The Belt Team is Here to Help!

Dear Belt Team Clients, Friends and Family, 

During this uncertain time, the world is definitely changing but the real estate market in our area is still active and moving. And…The Belt Team is still open for business! After being in business for over 50 years, we have been through challenging and unpredictable times before and we have learned the real estate market never drops to “zero”. Why? Because we work with people in the “traditional” market, meaning they have to buy and sell because of life changes. Even during this difficult time, that is not going to change. Housing is an essential need and we are here to help.  

We are well positioned to make the necessary modifications to accommodate the needs of our clients and business partners because of our extensive use of technology in our business as well as our years of experience. Along with implementing recommended sanitizing measures for in-person meetings, open houses, and showings, we are excited to be able to continue to offer virtual options for our services which we have been doing for certain people even before the Coronavirus arrived. We can conduct virtual buyer and seller consultations, virtual tours/open houses for our seller clients, virtual showings for our buyer clients, etc. As for our partners in the industry, mortgage and title companies, home inspectors, appraisers, contractors, photographers, etc.. .they are still operating and business is creatively being done. These companies are also taking all necessary precautions and adjusting as needed for their clients. We have great relationships with our lenders and title companies and are in touch with them daily to ensure that our clients are able to complete their transactions. 

Our local markets are still very healthy. The inventory of homes before now was so historically low and real demand for housing so high that we have not yet seen a negative impact on the housing market. Aggregate showing activity has decreased as those that are not buying now are not browsing as much; however, the real buyers who need housing now continue unabated and we continue to see a homes go under contract quickly. Bottom line, if you are needing/wanting to buy and/or sell we recommend acting NOW before things possibly change that affect available housing, access to housing, interest rates and loan qualifying criteria, and the unpredictable.  

We know there are going to be people that need to buy or sell because of life circumstances and these people have been the lifeblood of our business. So, if you or anyone you know fits this category, we would love to connect, share our market knowledge and create a customized strategy to make your real estate needs and dreams come true. You can reach us at or 703-242-3975

And, of course, if there is anything non real estate related that we can do to help you through this time, please DO NOT hesitate to reach out.  

Please stay safe and healthy as we all look forward to the better times ahead!   

Terry, Gail, Beth, Patty and Sarina

The Belt Team

Coming Soon on Riva Ridge Drive in Great Falls

Stay tuned – we’ve got another great listing coming soon in Great Falls! This one’s on Riva Ridge Drive – on a wonderful private lot with a great backyard. Call (703) 242-3975 to schedule a showing or email The Belt Team for more information!

Foxvale Farm

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The Belt Team’s Mission Statement is “Changing Lives For The Better“. If it’s time to change YOURS, call (703) 242-3975!

Top Northern VA Real Estate Team


Just Listed & Open Sunday March 30th: Labrador Lane in Popular Eudora

Home For Sale Eudora Vienna

Just listed in one of the most popular neighborhoods in Vienna – 1926 Labrador Lane in Eudora! $795,000

Stop by our open house on Sunday, March 30th from 1PM to 4PM. This just might be YOUR dream home!

Directions to Open House

Additional Photos

For more information about 1926 Labrador Lane or to schedule a showing, call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. (Note: The Belt Team has sold almost twice as many homes in Vienna over the past 5 years as any other Realtor or team. If you want to buy or sell a home in Vienna, give us a ring. We specialize in Success Stories!)

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What Homebuyers Need To Know About “Shadow Inventory” in Northern VA

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 2.5 months of housing inventory.

In the meantime, prices are rising and so are interest rates. 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. Not only do TOP Realtors often have their onw shadow inventory, they zre wired in with other TOP agents as well. (This is one reason our team is affiliated with Keller Williams in McLean. Some of the best Realtors in the country are also in our office. It’s a BIG advantage for our clients.)

As an example, The Belt Team has signed listings for properties in the following areas that are not on the market yet: Great Falls, VA and Vienna, VA.

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 a real estate team 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?

