Selling Washington D.C. homes can be tough enough in a perfect environment. Add in mistakes on your part and the task gets even tougher. Worse, it can cost you time and money. If you put your home on the market without taking all the proper steps, it can languish for weeks or even months.
Here are the biggest mistakes you can make and how you can avoid them.
There is any number of items that could top this list when you’re trying to sell your Washington D.C. home, but this is a good place to start. The last thing you should think you can do is to hang out a “For Sale By Owner” sign. Stop right there. You do not want the headache of heading into uncharted waters. Despite what you might read or hear from friends, there are too many potential pitfalls. One misstep could cost you thousands of dollars, and those missteps can be plentiful.
You absolutely need to hire an experienced real estate agent. A good agent will have a deep understanding of the market and will handle the many details needed to sell your home. He or she will help you price your home competitively, advise you on how to prepare for listing and then handle showings and open houses. He or she will advise you which offer is the best to accept and then steer you through the closing.
Throughout the process of selling your Washington D.C. home, your real estate agent will be a constant companion. In order to pick the right one, you need to invest a little time. Get some recommendations from friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Come up with a list of five or six names and take the time to sit down with them. Ask them how they will approach the sale of your home, what work they think you need to do to it, and what they think the market is.
Some agents might seem overbearing. Some might make suggestions that you don’t agree with. Some might come in and blow you away by being down to earth and responsive. By the end of the process, you should have a good feel for one of them. Check their references and sales record. Some might want you to sign a contract, others might not. Once you’ve settled on an agent, you’ve got yourself a team.
This is without a doubt among the biggest errors a seller can make. Even if the market is so hot that offers to pour in above the asking price, you need to price your Washington D.C. home competitively. Once you’ve picked an agent, he or she will come up with a list of “comps,” or comparable properties that have sold in your area. Your agent has access to all kinds of information and knows whether the market is hot or cold. He or she knows that a fair, competitive price will help you sell your house in a reasonable time.
You want your Washington D.C. home to shine to the point that a potential buyer falls in love with it. You don’t want them walking into a messy, poorly maintained home. Take the time to declutter your home as much as possible and clean it from top to bottom. Smartly arrange, or stage, furniture, and another décor so that a buyer gets the full sense of the floor plan. Remove family pictures and other personal items so that buyers can envision their family living in the home.
Your real estate agent will take care of showing your Washington D.C. home to potential buyers as well as scheduling open houses. The last thing he or she will want is for you to stick around and get in the way. Your agent will give you the cue for when to clear out. Go shopping or go to the movies while he or she shows your home. Yes, you’ll want to know how it goes. But rest assured, your agent will have done this hundreds of times and will be sure to fill you in on all the details. If you are hanging around during a showing or open house, potential buyers might feel uneasy and move on to the next property for sale. Let them explore your house at their own pace and without feeling the pressure of you breathing down their neck.
Among the worst things, you can do is outright reject an offer. Unless it’s a seller’s market, it shouldn’t be a surprise that buyers will be trying to get the best deal they can. If you don’t like the price that was offered, or some of the terms that the buyer wants, then submit a counter offer. Your agent is an expert at doing this and will help you come up with a counteroffer that is reasonable, not rash. If you get what you consider to be a lowball offer, submit a counter offer at the full price and see what their response is. Any counter offer will show the buyers that you are serious about working out a deal.
Even though you’ve got an emotional attachment to your home, you’ve made the decision to sell and need to treat it as a business transaction.
If a buyer asks for a carpeting allowance or requests that you leave a certain item in the house, consider saying yes if it will help seal the deal.
Ready to sell your home in 2021? Reach out to an experienced listing agent at the Center Circle Group for assistance.