Sellers checklist prior to listing the home on the market for sale. Call Us Today!

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In recent years, sellers have called the shots in home buying negotiations.  Sellers have had plenty of leverage, too, thanks to surges in buyer demand, tight inventory and soaring home prices in many top markets around the country.

We all know that the housing market is a cyclical one. Pricing and demand that goes up eventually goes down, and the hot summer housing market often cools by the time winter rears its chilly head.

If you’re needing to sell a house and can’t wait for next year’s warm-weather sales surge, you’ll need to act fast.

To get to the closing table sooner rather than later, sellers may need to adjust their expectations and approach.

Here are six important steps you can take now to sell your home before the new year is here.

1 Rely on comps — not emotion — to set a realistic asking price

First things first:  You’ll want to jump into the housing market with a realistic asking price that has the potential to stick. This part can be hard for sellers to wrap their heads around since many want to “test the market” with a higher sales price knowing they can drop it later.  This approach, however, is a mistake.  If your home is priced too high, it can be very difficult to overcome, even when you eventually reduce the price.  Let RezaieCo lead the way on this.

We will do comparative market analysis that helps you price your home based on recent comparable sales in your area — not just hopes and dreams.

You are paying us for professional advice and expertise, so when we suggest a sales price based on mountains of research, you should listen.

2 Ask us for ‘first look’ feedback

Homeowners hoping to unload their properties by year’s end will need to enter the market with their best foot forward. This means having a house that is easy to sell and free of glaring problems.

You not only should ask for our feedback but review all of their notes — both positive and critical.

We will give the seller’s “buyer feedback” from people who tour your property so you understand what buyers love — and don’t love — about your home.

RezaieCo will be able to point out defects you’ve overlooked like forgotten windows with cracked seals or the fact that your teenager has heavy metal posters plastered wall to wall.  We will also remind you that most people want to park in their garage instead of using it to store boxes of photos and old clothing.

  1. Clean, organize and declutter

It’s possible your Alan Rezaie will advise you take down family photos and clear out your closets right away, but you should make time for a major cleanup regardless.

The sellers should do everything within budget to ensure the property gives a great first impression.  For example, give your front door a fresh coat of paint, trim back overgrown shrubs and keep your lawn in tip-top shape.

While your home is on the market, the interior should also be clean and ready for a last-minute showing at all times. Start by removing clutter, getting rid of any oversized furniture and taking down busy decorations.

Rent a storage unit if you need more space.

4 Consider hiring a professional stager

Home stagers have furniture, art and decor they use to make your home feel modern and increase your chances at a speedy offer — an important consideration for anyone, especially if your home feels especially dated.

Does staging work?  Most Realtors would agree with us and say it does.

In fact, a recent study from the National Association of Realtors showed that 83 percent of buyer’s agents said staging helped their clients envision living in that specific home. Also, 28 percent of seller’s agents said they staged all of selling clients’ homes before putting them on the market.  However, 13 percent reported staging homes only if those properties were difficult to sell otherwise.


5 Spring for professional photos and video

Where potential buyers perused the local newspaper for new home listings decades ago, pretty much all home marketing is done online now — either through multiple listing services, real estate websites, email marketing or a combination of all of these avenues.

This is the reason why quality pictures are crucial if you hope to achieve a quick sale. We hire professional photographers to take high-quality pictures and work with the company to create a marketing video with emphasis on the importance of social media marketing — especially on Facebook  We found that running ads on the Facebook platform is superior to any other social media space because the audience can be targeted very specifically.


If you’re hoping to spread the news of your home for sale far and wide, it may help to work with an agent that has knowledge of social media marketing and other strategies to get more eyeballs on your virtual listing.

6 Get an optional pre-sale home inspection

Never assume your home is in perfect physical condition; take the time to make sure.  Paying for a home inspection upfront is typically a safe bet.

By obtaining prior knowledge of issues such as missing shingles on your roof or faulty electrical work, for example, you can buy time to fix these problems before they become a problem.

Hiring a home inspector to conduct a thorough inspection before you list your home may inspire greater confidence in your home’s condition among potential buyers.

This is true even though most savvy buyers will likely hire their own inspector.

If you have any questions, call us at (202) 802-8200 or email to  We look forward to hearing from you.




