The secret’s out about Nooga’s mountain views, technology jobs market, and beautiful river district. Sell your house fast in Chattanooga with our guide. —-
The secret’s out about modern-day Nooga’s amazing Cumberland Plateau mountain views, thriving technology jobs market, and access to the gorgeous Tennessee River. That puts Chattanooga homeowners in a great position to sell their house fast. Even if you’ve tired of the mid-sized city or hope to relocate from Northshore to a sought-after suburb like Signal Mountain, your house in Chattanooga will be in high demand thanks to the city’s growth.
To put together this guide to selling fast in Chattown, we dug deep into real estate trends in Chattanooga from the area’s Realtor board and main news outlets like the Chattanooga Times. We cross-referenced our advice with Tennessee native and top-selling real estate agent Darren Miller and called up a Chattanooga home inspector who knows the common pitfalls of local homes. With these tips and insights, you’ll be ready to sell your Nooga home in a snap.
What sellers should know about Chattanooga real estate
If this is your first time selling a house in Chattanooga or it’s been awhile since you’ve changed homes in the area, the city has probably evolved a lot since your last transaction. Let’s review some of the key influencers shaping the local real estate market of today and how the city’s growth impacts you as you sell your home.
Millennials love Nooga
Having shaken off its reputation as the “Dirtiest City in America” in the 1950s and ’60s during its manufacturing peak, Chattanooga has become a popular landing spot for millennials. Renewed interest in the city has resulted in nearly 10% population growth since 2010 from 167,674 to 184,100 residents. As millennials currently make up the largest group of homebuyers at 38%, a surge in local purchase demand from this demographic will help you sell your Chattanooga house fast at a great price. “We are growing, and we are continuing to grow,” confirms Miller, our top local real estate agent. “I don’t see any slow down at all.”
Tech jobs bring in new residents
In 2019, Chattanooga added 3,567 jobs with top local tech startups like Bellhop, FreightWaves, and Ambition creating new opportunities for professionals in the area. Thanks to EPB (formerly known as the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga), Chattanooga boasts the “fastest community-wide internet speed” in the Western Hemisphere delivering 10,000 Mbps speeds to residences and businesses since 2015. This only cements its place as a Southern tech hub and reputation as the “Gig City” while continuing to attract new residents and homebuyers.
Home values have skyrocketed
Our transaction data at HomeLight shows that the median sale price of homes in Chattanooga increased from $177,000 to $228,500 from 2015-2019, marking nearly 30% home price gains in a short span. According to the Greater Chattanooga Realtors Association, home prices spiked a massive 14.5% year over year in Sept. 2020 alone. If you bought your Chattanooga home several years ago, you’ve likely built up sufficient equity to sell and make a good profit. In addition, days on market for homes in Chattanooga were down 20.4% at the end of 2020. On average, homes are selling in 39 days — but you can beat that with our guide to selling fast.
Tips to sell your Chattanooga home faster than average
Even with a market as hot as Chattanooga, a thoughtful real estate listing and solid pricing strategy will be critical to a fast sale.
Highlight your proximity to the riverfront
As a Chattanooga local, you know that one of the city’s biggest draws is the Tennessee River, which flows right through downtown. Homes close to Chattanooga’s revitalized Riverwalk stretching 16.1 miles along the southern river banks are in high demand. If you are within walking distance or a short drive away, appeal to buyers by highlighting proximity to attractions like the Tennessee Aquarium, Bluff View Sculpture Garden, Hunter Museum of American Art, and the views from the restored pedestrian Walnut Street Bridge.
Get outdoorsy with your listing
Mention the availability of boat ramps and activities like electric paddle-boarding on the river to attract adventurous house hunters. With the river and its beauty driving so much of this Upper Southern city’s comeback, you’d be remiss not to bring it into your real estate listing — especially when there’s a good chance your buyer will be coming from out of town.
Modernize your Chattanooga home
The average Chattanooga house is 45 years old. After nearly five decades of shifting trends and new home building materials emerging, a house will look dated. What’s more, homebuyers in the area are often tech professionals and hospital workers who don’t have a ton of spare time on their hands for renovations, making a modern home even more important to a sale.
While it’s not realistic for a seller to fix everything or do a total overhaul of their house prior to listing, here are a few quick updates recommend by local experts with the inside track on buyer wish lists:
- Add a neutral kitchen backsplash:
Instantly give your kitchen a classic look by replacing your gaudy backsplash with subway tile. Home renovators hail this project as both cheap and DIY-friendly. One blogger on Young House Love wrote about how he did it for $200 in just 2.5 days.
- Paint your kitchen cabinets white:
House hunters in Chattanooga seek interiors featuring whites and grays. Plus, old cabinets are going to clash with the new backsplash. So if you’ve maple-hued cabinets, take off the doors — then prep, prime, and paint with a shade like Pure White from Sherwin-Williams.
