Open House in Vienna September 2nd (and Find Vienna)!

TGIF! Time for our Friday Funday Video & Weekend Open House Announcement!

One of the great benefits of living in Vienna is the variety of entertainment & recreation options. And one of OUR favorite places to go is Jammin Java. Later this month, you can even see a group there called “Find Vienna” (but they’re from Philadelphia – LOL)! So our video is from Find Vienna – and it’s called “Taking My Breath Away:”. We think our new home listing on Cottage Street might also take your breath away. So listen to the video for inspiration and then stop by our open house on Sunday, September 2nd. (Scroll down for details.)

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BRAND NEW HOME OPEN SUNDAY 1-3PM – 1202 Cottage St SW in Vienna – $1,049,900

Gorgeous newly finished brick colonial custom home. Over 5000 finished sq ft! Features include hardwood floors on 2 levels, gas fireplace, gourmet chef’s kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, butlers pantry & more. Lower level includes a wet bar, rec room. media room, bedroom & full bath. Less than a mile from 2 Metro Stations & in MADISON H.S. PYRAMID! More info about 1202 Cottage St

Directions: From Tysons: 123 South, Left Nutley Street, Left Kingsley, Right Cottage to #1202.

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Summer Sales Still Simmering in Vienna & Oakton Real Estate

As summer comes to an end and school gets ready to start, let’s take a look at what’s happening in the Vienna & Oakton real estate markets. Specific statistics are below, but first here’s a summary of where we are:

  • In terms of number of homes sold, last week saw sales in both Vienna and Oakton just barely below the weekly average we have seen throughout 2012. Vienna has averaged about 22 sales per week this year; while last week 17 homes went under contract. And Oakton has averaged about 7 sales per week. Last week 6 homes sold. Not too bad for the end of August.
  • In terms of how fast homes are selling, 46% of the homes that went under contract in the past week sold in two weeks or less. 65% sold in less than a month. The longest days on market for homes that sold last week belonged to the two highest priced listings ($1,,399,000 and $1,450,000). They took 135 and 134 days, respectively, to sell.
  • The highest price home to go under contract last week was a home in Oakton listed at $1,450,000. Most homes that sold (75%) were listed under $800,000, with the lowest list price at $220,000 for a condo next to Vienna Metro.
  • Inventory remains low and we continue to see a Seller’s Market in both Vienna and Oakton. Both areas have less than a 3 month supply of homes on the market.

Last week in Vienna Real Estate (22180,22181, 22182):

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  • Number of Contracts: 17
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 112 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 42 days
  • Inventory: 181 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 2.3 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 2.1 months

Last week in Oakton Real Estate (22124):

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  • Number of Contracts: 6
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 99 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 46
  • Inventory: 67 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 2.1 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 2.6 months

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If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, Contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 for a more in-depth discussion & analysis – because it’s only the neighborhood YOU live in (or you WANT to live in) that matters. We’ll be happy to schedule a consultation and get very detailed about “YOUR Market” so that you can make the decision that is best for YOU!

J.D. Power Announces Keller Williams Realty Ranks Highest In Overall Satisfaction For Home Buyers and Home Sellers Among National Full Service Real Estate Firms

One of the reasons The Belt Team affiliated with Keller Williams Realty four years ago was the fact that we put our clients first. It is important to us to be part of a company that not only cares about its clients, but gives their associates every possible tool to gain an advantage for our clients. At Keller Williams Realty, that comes in the form of technology, training and people. So when J.D. Power recently announced that Keller Williams Realty ranked highest among their competitors in terms of customer satisfaction with both home buyers and home sellers – we were thrilled. For us, this is an affirmation that we made a great decision – both for ourselves and more importantly – for our clients. Our mission at The Belt Team is to change lives for the better, one family at a time. And our affiliation with Keller Williams is key in that mission.

If you’re interested in buying or selling a home – OR if you’re interested in a career with Keller Williams Realty and in changing lives for the better – contact The Belt Team! Changing lives is life changing!

