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Northern VA Real Estate News - The BELT Way!

Homebuyers On Borrowed Time, Sellers Take Note

If you’re thinking of buying a home in 2015, you may want to do it sooner rather than later. Why is that? Well, according to Gary Keller, Chairman of the Board of the world’s largest real estate company, “Home buyers are on borrowed time.” Keller made this comment back in February at Keller Williams Realty’s annual gathering of top associates from around the world as part of his economic update.
 
In case you’re thinking the comment made by Keller may have been self-serving just to encourage urgency among potential homebuyers, you might be interested to know that the Federal Reserve’s recent moves seem to corroborate Keller’s statement. From The Washington Post on March 19th: "The Federal Reserve cleared the way Wednesday for raising interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis.” The Fed was clear that a rate hike is not immediate or even imminent, but they definitely opened the door for that to happen this year. And as we see the economy improve, we also believe this will happen.
 
Terry Belt, CEO of The Belt Team says he is “advising our serious buyers that NOW is the time to buy. Rising interest rates, combined with rising home values mean that buying later will equal lower affordability and much less house. It is for this reason that we are also advising Sellers to sell sooner rather than later. If and when interest rates rise, some home buyers will be priced out of the market. And while home values are projected to rise in 2015, the projected rise is very moderate – about 3%, as compared to the 11% rise we saw in some areas over the past few years.”
 
Recently, we spoke with Christine Todd, CEO of the Northern VA Association of Realtors (the 11th largest association in the U.S.). She told us that housing inventory in Northern VA is at a five year low and that throughout Northern VA, inventory is at 2 months. Two months of inventory translates to a Seller’s Market. That puts Sellers in the driver’s seat – making now a fabulous time to sell. It also means that Buyers have less options and it make take more time to find your dream home. And unlike the Rolling Stones song “Time Is On My Side”, it may only be a matter of time before rates rise. Another reason why waiting may not be to your benefit.
 
Whether you’re buying or selling, there are challenges on both ends. Buyers seek guidance on getting through credit hurdles, loan approvals and financing options. They need advocates who can advise on how to best compete, what their options are and how to find homes not already on the market. They want the RIGHT home. And while it sounds good to be a Seller during a Seller’s market (and it is!) – you still want to make sure you don’t leave money on the table and that once you are under contract, your sale actually goes to closing. THIS is where a top notch Realtor makes a difference and why the number of people selling by owner has gone down year after year.
 
The Belt Team has navigated the Northern Virginia real estate market since 1973. We have serious, long-term, committed Realtors on our team who are here to educate, navigate and advocate for you. When you read our online reviews, we think you’ll soon see why it’s in your best interests to work with what we think is the best real estate team in Northern VA. Our mission statement is “Changing Lives For The Better”. If it’s time to change yours, give Terry Belt & The Belt Team a call at (703) 242-3975. It would be a pleasure for our family to help your family make the right move. And that right move just might be NOW!
 
Just Listed & Featured Homes:
Coming Soon (Secret Inventory!)
  • Townhome in Fair Woods in Fairfax
  • Gorgeous luxury home in Fairfax Station
  • Custom home on Georgetown Pike in McLean
  • Condo in The Savoy at Reston Town Center
  • Single family home in Polo Fields in Reston
  • Townhome in Merry Oaks in Vienna
  • Single family home in Southwest Vienna
  • Luxury home on half acre in Vienna
  • 2 homes in popular Tiburon in Vienna (Check www.BeltTeamRealEstate.com Friday for new listing on Prelude D!)
  • New home on Tapawingo Rd in Vienna
  • Single family home in The Trails in Vienna
Call (703) 242-3975 for more info!
 
 

When Selling Your Home, Do You Need to Stage It?

We're often asked whether or not a home needs to be "staged" when selling. And the answers is "It depends". There are different degrees of staging and your Realtor can help you decide which one works best for you.
 
1. CLEAN & SIMPLE
 
The most simple staging involves you preparing your home for market by cleaning & streamlining your house to look as appealing as possible. Your Realtor can do a walkthrough with you and give suggestions. This could include quick fixes like cleaning out your closets so they are only 1/3 full (so buyers feel like there is plenty of storage), clearing your kitchen counters (so buyers envision ample counter space) or hanging baskets of flowers on your front porch (for a friendly, welcome pop of color). There is no additional cost for this option.
 
2. STAGING CONSULT
 
The next level up might include a consultation with a professional stager. In Northern Virginia, this could cost in the $300+ range - depending on how much time the stager spends with you. The stager meets with you in your home, walks through with you and provides you with tips to implement to make your home more appealing. The stager might suggest things like removing certain pieces of furniture, rearranging others, removing draperies or regrouping wall hangings - to increase appeal, draw buyers' eyes away from (or toward) certain features of your home and to help them envision how they would live there.
 
3. PARTIAL & FULL STAGING
 
Full staging is often used for new and/or vacant homes. The staging company will furnish some or all of your rooms. It's a lot easier for Buyers to picture themselves in a home when the stager paints the picture for them. Partial staging is also an option and the stager can help you with storing some of your furniture, bringing in better pieces and developing a cohesive and attractive color scheme that appeals. As an example, you may have a HUGE dining room table - which is great for having the whole family for holiday meals. But if it overwhelms your dining room, potential Buyers may rule your home out because the dining room feels small. A stager can store your table and bring in one of her own that is more conducive to the room size.
 
Here's an example of what happens when you stage and your competition does not!
 
Recently, we put a condo on the market. There were a number of other units in the same condominium for sale. None of the others were staged. And they had been on the market for a while. When we listed our unit, we provided a staging consultation to our Sellers and at our recommendation the Seller went with Option 3. The cost for staging was $1,450.
 
When our unit came on the market, the others all reduced their prices.
 
So - what happened? Was it worth it?
 
Absolutely! Within one weekend, our Seller's unit was under contract. What about the others? Well - weeks later they are continuing to reduce their prices and still languishing for sale. And we know that per NAR stats, the longer a home is on the market, the less it will sell for.
 
Contact Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you are thinking of selling. We are happy to provide you with our FREE REPORT "90 Tips To Prepare Your Home For Market.
 
Here's a picture of the condo's living area after it was staged.  
 

HYPERLOCAL UPDATE FOR VIENNA

Contact Information

Keller Williams Realty
The Belt Team
6820 Elm Street
McLean VA 22101
(703) 242-3975