Coming Soon in The Yacht Club at Sequoia Village!

Chrisland Falls Church VA

This is a wonderful OPPORTUNITY for a townhome in The Yacht Club at Sequoia Village – a gorgeous gated waterfront community inside the Beltway in Falls Church. Call (703) 242-3975 for more info!

Interest Rates Up, Prices Up, Affordability Declines – What Does That Mean For YOU?

Real Estate Prices Rising        Housing Supply Up in Vienna Oakton Real Estate

First, here are the highlights for Vienna & Oakton Real Estate over the past week:

  • Vienna’s housing supply is at the highest since October 2012. (But it’s still really LOW and Vienna remains in a Seller’s Market – with 2.3 months of inventory.)
  • Oakton’s housing supply is at its highest since October 2011. (This puts Oakton into a Balanced Market – still NOT a Buyer’s Market.)
  • Sales have slowed somewhat in both areas, but homes are still selling fairly quickly. Last week, 69% of the homes that went under contract in Vienna, did so in 2 weeks or less. And in Vienna, 75% sold in two weeks or less. WOW!

NOW – What does that all mean for you?

Moral of the Story for Buyers: As interest rates rise and home prices rise, it is imperative that you work with a proactive, networked-in Realtor and you are prepared to move quickly when you find that Dream Home. Home affordability has already declined 35% since January. The good news is, affordability is still higher than any pre-crisis level since creation of the affordability index. But don’t wait. Rising interest rates will erode your buying power. And rising home prices mean the home price you can afford now is much higher than the home you could buy a year from now.

Homebuyer Affordability 2013

Moral of the Story For Sellers: It’s a great time to sell in both Vienna & Oakton. But helping you with pricing and tapping into the temperature of the market are still the most important services your Realtor can provide. Supply & demand are fluctuating and local market knowledge is your biggest weapon in maximizing your return.

Here are the detailed statistics from the past week:

Vienna Real Estate (22180,22181, 22182):

Search Homes For Sale in Vienna

  • Number of Contracts: 16
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 91 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 16 days
  • Inventory: 149 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 1.9 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 2.3 months

What Is My Vienna Home Worth?

Oakton Real Estate (22124):

Search Homes For Sale in Oakton

  • Number of Contracts: 4
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 103 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 37 days
  • Inventory: 94 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 3.1 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 3.6 months

What Is My Oakton Home Worth?

Our mission is “Changing Lives For The Better – One Family At A Time!” How Can We Help YOU?!

Top Northern VA Real Estate Team

Top 3 Updates When Selling Your Home

According to KW Research, there are three updates Sellers are most likely to make when getting their home ready to go on the market. Watch this video to find out what they are:

If you’re thinking about what updates you do (or do NOT) need to do before you sell your home, make sure to give us a call for a FREE Home Selling Consultation. Some updates are necessary for saleability, some updates will bring you better return on investment, and some updates don’t need to be made at all!  We’ll help you figure out which are which! The answers are not the same for everyone and may depend on price range, location and market conditions in YOUR area.

Call (703) 242-3975 to schedule your appointment.

The Dangers of Overpricing Your Home & Other Truths You NEED TO Know

As professionals in the Northern Virginia real estate market for more than 40 years, we have developed a reputation for integrity & truth telling – even when it’s not to our advantage.

The Belt Team Values

How could telling the truth not work in our favor?

One example would be when we’re showing homes to a Buyer. And the Buyer falls in love with the house. We can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice. Sometimes it’s even love at first sight.

But part of our job is to make sure the Buyer has ALL the facts before making a  decision that could affect their future forever. Sometimes that means giving them information they may not want to hear – about potential resale issues for example. Buyers from other parts of the country may not care whether a home has a basement. But Buyers in Northern VA DO care. And so homes with finished basements are often much more saleable (and sell for more) than homes without basements. If the Buyer is a relocation client, and likely to relocate again in 3 years, they need to know this. Telling them about a resale issue when they just fell in love isn’t easy. And losing a potential sale is not easy for us either. But it’s in their best interest to do so. And for us, it’s always “client first”.

Another example where telling the truth may not work in our favor is when we are interviewing with potential Sellers. Some Sellers believe they should ask each agent for their recommended pricing and select the real estate agent who suggests the highest price or is at least willing to go along with their ‘dream’ price.” (Note: This is a myth! You should always select an agent on his/her credentials. Market value is a separate issue.)

