Thinking of selling a home in Fairfax Station, VA? It’s important to understand that if you expect to make money on your home, you’ve got to give yourself plenty of time to prepare—which can mean planning months ahead of the date you’d actually like to move. Here’s what you should do to sell your Fairfax Station home.
10 Steps to Selling a Home in Fairfax Station
Step 1: Find an experienced Fairfax Station agent
One of the best things you can do for yourself as a home seller is to find an experienced and qualified local real estate agent. A good agent will guide you through the entire selling process and ensure that your home sells quickly and for the maximum possible amount of money.
Looking for a great Fairfax Station agent? Find out more about our qualifications and experience.
Step 2: Consider repairs and improvements
If you want to sell your home for top dollar, you’ve got to get it looking its best. However, you don’t want to fall prey to the misconception that expensive home improvements are the best or the only way to sell your home for more. While you probably don’t want to list your home with large maintenance issues or unfinished projects, you also don’t want to spend more money than you're going to recoup.
Not sure where to start? Ask your agent! An experienced agent knows which improvements are worth the money—and which simply won’t pay off.
Step 3: Set the price right
A crucial step to ensuring the highest return on your investment is finding a competitive price. Many sellers are tempted to price their homes high, thinking they can drop down if needed, but the reality is that this pricing method just doesn’t work. Instead, work with your agent to determine what your home is actually worth based on the current market and homes that have recently sold in the area.
Step 4: Prepare & stage your home
Once you’ve got your home in tip-top shape, it’s time to work on some of the more aesthetic details. That means decluttering, cleaning, and decorating. While the decluttering is on you, your agent may be able to recommend a great cleaning service to get your home sparkling. A good agent may also offer staging services to really get your home looking fantastic.
Step 5: Market your home
Now that your home looks better than it ever has, it’s time to get buyers looking at it. Your agent will play a big role in ensuring that your property reaches the maximum number of potential home buyers searching in the Fairfax Station area.
A good agent will have a number of methods for getting your home seen. This should include a variety of online platforms, like a listing in the local MLS (complete with high-quality photos), social media posts, and a feature on their own website.
Step 6: Show your home
If a buyer likes your home online, they’ll likely want to schedule a tour to see it in person. Ideally, you want to be as flexible as possible when allowing buyers into your home. The last thing you want to do is prevent a potential buyer from seeing your home by being too restrictive with your schedule.
You also want to make sure that your home is clean, staged, and ready to welcome buyers inside. It might be helpful to establish a pre-showing checklist!
Step 7: Negotiate and accept an offer
If a buyer loves your home and wants to make an offer, they will submit a purchase agreement detailing the terms and conditions of their offer. This includes their price, the details of their loan and down payment, requested closing dates, and specified contingencies (such as an inspection and appraisal).
Once you receive an offer, you have three options. You may accept it. You may decline it. Or you may issue a counteroffer with modified terms. Once you and the buyer agree on a price and conditions, you’ll both sign a purchase agreement, and you’re officially under contract!
Step 8: Cooperate with due diligence
Most buyers will request a “due diligence” period. This set length of time allows the buyer to do a little investigation into your property to determine if there are any hangups that might prevent them from wanting to complete the purchase. Most commonly, this involves a home inspection, appraisal, and title check. It might also include surveys, or more specified inspections and appraisals.
Step 9: Renegotiate
Should a buyer uncover any potential problems during the due diligence period, they may make some requests. They might ask that you fix a particular maintenance problem or issue a credit so they can fix it after the sale. They might request a price reduction, should the home appraise for less than the purchase price. They might even back out of the sale if they uncover anything too big. (That’s why you should always take care of Step 2 first!)
It’s important to talk over any of these requests with your agent to determine which are fair.
Step 10: Sign, pay & close!
At last; it’s closing day! As the seller, you might actually be able to sign all of your paperwork ahead of time. Otherwise, you’ll sit down with your agent, your attorney, and the buyer to ensure that everything is signed, fees are paid, and you hand over your keys.
Ready to Sell in Fairfax Station?
Thinking of making a move in the Fairfax Station area or another community in Northern Virginia? We'd love to help! Contact us today to find out more about what the Move with Marion team can do for your home-selling goals.