Belt Team 50th Anniversary and Client Appreciation Event!

2017 marks 50 years for The Belt Team. We are grateful to have been invited into so many clients’ lives over the years. To end our year of celebration, we invite YOU (our past & current clients) to bring your family and join us for dessert, coffee & hot chocolate in The Atrium at Meadowlark Gardens.

The first 100 guests to RSVP will also receive free entry that night to Meadowlark Gardens’ Winter Walk of Lights courtesy of Mark Kilfeather (George Mason Mortgage) and Manuel Sanchez (our favorite handyman!) (Tickets are normally $8-$16 each.) Don’t miss this! Take a peek!

We’re looking forward to seeing you. Come say hello to the entire Belt Team – Terry Belt, Gail Belt, Kevin Kleifges, Beth Dadisman, Tom Hanton, Jerry Belt & Christy Belt Grossman!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts About The Winter Walk of Lights

  • This is the 6th year for the Walk of Lights.
  • It takes 3 MONTHS to install the lights & displays!
  • You can ask for a Scavenger Hunt form at the front desk.
  • The huge tree at the end of the walk has 50,000 LED lights.

SPONSORS:

The Belt Team chooses our partners VERY carefully. Serving our clients well is our number one priority. We are happy to share our sponsors with you and highly recommend their services. Mark Kilfeather is a great resource for refinancing your mortage or for securing a new loan. Manuel is our “go-to” guy for handyman repairs and home improvements.

Mark Kilfeather, Assistant Branch Manager, George Mason Mortgage

Manuel Sanchez, Owner, Sanchez General Contractor Inc

  • Phone: 571-212-3657
  • Email: sanchezgcontractor@gmail.com

Fun Facts About The Belt Team

  • 2017 is the 50th year The Belt Team has been in business.
  • The Belt Team’s Mission is “Changing Lives For The Better“.
  • One member of The Belt Team struck out the Homerun King (Frank Howard) four times in one game.
  • One member of The Belt Team was VP of the Student Body at Wolftrap Elementary the year the time capsule was buried.
  • Meadowlark Gardens is in Vienna & The Belt Team has sold more homes in Vienna than ANY other Realtor or Team. (And we’ve sold more outside Vienna than in!)

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

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was New in Real Estate

Are you thinking of getting into real estate?

Are you a newly licensed Realtor?

Maybe you’re not new and still finding your way?

You’re invited to join our CEO Terry Belt for a round table gathering where he’ll share the ten things he wishes he had been told when he was a new real estate agent. (Bring your lunch. It’s casual!) Terry is a seasoned real estate veteran who is recognized nationally. More importantly, he’s a down-to-earth, good guy, passionate about leading others to success.

“10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was New”

June 15th 12-1pm

“Your life does not get better by CHANCE, it gets better by CHANGE” Jim Rohn

#thebeltteam#changinglivesforthebetterTerry Belt The Belt Team

 

Pie Me Please 2017!

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Apple? Cherry? “Cheesecake pie”?

That’s what Belt Team clients had to decide last week. A whole lot easier than deciding which house to buy, right?!

Image may contain: foodImage may contain: dessert and food

Thanks to all of our wonderful past clients who helped The Belt Team continue our 50th Anniversary celebration with Happy Hour and a (belated) Pi Day celebration. We were originally scheduled to get together on March 14th (Pi Day – get it? 3.14!) and we got snowed out. Instead we gathered for Pie Day 2.1 a week later. No problem – every day is a good day for pie!

Celebrating 50 Years in Real Estate

It was so much fun to catch up with everyone and to hear about new babies expected imminently, home renovations, new jobs, kids graduating from college and all the milestones celebrated along the way. We had one client at our event who we helped buy her home in 1982, and clients who bought their homes with The Belt Team just this month. Home is where the heart is and our hearts are with our clients.

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standing, suit and indoor Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing, beard, indoor and food Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and indoor

Special thanks to Molly Flory and Old Republic Home Protection for sponsoring!

Yesterday we did a drawing for the Great American Restaurants $50 gift card. And the winner was Marie Bernoi! Perfect timing. Might come in handy when your home is on the market, Marie!