So when we tell the truth of what’s happening in the market, and the Seller is not ready to hear it, we sometimes find the Seller chooses another agent to try to sell their home. (We call this “Jack Nicholson Syndrome”. Remember his line in “A Few Good Men”? – “You can’t handle the truth!”)

But it’s not unusual for some of these Sellers to come back to us 90 days later when their listing expires and their home is not sold. We always wish they had been ready for the truth sooner, because the longer your home is on the market, the less it usually sells for!

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”! Listen to your agent’’s professional input and recommendations. Then make an educated decision and let the agent get on top of things at the start. Many agents will overprice a home in order to get the listing… and then ask for a price change down the line. You should insist on working with an agent with a proven track record. Ask the agent not only for a market analysis to determine the realistic amount your home will bear in today’’s market, but also ask them what their pulse is on the market. Then price your home accordingly. Overpricing a home is the worst mistake you can make! Statistics prove that the longer a home is on the market, the lower the price it will sell for.

This graph illustrates what happens when Sellers do not price to “market”:

The chart above shows what happens in a “stable market”. Markets that are “shifting” (such as ours) find Sellers who overprice in even worse positions.

Dangers Of Overpricing Your Home Dangers Of Overpricing Your Home Dangers Of Overpricing Your Home Dangers Of Overpricing Your Home

Here are just SOME of the Dangers of Overpricing Your Home:

  • You will lose the excitement that a new listing generates.
  • You will lose the most qualified prospects.
  • Overpricing helps sell other, more competitively priced properties first.
  • Your home may become stale on the market.
  • If you do get an offer, the contract may fall through because of appraisal problems.
  • You lose a strong negotiating position when your house is on the market for a long time, both financially and mentally.

(Click through if you would like a FREE estimate of your home’s value or if you would like a FREE Buyer Consult, just fill out our scheduling form here.)

Now you know why we tell the truth. It may not always be in OUR best interests. But it IS in our clients’ best interests. Our goal is to maximize the return for our Sellers, and minimize the time and inconvenience of having their home on the market. And the best way to do that is with the facts.

Telling the truth is not always easy. But it’s the right thing to do. Our clients depend on it!

(Click here for more info about The Belt Team’s MVVBP – Mission, Vision, Values, Beliefs & Perspective. This is our blue print for how we do business.)

Just Listed – Near Vienna Metro & Nottoway Park!

Home For Sale Near Vienna Metro

Looking for a home near Vienna Metro & Nottoway Park?

We just listed a GORGOUS one on White Cedar Court!Home For Sale Near Vienna Metro

Welcome to a lovely oasis oh so close to Vienna Metro & Town of Vienna! This elegant custom brick home was built by Dominion Associates – one of Vienna’s oldest and finest builders. Sited on a beautifully landscaped 1/3 acre lot on a quiet cul-de-sac. Enjoy 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, gorgeous hardwood floors, step-down family room with gas fireplace, eat-in gourmet kitchen with GE stainless steel appliances, formal living and dining room,  walk-in bay windows, luxurious master suite with dressing area and 2 large walk-in closets, finished lower level with custom bar and stunning outdoor back  paver patio, yard & more! Offered at $998,997

Call (703) 242-3975 for more info!

Search more homes for sale in Vienna

Just Listed & Open Sunday – Townhouse Next to Tysons Metro!

We just listed a beautiful brick-front townhome in an ideal location – next to the new Tyson’s Metro stop, Tysons Corner Center, and just minutes from downtown Vienna, great schools & major commuter routes!

OPEN SUNDAY, 9/15, 2-4PM

Townhouse For Sale in Amberwood

Enjoy three finished levels of living space, a flowing floorplan and an abundance of natural light! Exceptional features include a 3-level sunroom extension off the back, bright eat-in kitchen which opens to the family room with gas fireplace, formal dining area, spacious master suite with vaulted ceilings and sitting area, and a finished walkout lower level with custom wood bar & built-in bookcases. The upper deck & lower stone patio (which back to the wooded common area) create great outdoor living space & make entertaining & relaxing a breeze!

Call (703) 242-3975 for more info!

Directions: From Tysons: 123S; RT on Old Courthouse Rd; stay straight onto Gosnell; Left onto Raglan; 1st Left onto Harvest Oak, 8524 on RT. From new Tysons Metro station: West on Rt 7 then immediate left onto Gosnell; RT onto Raglan, then as above.

Search more homes for sale in Vienna

Home Buyers – Don’t Make This Mistake!

Sometimes, home buyers make a mistake that they never even know could hurt them. What is that mistake and how can they avoid it?

