The Belt Team Awarded Top 100 Real Estate Blog on The Planet

Northern VA Real Estate BlogsThe Belt Team was just notified that we have been named to the “Top 100 Real Estate Blogs on the Planet” list!

Our competition included not just other Realtors (of which there are more than 1.2 Million in the U.S.), but also entire brokerages (like Keller Williams Realty), listing portals (like Zillow) and news organizations (like Inman News). We are one of only 2 Realtors or teams in the entire state of Virginia to make the list. (The other was in Charlottesville). We are thrilled because that means the Sellers we represent have market exposure like no other Realtor can provide in Northern VA. And our buyers get the local “boots on the ground” info they need.

Real estate is local. It’s actually hyperlocal. What you read about in the paper, hear about on the news, see posted on Facebook, skim on Twitter or see delivered to your email – is NOT necessarily what’s happening in YOUR neighborhood. Even right here in Northern VA, what’s happening in Arlington may not match Alexandria. Great Falls and Falls Church may be on opposite ends of the spectrum. And even in the same town, things can be different. For example, the Vienna market is currently seeing both a buyer’s market and a seller’s market depending on price range.

THAT is why we started blogging TWENTY years ago. If you are thinking of buying or selling in Northern Virginia, THIS is where you want to be to find out local statistics and strategies for how to win in TODAY’S Northern VA real estate market. In addition to posting new listings, coming soon and TONS of local market stats, we also share real estate related strategies and info that benefit our clients.

Here are a few of our most popular blog posts over the years:

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. We’ll help you interpret the market in YOUR neighborhood or the neighborhood you’re moving to, so you can make the BEST move!

WHat Is My Home Worth

 

 

Unparalleled Trust Necessary Before Listing Your House

The article below came out last week from Keeping Current Matters. We thought it was right on target. It surprises us how often people trust the sale of their largest asset to someone who may not be an expert – just because they are a family member, a neighbor or a friend. They list their home with this person out of obligation. And then they take a BIG leap.

Questions To Ask When Selling Your Home

While they may be able to trust them in terms of their personal relationship, they often cannot really trust this person’s expertise, negotiating skills & problem solving abilities. When you’re selling your home, you need it all. Personal trust (integrity, To be able to trust they will have your best interests at heart) AND to trust they have the ability to do the job at a high level.


Here’s what Keeping Current Matters had to say:

You and your family have decided to sell your house. It is now time to choose a real estate professional to help with the process. One of the major attributes this agent must possess is trustworthiness. To what degree do you need to trust them?

You must have enough trust in them that you feel comfortable they will accomplish all four things below: 

1. Sell possibly the largest asset your family owns

In many cases, a home is the largest asset a family has. Studies have shown that the equity many families have in their home is the largest percentage of that family’s overall wealth. 

2. Set the correct market value on that asset

Pricing is crucial even in the best of markets. You want to get the best price for your home without putting your house at a value that buyers will have little interest in.

3. Set the time schedule for the liquidation of that asset

Your family probably has a certain timetable for the sale of your house and the move into your next home. Coordinating the home selling process to meet certain schedules can be tricky.

4. Set a fair fee for the services required to liquidate that asset

You will need to pay a commission to an agent for selling the home and coordinating all elements of the selling transaction, including possible future negotiations (ex. with a home inspector or appraiser).

That’s a lot of trust. Make sure you pick a true professional to help with the sale of your home.


So how do you know if you can trust the sale of your home to someone?

1. Interview them.

Ask questions. Ask for statistics – things like: how many homes they’ve sold (that will tell you whether they have good problem solving skills, relationships & resources for you to use), what their list to sell price ratio is compared to the average (that will tell you about their negotiation skills), and what their average days on market is (that will tell you about their expertise). Spend more time asking questions like these than asking where they advertise and what kind of videos they do. And don’t choose the realtor who just throws out the highest number. The results they get are what you’re after. If they are experts, you won’t need to tell them how to do what they do best.

2. Ask for references.

Call people who have sold their home with the team you’re interviewing and find out first hand what it’s like to work with them.

