Washington DC is one of the most desirable places to live in the country. And real estate values over time support that assertion. According to the Freddie Mac House Price Index, Washington DC real estate values are up 39% since the 2008 housing market peak. This happened even as much of the country and surrounding states’ real estate values have failed to recover.
What’s more, according to, DC home values have increased 3.2% just in the previous year. But it’s not all good news on the horizon; this same model predicts average home values will decline by 2.1% in the next year. All that is to say that now is a good time to capitalize on the home equity you’ve earned and sell a house in Washington DC!
In a market like DC’s, house sales can happen fast. If you’re considering selling, you can start taking steps now to ensure a smooth process and maximal value. And if you want to make sure that the process is smooth and moves forward on your timeline, work with MarketPro Homebuyers. Our cash homebuying process is fair, convenient, and easy for everyone. In the meantime, think about few of the steps you’ll have to go through to sell your home in D.C. through a traditional listing:
1. Determine where you’ll live next
Before you move out, think: where will you go next? Depending on your life stage you may want to downsize or use your earned equity for a down payment on a house with more space. Or even rent or travel without a mortgage payment while you decide what’s next.
If you’re eager to sell to capitalize on the current market, consider negotiating with the buyer, or making a condition upon the sale, to rent back your house for a month or two as you secure your next spot.
2. Decide what time of year you want to sell
Believe it or not, real estate sales are seasonal. In fact, there are substantial pros and cons to selling your home in each season. For example, most realtors agree that fall is the hardest time of year to sell, while spring the easiest. Summer generally has the most listings and most competition to sell. Surprisingly, winter can be a prime time to sell due to a reduced supply, but you’ll have limited ability to show the house in-person.
Depending on your property, you may be drawn to a season with less selling competition or more buyers. But the reality is that houses sell all year round so it’s best to make the decision to sell on a timeline that works for you.
3. Find a realtor in the Washington DC area
Hiring the right realtor can earn you extra money and save you lots of stress. Some realty companies, like MarketPro Homebuyers, will buy your house with a fair cash offer and you won’t need to pay closing costs, realtor fees, repair expenses, and you can skip the headache of the selling process entirely.
Regardless of who you choose as a realtor, make sure it’s someone that you trust to handle the job and have rapport with. You’ll need to work together to set the price for the house, stage the house, post photos and advertise the house online, coordinate showings, and sort through offers.
4. Settle on the right price
Determining the listing price is usually done by a real estate agent. In a market as competitive as DCs you may be tempted to price it high. But buyers are turned off by an overpriced house and dropping the price gives the appearance that something is wrong. In DC, many desirable homes have competing offers and ultimately sell above the asking price. Finally, if you need to sell your home quickly, consider selling it for a cash offer, as is.
5. Clean and declutter
Regardless of your philosophy on possessions and clutter, you’ll likely need to remove your personal items when you sell, so you may as well do it sooner. Even if it’s not a personal priority, a clean and sparse house is appealing to potential home buyers. You can hire a professional service or do it yourself but be sure there are no lingering smells from pets or smoking and that even the walls are dusted, floors cleaned, and bathrooms sparkling.
6. Make repairs
In a market like DC’s your house doesn’t need to be in perfect condition to sell fast. But to maximize your value it’s best to make as many minor, simple repairs as you can before listing your house. A leaky faucet or missing hardware fixtures are minor issues but can detract from the overall appeal of the house, so fix what you can.
If your house needs major repairs that might cause it to fail a home inspection or prevent a bank from lending for it, like a broken sewer line or unstable foundation, then you’ll need to either make the repairs before listing, as a stipulation of the sale, or you’ll need to take a cash offer as described above.
7. Maximize curb appeal
Buyers judge a house the minute they step out of the car. A house’s curb appeal (or lack of appeal) can charm or sour a buyer’s view from the outset. Be sure your house is appealing from the street. Neat landscaping with flowers, green grass, a clean sidewalk and driveway, outdoor lighting, and new paint all go a long way toward giving potential buyers a favourable first impression. Today though, with the ongoing restrictions brought on by COVID-19 and social distancing, you’ll also need to be sure that you maximize your “virtual appeal” by staging your house and posting high quality, professional photos.
If you own a home in the DC area, now is one of the best times to sell your house. There are many ways you can maximize the home equity you’ve earned, and hopefully these seven steps can inform your decision and help you succeed in selling your house.