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

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!

42 Questions To Ask When Selling A Home in Northern VA

What To Ask When Selling Home

Are there questions you should ask your Realtor when you’re selling a home in Northern VA?

You betcha! There are more than 10,000 Realtors in Northern VA. So how do you choose the best one for you?

Ask LOTS of questions! We provide our clients with a list of 42 great questions to ask. Here’s a sampling of some – along with the reason why you should ask:

Q. How long have you been in real estate?

Does this really matter? Yes! While new agents can have many skills, there may also be some important ingredients missing: problem solving skills that come from experience for example. Per the National Association of Realtors, the average agent has been in the business for 7 years. Belt Team members average 21 years in the business. So we’ve seen a LOT more things come up and have a lot more resources to handle them. The more homes we sell, the more we learn. So when problems arise, they are usually only temporary and don’t permanently derail your sale. We’ve had lightning strike, raccoons in the attic (twice!), underground oil tanks and more – none of which derailed our sellers thanks to relationships we have built over many years.

Q. Do you have other listings higher in price and lower in price that you will be able to attract Buyers from?

Why does this matter? Because most calls we get inquiring about properties are calls from buyers who want to know the price of the house (and they always thinks it’s lower than it is) or they eventually realize they have to raise their price range to get what they want or lower it to get what they can afford. Since The Belt Team is such a productive team, our Sellers get the added benefit of being able to attract potential buyers from our other listings – both lower and higher in price.

Q. Do your signs have a direct phone number for your team?

Did you know that many newer agents get business by sitting at the front desk of their office as a receptionist and answering the phone – hoping a potential buyer might call about a house because they saw the sign in the yard? Some real estate companies require their agents’ signs to have the company number – instead of the listing agent’s number on the sign for this very reason – to feed newer agents business. While this might be great for the new agent, it’s not so great for the Seller becuase that means a much lesser experienced, less knowledgeable agent will be talking to potential buyers about your home. They might not have even seen your home! (Our signs and ads all have a dedicated Belt Team number that is answered almost 24/7!)

Q. Do you hire & pay for a professional photographer?

This one seems like a no brainer. Of course you would want professional photos of your home – especially when most buyers will see the photos online first! But you’d be surprised how many agents take their own photos to save the money. This is also a good way to guage how professional your Realtor is.

Q. What is the average days on market in my area and what is the average days YOUR listings sell in this area?

This question tells you how well the agent does their job. (Note: Belt Team listings sell much faster than average!)

Q. What percentage of list price do your listings sell for and what is the market average?

This is the logical follow up question to how fast listings sell for. You don’t want an agent who sells fast because they underprice their listings only for the homes to sell for less. And it’s a fine line to walk! (Belt Team listings not only sell faster than average, but for a higher percentage of list price.)

NOW is the time to prepare you home for the Spring Market. Call Terry Belt or Kevin Kleifges at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a FREE Home Selling Consultation or email The Belt Team if you would like our FREE report “42 Interview Questions To Ask Your Realtor When Selling A Home“.

FREE, Instant Online Home Valuation 

State-of-the-art Northern Virginia Home Search Site

Home Sellers – Don’t Be An April Fool. You Deserve Einstein!

The Belt Team Northern VA Real Estate

April 1st is approaching, and that means April Fool’s Day!

Here’s our April Fool’s Tip for Real Estate:

Don’t list your home with the agent who gives you the highest price recommendation.

Why not?

That seems backward, doesn’t it. Because of course you want to sell for the most amount of money possible. Right?!

Many agents will overprice a home in order to get the listing… and then ask for a price change down the line. But does it really matter? Can’t you just try out a higher price & then lower it if it doesn’t work?

You can. But not if you want to net the highest price possible. Statistics prove that the longer a home is on the market, the lower the price it will sell for. Overpricing a home is the worst mistake you can make!

First, select your real estate agent based on his/her credentials. Then, with your agent’s input and a comparative market analysis, decide on price, and price it right from the start.

Never let an agent “buy” your listing. It’s tempting to “tell you what you want to hear”, but integrity and a professional price opinion are in your best interests. No one has a crystal ball & pricing can validly have some variability, but pricing realistically from the start is one of the strongest tools you have in winning the “Sales Game”!

The other reason you don’t want to select your agent solely based on the price he/she recommends is that you want to ensure you have an agent who gets results, who negotiates like a Ninja and who solves problems like Einstein.