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, table, indoor and food Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, standing, indoor and food  Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and indoor

If you are a past client and you missed picking up your free Pi Day Pie, email us today to make sure you’re on the list for our next event. Trust us, you won’t want to miss it!

#piemeplease #thebeltteam #changinglivesforthebetter

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor  Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor

Shhhh! What NOT To Say When Your Home Is On The Market!

Real estate markets around the country differ in terms of the protocol of how showings are handled. In some areas, homes are shown by appointment only with the listing agent present for every showing. In Northern Virginia, it’s customary for buyer agents to let Sellers know when they would like to show the home to their clients. The Seller then lets the agent in or the agent accesses the home through the lockbox that is placed on the door. (Appointment only listings exist, but unless the home is in the multi-million dollar luxury category, this can be a huge detriment to selling.)

This means Sellers are often home when agents come to show. We recommend that our Sellers leave during showings so Buyers can really picture the house as “theirs”. The other reason we recommend they leave is because it’s in their best interests NOT to discuss the following things with the Buyer Agent or the Buyers. Why? Because potential purchasers want to obtain the LOWEST price and BEST terms for themselves. And Buyer Agents represent them, not you.

The conversation might be a casual one. Just a meet & greet as you head out the door. But don’t get caught off guard and end up in the DANGER ZONE!

7 Things Home Sellers Should Not Say

7 Things Sellers Should NOT Discuss With Buyers (or Buyer Agents):

1. Reason for selling

2. Motivation/urgency to sell

3. Willingness to consider an offer less than the listing price

4. Terms under which you would sell

5. Relocation, timing, benefits & policies

6. Items of personal property which you “might” be willing to include in a sale.

7. Any confidential information that would serve to disclose your negotiating strategy.

For more tips about how to sell your home for the highest price, contact Terry Belt & The Belt Team. We are known nationally for our top-notch negotiating skills and Belt Team listings sell FASTER and for MORE MONEY than average. It’s why we are recognized among the best Realtors in Northern VA, ranking in the Top 20 Realtors in the entire state.

FREE – What Is My Home Worth?

42 Questions To Ask When Selling Your Home

Our mission is “Changing Lives For The Better“. If it’s time to change yours, call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975

NOTE: Enjoy the videos below. Our marketing may be tongue-in-cheek, but our results are SERIOUS!

Home Buyers – Don’t Let Your Heart Get Broken

Most people looking for a new home start their search online. In fact, according to the NAR, 43% of home buyers used the internet as the first step in their search. And 92% of buyers used the internet in some way as part of their search.

We don’t have statistics for this next fact, but based on our experience we can tell you it’s more common than not.

“Buyers shopping for homes often have their hearts broken.”

In fact, we are so sure of this fact that if you are a Buyer yourself, we will hazard a guess this has happened to you. You search and search and search. All of a sudden you find THE house online. The one you’ve been looking for. The PERFECT one. You call the agent. And it turns out it’s already under contract. Or maybe it’s already even SOLD! Many buyers who come to us have had this happen over and over before they started working with The Belt Team. Don’t let this happen to you. Because once you see the perfect house – nothing else will seem to compare.

Broken Heart - The House Is Already Sold

If you do a Google search for homes, your search will often yield info about homes that are not on the market. Even if you use the most popular search sites like Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com – you’ll often gather inaccurate or untimely search results.

What’s the answer?

Use the same service that we as Realtors use to help our clients find homes. It feeds directly from the local MLS and is updated more frequently than other sites. Our team invests tens of thousands of dollars per year to have access to this system. (Note: This is just ONE of many special technologies we pay for to enhance our clients’ real estate experience. Per NAR, the average Realtor only spends $848/yr.)

Yes, you will need to register to use it. The system is really easy to use, and it has so many bells and whistles that we want to ensure you are finding EXACTLY what you’re looking for. Time is money. And YOUR time is valuable. Don’t waste it looking at homes that may not be available.

Try it out. We’re pretty sure you’ll like it. (And by the way – it’s FREE to you and there is NO obligation.)

State-of-the-Art Home Search

(We also have a FREE, Instant Home Valuation Tool if you have a home to sell and are wondering what it might be worth.)