Here’s the full Press Release:

Keller Williams Realty Ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Home Buyer and Seller Segments” by J.D. Power and Associates 

AUSTIN, TEXAS (August 16, 2012) — According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction StudySM released yesterday, Keller Williams Realty, Inc. ranks highest in customer satisfaction in both the homebuyer and home seller segments. Keller Williams Realty, Inc. achieved the highest scores in all measured factors across both segments, receiving the highest JDPower.com Power Circle RatingSMamong its competitors overall. 

“We are so proud to have our associates be recognized once again for leading the industry with the influence and reputations they have in their local communities. They continually demonstrate not only their level of talent, but their commitment to serving our communities with the utmost integrity and highest level of service,” Mark Willis, CEO of Keller Williams Realty, Inc., stated. “Congratulations to all Keller Williams Realty associates. They have certainly earned this prestigious distinction.” 

The fifth annual J.D. Power and Associates study measures customer satisfaction with the largest national real estate companies within the home buyer and seller segments. Scores are determined by examining three factors of the home-buying experience: agent/salesperson; office; and variety of additional services. For the home-selling segment, agent/salesperson; marketing; office; and variety of additional services are examined. 

J.D. Power and Associates stated, “[The uncertain economic times] present a challenge for the real estate companies to really work closely with the customers and really hold their hand through the entire process to make them feel more comfortable in the decisions. Keller Williams has set itself apart by performing high in all the areas that are most important to customers specifically with the agent, the offices, and the services that they provide.” 

“Our agents go above and beyond to help their clients at one of the most personal times in their lives – when they are buying or selling a home. We are incredibly honored and humbled that our associates have been recognized yet again for their incredible levels of service,” says Mary Tennant, President of Keller Williams Realty, Inc. 

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Disclaimer: Keller Williams received the highest numerical score among full service real estate firms for home buyers and home sellers in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Home Buyer/Seller StudySM. Study based on 2,994 total evaluations measuring five firms and measures opinions of individuals who bought or sold a home between March 2011 and April 2012. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed March-May 2012. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com 

About Keller Williams Realty, Inc.:

Founded in 1983, Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is the second-largest real estate franchise operation in the United States, with 675 offices and almost 77,000 associates across the globe. The company, which began franchising in 1990, has an agent-centric culture that emphasizes access to leading-edge education and promotes an economic model that rewards associates as stakeholders and partners. The company also provides specialized agents in luxury homes and commercial real estate properties. For more information, or to search for homes for sale, visit Keller Williams Realty online at (http://www.kw.com). Information about Keller Williams Realty’s international expansion can be found at (http://www.kwworldwide.com).

New Home On Cottage Street Open Sunday August 26th

TGIF! Time for our Friday Funday Video & Weekend Open House Announcement!

First – we bring you Band of Horses and their song “Knock Knock”. We thought that appropriate to introduce our open house because the lyrics say “Knocking on the doorway, Hey look what’s coming your way. It’s Everything I want, It’s everything I need.

So, if you’re looking for that dream home – maybe one that’s brand new and move-in ready in a great location in the Town of Vienna – then scroll down for details of our open house and come a knocking on our door on Sunday. You just might find everything you want or need!

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BRAND NEW HOME OPEN SUNDAY 1-4PM – 1202 Cottage St SW in Vienna – $1,049,900

Gorgeous newly finished brick colonial custom home. Over 5000 finished sq ft! Features include hardwood floors on 2 levels, gas fireplace, gourmet chef’s kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, butlers pantry & more. Lower level includes a wet bar, rec room. media room, bedroom & full bath. Less than a mile from 2 Metro Stations & in MADISON H.S. PYRAMID! More info about 1202 Cottage St

Directions: From Tysons: 123 South, Left Nutley Street, Left Kingsley, Right Cottage to #1202.

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Read about “Life In Vienna”

Home Buyers – Is There A Difference Between Getting Pre-Qualified & Pre-Approved?

If you’re thinking about buying a home at some point, you may be interested to know that there IS a BIG difference between getting pre-qualified for a loan and getting pre-approved for a loan. Find out more in this one minute update from “This Month In Real Estate”:

The Belt Team has trusted relationships with lenders who are competitive & can be counted upon to do what they say they’re going to do. (That’s not always the case!) If you would like to get pre-approved for a loan, contact The Belt Team and we’ll put you in touch.

