Sell Your Home 'Fast & Easy' in Today's Competitive Northern Virginia Market
Sell Your Home ‘Fast and Easy’ in Today’s Competitive Northern Virginia Market
by Vicki and Patrick Cloud
With the projection of interest rates rising slightly throughout the year, it still remains a great time to sell your home in Northern Virginia. The demand for homes is high in this market so home values are increasing every month. However, the Northern Virginia market is a competitive area so to start the year, here are some fast selling secrets and advice, Patrick and I, would like to pass on to better sell your home to buyers who are a little more market savvy.
Fast Selling Secret #1: Find a Super Agent
Start with interviewing three area agents. Make sure the one you choose knows the market and brings three comparisons (comps) of recently sold homes to discuss the potential list price of your home. Also, make sure your broker has a good team behind him or her and has examples of marketing materials to effectively market your house locally and over the internet – a tech-savvy realtor has many tools and a solid plan to get your house sold!
Fast Selling Secret #2: Decide on the Right Price
Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it since an emotional attachment is involved, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market and the reason you have a highly experienced professional realtor on your side.
Fast Selling Secret #3: Clean out the Clutter
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets, either donate or pack up nonessentials to store elsewhere, then neatly organize what’s left. Buyers will look everywhere, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.
Fast Selling Secret #4: Lighten & Brighten
Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer wants in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, repaint a dark room a lighter color, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.
Fast Selling Secret #5: A Pet-free Presence
Not everyone loves pets. Potential buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel or a friend’s house for the day. That way, a buyer won’t be distracted from focusing on the beauty of your home
Fast Selling Secret #6: Small Improvements add up Big
Look at your home with fresh eyes. Your realtor should also help you identify what needs attention. Quick fixes before selling almost always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.
Fast Selling Secret #7: Back to the Basics
Buyers have to imagine that your house can be their home. One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage or keep it at a friend’s house. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Rearrange your furniture to best showcase how the rooms should be used and maximize the space.
Fast Selling Secret #8: The Kitchen is the Heart of a Home
The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high-end appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.
Fast Selling Secret #9: Always be “Show-Ready”
You never know when a buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come by and see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little time consuming, but it will get your house sold.
Fast Selling Secret #10: A First Impression Makes a Lasting Impression
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important, so clear it up, put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and make it inviting by putting in a small bench and a vase of fresh-cut flowers.
These are just a few of our suggestions to sell your home fast. Remember, realtors, like Patrick and I, want to get the highest price for you, too, so by working together we can sell your house in record time!