Selling Your Home During The Holidays – Good Idea or Bad?

Northern VA Home sales As Thanksgiving approaches, we often get the question, “Should I wait to go on the market until after the holidays?” or “My home is on the market now, should I take it off during the holidays?”. Well, the answer is “It depends“! Here are some things you might want to consider if you’re thinking of selling your home during the holidays (and you can start here with a FREE online estimate of what your home is worth.)

  • If your home is already on the market, it may be a good idea to stay on the market. Buyers who are looking at homes during the holidays are usually “Real Buyers” and not just “lookie-loos”. Beth Dadisman, Buyer Specialist for The Belt Team, says “I have multiple buyers who are VERY motivated to buy during this timeframe.” And Gail Belt, Founding Partner of The Belt Team says, “My experience is that Buyers who are out looking at property during the holidays tend to be serious buyers. There may not be as many people looking at your house, but the ones who come NEED to buy or they wouldn’’t be out looking at this time of year.” Beth added, “My husband and I have moved 3 times in January. So we were some of those serious buyers looking in December!”
  • During the holidays, many Sellers take their homes off the market. This means we often see inventory drop and therefore if you’re on the market, you may have less competition. Kevin Kleifges, Belt Team Listing Partner, says: “It depends on your situation. I’m advising most of my sellers to stay on the market. We can work with you to restrict showings on special days like Thanksgiving. But selling now before Spring competition picks up might be in your best interests.” Terry Belt, CEO of The Belt Team adds, “If you do go off the market now, consider coming back on immediately in the new year. In many areas, homes sell for more money in January-February than they do in the typical “Spring Market”  of March-April.
  • What is your true motivation? Do you truly want/need to sell? If you’re just “testing the market” (IE – if you are not realistically pricing your home to what TODAY’S Buyers are willing to pay), then now is NOT the time to go on the market. Your home will likely not sell, and then when Spring arrives – your home will be “stale on the market”. Tom Hanton, Realtor Partner with The Belt Team says “Prospective Buyers will wonder what’s wrong with your home and why it’s been on the market so long.” (This is true at any time of year. Overpricing stigmatizes your home and hurts your eventual bottom line significantly.)
  • Set your expectations properly.” says Kevin. “Plan accordingly and prepare yourself & your family to be ready to juggle preparation & showings with other seasonal activities. (And if you have little ones, maybe Santa’s upcoming visit will encourage them to keep their rooms clean!)”
  • Some Sellers really should wait until Spring. While most homes look better in the Spring when the trees fill out & flowers are in bloom, this is not usually a reason to wait for Spring. (That’s what everyone does and that just means more competition.) However, some homes are an exception to this rule. For example, Terry Belt shares, “We had a listing that backed to a cemetery. And while some people like that idea (quiet neighbors!), most people don’t like the reminder when they look out the window of their home. This is an item that can severely impact salability and price. In this case, we advised our Sellers to wait a few extra months and put their home on the market when trees were fully blossomed and the cemetery was not visible. You cannot get rid of extraneous factors like a cemetery, but you can mitigate their impact.”
  • If you do go on the market, don’t forget that Buyers looking at your home are trying to picture themselves & their families in your home. This is hard to do if your home is over-decorated with holiday knick knacks. “You may want to be a little more restrained than you normally would be when putting up your decorations” says Tom, “Too many decorations can also make your rooms look smaller than they really are. In addition, Winter is a dark time of year, so make sure you keep your home as light-filled as possible. Open the drapes, raise the blinds and turn on all your lights. The few extra pennies will be worth it!

If you need help working through what is the best time to put your home on the market, contact The Belt Team – or give Terry Belt or Kevin Kleifges or Tom Hanton a call at (703) 242-3975. Every situation is different and we would be happy to help you figure out what is best for YOU!

FREE online estimate of what your home is worth.Best Real Estate Agents in Northern VA

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

Vienna Real Estate Stats – October 2017 Update

Let’s see what’s happening in the Vienna real estate market – September 2017 home sale stats are in!

