Entertaining thoughts of selling your house in Williamsburg, VA lately? If this is a venture you’re seriously considering, you’ve come to the right place. Preparation is key in selling a home. Take it from us! We understand that it’s not as easy as it looks. To prepare you for the process, from finding a Realtor to staging your home, we prepared this definitive guide to selling your Williamsburg, VA.
Why should you hire a Realtor when selling your home?
Know-how of the real estate market
Word-of-mouth can be powerful when it comes to selling real estate, but without market insight and knowledge, it’s not enough if you want to make the most out of your sale. Having a Realtor to represent you and your home is the way to go.
Local Realtors know their markets well enough that they can make their own forecasts depending on current trends. More importantly, they can help you set an asking price for your property that is both realistic and backed by data. And as you might have heard, it’s important to set the right price for your home.
Prices and home values are not the only things Realtors know about their market. They have insight about what buyers are looking for as well. A Realtor can advise you on which updates and renovations can increase your home’s resale value. This will enable you to focus on upgrades that matter and result in returns on your investment.
Communication and negotiation skills
Realtors are blessed with excellent public relations and negotiations skills— it’s an integral part of every real estate transaction they handle. They can navigate most situations, no matter how tricky they are, in order to secure the best deal for your home.
But this communication isn’t limited between your Realtor and potential buyers. When hiring a real estate agent, you should also be able to communicate to them your needs, preferences, and goals clearly. At the same time, your Realtor should know to keep you updated and explain real estate jargon and processes in layman’s terms.
Access to a wide network of professionals
Local Realtors know each other, as well as other people in the business. That includes lenders, appraisers, inspectors, builders, professional home stagers, and other real estate contractors. With a Realtor, you don’t have to constantly search Google pages for the right person to do a certain job— they can recommend a trusted professional instantly. And in case they can’t refer to anyone, they can fall back on their fellow Realtors to connect you to the service you need.
But more importantly, Realtors can easily tap their network to find potential buyers for your home. This will allow you to sell your property fast, especially if you have a tight schedule.
Selling your home in Williamsburg, VA
Real estate regulations vary in every state. Here in the state of Virginia, home sellers are required to submit disclosure agreements before closing.
Certain locations are also considered more sought-after than others. For instance, properties along Second Street, Jamestown Road, and Walnut Hills may sell faster and for a higher price than in other parts of Williamsburg. That said, there are many ways to make your property stand out if it’s located somewhere else. There is also the fact that not all buyers want to stay in these neighborhoods.
Below are several tips that will help you succeed in your home sale.
- Identify your why
What’s motivating you to sell your home? Has it gotten too small for your growing family, or is it too big? Are you relocating somewhere else for a job or a complete change of lifestyle and scenery?
Knowing what your reasons are will help you identify your priorities, whether that’s to sell your home as quickly as possible or making as much of a profit as possible. Moreover, this will help your Realtor come up with a timeline and marketing strategy for your property.
- Study the market
You want your property to be as competitive as possible. A quick search on real estate listing websites will let you know what’s currently available in the local market, what the median listing price is, and how many days properties usually spend on the market.
Once you find a Realtor, you can go on a deeper dive by asking them to prepare a comprehensive marketing analysis (CMA). This pits your property against other homes for sale in your area based on several indicators, such as location, age, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, and other amenities. This will help you arrive at a realistic but attractive listing price.
If you want to go one step further, you can also ask your Realtor to take a look at homes similar to yours that were recently sold in the area. What were their original listing and final sales prices? This will let you know your chances of selling your property for the amount you asked for.
- Make a checklist of home improvements to make
Utilize your Realtor’s local expertise by asking what makes homebuyers in the area tick. What kind of amenities and features are they looking for? Does your property already possess these, or can your home benefit from several minor or major upgrades?
Make an initial list, then narrow them down based on your budget and priorities. Style, smart home tech, and luxury features can make buyers’ eyes sparkle, but function, safety, and habitability are three of the most important things that can impact your home sale. By the way, did you know that trees can increase the value of your home?
As Marie Kondo would say, learn the art of decluttering and keep only what sparks joy. As a buyer would likely dispose and move out items from the home, it’s best to declutter what no longer serves the next potential owner and make your space as presentable as possible. Decide on what’s useful, tidy the items by category, and discard accordingly.
- Stage your house
It is now time to beautify your home and furnish it the way your target market would love to see it. A couple of repairs and redecoration here and there wouldn’t hurt if you aim to sell your house as quickly as possible. Check out these home staging tips and strategies we previously shared in our blog— they’re tried and tested!
- Invest in quality real estate photography
In the age of social media where aesthetically pleasing Instagram and Pinterest posts lurk, your home should be presentable enough to entice potential buyers into clicking your listing and contacting your Realtor.
If you have the budget to spare, consider hiring a real estate photographer to take high-quality pictures of your property. They will know what to feature, what the best angles are, and how to present your home the best way possible. Alternatively, you can also take photos on your own using the right tools. Just take your time and trust the process.
- Share your listing on social media
In order to reach more prospective buyers, post your property listing on your social media profiles. You’ll never know who in your network is looking for their next home. Moreover, your Realtor will also be doing the same, so just share and boost!