- Incorporate renovated farmhouse touches:
According to Miller, Chattanooga homebuyers have gravitated toward the rustic farmhouse style since 2015 with no signs of the trend fizzling. Even if you aren’t selling an actual farmhouse, incorporating décor elements will garner rave reviews. A speedy search on Amazon will lead to an incredible (and affordable) variety of farmhouse-style decor items delivered to your door within days like these industrial mirrors or this rustic ceramic vase set.
- Update your flooring:
Traditional hardwood isn’t going away anytime soon, but you can also rip out old carpet in favor of other more affordable flooring choices like laminate, vinyl plank, or engineered hardwood. Less carpet throughout will appeal to pet owners coming to Chattanooga for its dog-friendliness.
Showcase your Chattanooga home’s outdoor space
Chattanooga’s temperate climate — with a yearly average high temperature of 72 degrees — is prime for entertaining in the open air. So don’t forget to give ample attention to your exterior spaces when selling your Chattanooga home:
- Trim your trees and put in some native plants:
Add curb appeal while keeping maintenance low with perennials like black-eyed Susans, Russian sage, and coneflowers. Whether you have oaks, maps, dogwoods, or yellow-poplar trees in your yard, make sure they’re trimmed away from your house so it can shine from the street.
- Stage a fire pit scene:
With evening temperatures dipping down to around 60 degrees in Chattanooga — even in shoulder season months like May and September — Chattanooga weather lends itself nicely to firepit gatherings. Stage a cozy firepit with a few chairs around it to showcase your yard and how potential buyers could use it for entertaining.
- Decorate with Edison string lighting:
Lighting is an inexpensive way to bring in a sophisticated vibe to your outdoor seating area. You can buy 24-feet of Edison string lights at Home Depot for just $19.88. Make sure not to hang them too taut. A little swag is a good thing.
Address repair issues common to Chattanooga homes
Whenever you sell a home, you should be aware of any issues that could come up in the inspection. We spoke to Dan Mayfield, a Chattanooga inspector who runs a local franchise of HouseMaster and has earned the company’s Home Inspection Excellence Award, about common items on home inspections in the Chattanooga area. Here’s what you can do to get ahead and address these deal breakers:
Check your downspouts and gutters:
Mayfield says that the majority of the time, downspouts are not directed away from home foundations, allowing water to accumulate in crawl spaces and basements. If your home has this problem, call a local gutter repair company like Steve’s Seamless Gutters, which has been in business for 40 years.
You can purchase new downspouts for cheap at a place like Lowe’s and have your gutters professionally installed if you aren’t sure how. If your downspouts are in good shape but have moved around due to wind and rain, make sure they are clearly directed away from the foundation to avoid water intrusion.
Address any mold issues upfront:
The local climate and crawl spaces prevalent in older homes can contribute to mold issues, pests, and water damage in your Chattanooga house. “Microbial growth in crawl space areas is becoming more of an issue as buyers are more educated about environmental conditions in homes,” says Mayfield. If you let this go, it can cause expensive repairs in the future. If you suspect there could be moisture or mold in the crawl space, get it checked out by a professional prior to listing. Crawlspace Doctor, a crawl space repair company since 2002, offers free crawl space inspections in the area and has 4.9 stars on Google reviews.
Price your Chattanooga home to sell fast
According to data from NeighborhoodScout, the top 5 fastest appreciating Chattanooga neighborhoods since 2000 include North Chattanooga, Barton Ave / Mississippi Ave / Dallas Heights, Broad St / W 20th St, and Orchard Knob / Richmond Graduate U. If your house is in one of these areas, it’s likely you can sell your property for more than average due to location alone. However, the advice of a top agent can take your pricing strategy from educated guess to complete precision.
“One street can make a world of difference when it comes to a home’s price,” Miller says of the Chattanooga market.
“That’s why it’s important to interview agents and make sure they know the market. You can go from a $75,000 house on street A to $300,000 on street B, and they are parallel to each other, but the street matters so much.”
He adds: “We’re deep into appreciation right now, and we are talking about 10-plus offers on day one or day two for everything. If you price it properly, if you are where you need to be, you will get multiple offers sometimes over your asking price.”
List your house in peak season for Chattanooga real estate
According to actual real estate transaction data that HomeLight has collected for Chattanooga, if you’re sheerly looking at speed of sale, the best time to close on your home sale in Chattanooga is probably the month of August. Since it generally takes about 3 months from list to close, we estimate that if you list your Chattanooga home in May you could sell your house 9 days sooner than if you listed in any other month. See the numbers for yourself using our Best Time to Sell Calculator.
Hire a Chattanooga real estate agent who sells homes fast
According to our internal database, there are 873 real estate agents in Chattanooga who would take your business. However, not all agents will come with the same level of experience or expertise. The discrepancy shows in the stats among local agents: While average Chattanooga agents sell homes in 79 days, top agents in the area move homes in less than 41 days. We’d be happy to connect you with an agent who outperforms their peers at HomeLight so that you can sell your house fast in Chattanooga.
Header Image Source: (David Sager / Unsplash)
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