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The slogan “Virginia is for lovers” captures how residents feel about their home state, but maybe you’ve decided it’s time to sell your house — fast — in Arlington. Maybe the traffic on the morning commute into D.C. has become tiring, or maybe you’re ready to trade in the views of the Potomac for views of the Ohio River. When it comes to selling your house fast in Arlington, it’s important to remember these tips:
1. Make your Arlington home environmentally friendly
Environmental friendliness is near the top of the list of value for millennials, and Northern Virginia is known for being relatively young. The median age of residents in Arlington is 34 years old, and has been recognized as one of the best cities for millennials.
According to top-performing Arlington, VA real estate agent Ruth Garvey, buyers have an appreciation for homes that help them lower their carbon footprint. Garvey says, “Buyers do care a lot about green, you know, they love the solar panels and they love the rain barrels.”
Many homes in the Arlington area are older so they’d likely benefit from some environmentally-friendly updates like a smart thermostat system or water-saving washer and dryer. In that same vein, placing a spotlight on these types of eco-friendly features could go a long way in selling an Arlington home fast. Since the effects of global warming are already being felt, the importance of making a home environmentally friendly can’t be overstated.
2. Weather-proof your Arlington home to protect it from heavy rainstorms
Some recent storms have been intense enough for widespread flooding throughout the region to happen. A 2019 rainstorm was so bad that Northern Virginia wound up experiencing a month’s worth of rainfall in just an hour, with 4.5 inches falling in the Westover neighborhood.
Garvey says there are a couple of things buyers are searching for when making sure a home is prepped for wild weather before putting pen to paper. “We are getting more rain than we have ever gotten before. The housing in Arlington consists of a lot of older homes with the cement brick for foundation, and a lot of basements are having major flooding issues,” she says. “So you’ll find more and more as we start looking especially at older homes that people are installing sump pumps.” Sump pump installation typically takes anywhere in between two and four hours and has an average cost of $1,277.
With all this water, it’s important to be mindful of the roof and the foundation. “Something that buyers care a lot about is how old is the roof and making sure that there’s no leaking coming from either skylights,” advises Garvey, who also recommends French drains. French drain installation usually costs around $4500 and takes around 6-8 hours to complete.
3. Get an inspection to assess undetected damage to your Arlington home
Whether it’s mold, thanks to the area’s notoriously humid summers, or issues with the electrical setup, not being aware of something that might need fixing could easily dash your plans of selling your house fast in Arlington.
It’s easy to understand why getting an inspection prior to a sale could be overlooked during the home selling process. Regardless, skipping out on one is highly detrimental. As an home inspector with a decade of experience in Northern Virginia, Ed Snope sees more and more sellers forgoing home inspections prior to selling.
Snope says, “It’s a sellers market so people (buyers) don’t have as many options in negotiations. People are purchasing homes without an inspection.” Just because sellers are permitted to sell their homes without an inspection, doesn’t make it wise to do so.
That’s because problems while living in a home tend to accumulate without the owner necessarily being aware, according to Snope. “There’s lots of things that the homeowner just doesn’t know about. They typically don’t go into the attic so they may not know what’s going on up there. Crawl spaces, people never go down in either,” he says.
Some things to keep in mind when it comes to completing a home inspection prior to a sale of an Arlington, VA home:
Among the problem areas that homeowners should pay special attention to prior to selling is the home’s HVAC system. That’s especially true if it hasn’t been maintenanced in a while. “There’s typically lots of problems with HVAC systems, so people could be wasting money over the years by having leaky ductwork,” Snope says. “I tell people if this was fixed 10-20 years ago, people would have saved money in cooling expenses.”
Getting a home inspection prior to sale is perfect for unveiling any structural problems within a home. If there are structural problems with a home, it’s time to get a structural engineer involved, according to Snope. “I have to go directly to a structural engineer if I see anything that raises a structural issue. They can determine how much needs to be fixed,” he says. “It’s also common to call in a structural engineer for usually minor issues. Home inspectors can’t tell people how to fix, so then we recommend an engineer.”
Since there are an abundance of Arlington homes that were built in the years immediately following World War II, many of them have electrical wiring that hasn’t been kept up to code. While Snope notes that loose electric receptacles are common, Garvey has found other types of electrical issues to be problematic in getting it sold. “Things like the GCFI(Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter), outlets by water, it’s pretty much all the houses with inspections that aren’t new construction,” she says.
4. Sell your Arlington home to a house-buying company
One of the options for selling an Arlington home fast is finding a cash buyer for it using HomeLight’s Simple Sale platform. It provides cash offers to homeowners throughout the nation, for homes in practically any condition.
Homeowners that are seeking to sell their in-demand single family homes in one of the area’s up-and-coming neighborhoods like Clarendon-Courthouse, Lyon Village or Arlington Ridge are especially in luck. Clarendon-Courthouse is highly popular with the young adult crowd, due to its vibrant nightlife scene.
While single family homes are common here, it’s also ripe with townhomes, which are a hot commodity for investors. Arlington Ridge is brimming with both townhomes and colonial-style single family homes that are conveniently located near I-395 making D.C. and Pentagon City just a short drive away. If you own a townhouse, highlighting these conveniences can help you sell more quickly.
Lyon Village is stocked with older colonial style homes and newly-built craftsman style homes that provide a suburban feel. It’s within walking distance of all the attractions of the Clarendon-Courthouse neighborhood. Across the city, if it’s a single family or colonial style home, investors would be eager to make you an offer regardless of the condition it’s in.
5. Price your Arlington home based on local trends
Properly pricing a home is one of the most difficult aspects of selling it. The way Garvey describes finding the correct price point makes it seem as though it’s make or break for getting the home sold quickly. “The problem is that if sellers list their property too high it sits on the market, and when a property sits on the market automatically that is reducing the sales price,” she says.
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways sellers can ensure they’re pricing their homes properly prior to placing it on the market. One way is by leveraging HomeLight’s Home Value Estimator tool to get a ballpark idea of what your home should sell for. Some of the factors that may affect how much an Arlington, VA home sells for are proximity to D.C, access to Metro stops, and proximity to nearby attractions and outdoor amenities.
Boasting beautiful views of the Potomac River, just a few minutes away from D.C., homes in Rosslyn are likely to sell for more than homes in further away Columbia Heights or Columbia Heights West. The best way to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible is by working with a high performing Arlington, VA real estate agent.
6. Work with a top Arlington real estate agent
A home that’s protected against the changing weather patterns, that possesses eco-friendly additions, and updated interiors is already compelling to most buyers. The bonus of living near high-paying jobs, national landmarks, and shopping attractions is icing on the cake.
The final — and most important — necessity for selling a house fast in Arlington, VA is getting matched with a top real estate agent who knows the area inside and out. Top real estate agents in Arlington sell homes 24.1 days faster than the average agent due to their extensive expertise on the region.
Whether you’re leaving for a houseboat in the Pacific Northwest or a nearby suburb, the options for selling your Arlington home fast are immense, and HomeLight is here to help you explore all of them.
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