What Home Buyers Need To Know About Shadow Inventory in Northern Virginia

Shadow Inventory in Northern VA

Have you ever heard the term “shadow inventory”?

Shadow inventory is normally a term that refers to a supply of homes that has not yet been put on the market, but is “lurking” in the background – usually real estate properties that are in foreclosure (REO or bank owned properties) or close to foreclosure.

But there really is another type of “shadow inventory” here in Northern Virginia; and if you’re a Buyer, you need to pay attention to this!

As you know, inventory around Northern Virginia is scarce. Homes are selling quickly and there is not a glut of homes on the market the way there was five years ago. Homes that are priced well, in a good location and in good condition are getting snapped up – and sometimes getting multiple, competing contracts and selling over list price. Places like Vienna, VA for example, only have 1.6 months of housing inventory. This is unheard of in recent years.

So what is a Buyer to do?

Find the shadow inventory! Not the REO homes, but the “other” shadow inventory.

Successful, experienced Realtors often have their own “shadow inventory”. When you’ve been in the real estate business for an extended period of time and are tops in your field, you build up a very loyal clientele & following. And this means that past clients (and new ones) often contact you well in advance of going on the market. They list their home with you and then have you consult with them on how they can maximize the return on their home. Only then do they go about preparing the home – doing repairs, improvements, painting, staging, etc. And the home does not go on the market until everything is ready.

Therefore, there is a period of time between when the home is listed and when it actually hits the market. THIS creates a small amount of “shadow inventory” and THIS is why Buyers should work with TOP Realtors. It maximizes their chances of finding their dream home.

As an example, The Belt Team has signed listings for properties in the following areas that are not on the market yet:

  • Parker Avenue in Falls Church
  • Virginia Center Blvd in Vienna
  • Adams Hill Road in Vienna
  • Orleans Circle in Vienna
  • Willow Branch Ct in Vienna

In addition to this, top agents also have vast networks of contacts and can reach out to them on your behalf. Sometimes, people are not actively ready to sell their home, but when we reach out to them on behalf of a buyer who has targeted their neighborhood and who is already approved for a loan, it’s enough to make them consider a sale. And sometimes they actually sell – without putting their home on the market. We have sold a number of homes that way. And it’s a win-win for both buyer and seller.

If you would like to work with an agent who is creative, proactive and who thinks outside the box, contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. That’s what it takes to make your real estate dreams come true in today’s market.

Our mission is “Changing Lives For The Better, One Family At A Time.” Is it time to change yours?

Oakton Sales Play Catch Up, Vienna Sales Still Swift

Seller's Market in Vienna & Oakton

As we have seen over the past years, Oakton’s real estate market often lags just slightly behind the real estate market in Vienna. The past few weeks we have reported that Vienna home sales have surged. But Oakton’s market, with only 1-3 sales per week over the past four weeks, has been slow. However, this week, Oakton sales popped and 11 homes went under contract! (Note however, that 10 of the 11 sales this week were for homes listed at $675,000 or less. So price range is still a big factor in the market. Time will tell if sales activity trickles up.)

Inventory levels in both Oakton & Vienna remain low. Based on the past 30 days sales, Oakton only has 2.4 months of inventory. That’s low, but the real story is in Vienna. Vienna only has 1.6 months of inventory. We have been tracking weekly inventory levels since 2009. THIS IS A RECORD LOW SINCE THAT TIME! Can you say “Seller’s Market”?!

Savvy Sellers are taking advantage of this situation and instead of waiting until the “Spring Housing Market”, are selling now when competition is little to none. This past weekend, Terry Belt, CEO of The Belt Team,  put two homes on the market – one in Oakton listed just under $600,000 and the other in Vienna listed just under $1,000,000. Both homes had a huge number of showings and were under contract in just 4 days. This story is being repeated all over Vienna. Last week 20 homes went under contract and 9 of those homes sold in a week or less.

The moral of the story for Buyers is that you MUST be prepared – prepared to possibly offer over list price, prepared to increase your deposit, prepared to possibly waive contingencies. But before you do that, make sure you discuss ALL the implications with your Realtor!

