WHAT ARE THE CHRONOLOGICAL STEPS TO A DC HOME SALE?

Even if you've done it before, the process can be daunting. Here’s a ‘best practices’ list to guide DC sellers through the process of a Washington DC home sale.

REVIEW MARKET TRENDS

Get to know the market. Review market trends particular to your neighborhood and competing neghborhoods. Today's buyers skip around instead of focusing on one neighborhood. Learn which neighborhoods compete with yours in terms of home type, price point, amenities, transportation and popularity. Examine the sales trends compared to those in your own location. This will help you put your property value and target buyer into perspective when your Realtor presents comparables.

PARTNER WITH AN EXPERT

Work with a Realtor who understands your product, location, buyer trends, property packaging and pricing. Your home is in one neighborhood, your buyers will come from many. You need an online marketing expert with knowledge of neighborhoods throughout the District, not just your own, to highlight your home's unique value.

ASSESS YOUR HOME'S POTENTIAL

Your home is probably a great place to live as it is. But how does it stack up as a product against top-selling homes on the market? You'll want the highest return on your investment and the greatest profit to take with you to the next stage of your life. Your agent should be an expert in property packaging and presentation, key components of marketing a DC home. Discuss potential improvements and repairs, as well as staging to appeal to your target buyer. Your agent should be able to offer resources for estimates for any work you decide to perform.

CREATE A GAME PLAN

You and your agent will want to create a plan to prepare your home for sale and market prior to and during the listing period.

IMPLEMENT STEP ONE OF THE PLAN

Get started on your home improvement plan! Remember, you and your agent should decide together what will be done to your home to prepare it for market. Your agent should know what buyers are looking for and how to provide it. Stick to the formula for the best outcome. You can start by de-cluttering and giving the home a professional deep clean.

UPDATING THE HOME

If you're doing some updating and renovation as part of your plan, start on that after decluttering but before deep cleaning. Paint, repair, update, remodel. Your agent will want to have input on these items and may bring in a contractor(s) for estimates. Be sure to research the contractor's credentials, licensing, bonding, insurance and reviews prior to signing an agreement. Break payments up into four stages, not three or two. Inspect work carefully at each stage. Ensure that the contractor(s) and vendors stick to the budget and schedule. If your agent is experienced and capable in managing this process, seek their support.

STAGING AND PRESENTATION

The most successful home sales appeal to the target buyer with presentation of the home. Staging is a key element in presenting a home well. Once your home has been updated and cleaned, have it professionally staged to highlight attributes and downplay drawbacks. Staged homes sell faster and at a higher price. A truly well staged home will capture the emotions of your target buyer. It's style will fit theirs.

PRICING

You may have come in over or under budget on your home's makeover, and while it was being readied for market, it's likely the market has changed. Review the competition and numbers with your agent and agree on a list price.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Photographs are nearly as important as pricing and presentation. Poor photos contribute to higher Days On Market and a lower net profit for you because they generate less traffic. Make sure you're working with an agent who understands the most current trends in real estate marketing and offers top-notch, professional photography.

MARKETING

Your home will be listed on the MRIS, advertised online and with property signs, if allowed. Your agent should create a webpage for your listing, plan an open house and start generating buzz prior to listing on the MRIS. Ask us how pre-listing marketing can benefit you.

OFFERS, NEGOTIATION & CONTRACT

Your agent will guide you through the listing, contract and closing phases of your transaction. Each transaction is different, so be sure to work with an agent who will communicate well and offer explanations and answers in a timely manner.

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