4 Tips to Maximize the Sale of Your House

Homeowners ready to make a move are definitely in a great position to sell today. Housing inventory is incredibly low, driving up buyer competition. This gives homeowners leverage to sell for the best possible terms, and it’s fueling a steady rise in home prices.

In such a hot market, houses are selling quickly. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes are typically on the market for just 18 short days. Despite the speed and opportunity for sellers, there are still steps you can take to prep your house to shine so you get the greatest possible return.

1. Make Buyers Feel at Home

One of the ways to make this happen is to take time to declutter. Pack away any personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. The more neutral and tidy the space, the easier it is for a buyer to picture themselves living there. According to the 2021 Profile of Home Staging by NAR:

“82% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.”

Not only will your house potentially attract the attention of more buyers and likely sell quickly, but the same report also notes:

“Eighteen percent of sellers’ agents said home staging increased the dollar value of a residence between 6% and 10%.”

As Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavior Insights for NAR, says:

“Staging a home helps consumers see the full potential of a given space or property…It features the home in its best light and helps would-be buyers envision its various possibilities.”

2. Keep It Clean

On top of making an effort to declutter, it’s important to keep your house neat and clean. Before a buyer stops by, be sure to pick up toys, make the beds, and wash the dishes. This is one more way to reduce the number of things that can distract a buyer from the appeal of the home.

Ensure your home smells fresh and clean as well. Buyers will remember the smell of your house, and according to the same report from NAR, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the house to focus on if you want to attract more buyers.

3. Give Buyers Access

Buyers are less likely to make an offer on your house if they aren’t able to easily schedule a time to check it out. If your home is available anytime, that opens up more opportunities for multiple buyers to go from curious to eager. It also allows buyers on tight schedules to still get in to see your house.

While health continues to be a great concern throughout the country, it’s important to work with your agent to find the best safety measures and digital practices for your listing. This will drive visibility and create access options that also keep everyone in the process safe.

4. Price It Right

Even in a sellers’ market, it’s crucial to set your house at the right price to maximize selling potential. Pricing your house too high is actually a detriment to the sale. The goal is to drive high attention from competing buyers and let bidding wars push the final sales price up.

Work with your trusted real estate professional to determine the best list price for your house. Having an expert on your side in this process is truly essential.

Bottom Line

If you want to sell on your terms, in the least amount of time, and for the best price, today’s market sets the stage to make that happen. Be sure to contact The Belt Team today to determine the best ways to maximize the sale of your house this year. 703-242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com | Contact Us

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Are We in a Housing Bubble?

  • In a recent article, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), discussed the state of today’s housing market.
  • When addressing whether or not today’s high buyer competition and rising home prices are evidence of a housing bubble, Yun said that this “is not a bubble. It is simply lack of supply.”
  • Today’s housing market is healthy, and rising prices are driven by real buyer demand.

Contact The Belt Team to talk about the best ways to navigate such an energetic market…703-242-3975 or Info@TheBeltTeam.com

Wondering what your home is worth? Click Here for our free INSTANT home valuation!

11133 Oakton Rd, Oakton VA – Just Listed by The Belt Team!

This beautiful all brick custom Renaissance Grand Monet model home is situated on a just under an acre lot backing to open and wooded space. An amazing natural setting in a great Oakton location! The thoughtfully designed property offers almost 8000 square feet of living space, 4BR/4.5BA and a flowing floor plan that meets the needs of everyday living & entertaining. Crown moldings, pillars, curved staircases, tray ceilings and other architectural details create an added level of interest throughout.
The entire main level features hardwood floors, a spacious entry foyer with curved staircase, an elegant living room leading to a light-filled sunroom with vaulted ceiling and private deck, a separate den/study, formal dining room, a grand 2-story family/great room with wood-burning fireplace (with a rough in for gas), a spacious eat-in chef’s kitchen and more! 
You will truly appreciate the spacious 4 bedrooms/3 full baths on the upper level including the striking primary bedroom suite with tray ceilings, sitting area with gas FP, 2 walk-in closets and large bath with double vanities, soaking tub and walk-in shower. The finished lower level is a fantastic extra living space complete with a rec/game room with gas FP, full wet bar, an exercise room, home theater space (wired for media equipment), a storage room, and a “bonus” room and full bath which could be used as a guest/in-law suite.
The back decks are wonderful outdoor living/entertaining spots and allows you to enjoy the gorgeous expansive back yard, field and trees. Tremendous value and opportunity not to be missed.
Call Terry Belt & The Belt Team for more details or to schedule a showing! 703-242-3975

