All posts by John VanderSyde

John VanderSyde: A native of Virginia’s Commonwealth, John graduated from Virginia Episcopal (High) School and attended Randolph-Macon College where he received a BA in English and Minored in Studio Art. John’s post-graduate studies took him to The Catholic University of America where he received his Masters of Architecture. A licensed Architect (RA) as well as a REALTOR® & Associate Broker, John began his career in 1986 managing residential construction and development. Specializing in high-end custom residential homes and renovation, John has an extensive knowledge of the housing industry. Years of construction management and contract negotiation provide additional skills necessary to work in his client’s best interest. John truly brings unique skills to the real estate industry, performing at the highest level of real estate sales. Ann VanderSyde: Ann was born in Japan the daughter of an Air Force family. She settled in Virginia’s Commonwealth as a child, living in the Northern-Virginia area. She graduated from Bishop O’Connell High School and attended Georgetown University where he received a BS in Psychology. Ann’s post-graduate studies took her to George Washington University where he earned her MA. A Licensed Therapist, Ann worked as a lead therapist for the DC Commission of Mental Health Services for five years. She relocated to Richmond, Virginia in 1993 where she immediately established a successful small business with an extensive focus in design and interior consultation that lasted for almost fourteen years. Ann’s experience provides additional skills needed to perform at the highest level of real estate sales. Ann & John live in Richmond, Virginia with their three children.

Where do you need help in Real Estate Sales & Service?

   I enjoyed a Realtor coaching call today. We all need guidance in our lives when expecting to perform at a high level. It’s the same for athletes, musicians, or businesses – success doesn’t come without practice and rehearsal – why should buying or selling a home be any different?

   First, decide to get help. Find a Realtor with whom you want to engage. There is a personality out there that will work better for you than others. The more you understand this, the better outcome you’re going to have, and the entire experience will leave you feeling like you got exactly what you needed.

   Secondly, set the stage. Your Realtor will work best for you when you are able to communicate what you’re looking for without reservation. Don’t hold back; be honest about what you’re seeking. Like any good business relationship, leave nothing to chance. Develop a concluding scenario that meets your needs. Share it with your Realtor and grow into it together. A good agent will feed off your positive energy and get you where you want to be.

   Look for the opportunity within every interaction; each difficulty is a chance to improve. This may be especially true for buyers facing low inventory and stiff competition, or sellers who perceive excess value when their house isn’t selling in a hot market. Build on the previous experience and let your trusted Realtor be the voice that effectively guides you through the process.

   Finally, turn your needs into meaningful results by using a Realtor who is uniquely educated and trained to get you the outcome you desire. If fear comes from not knowing about something, then find the Realtor who provides you with the answers you require to be successful. Turn that fear into trust.

Let us be the coach and advisor for your next real estate transaction.

Special Item of Value: i-Buyers

     If you’re thinking about selling your home, you might be considering an iBuyer—companies that provide nearly instant purchase offers on homes. iBuyers bring the certainty of a specific sale date and relieve you of making home improvements or opening your house to buyers. But when it comes to selling your home—often the largest investment most people ever make, is the convenience worth the cost?

   As with most financial decisions, it’s best to evaluate your options before selecting the path forward. That’s why I wanted to share with you a few things to remember when selling your home—no matter if it’s to an iBuyer or via the traditional sales process. Know your home’s worth.

   iBuyers present an offer on your home based on an algorithm, but that might not consider more-difficult-to-measure features, such as the amount of natural sunlight or your views. Working with a professional like me, we can evaluate your property against current homes for sale, noting your house’s specific amenities, to get a more accurate market value.

   Once you understand your home’s true worth, you can fairly assess the iBuyer offer. Consider your upfront costs. Recent research by Collateral Analytics compared the fees associated with iBuyers and traditional real estate sales. They found the total cost of working with an iBuyer comes to 13-15% of the sales price, compared to 5-7% for a traditional sale.

   Determine your goals. Do you need a quick transaction? Want a specific closing date? Or simply to maximize your profits? Once you establish your goals, I can help you achieve them. Depending on market conditions, a speedy sale could be secured on the open market or an iBuyer might be the better route.

   With my insights and support, we’ll put you on the path to success. If you’re ready to sell your home, let me know. I’m here to help you fully assess all your options and share with you my real estate expertise and local market knowledge.

Call me for a consultation!

DST – you can’t stop time!

Sunday, November 4th at 2 AM is the official end to DST in our neck of the world.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. beginning in 2007, though Congress retained the right to revert to the 1986 law should the change prove unpopular or if energy savings are not significant. Going from 2007 forward, Daylight Saving Time in the U.S.