The Continued Recognition of Fair and Equitable Housing in America


The Fair Housing Act (FHA) was passed over 50 years ago, but we continue to recognize its importance each year during the month of April. The significance of this legislation cannot be overstated. However, our society continues to struggle with equitable opportunities for everyone, whether in housing, jobs, income, or education. The issues are far from one-dimensional and are often weighed down by history. But this month, we remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and the Fair Housing Act passed in his memory.


The Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968; however, it was debated in Congress for at least two years prior. The legislation was unable to garner majority support until April 1968. Due to the circumstances of the time and the work of President Lyndon Johnson, the act finally passed on April 11. The tragedy of Dr. King’s assassination on April 4 and the resulting riots, burning, and looting in major cities across the country spurred President Johnson to shepherd the act through Congress.  He felt the passage, if completed prior to Dr. King’s funeral, would be a fitting memorial and could help calm the social unrest.

Dr. King had been associated with fair housing as a result of his march in support of the Chicago Freedom Movement in 1966. The rallies in Chicago for racial justice, and specifically open housing, are credited as the inspiration for the Fair Housing Act.

In addition, the Vietnam War had been raging for over 10 years by 1968 and was taking a toll on the young African-American and Hispanic men serving on the front line. The country was sending men off to die while their families left behind couldn’t secure safe, equitable housing. This was not a new issue, but the war had placed it in a different, more glaring context.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the GI Forum, and the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing all added their voices to the cause and lobbied strongly for passage of the act.


Senator Edward Brook (D-MA), the first African-American elected to the Senate by popular vote, was a strong advocate for the Fair Housing Act. He spoke eloquently about his own inability to secure a home for his family because of his race after returning home from fighting in World War II.


The Civil Rights Act of 1968 was signed by President Johnson two days after Dr. King’s funeral. Title VIII of the act is known as the Fair Housing Act.


Civil Rights Act of 1866: prohibits all racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property.

Americans with Disabilities Act: prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act: prohibits discrimination with respect to any aspect of a credit application based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age, or because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program.


The law prohibits any discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of housing, or making housing otherwise unavailable, because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, and as amended (1988) handicap and familial status.


It’s also important to check your state and local laws which may prohibit discrimination based on additional classes not covered by the federal laws outlined here.  These laws protect sellers, buyers, and real estate professionals in slightly different ways.  Whatever your role in a transaction, knowing your rights and responsibilities is critical.  The National Association of Realtors helps interpret the laws to assist all parties in a real estate transaction.

A seller (landlord): cannot deny that housing is available, or advertise that the property is available only to persons of a certain race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. A seller or landlord may not request a buyer or a real estate professional to place any limitations on their behalf.

A buyer: has the right to expect that housing will be available without discrimination or other limitations based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

A real estate professional: cannot discriminate in a real estate transaction based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.  An agent may not fulfill a request by a seller/landlord or buyer to act in a discriminatory manner.


The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has their own Code of Ethics that members agree to abide by when conducting business. Article 10 of the Code outlines their standards and support of equal opportunity in housing.

The NAR Code of Ethics, Article 10

NAR also specifies procedures for filing complaints for alleged violations on the part of home buyers. Cases are filed with local boards of REALTORS® who are charged with enforcing the code and determine the need for corrective actions. Complaints may also be filed with a local office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or at

Even with the passing of the Fair Housing Act, noted as the final great achievement of the civil rights era, society continues to wrestle with issues of race. The need for open dialogue, the acceptance of differences, and the belief in the value of every person should be the ideals we work toward together.



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 REZAIECO – Long & Foster | Christie’s 

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Flipping Houses in Washington, DC



Experts have ascertained that the Washington D.C. real estate market is hot for flipping houses.  The conditions are right for investors and real estate professionals to explore the expanding inventory of distressed houses to flip them within a span of a year.   The prices of homes in the city and the surrounding areas have been appreciating steadily in the last two years.  Some neighborhoods are undergoing gentrification.  Many old properties are being put up on sale by their owners.  But not all communities want gentrification of neighborhoods.  Flipping individual houses can hence be a substantially profitable venture for both professionals and investors.

Investors have been buying houses in and around the city and many houses purchased by them over the years have been flipped for a profit.  The prices of homes are unlikely to stagnate in the short term.  This means flipped houses will be subjected to sufficient value appreciation.  This is crucial as those flipping houses do not want prices to remain static.  Flipping houses can secure a profit in the range of fifteen to thirty thousand per project.  This is a handsome return on investment.   Interested investors should call Alan Rezaie with RezaieCo at (202) 802-8200 and get you set up with a professional and study your investment ideas.