Home Buyer Mistakes

Well, yesterday, my husband and I took the dog for a LONG walk. The weather was gorgeous and we love strolling around Vienna. As always, we ran into lots of friends & neighbors. AND we passed quite a few homes that were for sale.

Since I’m in the business, I of course was curious about the prices & features of the homes. So I whipped out my cell phone, pressed the magic “Nearby Homes” on my new GPS enabled real estate search app and waited for them to pop up.

Real estate Seatch App

And that’s where the problem comes in.

The first three homes I searched for didn’t come up. At first I thought there must be a problem with the app. It’s new & state-of-the-art, but maybe there were bugs in the system. So – instead of using the app, I pulled up Safari and went into the MLS directly. And guess what, the homes were not listed in the MLS.

Two of the three homes that we walked by were new construction. One was listed with a Realtor and one was not. But neither one was listed in the MLS. This is not unusual on new homes. The third home was a home that was just about to come on the market. But it wasn’t in the MLS yet. This also is not unusual in our market. Our team for example, listed a home a few weeks ago. Last week the owner asked us to put up a Coming Soon sign in anticipation of going in the MLS today. Well – the home sold over the weekend. It never made it into the MLS.

And THIS is the mistake that Buyers often make.

They choose Realtors for many reasons (because they are “friends”, because they got a postcard, because their Mom said to, because they saw an ad, because the agent sold their previous home) that turn out not to be the greatest criteria for selecting the best person to find & negotiate for a home.

When you’re buying a home, it’s imperative that you choose an agent who has their boots on the ground in the area you’re looking in. They should be completely wired in to whatever area you’re looking to move to. When you’re searching for homes today, it may not be as simple as just running searches in the MLS.

The Belt Team Helps Buyers Find Homes Not On The Market

In the cases I mentioned above, it turns out that my team knew all about the homes (I work on the marketing side, so I wasn’t as wired in.) Our team has sold more homes in Vienna than any other Realtor or team, and we have relationships with just about every builder in town. Many times, we have either listed homes for them and/or sold their homes to our buyers. And when they are building, they call us for advice on what would appeal to our buyers. So when we have a buyer in the new home price range, we don’t just run the MLS – we also put in calls to all our builder contacts to see not only what is under construction now, but what’s in the works. Oftentimes, we’re already aware of new homes not in the MLS because one of our niches is working with custom builders and so as part of our research on their behalf, we make it a point to know what’s being built in the area.

Many of the folks on our team also live in Vienna. So that means when we’re going to the grocery, taking the kids to baseball, showing property, walking the dog – we are on the ground in just about every part of town. So we know exactly what’s happening. Even if it’s not in the MLS. (And the good thing about being on a team is that we also have folks who live in Great Falls, McLean, Reston & surrounds!)

When we represent Sellers, it’s not unusual for Buyers to come through with agents who are from outlying areas, agents who only sell a few homes a year and even agents from other states. I always wonder how many houses those buyers lost out on because they didn’t even know the homes were available. Don’t make that mistake. The old saying “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” is certainly not true here. You might miss out on your Dream Home!

Frustrated Homebuyer

Our mission is “Changing Lives For The Better – One Family At A Time” – is it time to change YOURS?! Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a FREE Buyer Consultation – or fill out our online scheduling form.

Want To Live Like Donald Trump?

KW Cares McLean Charity Auction
Christy Belt Grossman & Special Guest
(The Not Real Donald Trump)

You may not love Donald Trump, but you probably wouldn’t mind living like he does. And now’s your chance!

This is a RARE opportunity to play golf at the normally members-only, elite Trump National Golf Club AND help our Keller Williams Realty office raise money for two awesome charities.

KW McLean Golf

If you are a golfer – this is a DO NOT MISS EVENT that usually sells out quickly! (And if you’re not a golfer, you can join us in the evening for our live & silent auctions and gourmet reception!)

First – the charities.

KW McLean Cares is our 501(c)(3) charitable arm. Our motto is “We Give Where We Live“. And so we have chosen two local charities to benefit from our KW McLean Charity Golf Tournament & Auction: “Our Military Kids” and “Stop Soldier Suicide“.

Our Military Kids            Stop Soldier Suicide

Our Military Kids provides support in the form of grants to the children of National Guard and Military Reserve personnel who are currently deployed overseas, as well as the children of Wounded Warriors in all branches. The grants pay for participation in sports, fine arts, camps, and tutoring programs that nurture and sustain children while a parent is away in service to our country or recovering from injury.