  • begins at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and
  • ends at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of November

Daylight saving time (DST), also daylight savings time (United States), also summer time (United Kingdom and others), is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that evening daylight lasts longer, while sacrificing normal sunrise times.

Typically, regions that use daylight saving time adjust clocks forward one hour close to the start of spring and adjust them backward in the autumn to standard time.[1] In effect, DST causes a lost hour of sleep in the spring and an extra hour of sleep in the fall.[2]

 Sourced From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Enjoy your extra hour of sleep this weekend – I hope it doesn’t mess with your internal clock the way that it does with mine!

What does a career in real estate look like today?


The answer to that question as real estate sales guru and trainer Brian Buffini always likes to say is, “Unbelievable!” Looking at the overall marketplace, gleaning information from reports and statistics, it’s easy to see that business is good. It has been growing consistently now for several years, especially as the demand for new construction rises to keep up with a lack of overall inventory. When it is going well people take notice, and many begin to contemplate what it’s like to be in real estate sales.

As a Realtor® and sales associate with Long & Foster for over 15 years, coupled with a housing background beginning in 1985, I’ll say that our business is rewarding and enjoyable. It is also one of the most demanding when you plan to make it your “career”, the primary means of earning your living. I would argue that it is without a doubt a full-time professional occupation that often demands weekend and evening hours.

As the office manager for Long & Foster Strawberry Street Sales located in Richmond’s Fan district, I continually meet and discuss business prospects with new and experienced agents seeking to begin or improve their careers.  It is easy to explain how Long & Foster has enjoyed the last 50 years as a real estate leader when you consider all the training, tools, and systems we continually offer our agents. As a result, our sales associates are better prepared and more productive than the nationwide industry average. Contact me if you would like to learn more about the Long & Foster career advantage, I’m happy to share what a fulfilling career in real estate looks like today.

John VanderSyde
Long & Foster Real Estate
Managing Broker
Strawberry Street Sales Office

Why Bother Preparing My House For Sale in a Busy Market?

Happy Mother’s day! We hope you find comfort in knowing that “a mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take.” Cardinal Mermillod.

One of our good friends asked about the importance of how a property shows during a frenzied real estate market. His point was that it is surely not as vital how a home is presented to buyers when in many cases the house sells as soon as, and sometimes before the sign goes in the yard. The idea that “staging” a home, or getting it “market-ready” is somehow less important to buyers because they are just going to snap it up without caring about what it looks like, so this should make no difference to the seller. In fact, the seller could save time and money just putting it out there as it is, letting the buyer be concerned about to overall condition once they own it.

That would be a great idea, I said, if the seller doesn’t mind compromising on the sales price. In fact they are likely to leave money on the table if they don’t take the time to prepare their home for the sales process. We make all kinds of suggestions as Realtors® to our clients as to what they might consider doing to improve the presentation of their property to prospective buyers. It doesn’t matter if it is a good market or a stale one, the fact remains that if you prepare to sell your home by making improvements and staging, you are more likely to get a better price and sell it in a shorter period of time than if you don’t do it. It makes a significant difference in any type of market.

Not to mention that once a buyer has won the bid to purchase their home, the reality of walking through and inspecting a property that hasn’t been maintained elicits a sense of buyer’s remorse. They may feel they overpaid for the house, and then the wheels start turning as to how they might recoup their money, or even get out of the contract. There are multiple scenarios to these questions that a qualified real estate professional is prepared to discuss with you. It’s always best to choose your most trusted real estate advisor to be on your team when buying or selling your next home.

Long & Foster Ranked #1 for Ethics

Richmond Times-Dispatch Ranks Long & Foster High Among 65 Companies Surveyed

Here is the link for the article on the L&F Newsroom.

Long & Foster Real Estate, the nation’s No. 1 independent residential real estate brand, has once again been honored by the Richmond Times-Dispatch as one of the 2018 Top Workplaces in the Richmond region. The company earned the No. 1 ranking overall for Ethics, as well as the No. 3 ranking among large companies on the newspaper’s Top Workplaces list.

The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey, which is administered by research partner Energage, a leading provider of technology-based employee engagement tools. Several aspects of workplace culture are measured in the anonymous survey, including alignment, execution and connection. The survey was conducted from December 4 to December 18, 2017.

The Times-Dispatch recognized 65 companies in four categories, ranging by the organization’s size. The Richmond region of Long & Foster earned honors in the Top Workplaces large companies category, which recognizes businesses with 400 to 999 employees, and it won top place for Ethics among all of the participating companies.