- Schedule an open house
Coordinate with your real estate agent about hosting an open house— it will help let everyone in Williamsburg, VA know that it’s ready for sale. Prepare pamphlets with relevant information about the home, as well as a few treats like finger food and drinks. Think of the open house as an art show, only your property is the artwork for sale. Most importantly, let your Realtor work their magic and remove yourself from the home during the event.
- Set aside a budget strictly for repairs
Repairs, depending on the scope and extent, could easily consume a significant chunk of your budget if you’re not careful. Fortunately, you can do several things to prepare you for this part of the process.
First, invite an inspector to your home to determine necessary repairs and upgrades. They may also be able to give you a quote on services you need. Second, follow up the inspection by getting in touch with contractors to compare costs. After that, you’ll have a rough idea of expenses solely for repairs and plan accordingly. When technical concerns are involved, seek the help of a licensed professional to assess structural costs.
- Get rid lingering odor
As you live in the home, dirt, dust, and grime can build up and smells can linger, especially if you have pets. Deodorizers, some of which you already have in your pantry, can help absorb lingering odors, but if it’s still not enough, it helps to identify the source. It could be a leak, a stain hidden from plain sight, or waste tucked into unreachable corners.
After the deep clean, it’s time to make your home smell good. Pick a pleasant and light fragrance to avoid triggering sneezing fits from potential buyers. Scented candles, potpourri, and linen spray are some of the things that can help you.
- Open those curtains
It’s time to brush up those curtains and let the light in. Potential home buyers find a house inviting when the place has ample amount of sunshine. If this is a highlight of your home, take advantage of it. And even if your home is blessed with abundant natural light, buyers would still like to know what views they can expect each time they pull the curtains.
- A fresh coat of paint is always a good idea
Looking for an easy way to make your property look as if brand-new? New paint will do the trick for both the home’s interior and exterior walls. Paint dulls and fades over time, and a fresh coat is the remedy.
Neutral colors are highly recommended— they appeal to a wide range of buyers— but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to beige, white, and grey. Your selection can also include warm tones like terracotta to cooler tints such as sage green and pastel blue.
What you should know before selling your house
How much your home is worth
Before selling your house, a good starting place is knowing how much it’s currently valued. Apart from giving you a benchmark on possible asking prices, this informs you whether you’ve built enough equity and how much money you stand to make if you decide to sell your home now.
Most Realtors offer home valuation services, but if you need a second opinion, you can also hire a professional appraiser to look at your property. From there, you can decide whether you want to sell the property as is, make upgrades to add to its value, or keep it for now to increase your equity.
The ideal time to sell your home
There are several factors that can affect the timing of your sale, but the most important factors are your personal readiness and own timeline. If you need to sell your home as soon as possible since you’re transferring for a job, there’s no reason to delay.
But if you want to take seasons into consideration, May is usually the best time to sell a property fast in Williamsburg. It’s right in the middle of the spring homebuying season. Although market trends vary by month and/or year, you may still do further research about your real estate marketing trends in Virginia here.
Important documents and requirements
In Virginia, local mandate would require several documents to be accomplished before handing over your keys to the next owner. You might also be required to procure additional documents such as the results of the home inspection, home Warranty records, proof of renovations, etc.
The ones below are typically the main requirements for selling a home:
- Signed Copy of Deed
- Bill of Sale
- Purchase Agreement
- Affidavit of Title
- Closing Statement
- 2 ID’s
Virginia is a “buyer beware” state. Sellers are required to fulfill certain disclosure forms before the house formally goes up for sale. These may include the following:
- Flood zone statement
- Residential property disclosure statement
- Building code disclosure statement
- New dwelling disclosure
- Septic system disclosure
- Lead-based paint disclosure
- Defective drywall disclosure
- Military air installation disclosure
- Methamphetamine disclosure
Closing costs and responsibilities
Both the homebuyer and seller have necessary costs to fulfill upon closing. Fortunately, sellers have a shorter list of things to do. The closing costs you need to shoulder depend on what was agreed on the purchase agreement, but they usually include the following:
- Loan payoff cost
- Realtor commission
- Pre-payment penalties
- Title insurance fee
- Legal attorney Fee
- Homeowners association dues and transfer owner fees
Why is there a growing demand for homes in smaller towns?
Lower cost of living
One of the beautiful things about living in smaller towns is the lower cost of living in bigger cities. In Williamsburg, for instance, you’ll be able to enjoy a high quality of life for a fraction of the cost somewhere else.
Start-ups are easier
Plenty of people are moving to small towns to start their own entrepreneurial pursuits. That’s because businesses in smaller towns are easier to manage especially when you are just starting out compared to large cities, where business permits and rentals would take a bigger chunk of your time, effort, and resources. Many small towns’ commerce offices also offer programs to support local entrepreneurs as a bid to support the town’s economy.
More open spaces
If a healthier lifestyle is your goal, living in a small town may be for you. Since you’re not squeezed inside a populated area, there are more greens and open spaces that you would be able to enjoy. Smaller towns, given their size, can also be more walkable than their urban counterparts— it’s especially the case in Williamsburg.
Slow-paced, laidback lifestyle in Williamsburg
Take it from us— life is much simpler living in a smaller town. The benefits are endless: you can achieve work-life balance, enjoy being part of a close community, and access a variety of activities out in the Main Street or the hiking trails.
Coldwell Banker Traditions has been guiding home sellers in Williamsburg, VA like you since 1885. With care and precision, we will handle your home sale based on your unique goals and preferences. Sit back and relax— we will do the rest.