Top 10 Secrets for Success When Selling a Home in the Washington DC Area
1. Prepare the house
You only get one chance to make a great first impression. When a buyer opens your door, that first impression sets the tone for the rest of the house tour. If you leave up family photos or trip souvenirs people will look at those items, not the house. Those sorts of items prevent people from imagining themselves living in the house. De-personalize and de-clutter: pack up all of your knick knacks, anything that is sitting on top of a counter, table or other flat surface. Pack away anything you haven’t used in a year. Donate items to charity, discard or store as much as possible of what remains, thinking ahead to the fact that you’ll be moving soon so you will be better prepared when the movers arrive.
2. Anticipate the upcoming home inspection
Buyers care about things like the age of the roof, the HVAC system and the hot water heater. They will certainly be concerned about any indication of water issues in the basement, a common problem in our area. They will want foundation problems and other looming concerns to be addressed. You should take care of those things before putting the property on the market if you want to get top dollar. If not, don’t bother and price the property as a fixer upper or handyman special.
3. You can never have too much curb appeal
Stage the exterior with fresh paint, immaculate landscaping and even outdoor furniture to set up a Sunday brunch on the deck. Buyers often fantasize about enjoying their backyards by entertaining and spending time outside. Keep in mind that you are not only selling a house, you are selling a dream.
4. Get great photos
Studies show that having more than six photos for a listing dramatically increases the online viewership, and online exposure is what increases the number of buyers who come to see the house in real life. Showing no pictures indicates you have something to hide, or at the very least, nothing great to show off.
5. On line marketing is what really matters
The majority (92%) of home buyers start their house hunt online, and they won’t get into the car to come see your home in person if the online listing isn’t compelling. For real estate that really means photos, visual tours, and floor plans.
6. Price it right
All the preparation and effort won’t matter at all if you are priced too high. Buyers are very educated about comparable neighborhood sales and use the web to get your tax record. When a home is priced too high all the buyers will see are the little flaws that make them question the price, and every house has flaws. When a house is priced right, buyers won’t notice those little things, and instead will focus on all of the beautiful attributes of the house. If a house is underpriced, the market will certainly respond and demand will push the sales price to the right level.
7. Find an agent that you trust
Find an experienced real estate agent to list your home, who has a successful track record of selling homes in your area, and then listen to his or her recommendations. Find a real estate agent you can trust, then follow your agent’s advice. Your home is the place where you live, but your property is now a product to sell, and a top agent knows best how to do that. Without question, an agent will work hard and yield you more money on the sale than you could have made selling it yourself.
8. Keep an eye on the competition
Work with your agent to get educated about the price, type of sale, and condition of the other houses your home is up against. Attend open houses in your neighborhood and do a real estate realty check, because buyers that see your home will also see those homes. Make sure the real-time comparison will come out in your favor by ensuring the condition of your home is up to par.
9. It’s not sold till it’s sold
From the time of contract ratification to sitting at the settlement table, there are a myriad of things that can go wrong in the process. This is where the knowledge and skills of an experienced real estate agent come in. We need to the remove purchase contingency, make sure the buyer’s financing remains intact, and be sure to address any and all questions that come up along the way.
You just sold a home and are able to move on with your life. When downsizing, upsizing, or moving out of town, getting your house sold for the most amount of money and the least amount of stress possible is what this is all about.