Because The Belt Team is known for selling more homes in Vienna-Oakton than any other team or Realtor, we often have Buyers ask us to represent them when they are looking for their dream homes here. So if you are thinking of selling, please contact us (703-242-3975). Chances are we may have Buyers already looking in your neighborhood or price range. And if we don’t, we can help you strategize to maximize the return on your home. (Our stats show that Belt Team listings sell faster and for more money than the average agent’s.)

Here is this week’s Market Snapshot for Vienna & Oakton:

Northern VA Real Estate Market Snapshot

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

Search Homes For Sale in Vienna

  • Number of Contracts: 20 (the highest number since the week of Oct 10, 2012)
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 145 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 43 days
  • Inventory: 101 homes on the market (a record low in the past 3 years)
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 1.95 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 1.6 months

What Is My Vienna Home Worth?

Last week in Oakton Real Estate (22124):

Search Homes For Sale in Oakton

  • Number of Contracts: 11 (up from 1 last week, and 3 each of the past 3 weeks)
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 122 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 50 days
  • Inventory: 50 homes on the market (down from 53 last week)
  • 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): 2.4 months

What Is My Oakton Home Worth?

Selling A Home? Think Like A Buyer

“Grab your coat, and get your hat, leave your worry on the doorstep.”

This is a quote from Dorothy Fields. She wasn’t talking about real estate, but we think it rather a propos – as long as you put on the right hat!

If you’re selling a home in Northern Virginia right now, things are looking good for you. Homes that are priced right & prepared properly are selling quickly and prices are starting to rise. So far this year, 898 homes in Fairfax County have gone under contract. The average days on market for those homes was under 2 months (56 days to be exact). But the range of days on market varied IMMENSELY. Some homes sold the same day they went on the market and others were on the market for five whole years! Here’s a sampling of statistics so far in 2013:

  • Falls Church: 95 sales, 42% sold in 2 weeks or less, some took as long as 417 days
  • Great Falls: 9 sales, 11% sold in 2 weeks or less, some took as long as 305 days
  • McLean: 52 sales, 44% sold in 2 weeks or less, some took as long as 657 days!
  • Oakton: 18 sales, 17% sold in 2 weeks or less, some took as long as 147 days
  • Reston: 64 sales, 47% sold in 2 weeks or less, some took as long as 203 days
  • Vienna: 57 sales, 49% sold in 2 weeks or less, some took as long as 394 days

No one wants to stay on the market that long. They certainly don’t want to keep their house in showing condition day after day, month after month. AND more importantly, statistics show that the longer you are on the market, the less your home will sell for.

So why such a large variation? We think it’s because some Sellers just can’t put on their “Buyer Hat”.

Put On Your Buyer Hat

When we meet with our Sellers, we recommend a change in perspective and a focus on the way BUYERS think. It’s especially hard to do that if you’re leaving a home you have enjoyed living in. But if you want to maximize your return AND sell as quickly as possible, it’s time to put on your “Buyer Hat”. Below is a comparison of how Home SELLers think versus how Home BUYers think. It might not be what you want to hear, but it WILL help you sell faster and for more money.

CARPET & PAINT:

  • A typical Seller says “I’d rather let the Buyer take care of these items. I might offer a credit, but I’m way too busy & that way they can choose the color or style they want.”
  • A typical Buyer says “Most homes on the market are “move-in ready”. I barely have time to look at houses, much less fix them up. Find me a house that’s turn-key. Otherwise, I probably don’t want to see it.”

WALLPAPER:

  • A typical Seller says “I spent a lot of time getting this house just right. It’s really elegant and I spent a lot of money on that wallpaper!”
  • A typical Buyer says ” Wallpaper?! Ugh! This house looks like my Grandma’s. I have a hard time even imagining myself living here, much less actually doing so. Let’s keep looking.”

PRICING:

  • A typical Seller says “Let’s try a higher price than the comps are likely to bear. You never know unless you try & the market is going up. We can always reduce the price if it doesn’t sell.”
  • A typical Buyer says “Don’t even show me that house if it’s above my price range. I am already stretching. And if the Seller is THAT overpriced – it’s probably not even worth an offer.”

