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How to Sell Your House Fast in Durham, NC, a Rapidly Grown University Town

At HomeLight, our vision is a world where every real estate transaction is simple, certain, and satisfying. Therefore, we promote strict editorial integrity in each of our posts.

Need to sell your house fast in Durham, NC? Perhaps you’re leaving your charming three-bedroom ranch adjacent to the Beltline Station to buy a larger property in Duke Park, an area that will be perfect for your growing family.

Maybe you’re making a bigger move to the West Coast for a change of scenery, or headed south for retirement after many years teaching at one of the area’s scholarly institutions.

But first, to sell this house: Currently, Durham remains a hot seller’s market for pretty obvious reasons. As part of the Research Triangle, Durham is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. and home to two universities, multiple major medical institutions, and countless tech start-ups.

While the academic and professional worlds draw people in, the food, culture, and history make them want to stay — not to mention the revitalization of areas like Durham Central Park where new and exciting businesses are always cropping up.

As a result, sellers are commanding an average price of $408,257 as of Dec. 2021, a remarkable 25% over the previous year, according to data from Triangle MLS.

With housing demand through the roof, the chances of attracting a quick offer are in your favor, but there are always steps you can take to sell faster than the competition. Here are 5 to focus on if you need to sell fast in Durham, NC.

We may have parents who co-sign or we may have parents who buy it straight out. Either way, the two major universities bring in a fresh wave of students each year, boosting housing demand.
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1. Time your Durham listing with buyer search trends

While real estate seems to be perpetually hot in Durham, certain times of year bring heightened surges of buyer interest to the area.

In mid-April, local students find out which university they will be attending. If the parents of students attending Duke or the University of North Carolina (UNC) want to buy real estate in the area, they will look in May.

“We may have parents who co-sign or we may have parents who buy it straight out,” says Anna Terry, a real estate agent in Durham. “Either way, the two major universities bring in a fresh wave of students each year, boosting housing demand.”

If your home is not ideal for college students, you can still capitalize on buyer search trends by listing around January 1st or July 1st.

Why these dates? In Durham, the start of the year brings in many new professors to the local universities, ready to start their second semester in a new home. In mid-summer, new professionals working or studying at the hospitals and medical research centers begin moving in.

Based on her experience, Terry notes that these professional groups are often looking for similar properties to purchase. If you list your home at either of these times, you stand a better chance of increasing the number and quality of offers you receive.

2. Highlight your easy commute

When listing your Durham home, mention how close it is to any areas of the city where potential buyers are likely to work or attend school. This includes:

Proximity to a university 

These days, many parents have decided to either purchase a home outright for their kids who have gone off to college or co-sign a home loan. They will be looking for a home within walking or biking distance to campus. If your home is in a neighborhood close to Duke or UNC, this will be a fantastic selling point for you. Bonus if you can give an approximate walking or biking time — since the quicker, the better.

Close to Research Triangle Park

Over 300 companies call Research Triangle Park (RTP) home. And, with Google announcing a new engineering hub in Durham, this area won’t slow down for quite some time. Unfortunately, what comes with all that professional growth of that magnitude is traffic. If your home is within a quick commute to RTP or sits on one of the transit lines that services the area, that is a great selling point. Be sure to highlight the short and easy commute in your listing to entice the professionals moving into Durham.

A house that sold fast in Durham, NC.
Source: (Jeremy Huang / Unsplash)

3. Do light updates to attract busy Durham professionals

For homes located in a desirable neighborhood, buyers are sometimes willing to purchase Durham homes “as-is,” according to Terry.

But to sell your home fast and do so with your pick of offers, a few quick improvements will go a long way, particularly if your home is close to Research Triangle Park or one of the many hospitals. Chances are, you and your real estate agent will be marketing to one of the newer professionals moving into Durham. Upgrading a few more noticeable items, such as appliances, paint, or flooring, will appeal to this busy demographic.

These efforts will make your home stand out above the rest for buyers looking for a move-in-ready home. In Terry’s experience, this often leads to buyers making offers well above the asking price.

4. Avoid these inspection issues commonly found in Durham homes

Durham is home to many distinct neighborhoods and features stunning older homes. While older homes naturally come with charm and intrigue, they may require much-needed updates.

If you are considering selling one of these marvelous older Durham homes, proactively address  inspection issues. According to Ken Neill, owner of The Right Home Inspection Services in Durham, “presenting the buyer with a long list of repairs, can be as scary as a single more major issue.”

Due to the age of many Durham neighborhoods, some common problems include old roofing, inadequate or old electrical systems, faulty or out-of-date septic, and HVAC systems. If you have already fixed any of these major system problems, you are a step ahead!

One additional feature to check is the external trim around your windows and doors. Over time, the wood trim will deteriorate. If you have not updated it recently, Neill advises that you fix the damage properly, and avoid relying on caulk.

5. Hire a top Durham real estate agent to navigate the sale

Finally, make sure you’re working with a top real estate agent in Durham. A great agent will know how to keep your days on market to a minimum with marketing tailored to your home and location with Durham.

This is evidenced by internal HomeLight transaction data showing that the best Durham listing agents earn 2.5x more money for their clients and sell homes nearly 38 days faster compared to the average area agent.

Your agent will use their expertise to help you pick out what buyers love, whether it’s your home’s large breakfast bar or tray ceiling in the primary bedroom. And they’ll identify details like its proximity to shopping, dining, parks, I-85 and the Durham Freeway, or RTP to make sure its convenient location is front and center.

HomeLight makes it fast and easy to connect with a top Durham real estate agent. Simply tell us a bit about your home and when you plan to sell, and we’ll introduce you to your top matches for free. So what are you waiting for? Get matched with a real estate agent today and start the process of getting a quick offer.

Header Image Source: (liran finzi sokolovski / Shutterstock)