Selling Your Northern Virginia Home this Summer? Start Now!

By the time you read this, the summer housing market here in Northern Virginia will be in full swing. While housing inventory begins to taper in early June, demand is as strong as ever. Families are eager to lock in a home before the fall bustle begins, and homeowners who start right now can still get an offer at the season’s top prices.

Here are the strategies we use to help our sellers get in front of summertime buyers before demand – and prices – wind down.

  1. Develop a Quick-to-the-Market Plan

During other times of the year, it can be worthwhile to spend extra time preparing your home for sale. Taking time to do extensive improvements can up your sale price in more relaxed buying and selling seasons. But by June, the best strategy is to stick to essential repairs and minor cosmetic improvements.

We often recommend getting a pre-inspection to identify any major problems, and we always do a full walk-through to determine what touch-ups should be completed. Sit down with an experienced local real estate agent who is familiar with the likes and dislikes of your home’s buyer demographic. Together, create a plan that will make your home market-ready in 30 days or less.

  1. Get to Work, Yesterday!

Once you have a detailed, quick-to-the-market plan, get to work right away. If your agent is experienced and well-connected, he or she will refer you to a team of professionals for every job on your list. At our office, we have relationships with over 20 contractors, plumbers, landscapers, painters, and more, who have consistently completed our clients’ jobs on time and within budget.

In addition to the work assigned to contractors, your agent should give you a list of items for you to complete. The work you can begin doing immediately (even while the contractors are pounding away) includes de-cluttering, de-personalizing, and packing. The final job will be to do a thorough housecleaning, and this can be accomplished in an afternoon with a team of maids.

  1. Market Like You Mean It

After your fix-ups are complete, your agent will begin the listing process. This includes pricing, staging, photographing, and marketing.

Once your home is ready to show, your agent should create high-end online and print listing packages and present your home to the real estate community right away. Before we formally list a home, we present it personally to other top agents in Northern Virginia. Creating this buzz can lead to multiple offers within a few days of listing. Additionally, once your home is officially on the market, it needs to be marketed aggressively and consistently across every channel relevant to your buyers.

With the summertime being one of Northern Virginia’s most competitive homebuying seasons, an effective marketing plan can improve your sale price by as much as 7 percent. Before you agree to work with an agent, ask him or her about how they will market your home.

  1. Be Ready to Move

The majority of summer buyers are anxious to complete their move before the school year starts. Keep this in mind from the beginning, and be prepared to hand over the keys shortly after entering into a contract.

This means moving into your replacement home as soon as you are able, or if that’s not an option, making living arrangements for the layover period. Whether this means staying with a relative or getting an extended-stay hotel suite, be prepared ahead of time rather than scrambling at the last minute. If buyers have to wait out a contingency on your home (meaning, they won’t be able to move in until you buy another house), you will receive fewer offers and a lower sale price.

Here at the Ashley Leigh Team, we’ve been helping Linton Hall and homeowners all across Northern Virginia get the best price for their home for over 2 decades. For help with your next move, give us a call at 703-485-HOME.

by Ashley Leigh

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