  • 61 homes went under contract in Vienna. This is flat as compared to the same time period in 2016.
  • Homes are selling faster than a year ago! 38% of the homes that sold in September 2017, sold in 10 days or less. This is up from 24% in September 2016 (%).
  • Average sold price was up 2% over September 2016.
  • 107 homes came on the market. That’s down 16% from September 2016.
  • Homes that sold (closed) averaged 47 days on market, 6 days faster than September 2016.
  • We currently have a 3.3 month supply of homes in Vienna – and 212 Vienna homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single family).

OVERALL: Vienna has entered a Balanced Market for the first time in many years!

However, in any given price range, the numbers may skew very differently – making some price ranges a Seller’s Market, some Balanced and some a Buyer’s Market. A Balanced Market has 3-6 months of inventory. As an example – we have a 9 month supply of homes over $1.7 Million and in the under $800,000 price range – we have a 1.8 month supply. This means Buyers over $1.7 Million are looking at a Buyer’s Market, and Buyers in the lower ranges are competing and facing a Seller’s Market.


BUYERS & SELLERS

Make sure your agent is providing you with the data you need to make good decisions. Buying and selling often becomes about emotion. Buyers fall in love with homes or want to “get a deal” to feel good about buying. Sellers are invested in how much THEY love their home or have a number in mind based on what they “need” to get out of it.

WHat Is My Home Worth

The reality is that Buyers & Sellers who are successful in today’s market look at the data and act accordingly. The data above about the variances in different price ranges is a perfect example of why. Right here in Vienna we have two totally different markets. If you’re looking to buy, and you “make an offer” below list price – you might be VERY successful in the upper ranges because we have such an abundant supply of homes. Taking that same action in the lower price range will likely mean you don’t get the house of your dreams. Someone else will.

BUYERS:

With more than a third of homes selling in less than 10 days – you need all the advantages you can get. And this doesn’t even count the ones that are sold BEFORE they hit the MLS. In fact, this year The Belt Team has sold multiple Vienna homes NOT in the MLS to Buyer we’ve been working with since last year. Boy are they happy! Did you know that Belt Team Buyers are eligible for our FREE Priority Notification List for new listings not yet in the MLS?! Call 703-242-3975 for details.

SELLERS:

NOW is the time. Call Terry Belt, Kevin Kleifges, Beth Dadisman or Tom Hanton NOW at 703-242-3975 for our FREE Report “42 Questions To Ask Your Realtor BEFORE You Sell”. And find out how our listings sell FASTER and for MORE MONEY than the average agent’s listings.

 For more questions or for a specific update on YOUR neighborhood – call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 for a FREE Buyer or Seller Consultation. The Belt Team is Vienna’s Top Real Estate Team and has sold more homes in Vienna than another other Realtor or team since 1973.
top-realtor-vienna-oakton-va

Vienna Real Estate Stats – September 2017 Update

Let’s see what’s happening in the Vienna real estate market – August 2017 home sale stats are in!

  • 73 homes went under contract in Vienna. This is down 14% from the same time period in 2016.
  • 33% of the homes that sold in August 2017, sold in 10 days or less. This is up over August 2016 (26%).
  • Average sold price was just barely down over August 2016 by 1%
  • 99 homes came on the market. That’s down 15% from August 2016.
  • Homes that sold (closed) averaged 45 days on market, 21 days faster than August 2016.
  • We currently have a 2.7 month supply of homes in Vienna – and 207 Vienna homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single family).

OVERALL: Vienna is teetering between a Seller’s Market and a Balanced Market

However, in any given price range, the numbers may skew very differently – making some price ranges a Seller’s Market, some Balanced and some a Buyer’s Market. A Balanced Market has 3-6 months of inventory. As an example – we have a 17 month supply of homes over $1.6 Million and in the under $800,000 price range – we have a 1.3 month supply. This means Buyers over $1.6 Million are looking at a serious Buyer’s Market, and Buyers in the lower ranges are competing and facing a Seller’s Market.


BUYERS & SELLERS

Make sure your agent is providing you with the data you need to make good decisions. Buying and selling often becomes about emotion. Buyers fall in love with homes or want to “get a deal” to feel good about buying. Sellers are invested in how much THEY love their home or have a number in mind based on what they “need” to get out of it.