Most houses can be flipped in just a few months.  Some can be flipped in a few weeks. While there are many who are skeptical about such quick flips as they tend to have an adverse effect on the real estate sector and the housing marketing particular, there is no rule that prevents investors from taking such an approach and the faster turnaround time paves the way for greater annual profits.  One can flip many more houses if the turnaround times are cut short.  Alan is encouraging investors to explore such opportunities in and around Washington D.C.

Alan issues a word of caution for those who have to spend some time to become familiar with the local real estate market.  Investors should pick and choose properties that are worthwhile.  They should be conscious of the locations and the magnitude of risk. Investors should not put in more money into a property than necessary.  There should be a well planned approach to flipping and it must factor in all possible eventualities.  Only then can investors have a predictable experience and secure a desired profit.

Any questions, please advise.

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3060 Williams Drive, Suite 101 Fairfax, Virginia 22031

Office (703) 573-2600 | Fax (703) 641-9524 | Direct (202) 802-8200

Arlington and Alexandria are the Nation’s Most Competitive Housing Markets

amazonThe Amazon effect is fueling intense competition for homes with an easy commute to Crystal City

The most competitive U.S. housing markets are the two that are closest to Crystal City, home of Amazon’s upcoming second headquarters (HQ2) in Virginia: Alexandria and Arlington.   Both Cities compete with a score of 96, Alexandria and Arlington buyers face the most intense competition anywhere in the country.

In the HQ2-adjacent cities, homes are going under contract far faster than the national rate or even the D.C. metro as a whole. Homes sold in July went off the market in a median 11 days in Arlington and 14 days in Alexandria, about a week less than last July in both and far lower than the 27-day median for the D.C. metro and 38 days nationally. Over half of all homes for sale (57%) in both Arlington and Alexandria went off the market in two weeks or less. That was true of just 40 percent of homes in the D.C. metro and just 29 percent of homes nationwide.

Crystal City, home to Amazon HQ2 is located in Arlington, VA and immediately adjacent to Alexandria, VA
Crystal City, home to Amazon HQ2 is located in Arlington, VA and immediately adjacent to Alexandria, VA

The Amazon HQ2 effect has become a permanent factor in the Arlington and Alexandria housing markets.  Some sellers are still opting to hold on to their homes and wait until it becomes a more concrete reality in the hopes that they’ll get more money.  This has led to a shortage of homes for sale, which puts pressure on buyers who are concerned that they’ll be left behind if they can’t find a home before things get too heated up.

In both Arlington and Alexandria, the number of homes for sale fell by about 50 percent year over year in July. Without enough supply to meet demand, more homes are selling above list price.  Nearly half (46 percent) of Arlington homes sold in July went for more than list price, versus just 27 percent a year ago. In Alexandria 36 percent sold for more than list, up from 24 percent a year ago. Compare that with 32 percent in the D.C. metro and 24 percent nationwide.

Median home sale prices in Arlington and Alexandria are more volatile, especially with a declining volume of sales due to the increased competition, and are currently flat to down from a year ago.

Measure Arlington, VA Alexandria, VA Washington, D.C. metro National
Median sale price $616,000 $490,000 $421,500 $318,100
Median sale price, YoY change +0.2% -4.4% +2.8% +3.3%
Home sales, YoY change -22.0% -21.8% -7.2% -1.1%
Inventory, YoY change -50.5% -47.1% -12.7% -3.4%
Median days on market 11 days 14 days 27 days 38 days
Median days on market, YoY change -7 days -6 days +8 days +2 days
Percent under contract within 2 weeks 57.1% 57.0% 39.6% 29.1%
Percent under contract within 2 weeks, YoY percentage point change from a year ago +5.8 pts +12.8 pts -8.1 pts -1.6 pts
Percent sold above asking 45.9% 35.7% 32.2% 23.9%
Percent sold above asking, YoY percentage point change +19.2 pts +12.1 pts +2.9 pts -3.2 pts
Share of homes with a price drop 27.7% 25.2% 30.0% 28.1%
Share of homes with a price drop, YoY percentage point change -7.2 pts -18.1 pts -6.2 pts +1.8 pts

A market can become highly competitive when buyers agree that home values will increase steeply in the future.  If you believe home values will go up hundreds of thousands of dollars in the next five years, you will race to bid five or ten thousand dollars above asking price today.  So, even though it may take a decade for Amazon’s HQ2 to grow the size of the Seattle headquarters, attracting high-earners and driving economic growth in the surrounding area, home buyers and home sellers are already operating under the assumption that there will be strong demand for homes going forward.

