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Sellers, thinking about listing your DC home for sale, but unsure of the steps to take and in which order? To avoid unnecessary spending and effort, follow this guideline. Oh, and when you reach the bottom of the page, click on me to get a free home evaluation and start your selling process!


Most homes will need at least some of these. Along with location and attributes, a key factor in maximizing the profit on your home will be its perceived condition.


Estimate repairs before listing your DC home for sale in order to factor the cost into your listing price. Big-ticket items which are worn, dated or non-functional (carpeting or hardwood flooring, HVAC units, roofing, windows, appliances) are best addressed prior to listing. These items matter to buyers and will be factored into offer price. Estimates will serve you in knowing which you can afford to do before open houses begin, and the cost of the rest in case a buyer asks for a credit.


The potential costs of updating before listing a DC home for sale are often higher than anticipated. But so are the returns. We work with sellers to estimate the cost of repairs and updates vs their estimated ROI (return on investment). You can net a lot more for your home--on top of what you spend--by making it the turnkey home your target buyer wants. Paying for that can sometimes be inconvenient, especially when you're purchasing another home. That's why Compass created Compass Concierge. They front the funds without fee or interest, and they're paid back at settlement.


Do some homework on the values associated with updating your home. Consult us before actually doing any work, as we will have recommendations and selection advice to ensure your choices reflect those of your target buyer and market trends. Some investments will net you more on resale than others, so be sure to take this into consideration before jumping into a project.


Assemble paperwork for title insurance, significant past repairs or additions, warranties, monthly and annual maintenance contracts, etc. If your home was purchased within the past 10 years, your buyer may qualify for a reissue rate on title insurance. Find your title policy and have it available because many buyer agents will require it as a term of the purchase contract. Do you have a home warranty that is transferrable? If so, make that information easily accessible to the buyer when they go under contract. Are any of your major components still under warranty? HVAC, roof, plumbing, major repairs—all receipts and warranties will help. If you haven’t lived in the home long, do you have a copy of the home inspection report from your purchase? Receipts from contractors or other service providers? User manuals for appliances and electronics that will stay with the home should also be included. Floor plans, blueprints and other architectural or historic designation documents are a boon to buyers and should be made available. Find these documents before you put your DC home on the market, and place them in a folder you can use to gather all documentation relating to the sale (new inspection report, receipts, etc.). Make sure you create an electronic copy of key items like floor plans for your Realtor. You’ll be asked for them at several points during the transaction and need some in order to complete your DC Seller Property Disclosure when listing.


If you’re selling a condo, townhouse or co-op, the fixes differ from those recommended for single family homes. Even though you’re not permitted to make changes to the exterior of the premises, there are things you can do inside and to personal outdoor space to help your home sell quickly and at a good price.

  • Submit a request 30-90 days in advance of listing to your association/management company to have scuffed hallways touched up, hallway & entrance flooring cleaned, common area wall nicks and scrapes repaired, dim or burned out lights replaced, ask to have your front door painted/repaired/replaced if it is peeling, chipped or warped and make sure locks work smoothly
  • Create an inviting space on your patio or balcony if you have one, by decluttering, cleaning stains, light fixtures and rails
  • Townhome owners can correct or replace warped or weather-damaged deck boards, repair fences and gates
Condo and townhome owners should also request the following information from the association:
  • Copy of rules and regulations
  • Advice on whether or not 'for sale' signs are allowed on the grounds and if so, where
  • Ask for the current investor ratio, FHA and VA status, and any rental rules and restriction details