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The Banner Team Launches Pay it Forward

Here at the Banner Team of Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., we are excited to announce the launch of our new giving program called, ‘Pay it Forward.’ This initiative is the latest in our suite of industry leading services which continue to add to our exceptional client experience.

Under the ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative, our team is donating a portion of every commission to a charity of our clients’ choice – at absolutely no extra cost. This is because when it comes to helping those in need, our team is more than happy to contribute a percentage of our commission to what really matters.

This initiative shows our commitment to strengthening our ties with the local DMV area and extends our passion for giving back. While our clients begin a new chapter in their home, they can sit back and relax knowing that they’ve helped contribute to a new chapter in someone else’s life as well.

We donate commission from every transaction to any charity, without limitations. For example whether the sale is a $300,000 townhome, or a $5 million mansion, we will donate every time, regardless of the circumstance. You can’t put a price on driving such positive outcomes, and while many real estate groups only donate to charity for goodwill around the holidays, we will continue to help year round.

One of the most rewarding reactions we see is that when we mention, ‘Pay it Forward’ to a client, their eyes light up with excitement!  The idea that their real estate transaction will make a difference in someone’s life makes their experience feel so much more worthwhile; and, truth be told, it does the same for us as well.  We are thrilled to be able to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need.

No matter the amount being donated, big or small, it counts. The impact that giving back has on our team and our clients is something you can’t put a price tag on, which is why as long as houses are being sold, donations will be made.

Owner Financing: The New Way to Sell Homes

Here at The Banner Team, we have pioneered a new way of selling homes that makes life easier for the buyer and the seller, called Owner Financing.  Owner Financing is a process in which the owner becomes the first or second noteholder for a shorter period of time than with a traditional bank loan, anywhere from two to five years.

It’s highly efficient for higher priced homes in competitive local markets, such as Potomac, MD, Northern Virginia and surrounding areas.  Owner Financing is a faster way to close sales when the buyer and seller are the right fit, but the buyer doesn’t have the funds right away. This type of situation occurs pretty frequently as the real estate market and economy continue to fluctuate.

For example, in the case of a house with a $1 million selling price, the buyer puts down $500,000 and the seller holds a note for the remaining $500,000 for five years. The seller receives full price for the house and holds a lien on the property, with the house as collateral. Therefore, the buyer then has more time to seek long-term financing for the house.

In some cases, the buyer may be given a period of five years to seek long-term financing from a bank, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll take the entire five years. An example of this would be when a client of ours sold their home with a five year term and the buyer ended up receiving long-term bank financing in just two years.

Now on the other hand, buyers who still need to sell their current home in order to afford their new one have an option called Delayed Settlement. With delayed settlement both parties agree on terms but wait six months or so to settle, giving the buyer some breathing room to sell their house. Meanwhile, the sellers can relax, knowing that their house is sold.

 It’s key that we keep in mind the needs of both the buyer and seller, so that the transaction is always as seamless as possible. When you work with the Banner Team you’ll quickly learn that regardless of your circumstance, there are always alternative options to get the deal completed.

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Take a look at the Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland Real Estate trends over the past 10 years


Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., the largest independent residential real estate company in the United States, has updated its neighborhood level versions of The Long & Foster Market Minute for 15 areas within Washington, D.C.

Overall, Washington, D.C., experienced a year-over-year decrease in the number of homes sold and an increase in median sale price in March. Active inventory fell by 12 percent in the Washington, D.C., area compared to the same month in 2013. March data also shows that in most neighborhoods homes are selling in about six weeks on average. Many individual neighborhoods in the city, however, continued to outperform the District as a whole.

Washington’s big housing problem: Not enough sellers

Tight inventory continues to push housing prices up in the Washington market, and any relief will come from new construction more than from existing homes being sold.

Real estate firm Redfin says just 0.56 percent of existing homes in the Washington metro are currently for sale, among the lowest sale-to-inventory rates in the nation.

There are several reasons holding back existing inventory, including the fact that 19.8 percent of homeowners in Washington have low equity, owing more than 80 percent of their home’s value and are not in a good financial position to sell as a result.

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