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Open House In Vienna – Sunday, August 19th

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for our Friday Funday Video & Weekend Open House Announcement! This weekend we have a fabulous, just completed new home being held open. It’s in a great location in the Town of Vienna – on Cottage Street. (Scroll down for details). Bur first – here’s our video – appropriately titled “Cottage Song“. (Note – the house is MUCH more than a cottage – but you get the idea!)

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BRAND NEW HOME OPEN SUNDAY 1-4PM – 1202 Cottage St SW in Vienna – $1,049,900

Gorgeous newly finished brick colonial custom home. Over 5000 finished sq ft! Features include hardwood floors on 2 levels, gas fireplace, gourmet chef’s kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, butlers pantry & more. Lower level includes a wet bar, rec room. media room, bedroom & full bath. Less than a mile from 2 Metro Stations & in MADISON H.S. PYRAMID! More info about 1202 Cottage St

Directions: From Tysons: 123 South, Left Nutley Street, Left Kingsley, Right Cottage to #1202.

Search more homes in Vienna

Read about “Life In Vienna”

What Does Low Inventory in Northern Virginia Real Estate Mean For Buyers & Sellers?

                             

If you have been following our Northern Virginia Real Estate Blog, then you know that inventory levels throughout the area have been low almost all year. In some areas, low inventory dates back even further. As an example, scroll down & take a look at our statistics below for Vienna and Oakton. You’ll see that both areas have less than a 3 month supply of homes on the market. So what does this mean for Buyers & Sellers?

SELLERS – It’s still a good time to sell. When inventory is low, you become the driver of the car instead of just being a passenger. The number of home sales may be down from last month, but sales are up when comparing months year-over-year. When inventory is low – there is less competition for your home. And that’s a plus! In this past month, The Belt Team has marketed & sold multiple homes in a week or less – and had several listings sell over list price because they were priced to incent competing contracts.

That being said, it’s remains vital that you choose the best Realtor to market your home. Home buyers are still showing signs of market anxiety and until consumer confidence in the economy returns, pricing right and getting maximum exposure is imperative.  (You may want to read our previous posts “Don’t Be Like Timothy Geithner – Mistakes Sellers Make” and “5 Ways To Know If Your Realtor Is Tech Savvy (and does it even matter?!)” – and download our FREE report “43 Questions You Should Ask When Interviewing A Realtor To Sell Your Home”.

BUYERS – If you’re in the market to buy a home, you may not be happy about low inventory. Low inventory means less to choose from AND that it’s more likely you’ll have to compete for a home. How do you handle this?

1. Make sure you are working with a Realtor who ensures you are aware of new listings as early as possible. Request that your listing search be automated, rather than waiting for the agent to check the MLS and then send things to you. (For example, sign up for FREE Listing Alerts.)

2. Discuss your strategy with your Realtor BEFORE you are in a competitive situation. Find out your options for negotiation so that you are ready to move quickly if & when that “dream home” comes on the market. Read reviews about your Realtor before you sign a Buyer Agency Agreement with one. Work with a Realtor who has reviews that specifically match the type of negotiating skills you may need. (For example, look for comments like those you’ll see about The Belt Team on consumer real estate site Zillow.com: “Pauline Knipe helped me negotiate a great price.” and “My wife and I worked with Krissy Cruse. She did an excellent job and made the entire process easy and painless. We closed on our house exactly as planned and purchased it for $12,000 less than advertised.” and “I worked with Catharine Via. They know the market and priced my home aggressively, yet realistically, to get me my target price, and they held firm to that with the offer. They look out for your interests.” and “We had two competing offers on our home in a matter two days, and we closed the sale within about 40 days. All this in a ‘down’ market! I would heartily recommend The Belt Team, and specifically Pauline Knipe, to anybody looking to buy or sell a home.”

3. Don’t just look for homes on your own. You’d be surprised to know that a number of homes that are not even on the market are sold to buyers. So if you’re not working with a proactive agent who is really networked in your desired area, you may be losing homes you don’t even know about. Working with this type of agent will expand your options and the likliehood of finding exactly what you’re looking for.