Both Arlington and Alexandria are still competitive well beyond what would be considered the typical busy season.  Buyers are adapting to our new norm of a hot market by extending their leases, going month to month or looking well in advance of lease expiration to ease the pressure of their home search.

Most Competitive Cities for Home buyers

Rank City Compete Score
1 Alexandria, VA 96
2 Arlington, VA 96
3 Grand Rapids, MI 96
4 Tacoma, WA 95
5 Oakland, CA 93


3060 Williams Drive, Suite 101 Fairfax, Virginia 22031

Office (703) 573-2600 | Fax (703) 641-9524 | Direct (202) 802-8200

Amazon’s HQ2 Effect on Residential Real Estate in Arlington County

amazonThe announcement of Amazon’s HQ2 in National Landing, VA, has had a dramatic effect on the residential real estate market in its home zip code of 22202 in Arlington County. The announcement has had a significant impact on the sales activity in the area, the amount of available inventory, and the asking prices of single-family homes.

National Landing’s 22202 zip code experienced a spike in closed sales in the months immediately prior to the HQ2 announcement, possibly influenced by the intensely local and national media coverage of the selection process and in anticipation of the impending announcement.

Parallel to the announcement on November 13, 2018, the number of new listings in 22202 decreased 85.3 percent, and consequently, so did sales activity in the area. This severe lack of inventory in 22202 could be the result of homeowners waiting for their property values to peak as the official opening of HQ2 grows closer.

Properties that have been put on the market since the HQ2 announcement have been priced at a premium, most notably single-family homes that have experienced a sharp increase in the median asking price, as evidenced by a 99.9 percent year-over-year increase experienced in June 2019.  These higher prices could be the result of homeowners looking to benefit from the prospects of future appreciation in the area.

Whether a potential buyer or seller, these circumstances underscore the value of speaking to a real estate agent to evaluate the current and future market conditions in 22202 and Northern Virginia.

Statistical Breakdown:​

Number of New Pending Sales in 22202

  • Speculation regarding HQ2 drove the market in the National Landing zip code (22202) immediately prior to the official announcement of HQ2 on 11/13/18.
    • 31 new pending sales for November 2018 represented a 121.4 percent increase year-over-year.
    • The November 2018 boom was immediately followed by 9 new pending sales (0% y.o.y.) on December 2018, and 7 (-63.2% y.o.y.) and 7 (-50% y.o.y.) in January 2019 and February 2019 respectively.

Number of Active Listings in 22202

  • Immediately following the HQ2 announcement on 11/13/18, residents of 22202 have been hanging onto their homes – as evidenced by an extreme and sustained drop in available inventory. This trend has continued through June 2019.
    • The inventory of new homes dropped 85.3 percent from October 2018 to November 2018.
    • The market remains limited, with inventory in June 2019 down 70.2 percent year over year.

Median List Price for Single Family Homes

  • Speculation is fueling a dramatic increase in new listing prices for those who do decide to put their homes on the market now.
    • Median list prices for single-family homes went from $780,000 (-15.2 percent y.o.y.) in November 2018 to $1,369,900 (+56.6 percent y.o.y.) in December 2018 – an increase of 75.5 percent.
    • The median list price for single-family homes in 22202 is at its highest level at $1,599,000 (+99.9 percent) in June 2019.

For any questions, contact us at or call +1.202.802.8200





Luxury Defined

Top 10 Reasons to Work with a Private Lender

private lenders

Should you use a bank or a private hard money lender for your real estate investment? Here are the top 10 reasons why you should use a private lender:

1). Speed – Private lenders can close quickly, typically within a few days of receiving all the necessary documentation. In a hot market where multiple offers are commonplace, the importance of this cannot be emphasized enough.
2). Less paperwork – To receive a term sheet, you just need to provide a few basic documents for private lenders to review.
3). Flexibility – Private lenders do not use a strict standardized underwriting process like traditional banks, allowing us room for flexibility to accommodate your needs.
4). Personalized service – Private lenders are investing in your property and you. They are always available to try and meet your specific needs.
5). No credit check – Private lenders do not care about the credit of the borrower, but his or her potential with their property.
6). Construction financing – Private lenders will fund up to 100% of hard costs. Traditional lenders fund a smaller portion.
7). Property type – Private lenders will consider funding for any type of property, including land.
8). Less equity – Private lenders require less equity than a traditional lender typically does.
9). Rapid turnaround on construction draws – Traditional lenders typically take weeks. Private lenders can turn around draws quickly and with flexibility.
10). Creativity – Whether it is deferred interest, higher advance rate, partnership structures, raising capital, or any other unique avenue to help you, private lenders can creatively structure deals to get you across the finish line.

