Should I list my home during the Holidays?

Video

Should I list my home during the Holidays? This is a questions the agents on The Belt Team get a lot! Terry Belt, our CEO, & Tom Hanton have 11 reasons you SHOULD in fact list your home during the Holidays!

  1. People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers!
  2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you!
  3. Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there will be less demand for your particular home! Less demand means less money & longer time on the market for you!
  4. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays! #curbappeal
  5. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price!
  6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays than they do during a working week.
  7. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons!
  8. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that market!
  9. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the Holidays!
  10. You can sell now for more money and we will provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year!
  11. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money! Sell high and buy low!

Terry & Tom elaborate on this list in the video above. Be sure to check it out!

*List credit to Mike Ferry, North America’s Leading Real Estate Coaching & Training Company*

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Latest NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell!

Here’s the latest from Keeping Current Matters!
Latest NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell! | MyKCM

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand for that item is high, and the supply of that item is limited. Two major reports released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now is a great time to sell your house.

(Click for a FREE Instant Home Valuation for your Northern VA home)

Let’s look at the data covered in the latest REALTORS® Confidence Indexand Existing Home Sales Report.

REALTORS® CONFIDENCE INDEX

Every month, NAR surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.” This month, the index showed (again) that homebuying demand continued to outpace the supply of homes available in January.

The map below illustrates buyer demand broken down by state (the darker your state, the stronger demand there is).

Latest NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell! | MyKCM

In addition to revealing high demand, the index also shows that compared to conditions in the same month last year, seller traffic conditions were ‘weak’ in 22 states, ‘stable’ in 25 states, and ‘strong’ in only 4 states (Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota & Utah).

Takeaway: Demand for housing continues to be strong but supply is struggling to keep up, and this trend is likely to continue throughout 2018.

(Click for a FREE Instant Home Valuation for your Northern VA home

THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data revealed in the report was not sales but was instead the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:

  • Total housing inventory rose 4.1% from December to 1.52 million homes available for sale.
  • Unsold inventory is 9.5% lower than a year ago, marking the 32nd consecutive month with year-over-year declines.
  • This represents a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace.

According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“Another month of solid price gains underlines this ongoing trend of strong demand and weak supply. The underproduction of single-family homes over the last decade has played a predominant role in the current inventory crisis that is weighing on affordability.”

In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies; when there is less than a 6-month supply of inventory available, we are in a seller’s market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market, where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than a 7-month supply means we are in a buyer’s market and should expect depreciation in home values.

As we mentioned before, there is currently a 3.4-month supply, and houses are going under contract fast. The Existing Home Sales Report shows that 43% of properties were on the market for less than a month when sold.

In January, properties sold nationally were typically on the market for 42 days. As Yun notes, this will continue unless more listings come to the market.

“While the good news is that Realtors in most areas are saying buyer traffic is even stronger than the beginning of last year, sales failed to follow course and far lagged last January’s pace. It’s very clear that too many markets right now are becoming less affordable and desperately need more new listings to calm the speedy price growth.”

Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market and supply will ‘fail to catch up with demand’ if a ‘sizable’ supply does not enter the market.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers that are still out searching for your house.

(Click for a FREE Instant Home Valuation for your Northern VA home

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