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you are thinking of buying or selling. The Belt Team has been in business for over 50 years and has sold over $1 Billion in transaction volume! 

Free Instant Online Home Valuation – What Is My Home Worth?

Home is Where the Heart Is

There’s no doubt about it: homeowners love their homes. Here are a few stats that show just how important our homes have become over the past year.

As you saw in the video, the vast majority of homeowners say they’re emotionally attached to their home and that it has kept them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Owning a home provides a sense of safety, security, and accomplishment. Let’s connect to move your homeownership goals forward today.

Reach out to The Belt Team at 703-242-3975 or Info@TheBeltTeam.com to speak to one our experienced agents. And don’t forget to head over to our state-of-the-art home search site…www.beltteamrealestate.com where you can set up a custom home search.

Home Sale Statistics in Northern Virginia – March 2021

“Hey Terry, what’s the deal with the low inventory? When are there going to be more homes for sale in the market? Are we in a bubble?” These are the questions our CEO, Terry Belt, gets asked almost daily. Watch Terry answer these questions in his monthly “state of the market” video then take a look at the Northern Virginia March 2021 home sale stats below (be sure to click on the links at the end to get more information on some hyper local NOVA communities).

Bottom line…we continue to experience a strong sellers market, low inventory, and appreciating home prices. It’s a great time to be a seller, but a challenging time to be a buyer. That’s why it’s so critical to work with an experienced agent whether you are buying or selling.  The Belt Team has been in business for over 50 years and has the experience needed to navigate these waters.  So, if you are thinking of buying or selling, contact us NOW (703-242-3975).

Northern Virginia March 2021 home sales:

4,741 homes went under contract in the region. This is up 26% from the same time period in 2020.

75% of the homes that went to settlement in March 2021, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market

• Average sold price was $642,272 (up 10% from the same time period in 2020).

5,213 homes came on the market. That’s up 2% from March 2020.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 16 days on market, 6 days faster than in March of 2020.

• There is currently a 0.6 month supply of homes (remember, in a balanced market – the demand from buyers equals the supply from sellers – there is a 5-6 months supply) in the Northern Virginia – and 2,146 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single-family).

OVERALL: Northern Virginia remained an aggressive Seller’s Market. Despite a sizable increase in the number of homes coming on the market in March compared to February, low inventory remains a huge issue not only in the region but across the country.  And when a home is listed for sale, it sells FAST…75% sell in 10 days or less!  Another effect of this market, average sales prices continue to increase.  They were up 10% year-over-year at the end of March.

To see what the conditions are like in your community, click on the link to your desired city below! 

Vienna: March 2021 Home Sales

Oakton: March 2021 Home Sales 

McLean: March 2021 Home Sales 

Great Falls: March 2021 Home Sales 

Reston: March 2021 Home Sales 

Falls Church: March 2021 Home Sales 

Arlington: March 2021 Home Sales 

Alexandria: March 2021 Home Sales  

*Data compiled from SmartCharts, MarketStats by ShowingTime, whose data comes directly from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Want to know what your home is worth? Click below to get our free instant home valuation!

Local Business Spotlight – Greenheart Juice Shop

Congratulations🎉 & Welcome to Vienna Greenheart Juice Shop‼️ Located at 208 Dominion Rd, NE next to the Red Caboose. We are so excited to have you in our neck of the woods!

