Finding your dream home can be one of the most significant milestones of your life. Whether you are relocating to Washington, D.C., or have finally saved enough money to purchase a new home in your ideal neighborhood, finding the right home can be incredibly exciting. It can also be an emotional roller coaster. Considered one of the country's most competitive real estate markets, Washington D.C.'s real estate market can be challenging to navigate, even if you have previously bought a home.
While house hunting in the D.C. area can be a struggle, it shouldn't be impossible. Fortunately, with the right resources and support, you can navigate buying and selling in the Washington, D.C., real estate market. Here's everything you need to know about buying and selling your home in Washington, D.C.
Get pre-approved for a home loan
While some homebuyers can purchase a home outright, 78% of home buyers will need to get pre-approved for a mortgage through a lending institution. To get pre-approved for a home loan, you will need to provide the following information to your mortgage lender:
- Tax returns
- Debt-to-income ratio
- W-2 forms or other proof of income
- Government-issued identification
- Bank statements and other proof of assets
- Credit history
- Rental history (if applicable)
Prioritize your needs
Hire a real estate agent
When choosing an agent, you should work with an agent with extensive industry experience, expertise in your local real estate market, great interpersonal communication skills, and strong ethics, among other qualities. While there are many qualified agents in the D.C. area, you should ideally work with someone you feel comfortable with to help guide you on your real estate journey.
Prepare your house for the market
Your agent will likely schedule a meeting with you before listing your home. To determine a list price, your agent will present a comparative market analysis (CMA), a snapshot of recent market activity in your neighborhood. The comparative market analysis will demonstrate comparable properties that have sold in your neighborhood within the last three to six months. These properties will ideally be of similar size, age, and condition to your own home. By comparing the sold prices of these homes, you and your agent will determine the fair market value of your home.
Once you and your agent have agreed on a list price, your agent will come up with an individualized marketing plan to get your home sold for top dollar. Along with a marketing plan, your agent will suggest other methods for getting your listing market-ready.
- Clean your house from top-to-bottom.
- Declutter every room in your house
- Hire a professional photographer/videographer to capture the best images of the property
- Hire a professional home stager to highlight the best features of every room
Begin your house hunt
By paying attention to these details, you can decide what you are comfortable living with and what are dealbreakers for you. If this house isn’t what you are looking for, keep searching. Once you find your dream home, act fast. Work with your agent to submit an offer. Once you and your agent are satisfied with the purchase price and terms, your agent will present your offer to the listing agent. Once they accept your offer, you are one step closer to purchasing your dream home.
Are you searching for homes for sale in Capitol Hill? Trust Frank Snodgrass with all of your Capitol Hill real estate needs. Whether you are searching for Capitol Hills houses, condominiums, or townhouses, Frank will guide you through every step. Contact Frank today to begin your house hunt.