Any questions or if you need to get set up with a lender, call us at (202) 802-8200 or email to

Alan A. Rezaie Realtor®, SRS, ABR, CRP 

Long & Foster Real Estate | Christie’s International – Fairfax Mosaic District

3060 Williams Drive, Suite 101 Fairfax, Virginia 22031

MD/DC 202.802.8200 | VA 703.629.0994

O 703.573.2600 | F 703.641.9524


Website: (Search All Area Homes for Sale & Lease )

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The ‘missing middle’- A scramble for affordable housing

If Fairfax County developer C. Daniel Clemente has his way, more middle-class and hourly workers in the county’s fast-growing downtown Tysons area will one day have the option of walking to work instead of spending hours battling Beltway commuter traffic.
If you’re a secretary, you can’t [afford to] live at Tysons. If you’re a waiter, you can’t [afford to] live at Tysons,. Mr. Clemente wants to build a 1,400-unit multifamily apartment building at Tysons, near the Spring Hill Metro Station, where all units would be affordably priced for workforce housing in exchange for the county waiving proffer fees of about $35 million on the development.
Currently, Fairfax County requires that 20 percent of units in new multifamily housing be dedicated to affordable housing. Nonetheless, in a desirable area like Tysons — where rents can easily exceed $3,000 per month for a two-bedroom apartment — there are no incentives for developers to create much-needed affordable housing.
If the county approves his unorthodox proposal, Clemente hopes the building, to be called Evolution, would be open to tenants within five years.
As more and more millennials (and, to a lesser extent, baby boomers) move to downtown areas in search of walkable, cosmopolitan environments, corporations are following them in search of young educated workers. This phenomenon has created a scramble for affordable, workforce-priced housing in cities across America.
While developers are trying to meet the burgeoning demand for affordable rental housing, Ware says, it takes time to obtain permits, financing and tax credits.
Not keeping pace
A majority of millennials, who now outnumber baby boomers, want to live in walkable, urban environments, but developers aren’t building affordable housing fast enough to keep pace with demand. The phrase is coined as “the missing middle.” It describes the type of workforce-priced housing that has been largely absent from cities for the past several decades. Such housing is particularly sought by older millennials who may be starting families and who may be forced to consider a move to the suburbs or to less-expensive cities if they can’t find available housing stock at an affordable price.
American planning and zoning policies since the 1950s have been successful at enabling the development of single-family housing projects and high-density multifamily apartment buildings. Yet, they haven’t prioritized the construction of “missing middle” options such as duplexes, triplexes, courtyard apartments, town houses and live/work/play communities.
Faced with increased demand for affordable housing, cities and developers now must meet this need with creative options, including a mix of for-sale and rental properties in the same developments. Other options may include governments relaxing off-street parking requirements in recognition that millennials are less likely to own as many cars as previous generations. Additionally, developers may consider “communal” housing designs aimed at millennial roommates. These arrangements would offer individual bedrooms and bathrooms but shared common areas.
Seniors aren’t selling
Another problem contributing to the lack of available workforce-priced housing is that some senior citizens aren’t selling their homes. That’s because what could be a next option for them isn’t affordable.
Without available affordable rental or sale options, “millennials will pick up and move” to another market, creating a problem for corporations that want to retain talent. Millennials “are much more courageous than their parents in that regard. They will go where they want to live, and then they’ll figure out the job.
One unexpected side effect of the downtown migration is that, with millennials and baby boomers vacuuming up available affordable housing, people who make less than the area median income are left with even fewer options in cities.
With millennials and baby boomers moving back in, the cities have gotten safer and more vibrant, and that’s all great news, but the bad news is our lower-wage workers are not finding housing there as easily anymore.
Disappearing housing stock
In recent local studies, Arlington County and Alexandria determined that more than 85 percent of their areas’ naturally occurring affordable housing stock has disappeared during the past 15 years. Investors have bought up older and distressed properties and remodeled them to appeal to millennials with amenities such as fitness centers and granite countertops.
New developments are always going to be geared toward the highest payers, and the folks that are often the most desirable demographics. And millennials usually tick that box because they can pay higher rents and want to live downtown. The topic of discussion is that people are getting priced out of downtown. Not everybody can afford it.
Affordable housing advocates are relieved that the country’s recently passed tax reform bill retained tax credits for low income housing. However, there is concern that the reduced corporate tax rate, from 35 to 21 percent, could decrease the value of the housing credit for investors.
With a recent study showing that seven affordable housing units are needed for every unit built, it’s an issue that’s not going away. Cities are proactively and aggressively trying to come up with solutions to this problem.
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How to Build Your Credit – Part II

