Hiring an Agent to Sell Your House May Cost You NOTHING!

Here’s the latest report in from Keeping Current Matters:
Hiring an Agent to Sell Your House May Cost You NOTHING! | MyKCM

There is no doubt that it is easier to sell your house when using the services of a local real estate professional. The agent will provide:

  • Greater exposure to more buyers
  • The skills of a professional negotiator
  • A layer of protection from possible legal liabilities
  • Professional guidance in navigating any pitfalls that may arise
  • A level of safety while showing the home

There is no doubt that these services are valuable to any family that decides to sell. The only question is – how valuable? One of the main reasons For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) don’t use a real estate agent is because they believe these services are not worth the fee an agent charges. But, what if those services didn’t cost the seller a penny?

study by Collateral Analytics, however, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save anything and, in some cases, may be costing themselves more by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.” (emphasis added)

Why would FSBOs net less money on their own than if they used an agent?

The study makes several suggestions:

  • “There could be systematic bias on the buyer side as well. FSBO sales might attract more strategic buyers than MLS sales, particularly buyers who rationalize lower-priced bids on with the logic that the seller is “saving” a traditional commission. Such buyers might specifically search for and target sellers who are not getting representational assistance from agents.” In other words, ‘bargain lookers’ might shop FSBOs more often.
  • “Experienced agents are experts at ‘staging’ homes for sale” which could bring more money for the home.
  • “Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.” If more buyers see a home, the greater the chances are that there could be a bidding war for the property.

Three conclusions from the study:

  1. FSBOs achieve prices significantly lower than those from similar properties sold by Realtors using the MLS.
  2. The differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%.
  3. The sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling, FSBOing may end up costing you money instead of saving you money.

Wondering How Much Your House Is Worth? Here’s a place to start. THEN call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975.

WHat Is My Home Worth

Search Northern VA Homes For Sale By School District

Over the years, we’ve noticed many of our clients rank “school district” as one of their top search criteria when thinking of buying a new home. Whether it’s because you have children in school now or because you’re thinking about resale value – school district can be an important factor. For example, some buyers look for schools that offer AP (Advanced Placement) classes. While other buyers are more interested in a school that offers the IB (International Baccalaureate) program. Some require a school with a GT program. And others are looking for special assistance. We’ve even had clients choose a home based on a particular high school baseball team they are targeting. And others who search for homes based on who has the best theater program. In Northern Va, there’s something for everyone!

So we made it easy for you. Our web site has customized searches by high school for Northern Virginia homes in areas like Vienna, Oakton, Arlington, Fairfax & all the surrounding areas.

Search Northern Virginia Homes For Sale by School District

What is My Current Home Worth? (Instant, Online Home Valuation)

The Belt Team is ranked in the Top 20 Best Realtors in the State of VA by Real Trends (out of 30,000 agents) and also named to Washingtonian Magazine’s Best Agents in 2015 & 2016. Call (703) 242-3975 and The Belt Team will help YOU make the RIGHT move!

Hurricane Harvey – What YOU Can Do

Dear Friends & Clients . . .

Thank you to those who have already reached out to us to see how you can help! It means a lot.

For those who don’t know, our company (Keller Williams Realty) is headquartered in Austin, Texas. This means we have thousands of agents in the Houston and surrounding areas that were hit by Hurricane Harvey. At present count, at least 300 of our agents (and thousands of other non KW folks) are out of their homes and many more severely impacted. 7,000 people will take refuge in Austin where many of us will be volunteering. Not only have they lost their homes, their pets and belongings – they will be impacted for months to come since their livelihood is dependent on the housing industry.

We have many personal friends who have been impacted. And many others who have been heroes, literally pulling people out of the water. One of many stories shared yesterday: “We finally found our cat. Floating by on a mattress.”

YOU CAN HELP.

Our company has an established 501(c)3 charity (KW Cares) with a long history and lots of experience in helping with disaster relief and recovery. We own multiple 18 wheelers for this purpose, the first of which arrived in Houston with supplies today. Rather than collecting water, clothing and other supplies, the best way you can help is to donate money. KW Cares is then able to buy in bulk. They are working closely with the Salvation Army & Red Cross, and will adjust what is purchased based on needs as they change day by day. 100% of all donations go to disaster relief. (All admin costs are personally handled by our Chairman Gary Keller and Vice Chairman of the Board Mo Anderson).

Image result for kw cares trucks

DONATE NOW

(Please donate and choose McLean or other when instructed to choose a Market Center. Designate your donation to Hurricane Harvey Relief.)

Our company has committed to raise $20 Million. We have a LONG way to go.

Thanks for stepping up. It’s in times like this that the good in people comes out and our friends and family shine. We appreciate you. Please pray for all of those affected.

#kwcares

Regards,

The Belt Team

Terry Belt, Christy Belt Grossman, Kevin Kleifges, Patty Schuebel, Beth Dadisman, Tom Hanton, Gail Belt & Jerry Belt

Terry Belt & The Belt Team Named To Washingtonian’s Top Real Estate Agent List

The Belt Team is honored to announce that we have once again been named to Washingtonian Magazines “Top Real Estate Agent List” in the 2017 “Best of Washington” issue. Only about 100 agents in the entire Northern VA, Washington D.C. & Maryland area (out of tens of thousands) were listed (and a large number of those were in our own Keller Williams McLean office!). Thanks to all of our clients and friends for allowing us to serve you and for your referrals!

In case you’re wondering how they came up with the list, here’s what the magazine said previously: ” We sent surveys to nearly 16,000 recent Washington homebuyers asking them to rank their agents on a series of criteria, including integrity, market knowledge, and negotiation skills. We called mortgage brokers and settlement attorneys to ask whom they most enjoy doing business with and whose clients always seem happiest. And of course, we asked dozens of agents to dish about their peers. Based on these layers of reporting, we came up with the names.

