekend of showings and pre-inspections. At the end of it, Lynham got 16 offers. The house, originally listed for $1,850,000, closed this week for $2,650,000—an eye-popping $800,000 above its asking price.
Lynham says she didn’t purposely under-list the house. She says she priced it in line with comparable sales in both AU Park and nearby Chevy Chase DC. Nonetheless, she says the place had some specific features that she thinks made it especially desirable.
“This house had not been on the market for 57 years,” she says. “Over the years, they expanded it, they did upgrades, they improved the kitchen, they had a beautiful family room, and they had a swimming pool. And I think since the pandemic, people in Washington have really, really sought outdoor space.” (The two-car garage, and library room with a fireplace probably didn’t hurt, either.)
She listed the house on a Thursday, and gave buyers until the following Tuesday to submit their offers. A few eager bidders wrote contracts by Thursday night.
“We really wanted, you know, to share it with as many people as possible,” says Lynham. “We really gave everybody an opportunity. And I think that’s really what helped us get 16 offers.”