WASHINGTON, DC-Two recent sales does not a trend make, but Marcus & Millichap brokers David Weber and Cole Spalding are increasingly hearing a common refrain from single owner investors: now’s the time to put their properties on the market and get realistic about price.

“There is a growing undercurrent of concern among smaller private investors,” Spalding tells GlobeSt.com. “Developments in the market and economy have led a lot of the people [that] we talk to to conclude that now is the time to pull their equity off of the table.”

“Private investors have realized that the market has changed and it is a different world than it was a couple of years ago,” Weber tells GlobeSt.com.

The bid-ask spread in price has been one–but not the only–factor in the dearth of investment sales in the DC area. Weber and Spalding’s views add to the growing anecdotal evidence that a thaw is underway. They point to two recent sales as illustration.

One property at 2601 Prince William Pkwy. in Woodbridge, VA, leased to Smokey Bones BBQ and Grill, sold for $1.35 million. Another transaction sold for $1.9 million at 3900 Pickett Rd. in Fairfax, VA. It is leased to multiple tenants. The new listing, located on Sudley Rd. in Manassas is leased to Goodwill and Mattress Discounters and is for sale for $4.3 million.

Pricing has become more in line with buyer expectations, Spaulding says–but they haven’t reached the point of fire sale status. “Sellers are still trying to maximize value as they should, but buyers are having a hard time getting money from banks and that is putting upward pressure on cap rates.”

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