Contact The Belt Team for more strategies on finding the best Realtor or real estate agent in Northern Virginia, home buying & selling tips and for market updates specific to your area.

Last week in Vienna Real Estate (22180,22181, 22182):

  • Number of Contracts: 20
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 105 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 86 days
  • Inventory: 186 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 2.4 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 2.7 months

Last week in Oakton Real Estate (22124):

  • Number of Contracts: 9
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 94 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 98
  • Inventory: 68 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 2.1 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 2.6 months

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, Contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 for a more in-depth discussion & analysis – because it’s only the neighborhood YOU live in (or you WANT to live in) that matters. We’ll be happy to schedule a consultation and get very detailed about “YOUR Market” so that you can make the decision that is best for YOU!

5 Ways To Know If Your Realtor Is Tech Savvy (Does it even matter?)

 

    

Does it really matter whether or not your Realtor is “Tech Savvy”?

The answer is a resounding YES!

Watch this one minute video for a QUICK answer on how you know if your Realtor is Tech Savvy: !

As a Buyer or Seller, it really doesn’t matter whether YOU are into technology or not. We work with all kinds of folks and we adapt to whatever their comfort level & needs are when it comes to communication, home searching & more. And while technology can make buying or selling a home easier on you, it’s really not an absolute necessity that YOU be tech savvy.

So, whether you’re like my husband (who has a phone with no camera, no internet access and a flip top – he calls it a “dumb phone” instead of a “smart phone”) or you’re the first person in your office to get the latest gadget or download the newest app – you can be successful in buying or selling a home, doing it with the least inconvenience possible, and maximizing your exposure (if you’re selling) or your opportunity (if you’re buying.)

But only IF YOU HAVE A REALTOR WHO IS TECH SAVVY.

To understand why this might matter to you as a Buyer or a Seller, ask yourself these questions:

  • If you are a Buyer and you know that the Northern Virginia market is seeing many cases of multiple, competing contracts on homes that are new on the market – wouldn’t you want to have a Realtor who is uber-connected and knows about listings sooner rather than later?
  • If you are a Seller, don’t you want to maximize the exposure of your home to the market? It’s not your “Grandma’s Market” any more and a sign in the yard & word of mouth over the back fence are not how you get the word out. While traditional marketing still has its place, wouldn’t you want a Realtor who can provide exposure to new arenas? You may not be on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc – but don’t you want the folks who are in those places to know about your home too?
  • And whether you are a Buyer or a Seller, a Tech Savvy Realtor is also often a sign of a Realtor with superior market knowledge, sharply honed negotiating skills and an out-of-the-box mindset. Aren’t those things you would be looking for in today’s market?

The bottom line is that Social Media is not just “hype” – it can HELP you!

So, how do you know if a Realtor is “Tech Savvy”?

Many will say they are Tech Savvy when you ask them, but how do you REALLY know? Here are 5 Tips To Find A Tech Savvy Realtor:

1. Go to their web site and see if they have a blog. If they don’t have a blog, they probably are not Tech Savvy. If they do, how often do they post and what do they write about? If their last blog post was a month or more ago, it’s not a good sign. Scroll through the blog and see what types of things they post. This is a great way to see what kind of market knowledge they have, how they work, how they market their homes and more. A Tech Savvy Realtor will have at least one blog (oftentimes more than one) and will update it at least 2-3 times a week year-round and will include things like market statistics, advice to Buyers & Sellers, market trends and more. (The Belt Team has two blogs – one about Northern Virginia real estate and one about Life In Vienna. In addition, we have been tapped as Community Bloggers and blog regularly for Vienna Patch, Oakton Patch and WUSA9.com .)

2. Check out their KLOUT score. What’s a KLOUT score? Here’s what Klout’s web site says: “Klout measures influence based on your ability to drive action on social networks.” If you’re a Seller, don’t you want someone who can drive action on your home? And if you’re a buyer, don’t you also want someone who is ultra wired in? A Tech Savvy Realtor will have a higher than average KLOUT score. (An average KLOUT score is around 40.) So go to www.klout.com , sign up for a free account, find your Realtor and check them out. (Or just ask them what their score is. If they have no idea what KLOUT is, then you have your answer!) If their name doesn’t come up at all – they are definitely NOT Tech Savvy. If they do come up, you can not only check out their score, but you can see what topics Klout says they are influential about. Hopefully it will be “real estate”! (Klout scores fluctuate daily. As of this writing, my Klout score is 63 and among other things, we are listed as influential in “Real Estate”, “Blogging”, “Vienna”, “Business”, “Charities” & “Sales”).