build 2

Now that you have the basics under your belt, we can start moving on to some of the long-term ways you can help build your credit. The first thing you must accept in regards to building credit is that it takes a while – on average, about six months – for your efforts to start to bear noticeable fruit. This is because you can only build your score by practicing good habits. The good news is these habits are what potential lenders see, making them more likely to offer your credit or financing in the future.

  1. Check Your Credit Report – Your credit report changes every month. The easiest and most beneficial thing you can do for your credit health is to monitor your credit report. There are many reputable credit repair sites, and is worth the small fee to keep track of your credit report. If there are any errors or discrepancies, it is always better to fix them right away as opposed to finding out before its too late.
  2. Make EVERY Payment On Time – You will do more damage to your credit score by making late payments than almost any other preventable practice. If your income is outweighed by your monthly output, then it’s time to consider where you can make some significant cuts. Making all of your monthly obligations on time will continually increase your credit score with every passing month. Miss enough monthly payments and your creditors will send you collections or sell your account to a third party – either one spells a huge decrease in your credit score.
  3. Keep a Low Credit Utilization – ‘Credit Utilization’ is a fancy way of saying balance-to-limit ratio. If you have a $1,000 limit on your credit card and you keep a balance of $900 on that card, it is going to hurt your credit health and bring down your credit score. It is better to pay the balance off in full every month. However, if you do need to keep a balance it’s best if you keep no more than 30% of your credit limit.
  4. Keep Accounts Open – Keeping a long credit history goes a long way in helping you establish a good credit score. The only accounts we recommend you closing are any unused cards that also carry an annual fee. The more active credit history you can show on your report, the more likely lenders and other financial institutions are likely to extend you credit or other opportunities.
  5. But Don’t Open too Many – If you don’t have a lot of credit history, you won’t solve this problem by opening several new accounts in a short amount of time. This actually lowers and hurts your score more than helping it. It isn’t how much credit you have, it’s how you’ve utilized and responsibly used the credit you’ve had available.

Good habits are much more difficult to cultivate than bad ones. However, with a little patience and a little work, the good credit health habits you form will provide you with more options than you realize.  If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us at RezaieCo Advisors +1.202.802.8200

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3060 Williams Drive, Suite 101 Fairfax, Virginia 22031

MD/DC +1.202.802.8200 | VA +1.703.629.0994

O 703.573.2600 | F 703.641.0594


Fairfax, Virginia 22031 


How to Build Your Credit – Part I


Whether you’re building credit from scratch or trying to clean up a few years of setbacks, building your credit isn’t easy.  If you’re in never-had-credit camp you might have found out how difficult it can be to get an apartment, take out a loan from the bank, or even get a major credit card.  It’s the classic chicken and the egg conundrum – how do you establish credit if no one will give you credit?

To get your credit reporting to the three major bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) you will need an account open at least six months and to have the creditors of those accounts to report your information.

