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A Step-by-Step Guide to Selling Your House in Gaithersburg

Happy couple who just sold their house and are moving out

If your family has outgrown your home, you’re considering the conveniences of downsizing, or you’re planning a move to a different city or state, you may be thinking about selling your house in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The reasons for selling a home are practically limitless. However, the selling process is a series of choreographed steps that can be intimidating if you don’t know what to expect.

As a homeowner in the early research stages of preparing to sell your home, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The selling process typically takes around two to four months and follows several predictable steps. Before you make any big decisions, take the time to learn more about the process and properly prepare for this big change in your life. The first steps of the home selling process can pave the way to a successful sale.

1. Find a Reputable, Experienced Local Agent Early in the Process of Selling Your House in Gaithersburg

A qualified real estate agent is your secret weapon for a stress-free, seamless home sale. Sadly, many people choose an agent based on high selling price promises or simply choose the first agent they meet. When searching for an agent, seek a professional with years of experience in the local area and many positive reviews from previous customers. 

All too often, homeowners think they should wait to contact a real estate agent until it’s time to market the home. This mistake could mean you miss many of the valuable perks provided by a qualified real estate agent. In the earliest stages of selling your house in Gaithersburg, your agent can help you:

  • Understand the local market.
  • Assist you in your search for a new home.
  • Provide details about the best ways to prepare your home for the sale.

Perhaps most importantly, your real estate agent can help you feel at ease and let you know what to expect every step of the way.

2. Determine Your Plans for Your Future Home

Before you go through with the home sale, you should know where you plan to live in the future. You also need to know the steps you’ll need to take to get there. Whether you plan to stay in the neighborhood or move across the country, there are a variety of ways to handle the transition of selling your home and acquiring another. Typically, you can expect to make one of the following choices.

  • Sell before you buy: This option allows you to use the equity you have in your current home. It also means you’ll need to be prepared to acquire a rental or something similar while you search for your new home.
  • Coordinate your sale and home purchase within the same time frame: If you intend to remain in the Gaithersburg, Maryland, area, you may be able to sell and buy within the same time period. However, in the current seller’s market, it’s essential to prepare housing options if you sell more quickly than anticipated.
  • Secure a new home before the sale: Whether you’re moving to another state or staying in the area, you may decide to purchase your new home first if you can afford to. This usually means you’ll want to put off listing your current home until you know the closing date for your purchase.

Many home sellers have no idea how helpful a real estate agent can be for this critical step. Remember, a local agent is the first to know about local listings and rentals in the area. They have experience with clients who need additional storage space. They also may have connections with other real estate agents in other cities and states.

3. Consider a Pre-Inspection

Contractor completing minor house improvements

Part of determining the value of your home is making sure it needs no major repairs. If you’re not entirely sure that your home has no hidden problems, you may decide to get a pre-inspection before selling your house in Gaithersburg. This is exactly like the inspection that is generally requested by a serious buyer, but it allows you to avoid surprises. A pre-inspection will allow you to decide whether to complete major repairs. You can also more accurately price the home based on this new information.

4. Prepare Your Home for the Marketing Process

It’s important to realize that you’re not necessarily required to complete major upgrades before selling your home. However, you should take steps to make your home as attractive to potential buyers as possible. Use this checklist to tailor your marketing process.

  • Complete repairs or upgrades: If you know your home needs major repairs, you may wish to have them completed before putting your home on the market. When deciding on necessary repairs, concentrate on which ones will provide you with the best return on investment. In a home that will be sold as is, or which needs no major repairs, small upgrades can impress buyers. Inexpensive upgrades that usually pay off include fresh paint, updated light fixtures, new faucets, and exterior landscaping.
  • Stage your home: This sounds complicated, but it really just means cleaning and decluttering your home. Putting away personal items and moving excess furniture to a storage unit helps potential buyers imagine themselves living in the home.
  • Get professional photos: Online home shopping is at an all-time high, with 97% of shoppers using the internet to search for a new home. Your real estate agent may be able to help you with photos or refer you to a professional that will depict your home in the best light.
  • Focus on virtual appeal: While pandemic restrictions are still in place, a considerable amount of home marketing occurs online. Your online marketing process for selling your house in Gaithersburg, Maryland, should include virtual tours, professional photos, and even social media.

5. Market Your Home

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of marketing and showing homes for sale. Your home has more to offer than what’s inside your home. For 40% of millennials, reducing commuting costs is a major factor in the purchase decision. Potential buyers can’t experience everything your home and the local neighborhood has to offer. So talk to your realtor about the best ways to market all your home’s advantages. Your marketing techniques may include the following.

  • Videos and facts that share your proximity to public transportation.
  • Your and your real estate agent’s use of social media.
  • Virtual tours of your home. Your real estate agent can also arrange a properly socially distanced tour for serious buyers. 
  • Information that shares your proximity to local amenities. As a resident, it’s easy to take the convenience of walkability in Gaithersburg for granted. Try a video that shares how quickly you can access local shops, diners, or local parks.
  • Highlighting features buyers might enjoy. For instance, your historic home on the east side may be exactly what a buyer is searching for.

6. Set a Realistic, Fair Price

Overpricing your home is a poor way to make a sale. If a buyer orders an appraisal and the result is below your asking price, the sale could fall through. Your agent can help you understand the local market and the value of your home in its current state.

These are the steps that prepare your home to stand out in the market when you’re selling your house in Gaithersburg, Maryland. When buyers are attracted to your home and the offers start rolling in, your agent will help you navigate different offers, contract details, showing the home, and all the details related to escrow and closing. The early steps of a home sale can help you avoid mistakes that slow down the sales process. Understanding the process and getting help from an experienced local agent early can help you avoid excess stress.

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    Darin Rich Real Estate
    Darin Rich, Realtor
    RE/MAX Realty Group
    6 Montgomery Village Ave #200
    Gaithersburg, MD 20879
    darin(at)darinrich(dotted)com 301.452.9319