A top Northern VA Realtor will have many resources for you. They can help you find painters, contractors, stagers, handymen & more. And they can tell you from experience which items you do & more importantly, do NOT need to invest in to get your greatest return. So before you start prepping your home for the market, consult your Realtor. They can help you put on your “Buyer Hat”, minimize the time invested and maximize your return!

Call (703) 242-3975 to schedule a FREE consultation with The Belt Team.

I Want To Sell My Home

FREE Home Selling Tips

FREE Home Seller Reports

FREE Market Value Report – How Much Is My Northern VA Home Worth?

Just Listed In Oakton (on .64 Acres Backing to Parkland!) and Open Sunday

 

JUST LISTED AND OPEN SUNDAY, JANUARY 27TH FROM 1-4PM!Oakton Real Estate For Sale

This charming brick front colonial sits high atop a private half acre lot that backs to parkland in the center of Oakton. Features include four bedrooms (including a master suite with walk-in closet), 2.5 baths, wood floors, eat-in kitchen & separate bay windowed dining room, family room with marble surround fireplace, plus a lower level rec room. Interior freshly painted. Large back deck is ideal for enjoying the beauty of the natural surroundings. Easy commuting via 66, 123 & Vienna Metro and close to every amenity!

For more information call (703) 242-3975.

Directions: From Tysons: South on Rt 123 through Vienna into Oakton. Right Hunter Mill Rd. Left on Hunter Ridge. Right on Adel to #10415. OR from Route 66: Exit Route 123 North toward Oakton, Left Hunter Mill Road and as above. OR from Vienna Metro: Exit to Nutley Street toward Vienna, Left Maple Ave (Rt 123), Right Hunter Mill & as above.

Search more homes for sale in Oakton

Sales Strong In Vienna, Slower In Oakton

Here is this week’s Market Snapshot for Vienna & Oakton:

Northern VA Real Estate Market Snapshot

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

Search Homes For Sale in Vienna

  • Number of Contracts: 17 (down from 19 last week, but up from 6 the previous week)
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 131 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 82 days
  • Inventory: 113 homes on the market (down from 115 last week)
  • 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): 2.3 months

What Is My Vienna Home Worth?

Last week in Oakton Real Estate (22124):

Search Homes For Sale in Oakton

  • Number of Contracts: 1 (down from 3 each of the past 3 weeks)
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 118 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 14 days
  • Inventory: 53 homes on the market (up from 49 last week & up from 46 on Jan 2nd)
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 2.8 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 3.8 months

What Is My Oakton Home Worth?

New Home Open in Vienna – January 26 & 27

THIS is what happens when you find your dream home. Your face lights up. You smile. And you start building lifelong memories!

Happy Buyers of New Home in Vienna VA

If you are looking for YOUR dream home, stop by our open houses this weekend. We specialize in making dreams come true!

OPEN SATURDAY 11AM – 1PM AND SUNDAY 1PM – 3PM

Home For Sale in Vienna on Cottage St

Listed at $1,195,000

Enjoy a new design and excellent quality construction from one of Vienna’s oldest and finest builders, in the heart of “Downtown Vienna”. This delightful elevation includes Hardiplank, stone, and a charming porch feature. First floor guest bedroom/den with full bath. Five bedrooms & four full baths total. Upgraded finishes and quality throughout. Madison HS Pyramid.

Directions:From Vienna Metro:  I-66 to Nutley Street; Right on Tapawingo; Left on Cottage. Or from Tysons: Maple Avenue to Left on Center Street S, Right on Locust Street, Left on Cottage St to #204.

Search Homes For Sale in Vienna

Read about Life In Vienna

***************************************************************************

(We also have a new listing coming soon in Falls Church. Call 703-242-3975 for details!)

Just Listed In Vienna – Ideal Commuting Location Near Metro!

