How To Sell Your Home Fast For Top Dollar

Selling Your Home

How To Sell Your Home Fast For Top Dollar

How To Prepare Your House for Sale and Attract Buyers in the DMV



Selling your home?

The Washington, DC housing market can be tough, but preparing your house for sale can result in more offers and a faster sale. Prepping your home can involve anything from doing a deep clean to making minor repairs and updates. It takes some effort, but it’s always worth it.

Follow this step-by-step process on how to prepare a house for sale in the Washington, DC metro area.


Connect With a Real Estate Agent



My number one advice when selling a home is to hire an expert listing agent. While it may be tempting to sell on your own, for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) homes typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes. 

According to a 2022 report by the National Association of Realtors, FSBO homes sold at a median price of $225,000, much lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $345,000. This means that hiring an agent can put an average of $120,000 back in your pocket.

Your real estate agent is your biggest advocate and works on your behalf from listing to closing. Agents are experts in their market and are required to have the best interests of their clients in mind. Plus, a top agent can relieve a lot of stress and help you craft a winning home-selling strategy.


Create an Actionable Plan



Once you have your real estate agent, it’s time to create a selling strategy, starting with pricing your home. Sellers have more bargaining power in the DC housing market and the surrounding area, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a plan to attract the best offers.

Property values are always shifting, so agents typically rely on comparable sales, or comps, for guidance. Your real estate agent will perform a comparative market analysis (CMA), which is an estimate of a home’s price based on similar properties recently sold in the same area. A detailed CMA will provide a list of comparable properties within a certain radius, a summary of each comp and what they sold for, a map, charts, and more.

Next, your agent will advise you on how to prepare your home for sale, such as identifying improvements to attract more buyers, and then put together a marketing strategy. Your agent will schedule open house events and may promote your home on social media, produce high-quality videos, or hire a professional photographer. 


How to Prepare a House For Sale



Your home’s condition plays a big role in how quickly your home sells and what it sells for. Here are some tips on how to prepare your house for sale in the DC market. 


Make Repairs



Does your HVAC system need maintenance? Are there any serious problems like a roof leak or electrical issues? It’s best to get these fixed before listing your home. 

Selling as-is saves you on time and upfront costs, but a majority of home buyers prefer a home that’s move-in ready. Your home is also more likely to sell for more if you do repairs.

Go through your home room by room and make a list of necessary repairs. Another option is to hire a home inspector to get ahead of the buyer’s home inspection. A pre-listing inspection can reveal problems and eliminate surprises that could affect the sale of your home.


Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

In real estate, first impressions matter. You don’t need to do any major renovations, but small updates can significantly boost your home’s curb appeal and make it more enticing to buyers.

According to the NAR’s 2023 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features, 92% of Realtors suggest that sellers improve the curb appeal of their home before listing it for sale. When working with a residential seller, 97% of NAR members believe curb appeal is important in attracting a buyer, and 98% believe curb appeal is important to a potential buyer.

Most Realtors also recommend owners complete landscaping-related features. Even simple projects, such as trimming bushes, mowing the lawn, adding some flowers, sprucing up your entryway, or repainting your home’s exterior, can do wonders for your home. 


Declutter and Depersonalize

Empty out as much as you can from your home before listing it for sale. Too much “stuff” can make your space feel cluttered and unusable. Create an open and inviting area and maximize the space that can be used.

Go room by room and empty out closets, cabinets, attics, and other storage areas. Take everything you intend to keep and store it inside storage bins and set them aside in the basement, garage, or rent out a storage unit. Make sure your furniture doesn’t block doorways or windows, and consider removing furniture that appears too bulky.

While you’re decluttering, you can also depersonalize your home. Depersonalizing gives buyers a blank slate to envision themselves and their belongings in the home. Take down photos, souvenirs, diplomas, and any other personal items.

Your agent can help guide you through this process. You can also hire a professional organizer to help you declutter and organize your home if you don’t have the time to do it yourself.


Clean Top to Bottom



After you declutter, deep clean your entire house, focusing most of your attention on high-traffic areas like the kitchen and bathrooms. The goal is to not only clean but to create an inviting atmosphere.

Grab your cleaning supplies and go room by room. Dust and clean the walls, ceiling fans, countertops, light fixtures, vents, upholstery, blinds, and drapery. Clean all windows inside and out and sweep, vacuum, and wash the floors. Give your kitchen appliances a good scrub and clean your bathtubs, showers, sinks, and toilets.

You can do this work yourself or hire a professional cleaning service. Hiring a cleaning pro ensures every corner of your home is sparkling clean and saves you time. 


Stage Your Home

Home staging ensures your home is putting its best foot forward. Staging a home means you’re preparing a home for potential buyers. It involves rearranging furniture, redecorating, and making other aesthetically pleasing adjustments.

Staging a home can help buyers emotionally connect with the home and increase its perceived value. A 2023 NAR report on home staging found that most buyers’ agents (81%) said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. Buyers’ agents also stated that having photos (77%), traditional physical staging (58 %), videos (74 %), and virtual tours (42 %) available for their listings was much more important to their clients.


List It!



At this point, your home should be ready for sale! Your real estate agent will have photos taken of your house for the listing and begin marketing. On average, homes in DC sell after 38 days on the market; however, keep in mind that this number always changes. If you took the steps to prep your home for sale, you should start to see people showing interest within days or weeks of listing your home.


Are you selling your home in Washington DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia? Send me a message and schedule a time to discuss how we can create a personalized selling plan for your home!

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Whether you’re buying or selling a home (or both), your success hinges upon the expert advice and services provided by your real estate agent. I’m committed to providing my clients with professional services based on my experience, knowledge and skills.

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