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 routinely recognized among the best Realtors in Northern VA, and rank in the top realtors in the entire state.

FREE – What Is My Home Worth?

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

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

OMG! What Realtors Say To Other Realtors About YOUR House

Home Selling Mistakes

If your home has been on the market, and it’s not selling as fast as you expected, it could be that your home is one of the ones Realtors are talking about to each other! (But don’t worry, these are all fixable issues!)

Here are some real life examples of “What Realtors Say To Other Realtors About YOUR House”:

1. “Interesting” MLS Descriptions:

Here’s a real example from our local MLS: “Basic rancher in good shape, but has working Single Father Decor“.

A Realtor friend posted this on Facebook and asked “I wonder if THAT was approved by the Seller?!

It may accurately convey the state of the home, but it doesn’t help you sell. It night be wiser to list your home with a professional who will provide a free consultation with a professional stager. Even if you don’t choose to hire the stager, she will provide you with no cost ways to prepare your home so you put your best foot forward.

2. Inaccurate MLS Entry:

If your home hasn’t been shown much, it could be that your agent entered it wrong in the MLS. Check out this Facebook post from another Realtor friend of mine:

Why My Home Isn't Selling

This happens a lot. Sometimes the number of bedrooms is wrong. Sometimes townhomes are listed as condos. Sometimes homes are listed in the wrong zip or city!

3. Oops, We Hid The Property Address:

Why My Home Isn't Selling

This could possibly be a tactic to get people to call, but we think it works in reverse. Most people will just go on to the next home for sale. Kind of hard to find an open house when you don’t have an address, right?!

4. Typos That Make You Cringe:

Why My Home Isn't Selling

Enough said here!

5. “Charlie” Is Home:

Why My Home Isn't Selling

The reaction above (even from “dog” people) is not unusual. (Here’s how we advise our clients if they are selling a home when they have a pet.)

6. Ugly Christmas Sweater:

Wallpaper Room

You should see the pictures agents post. If you think the paint or wallpaper in your home doesn’t need to come down, you might think again because your home may have been entered in someone’s Facebook contest for UGLIEST ROOM. (It’s kind of like the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party – except online.)

How Do We Fix This?

The one thing we see in common in most of the cases like the above, is that Sellers sometimes choose Realtors who are not full-time, who are not professional, who don’t work with professionals and/or who work solo without teams to handle the details.

If you’re selling your home, don’t be short sighted. Listing with your sister, your neighbor, your friend, or your local discount broker just might not be in your best interests!

You deserve the BEST Realtors in Northern VA to protect your asset. Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 and ask about a FREE staging consultation with a professional stager, FREE listing photos from a professional photographer and FULL SERVICE from a professional team. Belt Team listings sell FASTER and for MORE MONEY than average.

Don’t be the house everyone is talking about, but no one is selling!

FREE Instant Online Home Valuation

State-of-the-Art Home Search Site for Northern VA

Best Real Estate Agents in Northern VA

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!

It’s a Seller’s Market! Should I Downsize Now?

This article about downsizing (or “rightsizing” as we like to call it!) from “Keeping Current Matters” brings up some great points. Call us at (703) 242-3975 if you’d like someone to help lay out your options and walk through current market conditions with you. You might also check out our blog posts:

It's a Seller's Market! Should I Downsize Now? | MyKCM

A study by Edelman Berland reveals that 33% of homeowners who are contemplating selling their houses in the near future are planning to scale down. Let’s look at a few reasons why this might make sense for many homeowners, as the majority of the country is currently experiencing a seller’s market.

In a blog, Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, highlighted the advantages of selling your current house and downsizing into a smaller home that better serves your current needs. Ramsey explains three potential financial advantages to downsizing:

  1. A smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep.
  2. Let’s assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment. In 30 years, you could have an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years.
  3. Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one. Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down! If you can’t pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10–20% down on your new home. Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment. At 3% interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less than 10.5 years, saving almost $16,000 in the process.

Realtor.com also addressed downsizing in an article. They suggest that you ask yourself some questions before deciding if downsizing is right for you and your family. Here are two of their questions followed by their answers (in italics) and some additional information that could help.

Q: What kind of lifestyle do I want after I downsize?