Search Northern VA Homes For Sale

The Belt Team is one of the top teams in the world for Keller Williams Realty, the largest real estate company. This is why we have access to tools such as our state-of-the-art home search site. But more important than numbers are people. Every client is important to us. Our mission statement is “Changing Lives For The Better“. If it’s time to change YOURS, give us a call at (703) 242-3975.

(Read what clients have posted about our agents Terry Belt, Kevin Kleifges, Tom Reilly, Beth Dadisman, Gail Belt, Martin Bristow & The Belt Team on independent site ZIllow.com here.)

Thinking of Downsizing? 4 Tips To Simplify Your Life!

The Belt Team works with many clients who are downsizing. (And we like to call it “right sizing.”) So why do people think about moving “down” and how can you simplify the process?

Downsizing Your Home Northern VA Real Estate  Halstead at The Metro II

Here are the most common reasons our clients “right size” to a smaller home:

Travel – A smaller home is easier to maintain. And that means they can travel more – visit grandchildren – or take those trips they’ve always dreamed of. This is not uncommon with empty nesters.

Health – Sometimes their current home is just too much to take care of on top of whatever health concerns they are dealing with.

Financial Freedom – Some people bite off more than they can chew. Or their priorities change (or their job situation) and they don’t want to be tied down to a big mortgage payment.

Commuting Time – Buying a condo or townhouse closer to the city might be enticing after commuting an hour each way in order to have that single family home.

Age – Perhaps it’s time to move into a community where you can get the extra assistance you need and/or have more opportunity for recreation and cultural activities. And maybe it’s time for a place without stairs.

Here are 4 Tips To Simplify Downsizing:

1. Plan Ahead

Schedule appointments with your financial advisor, your Realtor and your lender. Each one will walk you through a variety of things you’ll need to either do or think about: cash flow, market conditions, important amenities, lifestyle changes, tax considerations & more.

And don’t wait until you HAVE to move. As soon as the thought crosses your mind – start gathering information. This will make it SO much less stressful when the time comes. My parents moved several years ago. After 30+ years in the same town, the move was emotional. They didn’t “have to” move at the time, but they were starting to think about things like stairs and maintenance of such a large home. Not long after they moved, Dad fell & became very ill. If they had still been living in the big house, his road back to “normalcy” would have been long extended. But since they were in their condo by that time, he was able to come home so much sooner. Looking back now, they are so happy they moved when they did.

2. Start Educating Yourself To The Market

Online searches are a great way to see what your money will buy AND see what range your current home might sell for. You may find you have to compromise some of your wish list or you might find your money buys more than you think.

3. Family Is An Easy Way To Simplify

If you have children (or grandchildren) who may benefit from some of the “things” you’re ready to let go of, but you’re not ready for those cherished items to leave the family; make family holidays a “shopping time”. Send each visitor home with a (re)gift! You could also enlist one of the younger generation to help you sell unwanted items on Craig’s List. Offer them a percentage of the sales – and you have a win-win. Less clutter for your home. And you’re helping teach entrepreneurial skills & hard work!

4. Open House Instead of Garage Sale

When my parents moved, they had an open house. It was like a garage sale, except the items were free. They were moving from a huge house where they entertained a lot – to a smaller condominium, and Mom had so many lovely things she just didn’t use any more. She wanted to know that they were going to someone who would enjoy using them the way she did. We set up tables and displayed all the items – silver platters, crystal, percolaters, linens. Mom invited folks over – a number of whom were friends in my generation. They were so excited. I still have a friend who talks about how awesome Mom’s turkey roaster is! (They don’t make them like they used to.) Not only did this help clear her house of clutter and make moving easier – it was also a nice way for Mom to connect with folks before she moved.

The Belt Team has helped hundreds of clients downsize. And some on our team have even downsized themselves! If “rightsizing” is in your future, call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. We are happy to meet with you and walk you through all kinds of helpful ideas to help you make the RIGHT move!

Search Homes For Sale in Northern VA On Our State-of-the-Art Search Site

FREE – How Much Is My Home Worth

The Belt Team’s Mission Statement is “Changing Lives For The Better“. if it’s time to change yours, call (703) 242-3975 today!

Downsizing Your Home