The awards ceremony was held at the Altria Theatre in Richmond. Honored guests at the Long & Foster table included the company’s Richmond area employees who were nominated earlier this year for the organization’s own Foster Family Awards, which recognize employees for excellence in real estate. Those employees in attendance included Danielle Venturo, branch services coordinator in the Grove office, Lisha Doss, branch services coordinator in the Tuckahoe office, and Debbie Shobe, executive assistant in the Richmond regional office.

“It’s a high honor for our region to be the top winner overall for ethics, as well as the recipient of the Top Workplace award,” said Brian Haug, senior vice president and regional manager of Long & Foster in Richmond. “This award is a true testament to our agents and employees who work hard every day to provide our clients with the best possible experience – just as Long & Foster has done for the last 50 years.”

“The Ethics award says it all. Our company is based on trust, family and excellence and we all pride ourselves in having strong values and ethics. To be recognized for this prestigious award is just awesome,” said Dawn Bradley.

This is not the first time Long & Foster has been named one of Richmond’s top firms—the real estate brokerage was honored as a Top Workplace in 2015 and 2016. The company also has been recognized as one of the Top Workplaces in other areas in which it operates, including Delaware.

“The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest. And oftentimes, people assume it’s all about fancy perks and benefits.” says Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics. “But to be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees.”

“We are honored to have once again been recognized not only as a Top Workplace, but also for the receiving the highest honor for ethics overall in Richmond,” said Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “Receiving awards such as these are quite an honor and helps validate our efforts and dedication to all our agents, employees and clients throughout the region. It’s these efforts that enable us to remain the top real estate company in Richmond and in the Mid-Atlantic.”

For more information, visit

Are there any risks with multiple offers?

As a Realtor® one of the benefits of our business is that we have continuing education classes that we must take in order to maintain our real estate license. This week I attended, “Handling Multiple Offers”, which in many locations of the Richmond area real estate market is extremely pertinent. This is certainly not the case everywhere, but in the ultra-high-demand areas such as the Fan, Museum District, near West End, and some other urban and “high walk-score” locations, it is absolutely the case.

If you are not familiar with these situations you should know that multiple offers, with extremely favorable terms and conditions for sellers, highest and best offers, escalation clauses, and all-cash deals are extremely frequent. Much of the conversation and questions in our class focused on what buyers are doing to make their contract rise above others to gain the seller’s attention. Our presenter, an attorney, was quick to point out the risks and rewards of certain transactional behaviors.

“As is” purchase agreements where the buyer is waiving their inspection rights are increasingly popular. The risk and burden it places on the purchaser is extremely high and should not be considered with a light heart. It sometimes means the difference in getting a property, but if you have lost the opportunity to ask for repairs, or the chance the void the contract, or you don’t have the funds to take care of problems on your own, it is not likely to be the best action you can take. Consider your decisions carefully and engage a licensed Realtor® to be your most trusted advocate in any real estate transaction. The savings to you could be priceless!


This article is to be featured in RTD “Ask the Expert” 4/29/18

Gary Scott’s Friday Focus to Long & Foster

Podcast with Dave Sanderson

Good Morning and Happy Friday! It is hard to believe we are already in April. I hope everyone enjoyed last week’s edition of Friday Focus. Congratulations to Villanova and Jay Wright. If you watched the game, pre-game or post-game, the word “culture” was used often to describe the key to success of the Villanova basketball team. Great teams win championships, not necessarily the great players.

Today, I want to share with you that this past Monday I participated in my first podcast with Dave Sanderson. Most of you have seen Dave speak, and I referred to his book, Moments Matter, in my Friday Focus email a few weeks ago. Dave was the last person off the plane that Capt. Sully miraculously landed safely in the Hudson. We all experience either personal and professional “breakthroughs” or defining moments. Dave also suggests that we all experience our personal and professional “plane crashes.” The breakthroughs and personal plane crashes ultimately define who we are, who we become and how we impact the lives of those we lead. In preparation for the hour-long podcast, Dave sent me a questionnaire that really triggered reflection. I thought I would share some of the questions with you to review and think about your answers.

  1. What is most important to you in your life?
  2. Was there a moment in your life that you didn’t pay attention that cost you something?
  3. As a leader in your profession, what single trait do you think helped you get to where you are today?
  4. Can you identify a “breakthrough” that helped define who you are today?
  5. Do you have any mentors in your life that impacted your life and leadership success today?
  6. What is one piece of advice you would give to a college senior that would benefit them the most as they enter the next chapter of their life?

I hope these questions stimulate your thoughts and reflection. Thank you for all you do, and how well you do it. The first quarter of 2018 is in the record books.

Have a great weekend, and make today count!

Exclusive Affiliate