There are several other ways to start building your credit we’ll list here:

  1. Authorized User – This takes a level of trust on someone else’s part. Perhaps a parent, other family member, or your husband, wife, or significant other might be willing to add you as an authorized user on one or more of their credit cards.  This isn’t the same as being a co-signer.  As an authorized user, you get to build credit without being legally tied to the debt.
  2. Credit-Builder Loan – Think of this as a reverse savings program. It’s a type of loan designed to do precisely what its name entails – it helps you build credit.  In a typical credit-builder loan, you borrow the money but the financial institution holds the money until the loan is repaid.  They are usually a part of a credit union program. The best part is your payments are reported to the credit bureaus and is a solid way to help you establish your credit history.
  3. Find a Co-Signer – Loans and unsecured credit cards can be obtained if you can find a co-signer with a decent credit score and history.  Unlike being an authorized user, you and co-signer are both responsible for the balance and making on-time payments every month.
  4. Your Rent Can Report – Under normal circumstances your rent doesn’t appear on your credit report.  However, there are rent-reporting companies out there like RentHistoryPros and Rental Kharma that can take your rental history and have it report positively on your credit report.  Your making the payments, you might as well reap some rewards for doing so.
  5. Try to Obtain a Secure Credit Card – When you’re starting out with little to no credit history, this is practically required.  It’s a simple concept: an upfront deposit you make backs the secured credit card.  That deposit is your credit limit (usually). The card is used like any other credit card. You use it to make everyday purchases, make payments before the due date, and are charged interest if you fail to pay off the balance every month.  That cash deposit you made is their collateral if you fail to make your payments. When the account is closed you then get your deposit back. Don’t keep these kinds of accounts indefinitely, a secured credit card is only meant to be used so can qualify for an unsecured credit card with much better benefits.

Like we said at the outset, this isn’t going to be easy to get started.  But the good news is that as long as you follow our advice and make your payments you’ll be on the road to sky high credit scores in no time.  If you have questions, we encourage you to contact us at RezaieCo Advisors +1.202.802.8200

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Regional home-sales prices have now risen 31 months in a row

dcYear-over-year existing-home sales across the Washington inner core were up in April, while the median sales price for the month was the highest this decade, according to new data.

A total of 4,997 properties went to closing across the Washington region last month, an increase of 3.3 percent from a year before and the first time since July 2018 that year-over-year sales were in positive territory.

Over the past 10 years, the average sales total in April has been 4,335. The lowest sales total of the decade for April was recorded in 2011, at 3,525.

Sales data were reported May 13 by MarketStats by ShowingTime based on listing activity from Bright MLS.  Figures represent sales in the District of Columbia; Arlington and Fairfax counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church in Virginia; and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.

Sales were higher in every jurisdiction except Montgomery County and the city of Fairfax. Locally, sales were up 1.2 percent to 264 in Arlington; 4.3 percent to 1,596 in Fairfax County; 6.5 percent to 247 in Alexandria; and 20 percent to 24 in Falls Church.

The ongoing increase in median sales prices continues, with the overall median price of $475,000 up 5.6 percent from a year before. April marked the 31st consecutive month of year-over-year increases in median sales price.

Higher prices were fueled, in part, by a 13-percent year-over-year decline in active listings, which left some buyers without much room to maneuver in negotiations – homes that went to closing in April received, on average, 99.3 percent of original listing price, easily the highest April figure of the decade.

The highest median sales price of all jurisdictions was found in Falls Church ($970,000, up from $745,000 a year before), followed by Arlington ($661,500/$556,500), the District of Columbia ($586,900/$590,000), Alexandria ($560,000/$542,950) and Fairfax County ($546,000/$520,000).

The combination of more sales and higher prices pushed the total market volume for April up 5.9 percent to nearly $2.8 billion across the inner core.

Homes that went to closing in February garnered an average 97.7 percent of original listing price, tied with last year for the highest February rate in a decade.

Regionwide, the total available inventory at the end of April was 7,535. All three segments of the market – single-family, townhome and condomonium – showed year-over-year drops in inventory.

With the exception of the District of Columbia, every jurisdiction across the region reported a decline in inventory in April compared to 2018, with the dips ranging from 5.1 percent in Montgomery County to 60.3 percent in Alexandria.

The available inventory for April was less than half the number of homes on the market in April of 2010 and 2011, when the local market was struggling to wriggle out of recession.

In April, 7,976 properties came onto the market, down 5.1 percent from a year before, with townhouse listings down 7.6 percent and condominium listings down 11.1 percent. The single-family segment bucked the trend, with new-listing activity up 0.8 percent for the month.

Among jurisdictions, Falls Church, Montgomery County and the District of Columbia were up in new listings, all other jurisdictions saw declines. Arlington saw the biggest dip in new listings, down nearly 30 percent.

Figures represent most, but not all, homes on the market. All figures are preliminary, and are subject to revision. For information, see the Website at

Any questions, send an email to or call (202) 802-8200.



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