5 Reasons to Sell This Fall

5 Reasons to Sell This Fall | MyKCM

Below are 5 compelling reasons listing your home for sale this fall makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase…and are in the market right now. More often than not, in many areas of the country, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal market. This means that in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.

Historically, a homeowner would stay an average of six years in his or her home. Since 2011, that number has hovered between nine and ten years. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

Many homeowners were reluctant to list their homes over the last couple years, for fear that they would not find a home to move to. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler, as buyers know exactly what they can afford before shopping for a home. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time needed to close a loan is 43 days.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up. There is currently ample inventory for sale at higher price ranges. This means if you’re planning on selling a starter or trade-up home and moving into your dream home, you’ll be able to do that in the luxury or premium market.

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year. If you’re moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

Call The Belt Team to get the selling process started…our agents & team use their local market knowledge and experience to make it a smooth process for all! 703-242-3975 / info@thebeltteam.com

January 2015 National Real Estate Update

Everything you want to know about the national real estate market in a minute or less!

(When you’re ready for a HYPERLOCAL analysis – contact Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975!)

FREE Instant Online Home Valuation Estimator

What’s Happening Nationally in Real Estate?

Here’s a one minute look at the national numbers in real estate:

  • Home Sales
  • Home Prices
  • Interest rates

If you’d like to know what’s happening in YOUR neighborhood, call our CEO, Terry Belt, at (703) 242-3975.

Are We In A Buyer’s Market or A Seller’s Market In Northern VA?

Northern VA Real Estate Market Fluctuation

When we meet with our Buyers & Sellers for their initial consultation, one of the things we talk about is what’s happening nationally, regionally and locally in the real estate market – how much homes are selling for, what’s on the market, and how fast homes are selling. The question that comes up most often is “Are we in a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market?”

First, let’s define the terms:

“Balanced Market”: is a real estate market where there is about 6 months of housing inventory. There is no real advantage to one side or the other.

“Buyer’s Market”: is a real estate market where there are more homes on the market than there are Buyers, so much so that Buyers have the upper hand in negotiating and can often get a deal. Typically, a “Buyer’s Market” is defined as more than 6 months of housing inventory.

“Seller’s Market”: is a real estate market where there are a plethora of Buyers and not many homes on the market. This means Sellers have the advantage and this is a market where we see competing offers on many homes. Typically, a “Seller’s Market” is defined as less than 3 months of housing inventory.

So where are we today in Northern VA?

(Search Homes For Sale in Northern VA On Our State-of-the-Art Search Site)

In most areas in Northern VA (Alexandria, Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Dunn Loring, Fairfax, Falls Church, Herndon, Reston, Springfield, Sterling & Vienna) – housing inventory is less than 2 months and we are in a Seller’s Market.

In Oakton, housing inventory is just under 3 months, which is technically also a Seller’s Market – but there are pockets – with some neighborhoods &  price ranges that are seeing a Balanced Market and others seeing a Seller’s Market.

In Great Falls & McLean, housing inventory is 6 months & 3 months respectively – so technically a Balanced Market. However, note that as you go up in price range, there are HUGE variances and some areas are actually still seeing a Buyer’s Market.

Here are the stats for each city in Northern VA:

CITY # Months Inventory Market
Alexandria 1.6 Seller’s
Arlington 1.8 Seller’s
Ashburn 2.8 Balanced
Burke 1.3 Seller’s
Centreville 1.1 Seller’s
Chantilly 1.3 Seller’s
Dunn Loring 2 Seller’s
Fairfax 1.1 Seller’s
Falls Church 1.5 Seller’s
Great Falls 6 Balanced
Herndon 1.8 Seller’s
McLean 3 Balanced
Oakton 2.5 Seller’s
Reston 1.3 Seller’s
Springfield 0.8 Seller’s
Sterling 1.2 Seller’s
Vienna 1.5 Seller’s

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 for a detailed analysis on YOUR neighborhood. After all, it’s only the area you live in or WANT to live in that matters!

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Snow Does Not Stall Spring Market In Northern Virginia

Oakton Real EstateThe first day of Spring is still a few weeks away, and we have a ton of snow on the ground; but if you take a look at home sales in Northern Virginia, you’ll see that the Spring market is already in full swing. (We know this anecdotally from our own listings & sales, but let’s take a look at the statistics.)

What SOLD In January & February?

The “Sold Price” of a home is not usually released until the home goes to settlement & the sale is recorded at the courthouse, So when you see articles about home “sales”, the data lags a bit. Homes that sold in January & February probably went under contract somewhere between November & January. How many homes settled and what was the average sales price? Check the list below for your area:

CITY # of Home Sales Avg Sold Price
Alexandria 472 $463,813
Arlington 286 $559,848
Ashburn 131 $482,696
Burke 63 $449,776
Centreville 98 $385,240
Chantilly 88 $450,969
Dunn Loring 2 $840,000
Fairfax 206 $480,367
Falls Church 161 $481,629
Great Falls 14 $1,120,100
Herndon 74 $453,627
McLean 76 $926,662
Oakton 31 $597,409
Reston 105 $408,003
Springfield 134 $416,077
Sterling 111 $384,360
Vienna 79 $719,238

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What Went UNDER CONTRACT in January & February?

In every jurisdiction, a LOT more homes went under contract in January & February than sold during the previous few months. Buyers are NOT waiting until “true Spring” to buy homes.