A: “For some folks, it’s a matter of living a simpler life focused on family. Some might want to cross off travel destinations on their bucket lists. Some might want a low-maintenance community with high-end upgrades and social events. Decide what you want to achieve from your move first, and you’ll be able to better narrow down your housing options.”

Comments: Many homeowners are taking the profits from the sales of their current homes and splitting it in order to put down payments on smaller homes in their current locations, as well as on vacation/retirement homes where they plan to live when they retire.

This allows them to lock in the home price and mortgage interest rate at today’s values which makes sense financially as both home prices and interest rates are projected to rise.

Q: Have I built up enough equity in my current home to make a profit?

A: “For most homeowners, the answer is yes. This is if they’ve held on to their properties long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home.”

Comments: A study by Fannie Mae revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have significant equity (> 20%) in their current home. In actuality, CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 78.9% have greater than 20% equity. That equity could enable you to build the life you’ve always dreamt about.

Bottom Line

If you are debating downsizing your home and want to evaluate the options you currently have, let’s meet up to help guide you through the process.Call Terry Belt &The Belt Team at 703-242-3975. Don’t you deserve the BEST?!

WHat Is My Home Worth

McLean Home Sale Statistics – How Long To Sell Your Home and Are Prices Rising?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in McLean VA in 2017, then you’re probably wondering things like:

  • “How long are homes on the market?”
  • “Will I have to pay over list price or can I get a deal?
  • “How long will it take to sell my house?”
  • “Will I have to negotiate my list price?”
  • “Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market?”

FREE Online INSTANT Home Valuation Estimator

Let’s look at 2016 statistics as they are often an indicator of what you can expect:

  • Average Days on Market in McLean: 90 (slightly slower than 85 days in 2015)
  • Sold Price as % of Original List Price: 93.2% (slight up from 92.3% in 2015)
  • Percent of Homes Sold in 10 Days or Less: 25% (down from 27% in 2015)
  • Average Sold Price: $1,034,826 (up 2.9% from $1,005,557 in 2015)
  • Number of Home Sales: 845 (up 9% from 774  in 2015)
  • More McLean Real Estate Market Stats

BUYERS:

Current housing supply in McLean is 4.7 months. This translates to neither a “Seller’s Market” or a “Buyer’s Market”, and actually puts McLean in a Balanced Market. (Be aware that number is for the market as a whole. If you are buying, you’ll need to ask for an analysis of the price range you’re looking in as some price ranges may actually have much more or much less inventory.) Either way, with 25% of the homes selling in 10 days or less – you need all the advantages you can get. 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: 

Terry Belt, CEO of The Belt Team commented, “Every year, we see competition for the best listings in the market. Often times, those who sell in January/February sell for more than those who wait for the traditional “Spring Market”. In 2017, we especially think this will bear out as we are already seeing interest rates rise, pricing some folks out of the market. Time will tell as to what 2017 has in store, but The Belt Team is already working with a large number of Buyers and Sellers around Northern VA and we expect the market to start out briskly.”

If you’re selling a home, your next question may be – “Is there a way to sell faster and for more than average?” And the good news is YES!

The best way to do that is to hire a real estate team with an amazing track record of success.  And THAT is The Belt Team.

If you’re wondering whether all Realtors are the same, they’re not. Different real estate teams not only provide different experiences, but vastly different results. Who you choose to represent you can mean the difference of whether you get the house you want to buy and how much money you make when you sell – things that affect YOUR family’s lives forever.

Did you know there are more than 10,000 Realtors in Northern VA? The average agent sold 4 homes last year. The Belt Team sold 82! Our agents each averaged FOUR TIMES as many sales. If you were having surgery on your broken arm, would you want the orthopedist who did 82 surgeries last year or 4?

You can read what 154 of our clients had to say about us on Zillow.

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you would like to buy or sell a home in McLean. We are part owners of McLean’s #1 real estate office – Keller Williams Realty. And we sell more homes than any other single standing office in all of Fairfax County. We know the schools, the parks, the commuter short cuts, the history, the shopping, the recreation options and all the things that make McLean a most special place to live. Not only do we sell homes in McLean, but with genuine enthusiasm & experience, we sell the entire community.

 Don’y you deserve the BEST Realtors in McLean?