This warm & inviting, elegant brick front colonial is loaded with updates! Enjoy a wonderful open floorplan that’s as great for entertaining as it is for family living. Other features include gleaming hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen with sunny breakfast area, separate dining room, library, 3 fireplaces, a luxurious master suite with 2 walk-in closets and a lower level rec room with au pair/in-law suite. Idea location with access to every amenity plus easy commuting near both Dunn Loring Metro & the Mosaic District, and Tysons Corner and the new Metro!

Schedule a showing of Silverberry Court in Vienna

Search More Homes For Sale In Vienna

Vienna & Oakton Housing Market In Balance, But Vienna Home Sales Rocket Forward!

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

This quote from Dr. Seuss is an apt description of today’s real estate market in Vienna, Oakton and throughout Northern VA. Whether you’re buying or selling, creativity must be involved in order to be successful in your real estate endeavors – whether that’s creativity in negotiation, obtaining financing, preparing your home through staging or any of a number of other areas. You’ve gotta “think left and think right“. But you can’t stop there. Today’s market also says “think low” (as in low inventory!) and “think high” (as in prices are starting to rise!).

Northern Virginia Housing Market - Inventory Is Low

When you review the statistics below, you will see that both Vienna & Oakton are currently in a “Balanced Market”. This means that housing inventory sits between 3-6 months, and normally means that Buyers & Sellers are on equal footing. While that may be the case in Oakton, Vienna sales are rocketing forward. The number of contracts this week is the highest it has been since mid October. And that means the “Spring Real Estate Market” has sprung! (Not only do the statistics show the market has popped, but attendance at our open houses is drastically up.)

While inventory jumped 8% since the beginning of the year, the best homes are still being snapped up quickly. Note that in Vienna last week, 12 of the 19 homes that went under contract did so in a week or less!

That being said, if you are actually in the market to buy or sell a home, you really need to take your analysis to a deeper level. The statistics we have provided here are for the overall markets of Vienna & Oakton. But there can still be wide variations within markets. As an example, in the past week, of the 22 homes that went under contract in Vienna & Oakton, only 2 were listed above $760,000. So the upper brackets are lagging behind lower priced homes. We’ll see over time whether this “trickles up” or stays a trend.

P.S. Any Realtor can provide these statistics, but if you’re in the market to buy or sell, you just don’t want “any Realtor”. Here are a few tips on choosing a Realtor:

Now, here’s a snapshot of what happened in the past week in Vienna & Oakton:

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

Search Homes For Sale in Vienna

  • Number of Contracts: 19 (up from 6 last week)
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 131 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 40 days
  • Inventory: 115 homes on the market (up from 106 on January 2nd.)
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 5.5 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 3.2 months

What Is My Vienna Home Worth?

Last week in Oakton Real Estate (22124):

Search Homes For Sale in Oakton

  • Number of Contracts: 3 (the same number for 3 weeks in a row)
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 124 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 56 days
  • Inventory: 49 homes on the market (up from 46 on January 2nd)
  • 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): 3.5 months

What Is My Oakton Home Worth?

Sometimes you need to buy or sell a home no matter what is happening in the market. Maybe you’re having a baby & you need more space. Or you’re a military or relocation family who has been transferred. Or you’re looking to “right-size” your home. No matter why you’re moving, we can help you make the BEST move. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, Contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. We think you deserve the BEST Realtors in Northern Virginia!

Our mission is “Changing Lives For The Better – One Family At A Time!”

Top Producing Realtor, Tom Reilly, Joins The Belt Team

Have you ever heard the saying that “a team of specialists will always outperform a team of generalists“? After 40+ years in real estate, and 17 of those as a team, we know this to be true. Some agents work as individuals, or even in pairs or groups, but at The Belt Team, we feel it’s in our clients’ best interests for them to be served by an entire team, with each person dedicated to serving our clients where their utmost skills lie.

Teamwork

The Belt Team has recently had two members battle cancer (successfully so far – Thank you God!). And their experiences with the various oncologists, chemo nurses, radiation professionals, insurance processors & more have only reinforced to them the value of a team of specialists. (Imagine if your surgeon handled your insurance. It would be messed up for sure! Or if the same doctor who handled eye surgery, handled foot surgery. Yikes!) It’s ideal when each person on the team does what they are best at.