Marketing your home & getting a contract are only half the battle. Negotiating, getting it ratified and getting successfully to closing are the other half. In today’s markets, lots of contracts are falling apart. And what we are observing is that the agents with the most talent, skill & experience have the highest success rates.

Oftentimes, the agent recommending the higher price is doing so because that’s the easy way out. They don’t have the skills to compete with other agents except for on price (whether that is list price or commission.) Sometimes it’s because they don’t do a lot of business and just don’t know the market well. But in either case, that doesn’t bode well for you as a Seller. This person will be representing you and is most likely NOT going to get you the results you want. You don’t just need a good marketer or a good sales person or someone you “click with”. You need the person who will get you the highest price for your most valuable financial asset and who will do it in the least amount of time with the least inconvenience, because that’s in your & your family’s best interests!

(Note: today most of Northern VA is seeing a Seller’s Market. So even newer & less talented agents can “sell” homes. But you don’t just want to “sell” your home, you want to maximize your profit and not leave money on the table!)

How do you find an agent who gets results, negotiates like a Ninja and solves problems like Einstein? (Well, you could just call us of course – LOL.) But seriously, ask a lot of questions. We advise people to ask 42 questions actually. Once you conduct that 42 question interview, you’ll know if you have a Ninja on your hands. You should also read their online reviews – not the ones on their web site, but on independent sites like Zillow. You’ll get a real feel for what it’s like to work with each agent you read about. (Just make sure they have enough reviews to paint a real picture!) (Read Belt Team Reviews here.)

If you’re thinking about selling, don’t be an April Fool! You deserve the BEST Real Estate Team in Northern VA. Call (703) 242-3975 to schedule a FREE consultation or email The Belt Team to request our FREE REPORT “42 Questions To Ask BEFORE You Sell Your Home.”)

I Want To Sell A Home & Schedule a FREE Seller Consultation

FREE – How Much Is My Home Worth

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

I Want Buy A Home & Schedule a FREE Buyer Consultation

42 Questions To Ask BEFORE You List Your Home For Sale

Selling Your Home

“Why didn’t we call you in the first place?! We would have saved so much ________!”

Over the years, The Belt Team has gotten this phone call many times. You can fill in lots of different words in the blank: “time”, “money”, “hassle”, “heart-ache”. The word is often different, but the sentiment is the same. Some Sellers express this thought after selling and realizing they could have done better. Others call us when they are unsuccessful in selling and realize they need help.

Here are some of the 42 questions we recommend you ask your Realtor BEFORE you hire them to sell your home.

1. Since most buyers search for homes online, I know how vital good photos of my home are. Do you hire & pay for a professional photographer on my behalf?

2. Do you pay for me to have a consultation with a professional stager so my home will look its best when I go on the market?

3. How many homes did the average Realtor sell in our area? And how many homes did you sell last year? Are you the top agent in the area?

4. How fast did homes sell on average & how fast did your listings sell? How fast did yours sell compared to the top agents?

5. What percent of list price did the average home sell for and what percent of list price did your listings sell for? How does this compare to the top agents?

If you’re thinking of selling, email us or call our Listing Specialists Terry Belt or Kevin Kleifges at (703) 242-3975 for a FREE REPORT including all 42 questions! You’ll like our answers!  (You can even schedule a FREE Home-selling Consultation!)

Terry & Kevin are known nationally for their top-notch negotiating skills and our listings sell FASTER and for MORE MONEY than average. It’s why The Belt Team has sold more homes than almost any Realtor or team in Northern VA and why we’re ranked in the Top 10 Teams in the entire state!

Our mission is “Changing Lives For The Better”. If it’s time to change YOURS, call us at (703) 242-3975!

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 Belt Team Listing Specialists Terry Belt or Kevin Kleifges. They are known nationally for their top-notch negotiating skills and their listings sell FASTER and for MORE MONEY than average. It’s why they are recognized among the best Realtors in Northern VA, ranking in the Top 10 Teams 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 or Kevin at (703) 242-3975

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

Sell Your Home More Than A Month Faster Than The Competition

Wondering how you can sell your home faster than your competition? And more importantly, how you can sell for more money? Watch this short video from KW Research. (And then contact The Belt Team for more specific tips!)

The Belt Team’s mission in Northern Virginia real estate is “Changing Lives For The Better“. If it’s time to change YOURS, call (703) 242-3975 TODAY!

