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Scott MacDonald
Scott is the broker/owner of one of the most progressive real estate companies in the industry...RE/MAX Gateway.
Interests: Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Gateway 4090B Lafayette Center Drive Chantilly, VA 20151 Licensed in VA, MD, DC & WV
Recent Activity
As we move forward into the second half of the year fast and furious take the time to look at your business and determine what you need to do to have a successful year end. The first area to review would be your contacts. How many do you have? How often are you communicating with them? What are you communicating to them? Are you picking up the phone and speaking with them? As I meet with agents regularly to conduct performance consulting with them – the most successful agents today are the ones making the calls to their database regularly... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
As we near the end of July, I thought I would provide a little insight into our Northern Virginia real estate market. Inventory of resale properties has been very stable throughout the late spring and into mid-summer at 7,636 houses for sale. What has caught my attention is the number of properties that have gone under contract the previous 30 days. At the end of May, 3,500 homes had gone under contract the previous 30 days. Since then, that number has declined every week to where we just had 2,880 homes go under contract the last 30 days – a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
Over the last few years we have been providing you with information on the real estate market that we believe is valuable to you and helps aid you in your decision as to whether or not to buy and sell real estate. Also, our thought is it gives you something to talk about around the office, with your neighbors or at cocktail parties! But what do all the numbers and terms mean you may ask? Well, here is a quick guide for you going forward. The numbers we quote are for the areas our offices conduct a majority of their... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
What has been the catalyst in spurring the housing bubble and subsequent burst that has left us in the mess we are in today? Was it the run up of prices? Was it greed? Was it poor advice given to buyers by Realtors and lenders? Was it lax underwriting guidelines? Was I the government’s proclamation that everyone should be able to achieve the American Dream of home ownership? The answer is yes to all of the above. The housing prices escalated at ridiculous rates – far above historical percentages that had been established over decades. Builders couldn’t build fast enough... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
Although my crystal ball is currently in the shop, we do know where things stand in regards to the local housing market in Northern Virginia. Inventory levels of active resales are virtually the same – we currently have 7,640 homes for sale in Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington, City of Alexandria, Prince William and Fauquier Counties. This time last year we had 7,680 – pretty similar. There is a slight difference between these two timeframes and that is in the number of distressed properties on the market. This year there are only 293 foreclosures for sale along with 882 short sales –... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
It is hard to believe it was the second Thursday of the month already…time and summer sure fly by fast! Here is what the Top Producers in real estate had to say this month. If you have questions you would like me to pose to them, please let me know. Negative news is everywhere. Some websites even post good news one day and negative news the next. How do you handle it and when will it stop? Tell people to look at time frame of ownership – long terms hold will have fluctuations no matter what the investment is –... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
Likability is one of the critical areas for success in sales and in life. As the saying goes, people do business with those that they know, like and trust. So the question becomes, how do you get people to like you? The first step is to become approachable – smile, make eye contact, extend a handshake first and introduce yourself first. Listen more than you speak – people love the sound of their voice and to voice their opinions. Listen, don’t interrupt and be respectful of others opinions. Much like the sound of their voice, they love to hear their... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
As we head into the dog days of summer, I thought you may be interested in reading about the Northern Virginia real estate market as well as some national real estate news as well. Let’s dive right in! The Fox Gate development at the doorsteps of Loudoun County received its’ approval to begin development. Fox Gate is located between Pleasant Valley Road and Tall Cedars Parkway, encompasses 27 acres which will offer 1.2 million square feet of office, retail, hotel and civic space along with 110 residential units. Apparently Bechtel, the country’s largest contractor – the contractor building the Silver... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
We recently went to the Xplodethis Conference – a quick hitting, action packed, content rich event that offered the latest in real estate technology and some of the best speakers in the industry. Here are the notes that will be helpful to you and your business! MRIS – 12,000 agents have not done a transaction in the last year, 13,000 have done fewer than 3 transactions – basically 40% of agents don’t do the business! If real estate is your business, technology is your platform – you have to get on the technology bandwagon to be successful! Mobile is where... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
There a few topics being reported by the media recently and we have been asked about as real estate professionals as well. One is “is there going to be a double dip in housing prices?” another is “has your market hit bottom and how can you tell?”, “where are the foreclosures?” and “what do you see is happening in the market?” Let’s answer these one at a time. First, is there going to be a double dip in housing prices? The answer is yes and no. It depends upon where you live. If your area continues to lose jobs, houses... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
There are times in your life when you feel fortunate and humbled at the same time. Our visit to The National Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC was one of those occasions. We are fortunate that our children are healthy and not undergoing treatments that many of the children at the hospital have to endure. We are fortunate to have experienced the hospital as visitors and not as parents or friends of a patient staying at the hospital. As a result of our contributions to the Children’s Miracle Network we were able to have a VIP tour of the hospital. It... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
Sales is a tough job, no doubt about it, especially today in real estate. You hear, read and talk about with others that in the real estate business, it is a numbers game. If you want more results, you have to do more activities, talk with more people, hold more open houses, make more calls, and basically, just do more to get more business. While this is true, it is only partially true. You need to have quality contacts to truly have an impact on your bottom line. You need to provide value to those you speak with and earn... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