3. Ask them if they have ever represented a Buyer who bought a home with them from afar – meaning someone who bought a home long distance without seeing the home in person. While this may not be the situation you are in, it is a great indicator of how Tech Savvy the agent might be. If they have done this a number of times, it likely means they are great with video, Skype, DocUSign and a host of other tools that make buying virtually much easier than you think. You don’t have to use those tools, but having an agent who knows how to benefits you. It’s a great indication that they are probably very sharp, go the extra mile and think outside the box.

4. Check out their Facebook page. How many “Friends” or “Likes” do they have? Do they have both a business & personal page? When was the last time they updated their status? Is their page an active forum where potential Buyers could be sourced for your home? Do they have lots of contacts so that perhaps they can find a home for you to buy that may not even be on the market? Ask them whether they have actually generated business from their Facebook page (or do they just “play around”?)

5. Search for online reviews. A Tech Savvy Realtor will have lots of online reviews. Just like travelers use Trip Advisor to check out hotel reviews and Yelp to check out restaurant reviews, home buyers and home sellers use sites like Zillow.com and Trulia.com to find out about good Realtors. Realtors who are not Tech Savvy will probably not show up on these sites. And if they do, they may only have a few reviews. Realtors who ARE Tech Savvy will have multiple reviews and show up on more than one site. If you do this, not only will you know whether or not the agent is Tech Savvy – you’ll also know a whole lot about them and what it’s like to be one of their clients. These reviews are posted directly by consumers – NOT by the agent. So you’ll find out the good AND the bad. (As an example, The Belt Team has 43 reviews on Zillow.)

Twitter ~ GChat ~ Hangouts ~ Circles ~ Facebook ~ IM ~ Skype ~ SEO ~ IVR ~ You Tube ~ Blogging ~ Texting ~ Pinterest

If you know what all these terms mean, then you’ve found the right real estate team to help you buy or sell. We combine yesterday’s values with today’s technology to make your tomorrow bright.

If you don’t have a clue what these terms mean, that’s ok – we DO! In today’s market, you need a team who is on the leading edge of technology to help you achieve your dreams. No need to be “tech savvy”, we’ll do it for you!

While The Belt Team lives old fashioned values like integrity & trust, we also pride ourselves on being on the leading edge of marketing & technology. Why? It’s in our clients’ best interests!

Contact The Belt Team

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Buying A Home – Beautiful & Brilliant!

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Congrats to Belt Team clients Jackie & Rob! Not only is the bride gorgeous, she’s SMART! She & her fiance met Krissy Cruse – Buyer’s Agent with The Belt Team at an open house in January, hired her to help find their dream home and happily went to settlement last month. They even asked her to be a bridesmaid in their wedding! Jackie & Rob – we wish you many blessings & much happiness!

If you’d like to find out what it’s like to work with The Belt Team, you can read our most recent 43 client reviews here: “The Belt Team Experience“.

Contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. We Specialize in Success Stories – YOURS! And you too can be Beautiful & Brilliant!

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Vienna Open Houses – August 12th

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for our Weekend Open House Announcement!

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BRAND NEW HOME OPEN SUNDAY 1-3PM – 1202 Cottage St SW in Vienna – $1,049,900

Gorgeous newly finished brick colonial custom home. Over 5000 finished sq ft! Features include hardwood floors on 2 levels, gas fireplace, gourmet chef’s kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, butlers pantry & more. Lower level includes a wet bar, rec room. media room, bedroom & full bath. Less than a mile from 2 Metro Stations & in MADISON H.S. PYRAMID! More info about 1202 Cottage St

Directions: From Tysons: 123 South, Left Nutley Street, Left Kingsley, Right Cottage to #1202.

Search more homes in Vienna

Read about “Life In Vienna”