3. Google them.

You’ll be surprised what you see (or don’t see).Pay special attention to third party sites like Zillow. Realtors cannot control what is posted there (unlike the testimonials you see on their personal web sites.) And when you read the reviews, read between the lines. Are they generic (“she’s great”) or are they specific (she sold our home in 9 days over list price and has the patience of Job”)?

Whether you’re selling in Vienna or McLean, Great Falls or Falls Church, Oakton or Oak Hill, Arlington, Ashburn or Annadale – wherever you live – you deserve the BEST real estate team. For a FREE report of “Questions To Ask Your Realtor When Selling Your Home” – email The Belt Team or call (703) 242-3975. We are listed in the Top 20 Best Real Estate Agents in Virginia and are happy to help you make the RIGHT move.

Click here for Reviews on Zillow about Terry Belt, Kevin Kleifges, Tom Reilly, Beth Dadisman, Gail Belt & Tom Hanton

Top Realtors Northern VA

The Presidential Election and The Real Estate Market

Keeping Current Matters The Presidential Election and Its Impact on Housing

Every four years, as things start to heat up on the Campaign Trail, we get inquiries from our clients about what the election will mean for the market. It used the be the case here in Northern VA, that we would see a period of pausing, followed by a potential great transition and turnover of homes if a new party was elected to office.

Now that our economy in Northern VA is not solely reliant on the federal government, that is no longer the case. While we still have many government employees, government contractors and elected officials living here – we also have many large companies (for example tech firms), as well as many entrepreneurs and small business owners, many in the service industries.

CEO The Belt Team“If you’re thinking of buying or selling, give us a call, ” said Terry Belt, CEO of The Belt Team. We’ve been through every election cycle in Northern VA since 1972. In fact, a Presidential Election is part of what brought our family here from California. We’d be happy to share our expertise with you. Each Buyer and Seller faces a unique situation. And the conclusion about timing is not always black and white. Call us at (703) 242-3975.”

In the meantime, if you have been wondering about the market, you’ll want to read what our friends at Keeping Current Matters have to say. They gathered input and predictions from a variety of sources.


Every four years people question what effect the Presidential election might have on the national housing market. Let’s take a look at what is currently taking place. The New York Times ran an article earlier this week where they explained:

A growing body of research shows that during presidential election years — particularly ones like this when there is such uncertainty about the nation’s future — industry becomes almost paralyzed. A look at the last several dozen election cycles shows that during the final year of a presidential term, big corporate investments are routinely postponed, and big deals are put on the back burner.

The research is even more persuasive on the final year of an eight-year presidential term, when a new candidate inevitably will become president.

We are seeing this take form in the latest economic numbers. However, will this lead to a slowdown in the housing market? Not according to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the National Association of Realtors.

The Impact on Housing Throughout 2016 : Let’s look at what has happened and what is projected to happen by these three major entities.

National Association of Realtors
“In spite of deficient supply levels, stock market volatility and the paltry economic growth seen so far this year, the housing market did show resilience and had its best first quarter of existing-sales since 2007.”

Freddie Mac
“Recent data darkened the growth outlook for the first quarter of 2016. However, despite the disappointing economic reports, we still forecast housing to maintain its momentum in 2016.”

Fannie Mae
“Consumers and businesses showed caution at the end of the first quarter…(but) Home sales are expected to pick up heading into the spring season amid the backdrop of declining mortgage rates, rising pending home sales and purchase mortgage applications, and continued easing of lending standards on residential mortgage loans.”

Bottom Line
Even during this election year, the desire to achieve the American Dream is greater than the fear of uncertainty of the next presidency.

20946 Houseman Terrace, Ashburn VA 20148 – Just Listed by The Belt Team

20946 Houseman Terrace, Ashburn VA 20148 has just been listed by The Belt Team. Here’s a sneak peek!

Welcome to this lovey townhome in the popular Glen at Goose Creek! This 3-story, 3 bedroom/2 full & 2 half bath property features shining hardwood floors, eat-in kitchen with granite & stainless steel appliances, a carpeted rec room on the lower level, a balcony and 2-car attached garage. Pride of ownership shows throughout this well maintained home. Great location for commuters and close to fabulous amenities at Goose Creek Village, Brambleton Town Center, Lansdowne & historic Leesburg!