Top Realtor Vienna VA

Reston Home Sale Statistics – How Long To Sell Your Home and Are Prices Rising?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Reston VA in 2017, then you’re probably wondering things like:

  • “How long are homes on the market?”
  • “Will I have to pay over list price or can I get a deal?
  • “How long will it take to sell my house?”
  • “Will I have to negotiate my list price?”
  • “Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market?”

FREE Online INSTANT Home Valuation Estimator

Let’s look at 2016 statistics as they are often an indicator of what you can expect:

  • Average Days on Market in Reston: 59 (exactly the same as in 2015)
  • Sold Price as % of Original List Price: 96.8% (almost exactly the same as 96.7% in 2015)
  • Percent of Homes Sold in 10 Days or Less: 31% (up from 27% in 2015)
  • Average Sold Price: $459,249 (slightly down from $464,857 in 2015)
  • Number of Home Sales: 1,249 (up from 1,161 in 2015)
  • More Reston Real Estate Market Stats

BUYERS:

Current housing supply in Reston is 2 months. This translates to a “Seller’s Market”. (Be aware that number is for the market as a whole. If you are buying, you’ll need to ask for an analysis of the price range you’re looking in as some price ranges may actually have much more inventory.) Either way – you need all the advantages you can get. 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: 

Terry Belt, CEO of The Belt Team commented, “Every year, we see competition for the best listings in the market. Often times, those who sell in January/February sell for more than those who wait for the traditional “Spring Market”. In 2017, we especially think this will bear out as we are already seeing interest rates rise, pricing some folks out of the market. Time will tell as to what 2017 has in store, but The Belt Team is already working with a large number of Buyers and Sellers around Northern VA and we expect the market to start out briskly.”

If you’re selling a home, your next question may be – “Is there a way to sell faster and for more than average?” And the good news is YES!

The best way to do that is to hire a real estate team with an amazing track record of success.  And THAT is The Belt Team.

If you’re wondering whether all Realtors are the same, they’re not. Different real estate teams not only provide different experiences, but vastly different results. Who you choose to represent you can mean the difference of whether you get the house you want to buy and how much money you make when you sell – things that affect YOUR family’s lives forever.

Did you know there are more than 10,000 Realtors in Northern VA? The average agent sold 4 homes last year. The Belt Team sold 82! Our agents each averaged FOUR TIMES as many sales. If you were having surgery on yoour broken arm, would you want the orthopedist who did 82 surgeries last year or 4?

You can read what 154 of our clients had to say about us on Zillow.

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you would like to buy or sell a home in Reston. Not only do we sell more homes than most agents, many of our team members have lived in Northern VA for years. Gail & Jerry Belt live in Reston. We also have team member sin Great Falls & Vienna. We know the schools, the parks, the commuter short cuts, the history, the shopping, the recreation options and all the things that make Reston a most special place to live. Not only do we sell homes in Reston, but with genuine enthusiasm & experience, we sell the entire community.

 Don’y you deserve the BEST Realtor in Reston?

Top Realtor Vienna VA

Tips To Prepare Your Home For Sale

When listing your house for sale your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible! And we’re sure you’d also like to sell it quickly. After all, who likes keeping their home spotless day after day, week after week, month after month – especially if you have children and pets!

Well, there are a myriad of small projects you can get started on NOW to help make that happen. Check out the infographic below and when you’re ready for a FREE consultation from one of our Listing Specialists, call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975.

When you schedule your appointment, they will also share with you our FREE REPORT “Ninety Tips To Prepare Your Home For The Market”! And they can help you with finding contractors if needed in the preparation process.

Credit: Keeping Current Matters
Credit: Keeping Current Matters

Vienna Home Sale Statistics – How Long To Sell Your Home and Are Prices Rising?

Vienna Homes Selling Quickly

If you’re thinking of buying a home in Vienna in 2017, then you’re probably wondering things like:

  • “How long are homes on the market?”
  • “Will I have to pay over list price or can I get a deal? Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market?”

If you’re thinking of selling a home in Vienna in 2017, you’re probably wondering:

  • “How long will it take to sell my house?”
  • “Will I have to negotiate my list price? Seller’s Market or Buyer’s Market?”