So we run our real estate team along that same principle. “Team”: Together Everyone Achieves More! And that especially includes our clients. Belt Team clients don’t have to rely on just one or two people to handle everything. Imagine how hard it would be to reach them if that were the case! They would likely be jack-of-all-trades and master of none. And THAT is why we are so excited to have Tom Reilly join our team.

Tom has been a Top Producing Realtor® on his own for many years. He was “Rookie of the Year” during his first year as a Realtor and has continued to excel in real estate. Tom’s natural gift of leadership and patience as a teacher meant that he found himself in a number of leadership roles over the years – most recently as the Assistant Team Leader at Keller Williams Realty McLean, one of the top offices in the entire country. And while Tom really enjoys being a part of the KW McLean office, he discovered that his passion is really found in helping Buyers find that perfect home. So Tom decided to go back “into the field” to work with Buyers in a more dedicated way.

At the same time Tom decided to pursue his passion, he sought out The Belt Team. Tom said, “Joining one of the top teams in the entire country will help my clients be even more successful in their endeavors than they could be if I was on my own.” CEO, Terry Belt shared “Tom and I have known each other some 30 years – since we played basketball & baseball together at Bishop O’Connell High School. We knew we shared the same values of integrity & commitment to excellence; it was a natural fit.”  Belt added “Our mission at The Belt Team is to change families’ lives for the better – one family at a time. And that’s something Tom has been doing for years.”

Tom joins The Belt Team as Senior Buyer Specialist.

Belt Team Chief Operating Officer Christy Belt Grossman said “Tom has a genuine passion for helping others, and a great sense of humor matched with a seriousness of purpose. His buyers really appreciate his consultative approach and feel well armed with the tenacity & creativity he uses to be their advocate in today’s market. Add to that the extensive market knowledge that can only come as a lifelong Northern VA resident, along with his technology experience – and that translates to top notch negotiating skills that are a win-win for his clients!”

SO LET’S MEET TOM REILLY!

Tom Reilly Realtor The Belt Team Keller Williams Realty McLean VA 

Tom Reilly is a top producing Realtor® and Lead Buyer Specialist for The Belt Team. Tom is a graduate of Brown University; he is licensed in Virginia, and holds an Accredited Buyer’s Representative Designation. Tom’s buyers like working with him because as a lifetime resident of McLean, he knows Northern Virginia like the back of his hand – whether that’s schools or businesses, commuting routes or neighborhoods. In addition, Tom has extensive skills in the technology arena and his buyers gain a competitive advantage (and extra convenience) as a result.  Prior to joining The Belt Team, Tom served as Assistant Team Leader at Keller Williams Realty McLean, where he served multiple terms on the Associate Leadership Council and also chaired the Technology Committee. Tom rose to success quickly in his real estate career, starting off as the #4 Rookie-of-the-Year in Virginia for Long & Foster in 2006.

Before his career in real estate, Tom worked in the legal industry for almost two decades where he focused primarily on employing technology to assist in the practice of law, including implementing technology solutions to promote business development. Tom enjoys volunteering extensively in the community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Hamlet Swim Club as Secretary of the club, as an usher at St. Luke Catholic Church, and in numerous roles coaching youth athletics. Tom’s true passion is helping others and he looks forward to helping you find your dream home!

Contact Tom Reilly

The Belt Team’s Mission Statement

Why You Need The Team Approach When You Buy or Sell A Home

Belt Team Client Testimonials

Search for Homes In Northern Virginia

Should I Sell My House Now Or Wait Til Spring?

If you’re thinking of selling your home in the spring, you’ll want to check out this 1 minute video. Recent studies show that 90% of home buyers start their home search on the Internet. That’s no surprise. But how long do they typically look before they buy? The answer to that might help you decide whether to wait until Spring to go on the market or whether to list your home now.

How Much Is My Home Worth (FREE Evaluation)

Top 10 Reasons Sellers Choose The Belt Team

FREE Seller Tips & Reports

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. It’s our mission to help you make your BEST move – whether that’s now, this Spring or even next year. No matter WHEN you sell, you deserve the best Realtors in Northern VA.