3 Important Factors When Choosing A Realtor To Sell Your Home

You’re thinking of selling. So how do you know which Realtor to work with? Your boss gave you the name of a Realtor. You met a Realtor you liked at an open house. Your sister-in law just got her license and says she’d love to help you. And what about the one who sold you your house 8 years ago (what’s his name again?).

Selling a home can be a very emotional decision. After all, this is your LIFE we’re talking about. The place where you created LOTS of memories. AND it’s your FUTURE we’re talking about. What happens with the sale of your home affects what options you have moving forward.

And it’s likely one of, if not THE BIGGEST FINANCIAL DECISION OF YOUR LIFETIME. So you want to get it right. How do you do that?

1. The Personality Factor:


You’re not looking for a new BFF here. (If you don’t have kids – that’s “Best Friend Forever“!) But you DO want to make sure you “click” with the person. After all, this person will be advising you on factors that affect you and your family’s life to a great degree. So the person needs to understand you and your needs. You need to “get” each other and trust each other and be able to speak openly & directly. And so while having a relative or friend in the business may be nice as far as the “clicking” part goes, sometimes the “speaking openly & directly” part may be an issue. You may not want to tell your relative or friend all your personal financial information. And even if you do, you may not want to have the kind of open & direct conversations that are often part of selling your home. Preserving your friendship or family relationship may take precedence over doing business together. (Worst case scenario: Something goes wrong. Wouldn’t you rather fire the Realtor you hired as a business decision versus firing your best friend or sister-in-law?)

Woman Using Laptop

So once you decide to make this a business decision. How do you find a Realtor you can trust? Google them! In this day & age it’s a great way to find out all sorts of things – including what Realtors’ pasts client think about the service they received. When you travel, don’t you read hotel & restaurant reviews? And when you are sent to a new doctor, don’t you check her out online first? Well, you can do the same thing with Realtors. But don’t just read the comments on their own web sites, check them out on 3rd party sites like Zillow or Trulia or Yelp. (Here’s an example of what you would see if you google “Real Estate Reviews for Terry Belt“). What you read here will tell you a whole lot about trust.

2. The Communication Factor:

She Did Not Communicate

The most common complaint we hear from people who hire us after they have tried unsuccessfully to sell with another agent, is that “after the sign went up, we never heard from her again until she called to ask us to reduce the price.” So when you are looking at Realtors, ask HOW they communicate, WHAT types of information they provide and HOW OFTEN they do so. And make sure that what they do works for you. Your Realtor should have systems in place that provide you with ALL the information you need to make smart decisions.

3. The Expertise Factor:

Newscaster in Television Studio

Your Realtor should be an expert in real estate AND an expert in your market. Did you know there are more than 1.2 million Realtors in the U.S.? And almost 10,000 Realtors in Northern Virginia? So make sure you have one with experience. The more homes they have sold, the better their skills are likely to be. (We call this the “Are you really a Realtor or do you just play one on TV” question.) More experience normally translates to a faster sale and a higher sales price for you!

You also want an expert in YOUR market. So how do you find out how much of an “expert” someone is? ASK FOR THE STATISTICS! They may be “boring”, but they could save you TIME and MONEY.

Buying The Listing

Here’s an example:

Last year in Vienna, The Belt Team sold 58 homes. That is 3 times as many homes as the next best agent. The “average agent” in Northern VA did not even sell 1 home in Vienna. Not only did we sell more homes, we sold them 15 days FASTER and for MORE MONEY than average (1.4% more). So in this example, if your mortgage payment is $4,000/month and your home sold for $800,000 – The Belt Team would have saved you $2,000 by selling your home 15 days faster (1/2 of one mortgage payment) plus $11,200 by selling it for a higher percentage of list price than average.

This is why you need to ASK FOR THE STATS (in other words – “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”)

Contact us if you would like a FREE copy of “41 Questions You Need To Ask When Interviewing A Realtor To Sell Your Home”” or ““90 Tips To Prepare Your Home For Sale“”.

If you’re ready to list your home NOW, call (703) 242-3975 to schedule an appointment.

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