CITY # of Homes Sold # of Homes Under Contract
Alexandria 472 714
Arlington 286 373
Ashburn 131 208
Burke 63 91
Centreville 98 142
Chantilly 88 114
Dunn Loring 2 3
Fairfax 206 284
Falls Church 161 173
Great Falls 14 24
Herndon 74 99
McLean 76 98
Oakton 31 38
Reston 105 149
Springfield 134 191
Sterling 111 147
Vienna 79 114

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How Fast Are Homes Selling?

Not only are more homes selling, but with the exception of Great Falls & McLean, they are selling faster now than they were over the past few months. (Dunn Loring is also an exception, but the statistical pool is too small to call it a trend.) Keep in mind, these are averages. Many homes are selling the same weekend they go on the market. We listed one Thursday, a contract came in over the weekend and was ratified today. (Note that there are a variety of conditions in the marketplace – with some homes languishing and some getting multiple contracts. We had one listing in our office last month that received 17 contracts!) (Note: DOM = “days on market”)

CITY DOM Solds DOM Under Contracts
Alexandria 61 59
Arlington 48 40
Ashburn 56 39
Burke 43 36
Centreville 55 50
Chantilly 45 41
Dunn Loring 18 54
Fairfax 52 42
Falls Church 51 46
Great Falls 133 133
Herndon 48 40
McLean 86 96
Oakton 87 75
Reston 52 41
Springfield 54 47
Sterling 54 44
Vienna 53 50

Moral of the Story?

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Sellers: If you have been waiting for the market to improve so you can sell, NOW is the time. Call Terry Belt or Kevin Kleifges at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a Seller Consultation. Not only will we discuss the market conditions of YOUR neighborhood, we will consult with you on staging, preparation, marketing, pricing strategies & more. (If you call this month, we will also pay for a consultation with our Professional Stager – a $195 value). You can also set up a FREE daily update (or weekly or monthly) so you find out what homes are selling for in your neighborhood.

Buyers: The market is tight. Be prepared to move quickly. You may need to compete. And in order to do so, you may need to lower the price range you are looking in. (If you can only afford to go to $700,000 for example, you may want to only look at homes up to $650,000.) You also need to make sure you work with Realtors who are proactive, seek properties on your behalf that are NOT yet on the market and utilize the most state-of-the-art home search web site (not sites like Zillow or Trulia that are NOT updated as frequently.) Contact us at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a FREE Buyer Consultation. No obligation. We will discuss market conditions, strategies for competing, the entire homebuying process including how much cash you will need, financing options and more. Interest rates are low, so you might be surprised at what you can afford. And since prices are rising, you don’t want to wait!

The Belt Team’s mission is “Changing Lives For The Better“. If it’s time to change YOURS, call us TODAY at (703) 242-3975. It would be a pleasure for OUR family to help YOUR family make the RIGHT move!

Latest Belt Team Video Released: “Lickety Split”!

The Belt Team is well known for their creative marketing & outside-the-box strategies and our latest video is a perfect example. It’s why our Northern Virginia homes sell FASTER & for MORE MONEY than average.

Take a peek:

If you’d like to schedule an appointment for a FREE Seller Consultation, call Terry Belt or Kevin Kleifges at (703) 242-3975 or contact The Belt Team. Our mission is “Changing Lives For The Better“. Is it time to change YOURS?

(Reviews about The Belt Team.)

FREE – What Is My Northern VA Home Worth?

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. We’re happy to help you create a plan to buy or sell that’s the RIGHT plan for YOU!

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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.)

Real Estate Grantor’s Tax Increases In Northern VA

Northern Virginia Real Estate Grantors Tax  Summer Real Estate Market in Northern VA

Effective July 1, 2013 – the Grantor’s Tax on homes sold in Northern Virginia will be going up. Any deeds presented to the Clerk of the Court for recordation on or after that day must reflect the higher fee. (This is a tax normally paid by Home Sellers, not by Home Buyers.)

  • Prior to July 1, the Grantor’s Tax is $1.00 per $1,000 of sales price (or assessed value if the value is higher than sales price.)
  • On July 1, the Grantor’s tax increases to $2.50 per $1,000 of sales price (or assessed value if the value is higher than sales price.)

So how does this affect you?

As an example, if are selling a home in Vienna, and the sales price is $800,000 (with an assessed value of $760,000):

  • Prior to July 1, you would pay $800.
  • If you settle and record on July 15, the tax would be $2,000!

The Belt Team has quite a few settlements this week (as is typical at the end of any month). In order to protect our Sellers from rising taxes and to save them money, we made sure to either negotiate settlement dates early in the week (to ensure recordation prior to July 1) or to work only with settlement companies who have track records of recording quickly.

I was recently reading comments in a private Northern Virginia Real Estate Facebook group that I participate in and this one popped up:

“Did I just miss this? It’s costing me an extra $2,000 on my next closing!”

The post linked to a notice about the change in Grantor’s Tax. The agent posting was selling a home for himself and was not aware of the change until this week. He is closing July 5th. If he had been aware of the change, he could have moved the closing up to this month and saved $2,000!

This is just another example of why you should always hire the best Realtor in Northern VA, preferably a team, who does a high volume of business, does it full-time and does it well. They are much more likely to be able to look out for YOUR best interests and save you both time and money!

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