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

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!

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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

2939 Miller Heights Rd Oakton VA 22124 – Listed by The Belt Team – Open Sunday Feb 5th

2939 Miller Heights Rd Oakton VA 22124  was just listed by The Belt Team and is OPEN SUNDAY FEBRUARY 5th 1-3 pm! Here’s a sneak peek!

More info, price and LOTS of photos of 2939 Miller Heights Rd Oakton VA 22124

Welcome to this beautiful brick-front colonial on a private half acre lot close to all the amenities of Oakton, Vienna, Reston and more! This home features a flowing floorplan perfect for everyday living & entertaining, hardwood floors throughout the main & upper levels, a wood-burning fireplace, updated kitchen & baths, a large finished lower level rec room, a back deck & spacious yard! Unbeatable location, excellent schools and great for commuters…don’t miss an opportunity to make this your next home!

Call Tom Hanton & The Belt Team at (703) 283-6418 to schedule a showing!

WHat Is My Home Worth

 

 

 

Oakton Homes For Sale

 

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

If you’re thinking of buying a home in Oakton 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?”
  • “Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market?”

If you’re thinking of selling a home in Oakton 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

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

  • Average Days on Market in Oakton: 67  (up from 61 days in 2015)
  • Sold Price as % of Original List Price: 95.6% (up from 95.5% in 2015)
  • Percent of Homes Sold in 10 Days or Less: 26% (down from 29% in 2015)
  • Average Sold Price: $676,683 (down from $739,544 in 2015)
  • Number of Home Sales: 321 (up from 318 in 2015)
  • More Oakton Real Estate Market Stats

BUYERS:

Current housing supply in Oakton VA is 2.9 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 number of Buyers and Sellers in Oakton 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 the real estate team with the best proven track record of success in the Oakton Vienna area. (Yes – we include Vienna because most people looking at homes in OAkton are also looking in Vienna. So having a top Realtor in both areas is in your best interests. When Buyers look at our listings in Vienna and rule our Vienna, we can refer them to our listings in Oakton!)

So who is that? It’s The Belt Team. Check out Belt Team statistics:

Once again in 2016, The Belt Team sold more homes in the Oakton Vienna area 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 the Oakton Vienna. Not only have we sold more home in this area, 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 here. And Christy’s husband Bill is a baseball coach at Oakton High School. Tom Hanton & Kevin Klefiges has also lived in the area since they were children and are raising their families here as well. We know the schools, the parks, the commuter short cuts, the history and all the things that make Oakton a most special place to live. Not only do we sell homes in Oakton, but with genuine enthusiasm & experience, we sell the entire community.

FREE Online INSTANT Home Valuation Estimator

 Don’t YOU deserve the BEST Realtor in the Oakton Vienna area?

Top Realtor Vienna VA

2 Tips to Ensure You Get the Most Money When Selling Your House

Here’s some wise advice from Keeping Current Matters about how to maximize the return on what is probably your greatest asset – your house!


Keeping Current Matters

Every homeowner wants to make sure they get the best price when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW 

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

Impact on Price of Visibility NAR

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com, gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This too may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With that being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Research posted by the National Association of Realtors revealed that:

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $185,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $163,800. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $245,000 – nearly $60,000 more for the typical home sale.”

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house.


What Is My Northern Va Home Worth

Northern VA Real Estate Values

 

 

Wondering what questions to ask your Realtor when selling your home?

Find out here! Then call one of the country’s top real estate teams – The Belt Team – at (703) 242-3975. We were named to Washingtonian Magazine’s Best Realtors list in 20115 & 2016, and are ranked in the Top 20 Realtors in the State of VA (among 30,000+ agents!). It would be our pleasure to help YOU make the RIGHT move!

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?

Baby Boomers Are On The Move – Is This YOUR Time To Move?

We hear from our friends at Keeping Current Matters that Baby Boomers are on the move! If you’re wondering whether now is the time for you to move, give us a call at (703) 242-3975. We’ll help you sort through your options!


Baby-Boomers-STM


According to a Merrill Lynch study, “an estimated 4.2 million retirees moved into a new home last year alone.” Two-thirds of retirees say that they are likely to move at least once during retirement.

As one participant in the study stated:

“In retirement, you have the chance to live anywhere you want. Or you can just stay where you are. There hasn’t been another time in life when we’ve had that kind of freedom.”

The top reason to relocate cited was “wanting to be closer to family” at 29%, a close second was “wanting to reduce home expenses” at 26%.

A recent Freddie Mac study found similar results, as “nearly 20 percent of Boomers said they would move closer to their grandchildren/children compared to 13 percent who said they would move to a warmer climate.”

Not Every Baby Boomer Downsizes
There is a common misconception that as retirees find themselves with fewer children at home, they will instantly desire a smaller home to maintain. While that may be the case for half of those surveyed, the study found that three in ten decide to actually upsize to a larger home.

Some choose to buy a home in a desirable destination with extra space for large family vacations, reunions, extended visits, or to allow other family members to move in with them. According to Merrill Lynch:

“Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations.”

Bottom Line
If your housing needs have changed, or are about to change, let’s get together to discuss your next steps.


If you’re thinking of moving, you may want to use our state-of-the-art web sites to begin your research:

And check out our FREE REPORTS – including: 

Call Terry Belt or Kevin Kleifges at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a FREE consultation. We are one of Northern VA’s top real estate teams and are happy to help you make the RIGHT move!

2976 Palmer Street, Oakton, VA 22124 – Listed by The Belt Team – Open Saturday May 21

2976 Palmer Street, Oakton, VA 22124 was just listed by The Belt Team and is OPEN SATURDAY MAY 21 1-4pm! Here’s a sneak peek!

More info, price and LOTS of photos of 2976 Palmer Street, Oakton, VA 22124

Call Tom Hanton & The Belt Team at (703) 283-6418 to schedule a showing!

Welcome home to this absolutely charming property on a premium, over half acre lot in a fabulous Oakton location! Special features of this 3 bedroom/2 bath home include hardwood floors throughout, crown molding, kitchen with cherry cabinets & stainless steel appliances, a separate dining room, main level master suite, an antique claw foot tub, a front porch with swing and a screened porch overlooking the amazing fully fenced backyard. Great location for commuters, excellent schools, & convenient to many shops, restaurants, and recreational facilities.

Homes For Sale Oakton HS Homes For Sale Oakton HS