Tip For Homeowners Who Want To Sell This Spring

If one of your 2014 goals is to sell your Northern Virginia home this Spring, you’ll want to watch this one minute video to find out what you can do NOW to make that happen! (And then contact the BEST real estate team in Northern Virginia!)

Search Homes For Sale in Northern VA

How Much Is My House Worth?

I Want To Schedule a FREE Seller Consult

I Want To Schedule a FREE Buyer Consult

Our mission at The Belt Team is “Changing Lives For The Better“. If it’s time to change YOURS, call (703) 242-3975. We’ll help you make the RIGHT move!

Top 5 Eco-Friendly Features Homebuyers Look For

Whether you’re buying a home or selling a home in Northern Virginia, you may be wondering what the top 5 most sought after eco-friendly home features are. Find out in this 1 minute video!

Contact The Belt Team for more information. If you’re selling now, our top-notch Seller Specialists Terry Belt & Kevin Kleifges can help assess which features may add value or salability to your home. Not ready to sell yet? You may want to update and save some money on utilities in the meantime!

Homes For Sale in Northern Virginia

Luxury Homes For Sale in Northern Virginia

Condos For Sale in Northern Virginia

 

Selling A Million Dollar Home In Northern Virginia

If you’re thinking of selling your home and you’re in the million dollar luxury home market in Fairfax County, it matters more than ever that you choose the best Realtor in Northern Virginia to represent you. Why? Because if you don’t, it could cost you not only time, but money! And in your price range – that’s big bucks!

a   Money House

The Belt Team has been the #1 Luxury Home Team for Keller Williams Realty (the nation’s 2nd largest real estate company) for several years. Sellers of million dollar homes LOVE working with The Belt Team. Here are a few reasons why:

The Belt Team has a proven track record of selling more MILLION DOLLAR homes in Fairfax County – more quickly – and for more money – than almost any other Realtor. That means our experience & expertise saves you time and money! We protect your equity & maximize your investment.

In 2012, out of almost 10,000 Realtors in Northern VA, only 8 Realtors/Teams hit double digits for the number of “million dollar homes” sold. The Belt Team was one of them. (This means the “Average Realtor” sold none!) Experience in this special million dollar market counts. Just check out these stats:

In 2012, Belt Team million dollar resale listings in Fairfax County sold 68 DAYS FASTER than the “Average Realtor” and 27-157 DAYS FASTER than the agents who sold at least 10 “million dollar homes”. (That’s 1-5 months of mortgage payments saved!).

    • Average Days on Market – The Belt Team: 48 days
    • Average Days on Market – Other Top Ranked Agent: 75 days
    • Average Days on Market – Other Top Ranked Agent: 97 days
    • Average Days on Market – Other Top Ranked Agent: 104 days
    • Average Days on Market – Other Top Ranked Agent: 113 days
    • Average Days on Market – Other Top Ranked Agent: 116 days
    • Average Days on Market – “Average Agent”: 116 days
    • Average Days on Market – Other Top Ranked Agent: 164 days
    • Average Days on Market – Other Top Ranked Agent: 205 days

In 2012, Belt Team million dollar resale listings in Fairfax County SOLD FOR 5.1% MORE OF LIST PRICE than the average agent’s. (As an example, a Seller of a $1,200,000 home would have netted $61,200 more!) AND Belt Team million dollar resale listings in Fairfax County sold for a higher percentage of list price than ALL the other agents who sold at least 10 “million dollar homes”!

  • Sold Price as % of List Price – The Belt Team: 96.5%
  • Sold Price as % of List Price – Other Top Ranked Agent: 94.3%
  • Sold Price as % of List Price – Other Top Ranked Agent: 93.5%
  • Sold Price as % of List Price – Other Top Ranked Agent: 93.4%
  • Sold Price as % of List Price – “Average Agent”: 91.4%
  • Sold Price as % of List Price – Other Top Ranked Agent: 91.1%
  • Sold Price as % of List Price – Other Top Ranked Agent: 90.4%
  • Sold Price as % of List Price – Other Top Ranked Agent: 87.6%
  • Sold Price as % of List Price – Other Top Ranked Agent: 83.2%

How much is MY “Million Dollar Home” Worth? Request a FREE written report.

Whether you are in Great Falls or Fairfax, Vienna or McLean, Oakton or Oak Hill, Reston or surrounds . . . when you are ready to sell your million dollar home, call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. Don’t you deserve the best Million Dollar Realtors in Northern VA?!

Contact The Belt Team for a private, confidential consultation.