Get Ready to Sell: A Home Seller’s Guide to the Northern Virginia Market
Savvy home sellers don’t sell without knowing what the housing market’s like. If you have a home in Northern VA, here’s what you need to know about the Northern Virginia market.
Thinking of selling your Northern Virginia home this year? If you are, don’t hesitate and get your house on the market ASAP.
Because the announcement of Amazon’s second headquarters (HQ2) coming to the Arlington area has driven up sales prices substantially and they’re only expected to increase more as the spring sales season takes off. Not only have prices increased, but the number of homes sold has also surged too.
If you are going to sell this year, make sure you understand everything you need to know about the Virginia market so you can get top dollar for your home. Keep reading to learn more.
The Northern Virginia Market in 2018
In fall 2018, the Virginia market was slowing down. The number of homes sold was dropping and the prices were on their way down too. High demand and low supply are usually good for sellers — except when sales prices go so high that they are pricing people out of the market.
While home prices have been rising, so have interest rates. The Federal Reserve raised the benchmark interest rate a whopping 4 times in 2018. This means that mortgage interest rates are inching towards 5% (and that’s only for buyers with stellar credit).
The rise in home prices, coupled with a rise in interest rates, means that buyers can no longer afford homes in many areas since wages haven’t been increasing at the same rate.
If you’ve been following the news or are familiar with the Virginia market, you know where this story is going.
Things weren’t looking great in September and October 2018. But on November 13, Amazon made an announcement that would be a game changer for the housing market in the northern Virginia/Washington DC area.
When Amazon announced that HQ2 would be located in the Crystal City area of Arlington, housing prices have made a significant jump.
The Northern Virginia Market in 2019
Now that we are about 4 months into 2019, the housing market in northern Virginia hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. During the first quarter of 2019, home sales have been brisk.
The mild winter allowed the spring selling season to get off to an early start, and the number of homes sold in January and February was the highest it’s been in a decade. The inventory is extremely low, so homes are selling for above asking price, open house traffic is heavy, homes are selling quickly, and sellers are getting multiple offers.
As the year continues, experts are predicting that the market will continue to be hot. So if you are considering selling your home, the timing couldn’t be better.
Don’t just rely on a hot market to get top dollar for your home. Make sure you are getting it ready to sell and making it attractive for buyers. A home that is nicely maintained, staged well, and marketed to the right buyer will get you even more money in a hot market.
How to Get Top Dollar For Your Home
Have we convinced you to sell yet? If you’re ready to take the plunge and list your home, make sure you do your research ahead of time. Don’t just list it and see what happens.
1. Find a Good Real Estate Agent
A good real estate agent is invaluable. Never underestimate the value of an experienced real estate agent. They can guide you on repairs and staging, pricing your home, handle showings and open houses, and represent your interests in any negotiations.
2. Price it Right
One thing that your real estate agent can do is help guide you on price. Don’t just pick a number of the air. Your real estate agent should do some homework for you.
They’ll look at comps, market value, what your home has that others on the market or previously sold don’t have, etc. This information will be used to determine the listing price.
This might be one of the most important decisions you make when you are listing your home. Price it too high, and people won’t even consider it. Price it too low, and people might wonder if there is some hidden problem with the home. Do everything you can to get the price right when you first list.
3. Do Any Necessary Repairs or Upgrades
Before you sell is the time to finally do those repairs or upgrades necessary. Spending a little money on some updates will often pay off big when you go to sell.
Old, stained carpet? Now’s the time for new floors. Paint that’s dull and dingy? Repaint in a neutral color. Paint is a quick and cheap way to transform an entire room.
4. Improve Curb Appeal
Your yard, landscaping, and front door are the first things potential buyers see when arriving at your home. Make sure they welcome the buyer and make him or her want to come home there every day.
Yards should be mowed, landscaping should be weed-free, your porch should be clean and neat, and your front door free of any dings, dirt, or tarnished knobs and locks.
If your front door is looking less-than-fresh, it might time for a new coat of paint, knob, and locks or even a whole new door.
5. Staging Is a Must
Staging your home so the potential buyers can see themselves living there is a must. Get rid of family pictures, personal items, and things that make them think of you living there.
Part of staging is decluttering. Clean out those closets, storage areas, garages, you name it. Get rid of some stuff or even rent a storage unit. You want to show the buyer how big and open the closets and storage are, and they can’t see that if your things are overflowing.
7. Have Great Photos
A good real estate agent will hire a professional photographer or if he or she is experienced, will take photos with a professional-grade camera. No iPhone photos, please! Great photos will have buyers clamoring to get in for a showing first and they cost you little to nothing.
Put away any clutter, clear the countertops, turn on all the lights and open the curtains and blinds, and make everything spotless (and please, close the toilet lids before taking photos!).
Pro pictures will make your home look amazing.
The northern Virginia market is hot. Spring selling season is in full swing, so don’t waste any more time. Get your house ready to sell and get it listed. If you’re looking for a dedicated professional to sell your home, contact us today.