WHat Is My Home Worth

The reality is that Buyers & Sellers who are successful in today’s market look at the data and act accordingly. The data above about the variances in different price ranges is a perfect example of why. Right here in Vienna we have two totally different markets. If you’re looking to buy, and you “make an offer” below list price – you might be VERY successful in the upper ranges because we have such an abundant supply of homes. Taking that same action in the lower price range will likely mean you don’t get the house of your dreams. Someone else will.

BUYERS:

With a third of homes selling in less than 10 days – you need all the advantages you can get. And this doesn’t even count the ones that are sold BEFORE they hit the MLS. In fact, this year The Belt Team has sold multiple Vienna homes NOT in the MLS to Buyer we’ve been working with since last year. Boy are they happy! Did you know that Belt Team Buyers are eligible for our FREE Priority Notification List for new listings not yet in the MLS?! Call 703-242-3975 for details.

SELLERS:

NOW is the time. Call Terry Belt or Kevin Kleifges Or Tom Hanton NOW at 703-242-3975 for our FREE Report “42 Questions To Ask Your Realtor BEFORE You Sell”. And find out how our listings sell FASTER and for MORE MONEY than the average agent’s listings.

 For more questions or for a specific update on YOUR neighborhood – call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 for a FREE Buyer or Seller Consultation. The Belt Team is Vienna’s Top Real Estate Team and has sold more homes in Vienna than another other Realtor or team since 1973.
top-realtor-vienna-oakton-va

Vienna Real Estate Stats – August 2017 Update

Let’s see what’s happening in the Vienna real estate market – here are the stats for July 2017 home sales:

  • 73 homes went under contract in Vienna. This is down 14% from the same time period in 2016.
  • 38% of the homes that sold in July 2017, sold in 10 days or less. This is way up over July 2016 market of 28%.
  • Average sold price was $836,779 (up 7% from 2016 when it was $783,914)
  • 99 homes came on the market. That’s down 15% from July 2016!
  • Homes that sold (closed) averaged 71 days on market, 10 days slower than July 2016.
  • We currently have a 2.6 month supply of homes in Vienna – and 236 Vienna homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single family).

OVERALL: Vienna is still just barely in a Seller’s Market

However, in any given price range, the numbers may skew very differently – making some price ranges a Seller’s Market, some Balanced and some a Buyer’s Market. A Balanced Market has 3-6 months of inventory. As an example – we have a 17 month supply of homes over $1.6 Million and in the under $800,000 price range – we have a 1.3 month supply. This means Buyers over $1.6 Million are looking at a serious Buyer’s Market, and Buyers in the lower ranges are competing and facing a Seller’s Market.


BUYERS & SELLERS

Make sure your agent is providing you with the data you need to make good decisions. Buying and selling often becomes about emotion. Buyers fall in love with homes or want to “get a deal” to feel good about buying. Sellers are invested in how much THEY love their home or have a number in mind based on what they “need” to get out of it.

WHat Is My Home Worth

The reality is that Buyers & Sellers who are successful in today’s market look at the data and act accordingly. The data above about the variances in different price ranges is a perfect example of why. Right here in Vienna we have two totally different markets. If you’re looking to buy, and you “make an offer” below list price – you might be VERY successful in the upper ranges because we have such an abundant supply of homes. Taking that same action in the lower price range will likely mean you don’t get the house of your dreams. Someone else will.

BUYERS:

With more than a third of homes selling in less than 10 days – you need all the advantages you can get. And this doesn’t even count the ones that are sold BEFORE they hit the MLS. In fact, this year The Belt Team has sold multiple Vienna homes NOT in the MLS to Buyer we’ve been working with since last year. Boy are they happy! Did you know that Belt Team Buyers are eligible for our FREE Priority Notification List for new listings not yet in the MLS?! Call 703-242-3975 for details.

SELLERS:

NOW is the time. Call Terry Belt or Kevin Kleifges Or Tom Hanton NOW at 703-242-3975 for our FREE Report “42 Questions To Ask Your Realtor BEFORE You Sell”. And find out how our listings sell FASTER and for MORE MONEY than the average agent’s listings.

 For more questions or for a specific update on YOUR neighborhood – call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 for a FREE Buyer or Seller Consultation. The Belt Team is Vienna’s Top Real Estate Team and has sold more homes in Vienna than another other Realtor or team since 1973.
top-realtor-vienna-oakton-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.

FREE INSTANT ONLINE HOME VALUATION

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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