You might recognize the name Gabby Douglas. She’s a young athlete who won 2 gold medals in gymnastics at the Olympics in London last year. Well – guess who received a grant that enabled her to attend a gymnastics camp 6 years earlier in Texas with renowned coaches Bela & Marta Karolyi? Yup – Gabby Douglas. (You can read more about Gabby & Our Military Kids here.)

The second charity we selected is “Stop Soldier Suicide. Stop Soldier Suicide is the first national civilian not-for-profit organization dedicated to preventing Soldier and Veteran suicide. I’ll bet you would be surprised to know that there are 1 Active-duty Soldier a day and 22 Veterans a day taking their own lives. This group is committed to helping their brothers and sisters in arms get the help they need, without shame or fear of losing their military post.

Now – here are the details for a day TRUMP STYLE! Be there – or “YOU’RE FIRED!”)

KW McLean Charity Auction

Where: Trump National Golf Club (Potomac Falls, VA)

When: Monday, October 28th – Noon Shotgun Start

Cost: $300 per golfer ($1,200 foursome) or $75 for reception only

Register Here

Intinerary:

10:00AM – 11:00AM — Golf Registration
Pick up your sponsor tee gift package full of goodies, buy mulligans, 50/50 tickets and enjoy the entertainment. Also, view the auction items that will be sold at both silent and live auctions after the tournament.

10:30AM – 12:00PM — Putting Contest
Test your skills or luck and qualify for a chance at the $50,000 prize! Make a 10 foot putt and be entered each time you make the putt for the opportunity to be drawn for one of the 5 who will putt for the $50,000 prize! $10 for 3 putts, each putt made enters you into the drawing for the 5 finalists.

11:00AM – 2:00PM — BBQ Lunch Served
Grab a bite at the BBQ station before you tee off or when you make the turn. Hot dogs, hamburgers and more served from the BBQ station at tees number 1& 10.

12:00PM — Let’s Tee It Up! Shotgun Start

On the Course
Free beer, soda and water will be served via 2 roving beverage carts. Three “Hole-In-One” contests for luxury cars, long drive and closest to the pin contests will be held. Fabulous prizes for all winners!

5:00PM – 9:00PM — Gourmet Reception
Golf participants will join the reception guests for live entertainment and a gourmet reception to continue the party. Live and silent auctions will be held during this time.

Don’t miss this one of a kind event hosted by KW McLean to benefit Our Military Kids & Lift Me Up! Call (703) 242-3975 for more info!

Real Estate Prices Continue To Rise In Northern VA Markets

Labor Day has come & gone. The kids have gone back to school. “What I Did This Summer” essays are being written. So we think this is the perfect time to look back over the Northern VA real estate market and do a year-over-year comparison for listings, sales & prices from January through August.

You’ll note that we don’t list the Northern VA market as a whole. We prefer to view our markets more hyperlocally because each market can be very different. The markets you see listed are the ones we are most frequently asked about: Fairfax, Great Falls, McLean, Oakton, Reston & Vienna. (Contact The Belt Team by email if you would like info on other areas.)

Detailed statistics are below. Here are the highlights:

  • In each area listed, average sales prices are up over 2012. The lowest increase in average sales price was McLean – with a 2.4% increase over last year. The highest increase in price was seen in Reston – up 6.2% over last year.
  • Homes are selling quickly and average days on market in every locale are at the lowest we have seen for the past 6 years. The slowest market is Great Falls – with an average of 97 days on market for homes sold through August of this year. And while this may seem like a long time compared to Reston (which is averaging just 23 days so far this year), it’s still down from a high of 180 days in 2008.
  • Homes are also selling for the highest percentage of list price that we have seen since 2007. Reston & Oakton homes have sold for an average of 98.5% of original list price so far this year. And Great Falls is at 93.3%
  • With one exception, each area has seen an increase over last year in terms of new listings coming on the market. Vienna bucks that trend and actually has had the lowest number of new listings on the market during the period measured – down each year for 4 straight years.
  • Number of sales is up in every area for each of the past two years. (So – combine the fact that sales are up in Vienna, with the fact that new listings are down – and you see why we’re in a crazy Seller’s Market there!)

Here are detailed statistics from 2008 to 2013 for a sampling of our Northern Virginia real estate markets.

Fairfax Real Estate Stats

Great Falls Real Estate Stats

McLean Real Estate Stats

Oakton Real Estate Stats

Reston Real Estate Stats

Vienna Real Estate Stats

FREE Buyer Reports

FREE Seller Reports

FREE Home Value Analysis

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! After all, don’t you deserve the best Realtor in Northern Virginia?!