Selling a Home in Capitol Hill

Selling a Home in Capitol Hill

Are you planning to sell a home in Capitol Hill? Selling a home can be complicated and stressful, considering many variables. Luckily, this guide can help. Read on for Thomas Kolker’s guide on making the home selling process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Preparing your house to sell

Selling a home does not begin at listing. It begins several months — or even up to a year — before officially listing on the market. There are certain things you need to do to ensure that you will have a smooth selling experience. Work with a home appraiser who will help you calculate your Capitol Hill property's Fair Market Value (FMV). Knowing your home’s value can help you gauge how much you can expect to sell for your property. You can use the FMV as a guide to set the right price to entice many buyers to make an offer quickly.

There are many real estate agents on Capitol Hill. You need to choose a realtor who specializes in selling Capitol Hill homes. Although this isn’t mandatory, finding someone you have synergy with is a good idea, as you will likely work with them for many months. Consider interviewing a few prospective realtors to help you determine which one would be the best fit for your property. You also want to sell your property for a maximum dollar. Consider doing easy upgrades to bring a high ROI to your home’s value. For example, doing basic landscaping could bring close to 100% ROI.

Home buyers need to visualize their future lives in your home. Declutter and depersonalize your space. Add high-quality furnishings to elevate the appeal of your home. You can then hire a professional photographer to highlight the best features in your Capitol Hill home. 

Staging should also lead to a quick sale — if the timing is right. It is usually best for homeowners to sell in a competitive market with high demand, rising prices, and tight inventory. The season and day that you list your home matters too. Many people search for homes in the spring when the weather is often warm and sunny. List when the market is competitive in the spring to bring more views to your listing. 

Selling your home

Here are six things every homeowner needs to consider when selling a home in Capitol Hill.

1. Listing on the MLS: Many sellers list their properties on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). MLS listings can then be syndicated to other public listing sites, bringing more views (and potentially more offers) to your home. However, for various reasons, you can opt not to list on the MLS but instead sell as a pocket listing, typically marketed through the realtor’s network.

2. Open house & virtual tours: Hosting an open house can help bring more potential local buyers to your property. However, for out-of-state buyers, offering virtual tours can be helpful as they can do a more extensive viewing of the property than what they would see in photographs.

3. Cash vs. traditional: While cash offers are traditionally faster and less likely to fall through, buyers should still consider accepting traditional (financed) offers. Always consider the entire offer, looking at the buyer’s timeline and contingencies offered, and not just the bottom line.

4. Appraisal: Once an offer has been made, you must get your Capitol Hill property appraised. A home appraisal ensures that the home does not sell for above its value.

5. Escrow: Buyers will pay earnest money to show their intent for buying the property. This earnest money will then be placed into an escrow account for the down payment. However, if the transaction falls through, then the seller can generally keep the funds.

6. Closing costs: Sellers in Washington D.C., typically pay, on average, 2.58% of the home's final purchase price. These costs are typically related to the home transfer from the seller to the buyer.

Frequently asked questions about selling your Capitol Hill home

Still have more questions? Here are the most commonly asked questions from homeowners and sellers in Capitol Hill.

How long does it take to sell a home in Capitol Hill?

As of March 2023, the average selling time for many Capitol Hill homes was 26 days.

How can I sell my Capitol Hill house faster?

The day you list can make a difference in how fast you sell. Homes listed on a Thursday often sell faster than any other day. Buyers will usually start searching for homes for sale at the end of the week, visit open houses on the weekend, and then the home can typically go under contract by the following week.

How can I get the most money when selling my Capitol Hill home?

Consider doing minor upgrades to help increase the ROI of your home. For example, painting the walls, replacing light bulbs with energy-efficient ones, and doing basic landscaping have all increased your home’s value.

Is it a good time to sell my Capitol Hill home?

In Capitol Hill, more homes are selling fast, within thirty days, compared to previous months. With increased competition, you will likely sell your Capitol Hill home quickly. However, consider working with an expert realtor to guide you on staging, marketing, and negotiating.

Is staging my home worth it?

Staging a home has been shown to sell faster and for 25% above the asking price.

Can I sell my Capitol Hill home without a realtor?

Although selling a home without a realtor is possible, you will likely have to do all of the work yourself. From choosing the right price to executing effective marketing, it can help to work with an expert who has already done this many times. 

What if my home isn’t paid off yet?

Even if your property hasn’t been paid off, you can still sell it. What typically happens is that sellers use the funds from the sale to pay the rest of the mortgage and closing costs. 

What if I have a tax lien to satisfy?

If you have an outstanding tax lien on your property, you must pay it off. You might be able to use your existing equity or the proceeds from the sale to pay the tax lien.

What do I do if my home listing expires?

For various reasons, your home was not selling as fast as you anticipated, and the listing has expired. You can then reevaluate your home with your realtor and relist your home on the MLS.

Are you interested in selling a home in Capitol Hill? Schedule a consultation with experienced Washington DC real estate agent Thomas Kolker. He can guide you on everything from market trends to negotiation strategies and help you sell your Capitol Hill real estate for top dollar!
Recommended reading: Things to Do in Capitol Hill

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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