The Belt Team includes Terry Belt (CEO), Gail Belt (Founding Partner), Kevin Kleifges (Listing Specialist), Beth Dadisman (Realtor), Tom Hanton (Realtor), Christy Grossman (Chief Operating Officer), Jerry Belt (Special Services) & Patty Schuebel (Client Care Manager).

Best of WashingtonianThe Belt Team serves all of Northern Virginia and Washington DC. We have sold more homes in the Vienna Oakton area than any other Realtor or team since 1973, and we also sell more homes outside of Vienna / Oakton than we do in! The Belt Team Team is ranked in the Top 3000 Teams for the largest real estate company by agent count in the world – Keller Williams Realty, with over 140,000 agents. And we are most proud of the Five Star reviews given to us by our past clients on independent real estate site Zillow.com because the reviews reflect that we are achieving our mission: “Changing Lives For The Better“!

If it’s time to change YOUR life, call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975!

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Top Realtor Vienna VA

U.S. Housing Inventory Hits a New Low – That’s GREAT! (If You’re Selling!)

Here’s the latest from our colleagues at Keeping Current Matters.
For info about YOUR neighborhood (or the neighborhood you want to live in), give The Belt Team a call at (703) 242-3975. We can provide you with detailed facts PLUS the “boots on the ground” data that will help you make the RIGHT move! Because what’s happening in Vienna may be different than in Arlington. Even more important is price range – because we are seeing a slowing in the upper ranges, while other price ranges remain HOT!
U.S. Housing Inventory Hits a New Low… List Your House TODAY! | MyKCM

Every summer, families across the country decide if this will be the year they sell their current house and move into their dream home.

Mortgage rates have hovered around 4% for all of 2017, forcing buyers off the fence and into the market, resulting in incredibly strong demand RIGHT NOW!! At the same time, inventory levels of homes for sale have dropped dramatically as compared to this time last year.

Trulia reported that “U.S. home inventory has tumbled 8.9% over the past year and has now fallen for nine consecutive quarters.” There is now 20% less inventory than there was five years ago.

Here is a chart showing the decrease in inventory levels by category:

U.S. Housing Inventory Hits a New Low… List Your House TODAY! | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Demand for your home is very strong right now while your competition (other homes for sale) is at a historically low level. If you are thinking of selling in 2017, now may be the perfect time.

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Search Homes For Sale on our State-of-the-Art Search Site (It’s updated faster and more often than other sites!)

Top Realtor Vienna VA

Thinking of Selling? You Should Act NOW!

Now is the time to sell.

That’s the opinion of our colleagues at Keeping Current Matters. (Our opinion depends on your personal situation, so give us a call at (703) 242-3975 and we will do an in depth analysis with you so you can be sure of what’s right for YOU.)

What Is My Home Worth

Here’s why KCM thinks NOW is the time . . .

Thinking of Selling? You Should Act NOW! | MyKCM

If you thought about selling your house this year, now more than ever may be the time to do it! The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned the concept of supply and demand: the best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, recently commented:

“Buyer interest is solid, but there is just not enough supply to satisfy demand. Prospective buyers are being sidelined by both limited choices and home prices that are climbing too fast.”

Yun goes on to say:

“Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it’s clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions.”

In this type of market, a seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to price and other aspects of the real estate transaction, including the inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies.

Bottom Line

As a potential seller, you are in the driver’s seat right now. It might be time to hit the gas.

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. Recently named to Washingtonian Magazine’s Best Realtors list for the 3rd year in a row, we are one of the country’s top teams and would love to help you make the RIGHT move for YOU.

What Is My Home Worth

69% of Buyers are Wrong About Down Payment Needs

The Belt Team sells lots of homes to first-time homebuyers and invariably when we meet for the first time, there are lots of misconceptions about what it takes to buy a home. How much money you need for a down payment is almost always one of them.

Here’s an article from Keeping Current Matters about some of the mythunderstandings:

69% of Buyers are Wrong About Down Payment Needs | MyKCM

According to a recent survey conducted by Genworth Financial Inc. at the Annual Mortgage Bankers’ Association Secondary Market Conference, mortgage professionals say that first-time buyers still believe a 20% down payment is necessary to buy in today’s market.

Nearly 40% of mortgage industry professionals surveyed believe that a lack of knowledge about the home-buying process is keeping potential buyers on the sidelines. Saving for a down payment is often cited as a huge barrier for first-time homebuyers to make the leap into homeownership.

If homeowners believe that they need a 20% down payment to enter the market, they also believe that they will have to wait years (in some markets) to come up with the necessary funds to buy their dream homes.

The greatest source of confusion cited in the survey results centered around down payments. The results are broken down in the chart below:

69% of Buyers are Wrong About Down Payment Needs | MyKCM

Rohit Gupta, CEO of Genworth Mortgage Insurance had this to say,

“While first-time homebuyers continue to drive the purchase market, we believe many are staying on the sidelines due to the misconception that a 20 percent down payment is required to secure a mortgage.

There are various low down payment options available today that allow prospective homebuyers to reach their dreams of homeownership sooner. It is crucial that, as an industry, we proactively educate eligible borrowers about solutions that will enable them to buy a home when they’re ready.”

Bottom Line

Don’t let a lack of understanding of the home-buying process keep you and your family out of the housing market. Let’s get together to discuss your options! Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975.

What Info Is Needed To Apply For A Mortgage

Tips For First-Time Homebuyers

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