Local experts share five essential steps to sell your home faster in Richmond, Virginia. —-
Want to sell your house in just one weekend? It’s possible in Richmond, Virginia’s hot seller’s market. According to Mike Boone, a top local real estate agent who works with 66% more single-family homes than his peers, it’s not uncommon for Richmond homes to sell in two to three days.
Compare this to the average 54 days on market it took homes to sell for in 2019, and you’ll realize just how fast properties are flying off the market today — and for more money than ever. The median sales price in Richmond in early 2021 was $310,000, up 16% from one year prior, thanks to widespread bidding wars and all-cash offers.
You can thank Richmond’s low inventory and growing population for this real estate boom. The state capital’s affordable cost of living, strong job market, and proximity to outdoor recreation continue to bring homebuyers to the market in droves. The cost to live in Richmond is 6% lower than the state average and just 1% higher than the national average. And the city’s unemployment rate sits at a cool 4.7%, significantly lower than the national rate of 6.1%.
Ready to sell your Richmond home fast to one of these eager buyers? According to local experts, there are several things you can do to put your home sale on the fast track.
1. Upgrade focus areas before you list — especially if you own an older property
Richmond has an older housing stock than the national average, with 32.4% of homes built before 1939. If you’re selling an older home that needs some updates, don’t expect a fast sale unless you make some pre-listing updates. Boone advises that most Richmond buyers do not want to purchase a fixer-upper.
“We are in a first- and second-time buyer market, and they want move-in ready,” he explains. “Five years ago, they were more open to making renovations, but with life being busy and more people working from home, they don’t want to do big renovations.”
Richmond homebuyer preferences align with national buyer sentiments. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 44% of homebuyers purchased a new home to “avoid renovations or problems with the plumbing or electricity.”
Our Richmond experts recommend making these key upgrades:
Brighten and lighten your kitchen
You can instantly update your kitchen with new counters and freshly painted cabinets. Leo Lantz Construction, a four-time winner of Richmond Times Dispatch’s best remodeling company award, recommends brightening your kitchen with a light paint shade to make it appear more spacious. For a modern twist, paint your kitchen island a medium to dark blue.
Fix damaged windows
Boone shares that broken window sills are common in older Richmond homes. Repair damaged windows and touch up any chipping paint before you list to ensure buyers your home is well-maintained. The average cost to repair a window frame is roughly $480, according to Fixr.com.
Repair the roof
Scooter Burgess, owner of Burgess Inspections, warns that buyers often use roof damage as leverage to negotiate a lower sale price. To skip past this back-and-forth, conduct a professional roof inspection before you list for around $119 and $313. Tend to any minor repairs like missing shingles and damaged gutters. If the inspection reveals significant damage, consult your real estate agent to determine if it’s better to repair the roof or discount the home accordingly.
2. Deep clean your home and keep pollen out
Deep cleaning and decluttering are essential steps to securing a fast home sale — especially in the COVID-19 era.
“Cleanliness is so important, but it hasn’t always been as top-of-mind as it is now,” Boone says.
“On listings we do where sellers get a professional cleaning, the results are night and day. We’ll get one to three offers on homes we didn’t clean and 20 to 30 offers on homes we did. It just shows it’s better taken care of.”
In Richmond, cleaning is particularly critical as many homebuyers have seasonal allergies. Richmond tends to have higher than average spring and fall pollen and higher than average allergy medicine use, making the city one of the top 10 seasonal allergy capitals. To keep buyer allergies at bay, add HEPA air filters, banish mold, and vacuum before showings.
And while you’re cleaning, don’t forget to spruce up the outside. Mow your lawn regularly during the growing season to keep grass pollen in check, and rake leaves in the fall to avoid mold and tree pollen accumulation.
3. Stage a three-season outdoor living area
Our experts share that staging an outdoor entertaining area can speed up your home sale in Richmond.
Kyle Yeatman, another top Virginia agent who has sold more than 1,500 single-family homes in the area, shares, “A lot of people want to be outside, but they don’t have the vision of what you can do with the space. So if you just give them a little something where they can see themselves hanging outside comfortably, that can really make some buyers’ decisions.”
Since summers in Richmond can be hot and muggy, with the average daily high temperatures reaching above 80 degrees, include a sunshade or patio cover above the outdoor living area. You can win bonus points with buyers if you go a step further and install a fan on your home’s exterior wall.
4. Deal with the ‘M’ word
Mold is one of the most common home inspection issues in Richmond. Since the region has high humidity four to five months of the year, 90% of homes have some microbial growth in crawl spaces, according to Boone. “This is easily fixable, but things like mold scare people,” he explains.
You can tackle minor mold issues yourself wearing a mask, gloves, and protective clothing. To get rid of the mold, use a biodegradable moldicide in a well-ventilated space. Then scrub the mold away and rinse the area with soapy water.
For major mold issues, it’s best to call in a pro. Burgess recommends hiring a mold removal specialist to come in and check for mold and treat the problem before putting your home on the market. A professional service costs between $344 and $564 on average.
5. Connect with a top Richmond real estate agent to sell your house fast
With fewer homes for sale and less time on the market, buyers are competitively bidding for available houses in Richmond. If you play your cards right as a seller, you can sell your home fast for a fantastic price.
To best leverage this market, partner with a top local real estate agent. HomeLight’s data reveals that the top 3% of real estate agents in Richmond sell homes in nearly half the time as their peers and earn their clients $49,614 more on their home sales on average.
Connect with Richmond’s top real estate agents through HomeLight. We’ll crunch transaction data to match you with the three best agents for your home sale. From there, we recommend interviewing your candidates to determine whose experience and professionalism you most trust.
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