There’s No Reason To Panic Over Today’s Lending Standards

There’s No Reason To Panic Over Today's Lending Standards | MyKCM

Today, some are afraid the real estate market is starting to look a lot like it did in 2006, just prior to the housing crash. One of the factors they’re pointing to is the availability of mortgage money. Recent articles about the availability of low down payment loans and down payment assistance programs are causing fear that we’re returning to the bad habits seen 15 years ago. Let’s alleviate these concerns.

Several times a year, the Mortgage Bankers Association releases an index titled The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). According to their website:

“The MCAI provides the only standardized quantitative index that is solely focused on mortgage credit. The MCAI is…a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.”

Basically, the index determines how easy it is to get a mortgage. The higher the index, the more available mortgage credit becomes. Here’s a graph of the MCAI dating back to 2004, when the data first became available:

There’s No Reason To Panic Over Today's Lending Standards | MyKCM

As we can see, the index stood at about 400 in 2004. Mortgage credit became more available as the housing market heated up, and then the index passed 850 in 2006. When the real estate market crashed, so did the MCAI (to below 100) as mortgage money became almost impossible to secure. Thankfully, lending standards have eased somewhat since. The index, however, is still below 150, which is about one-sixth of what it was in 2006.

Why did the index rage out of control during the housing bubble?

The main reason was the availability of loans with extremely weak lending standards. To keep up with demand in 2006, many mortgage lenders offered loans that put little emphasis on the eligibility of the borrower. Lenders were approving loans without always going through a verification process to confirm if the borrower would likely be able to repay the loan.

Some of these loans offered attractive, low interest rates that increased over time. The loans were popular because they could be obtained quickly and without the borrower having to provide documentation up front. However, as the rates increased, borrowers struggled to pay their mortgages.

Today, lending standards are much tighter. As Investopedia explains, the risky loans given at that time are extremely rare today, primarily because lending standards have drastically improved:

“In the aftermath of the crisis, the U.S. government issued new regulations to improve standard lending practices across the credit market, which included tightening the requirements for granting loans.”

An example of the relaxed lending standards leading up to the housing crash is the FICO® credit score associated with a loan. What’s a FICO® score? The website myFICO explains:

“A credit score tells lenders about your creditworthiness (how likely you are to pay back a loan based on your credit history). It is calculated using the information in your credit reports. FICO® Scores are the standard for credit scores—used by 90% of top lenders.”

During the housing boom, many mortgages were written for borrowers with a FICO score under 620. Experian reveals that, in today’s market, lenders are more cautious about lower credit scores:

“Statistically speaking, 28% of consumers with credit scores in the Fair range are likely to become seriously delinquent in the future…Some lenders dislike those odds and choose not to work with individuals whose FICO® Scores fall within this range.”

There are definitely still loan programs that allow a 620 score. However, lending institutions overall are much more attentive about measuring risk when approving loans. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report, the average FICO® score on all loans originated in February was 753.

The graph below shows the billions of dollars in mortgage money given annually to borrowers with a credit score under 620.

There’s No Reason To Panic Over Today's Lending Standards | MyKCM

In 2006, mortgage entities originated $376 billion dollars in loans for purchasers with a score under 620. Last year, that number was only $74 billion.

Bottom Line

In 2006, lending standards were much more relaxed with little evaluation done to measure a borrower’s potential to repay their loan. Today, standards are tighter, and the risk is reduced for both lenders and borrowers. These are two very different housing markets, so there’s no need to panic over today’s lending standards.

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you are thinking of buying or selling. The Belt Team has been in business for over 50 years and has sold over $1 Billion in transaction volume!

Free Instant Online Home Valuation – What Is My Home Worth?

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

Local Business Spotlight – Robin Lee Hair and Makeup

Welcome to Robin Lee Hair and Makeup Robin Lee Hair and Makeup in charming Leesburg‼️
✨A Veteran-woman owned business🇺🇸
✨Robin has been in business for 26 years and recently opened a new salon on Main St in Leesburg.
✨She is amazing at what she does! (She has been doing hair for one of our team members for YEARS and she says Robin is the best.)

✂️Friday April 2nd at 4pm, come help her celebrate the salon’s ribbon cutting! There will be gift bags, a raffle and all retail items will be 10% off all day Friday and Saturday.