You are in control of yourself, your life and all that you do in it. How do you move past the current situation you are in today? Get educated – learn all you can about your industry or one you want be a part of and become the expert. It doesn’t take much. Read for one hour per day in the field you wish to learn. One hour per day turns into one book per week. One book per week becomes 52 in one year. You tell me if you read 52 books on one subject and can’t become an... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
The Lorton office is progressing quite nicely – we should be officially open the week of the 10th along with the help of the county. Feel free to stop by anytime for a visit as we are getting settled in with the technology, and finishing touches. Hope to see you there soon! Since this time, we have received our Occupancy Permit – great job to Brett for seeing this difficult process all the way to fruition – it was extremely frustrating and tenuous. We have a great opportunity to potentially sublease some of our space in Chantilly. The landlord has... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
If you follow real estate at all, you know that there are 3 pricing indexes that get quoted fairly regularly – S&P Case Shiller, FHFA, and Corelogic HPI. Are they good for tracking home prices as a buyer or seller? My belief is no – a professional Realtor is your best option. All of these indices are flawed from what they track, to the timeframe in which they use to track data, to what their data sources encompass, to how much weight is given to price points and to what areas are used to gain their pricing policies. Why is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
Agents, title companies and sellers beware. There is a scam that is out there that is hurting our industry. If you receive a contract from, hear or read about buyers from out of the country that are looking to pay cash for a house, that want to settle quickly, want to use your “reputable” settlement company and have never seen the house, run fast as you can from this situation. They will promise to wire the funds to your title company or the real estate company once the contract is ratified – usually late on Thursday or on a Friday... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
There are home buyers out in Northern Virginia but they are savvy, price sensitive and condition critical. As we have seen in the papers, read online, and heard on the news, the rest of the country is experiencing a double dip in home prices, and waves of foreclosures are going to hit the market spiraling prices even further. All of this has made buyers in our area become very cautious and has lowered consumer confidence nationwide. Why do you ask are they this way? Well, most of them are from someplace else and they have seen streets riddled with real... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
Here are some strategies to help you not only survive but thrive in today’s market as shared by RISMedia panel members. Provide a newsletter that has helpful tips whether you do it or you pay for a service, get a monthly, informative newsletter or market update to send to your sphere of influence. Don’t let someone else be the buzz in your client’s ear. Explain the numbers, your knowledge of the market and get the business – you have to educate yourself on market trends so you know what to say so you can differentiate yourself from other Realtors. How... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
We recently attended the RISMedia convention in New York and have compiled notes that I will share with you on what was discussed and comment – occasionally how it will affect our business and ask that you do research on certain topics to inform yourself to give our clients the most up-to-date information so they can make the right decisions when buying or selling a house. Finance update FHA- There have been two price increases on FHA loans recently – upfront MI and monthly MI. -Lenders paid less on FHA loans. -FHA loan amounts decrease. -Potential increase in down payment... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
**TOP PRODUCER PANEL** Peter Knapp’s Comments Subscribe to the 4 P’s Persistence Purpose Perspective Patience Reminding yourself “why” Why are you in the business? Providing for family The idea of “you signed up for it” Available 24/7 It’s your job so do you best Embracing the profession Be responsive Separating yourself from the transaction Don’t be emotional – Be honest Emotions Separate yourself from the transaction – Don’t take personally Creating quality of life Servant mentality serve all the time Outworking people – some people are smarter but no one will outwork me And common sense Each transaction, you are... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
Top 12 Seller Mistakes and how to avoid them if you are looking to sell your house: Selling on your own. There have been so many changes in financing, contracts, and regulations that it is difficult to keep up with if you are not in the business learning and keeping up with these changes you can get burned at the last minute. How will you navigate the process when things go wrong with no experience in how to handle the types of problems? The business is changing exponentially virtually daily. Not hiring a true professional. A true professional in the... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
The Northern Virginia Real Estate market continues on it strong pace but there is legislation that can bring this to an end – and fast. The legislation is known as Qualified Residential Mortgages. NAR believes Congress intended to create a broad QRM exemption. Evidence shows that responsible lending standards and ensuring a borrower’s ability to repay have the greatest impact on reducing lender risk, not high down payments. Proposals that require high down payments will drive more borrowers to FHA, increase costs for borrowers by raising interest rates and fees, and effectively price many eligible borrowers out of the housing... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
One agent says it is slowest quarter in 3 years but he also agrees that results he is achieving are a direct result of the activities he has participated in the previous 120 days. We all know what we need to do – you just have to do it. Others continue to stay busy. Here is the office activity the last few weeks: 36 sales 14 listing, 18 sales 10 listing, 30 sales 20 listings, and 20 sales 5 listings – a little up and down don’t you think? Houses have to be jazzed up – granite, stainless, hardwood floors... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
Between Freddie and Fannie there are still 218,000 foreclosures set to come on the market. As reported in Creative Real Estate Daily, in terms of Fannie, just as we were so surprised and pleased that Freddie Mac had actually turned a profit in the first quarter of this year (see the article, “Did I Miss the Freddie Mac Bake Sale?” posted last week), Fannie Mae comes out with its first quarter numbers. The GSE had a loss to the tune of $8.7 billion in the 2011 first quarter! It’s enough to make you want to do a Donald Trump on... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update
Social Media is here to stay. It was reported on the news that the killing of Osama Bin Laden was being tweeted live by Sohaib Athar as the raid occurred. As the death Bin Laden was being reported, over 4,000 tweets per second were being posted – the typical average is 600 per second. If you noticed, people at the Mets and Phillies game were getting the news of his death on their smart phones – no doubt many through social media postings. The question is, how did you hear about his death? I heard several people saw the postings... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2011 at Scott's Real Estate Market Update