Call Tom Reilly & The Belt Team at (703) 629-1263 to schedule a showing!

More info, Price & LOTS of photos of 20946 Houseman Terrace, Ashburn VA 20148

Glen at Goose Creek Townhouses Glen at Goose Creek Townhouses

Home Prices and Interest Rates – Here’s the 411!

Wondering what’s happening with home prices and interest rates in the national real estate market? Check out this one minute video:

When you’re ready for a hyperlocal update for areas in Northern Virginia like Vienna, McLean, Oakton, Great Falls, Fairfax, Reston, Arlington, Annandale, Ashburn, Falls Church, Burke, Dunn Loring & Alexandria – contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. Local numbers don’t always mirror national trends and you may even find wide variations in adjoining towns and cities in Northern VA!

How Much Is MY Home Worth (FREE, Instant Online Estimate)

Search our State-of-the-Art Home Search Site (updated FASTER than others so you don’t lose out on homes before you know about them!)

Northern VA Real Estate Market – How Did We Fare in 2014? What’s Happening in 2015?

2014 Northern VA Real Estate Stats

2014 was the “Year of Micromarkets”.

Check out our blog and you’ll find year-end statistics for both the larger macromarket of the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as the counties of Fairfax, Loudoun & Arlington. Along with that, you’ll find stats for the various cities and towns in Northern VA. It used to be that looking at statistics city by city was often enough to arm you with most of the information you might need to understand the market – whether on the buy side or sell side. But that is no longer the case. (So when you hear the national news headlines about real estate – don’t listen! It’s like listening to the weather forecast in Phoenix when you’re trying to figure out what to wear in McLean.)

Within each county and city, there is a whole other story being told – market by market by market. Let’s take Loudoun County for example. Average days on market in Loudoun was 44 days. The average home sold for 97.5% of original list price. If you’re a buyer, you might draw the conclusion that you can “get a deal” or at least that you can negotiate some off the list price. On some homes, that might be the case. (In fact, that was the case for Buyers represented by The Belt Team. Our buyers only paid on average 93.8% of list price.) But that would not be representative of the entire market.

If you look at the statistics further, you’ll find that last year, 37% of homes in Loudoun sold in 10 days or less. Buyers of those homes often competed and came prepared to pay over list price. In fact, the average paid was just over 100% of list price. This micromarket was seen primarily in the $400’s and below. Homes that were listed over $900K saw a different market. Average days on market was 121 days (4 months!). And homes sold for 92.9% of list price.

The moral of the story of 2014 (and going forward in 2015) is that you MUST get the detailed, hyperlocal info you need to make decisions on the very specific micromarket where you’re looking to buy or sell. It’s a vital part of setting your strategy for success – whether you’re buying or selling. The average agent (and even you) have access to some of this data through normal channels – either online, through the MLS, public tax records, etc. But if you really want to get the most when selling your home (or prevail as a buyer in a market where inventory is low – which it is all over Northern VA) – it’s imperative that you work with Realtors (like The Belt Team) who not only have the free info online and in the MLS, but who pay premium dollars for the most detailed and up-to-date data available. We are your local enconomists. And this data gives our clients a leg up.

Northern VA Real Estate Market

So. 2015. Here’s what we see:

  • Interest rates rising
  • Prices rising slightly. (Note that last year’s prices rose, but not like they did in 2013. For example – in 2013, Fairfax County rose about 7%. In 2014, Fairfax County prices rose less than 2%.)
  • Low inventory.
  • Competing contracts in the lower price ranges.
  • And the early bird will get the worm – both on the buyer side and the seller side.

If you would like an in-depth analysis of YOUR micromarket, call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a FREE consultation.

Search our State-of-the-Art Web Site for Homes
FREE Instant Online Home Valuation Estimator

January 2015 National Real Estate Update

Everything you want to know about the national real estate market in a minute or less!

(When you’re ready for a HYPERLOCAL analysis – contact Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975!)

FREE Instant Online Home Valuation Estimator