FREE Online INSTANT Home Valuation Estimator

Well, let’s look at 2016 statistics as they are often an indicator of what you can expect:

  • Average Days on Market in Vienna: 62 (up from 56 days in 2015 & 44 days in 2014)
  • Sold Price as % of Original List Price: 96.3% (down from 96.7% in 2015)
  • Percent of Homes Sold in 10 Days or Less: 32% (down from 38% in 2015)
  • More Vienna Real Estate Market Stats

Terry Belt, CEO of The Belt Team commented, “Every year, we see competition for the best listings in the market. Often times, those who sell in January/February sell for more than those who wait for the traditional “Spring Market”. In 2017, we especially think this will bear out as we are already seeing interest rates rise, pricing some folks out of the market. Time will tell as to what 2017 has in store, but The Belt Team is already working with a number of Buyers and Sellers in Vienna and we expect the market to start out briskly.”

(Note: 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.)

If you’re selling a home, your next question may be – “Is there a way to sell faster and for more than average?” And the good news is YES!

The best way to do that is to hire the real estate team with the best proven track record of success in Vienna. And THAT is The Belt Team. Check out Belt Team statistics:

Once again in 2016, The Belt Team sold more homes in Vienna than any other agent or team. This has been the case every single year since 2009. Our track record here shows we sell homes more quickly and for more money than the “average agent”. Our experience & expertise save you time & money!

Anyone can have a good year. Maybe even a good year or two. When you’re selling your home, you need results you can count on. Over the past 10 years, The Belt Team has consistently sold more homes in the Oakton/Vienna area than ANY other agent or team—84% more than the next closest team.

The Belt Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only three of the 10,000+ Realtors in Northern VA have sold more than 200 homes in Vienna/Oakton in the past ten years. Of those, The Belt Team has the best sold to list price ratio. (Meaning not only do our homes sell faster than average, they sell for a higher percentage of list price than our top competitors.)

Only two agents/teams in Northern VA have sales of more than $250 Million. The Belt Team is one of them. We’ve sold more than $395 Million. 57% more than our next closest competitor. AND our listings also sell more than a month FASTER and FOR 3.3% MORE than this competitor.

On a $2M home, that’s $66K more in YOUR pocket!

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you would like to buy or sell a home in Vienna. Not only do we sell more home in Vienna, but many of our team members have lived here for years. Terry Belt & Christy Belt Grossman grew up in Vienna, have lived here since 1972 and raised their families in Vienna. Tom Hanton & Kevin Klefiges has also lived in Vienna since they were children and are raising their families here as well. Jerry & Gail Belt live in Reston now, but lived in Vienna for more than 30 years. We know the schools, the parks, the commuter short cuts, the history and all the things that make Vienna a most special place to live. Not only do we sell homes in Vienna, but with genuine enthusiasm & experience, we sell the entire community.

FREE Online INSTANT Home Valuation Estimator

 Don’y you deserve the BEST Realtor in Vienna?

Top Realtor Vienna VA

Selling Your Home in 2017? Easy Tip to Do NOW!

If you’re thinking of selling your Northern VA home in 2017, it’s never too early to prepare. Here’s an easy tip to get you started!

If you’re thinking of selling in the January to April timeframe, now is a great time for a photo shoot. Get some shots of the autumn leaves. Then when you put your home on the market this winter or early next year – when things are dead and brown – you’ll still be able to showcase your home at its best!

(Don’t forget to email The Belt Team and ask for our FREE Report “Questions To Ask Your Realtor When Selling A House”)

Inverness at Penderbrook Fairfax TH

Snow landscapes made lovely shots to show in that “in between” time in February-March, when it’s almost Spring, but the flowers aren’t blooming yet.

Snow Day in Vienna VA

(If you’re really organized, you can do what some of our past sellers have done and sign your listing now so we can have our professional photographer come out and shoot photos for you!)

Give Terry Belt or Kevin Kleifges a call at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a pre-listing walkthrough. Fall and winter are a great time to start thinking about the updates and repairs you might need to make in preparation for next year. And you’ll want to talk to them first to ensure you don’t waste time or money on things that really aren’t necessary.

If you’re wondering about Northern Virginia Market Statistics – click the links below to find out: How fast are homes selling? What’s happening with prices? Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market?