A Guide to Sell My House Fast in Virginia

Talia Lee-
July 03, 2024

Whether you own property in Norfolk or Norton, Virginia, it could be an opportune time to sell your house in the Old Dominion state. Median sales prices have risen more than 8 percent from last year, as reported by Redfin’s February data. While this suggests a potentially profitable sale, it doesn’t guarantee a quick one. For insights and tips on how to expedite the sale of your home in Virginia, continue reading.

Selling your home in Virginia may require some patience. According to Redfin, properties in the state typically spend a median of 36 days on the market before entering into a contract. Following that, there’s usually an additional waiting period of several weeks for the buyer’s financing to be finalized.

Although Virginia’s median days-on-market of 36 days is lower than the national median of 48 days, it still means that closing a home sale in the traditional manner often takes over a month, and sometimes more than two months.

If you need to sell your Virginia home quickly, exploring non-traditional selling methods can expedite the process significantly. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Sell to a homebuying company: Companies that specialize in buying homes for cash, such as We Buy Houses and HomeVestors, operate swiftly and can close deals within a few weeks or even days. While these companies offer speed, be aware that they typically purchase homes at a lower price than what you might fetch through a traditional listing.
  • Sell to an iBuyer: iBuyers like Opendoor use automated algorithms to make quick cash offers on homes. They operate in areas like Richmond and suburban Washington, D.C., and can streamline the selling process significantly.
  • Time your sale strategically: Listing your home during prime selling seasons, such as spring or early summer, can attract buyers more quickly. According to Redfin, homes in Virginia sold faster in May and June (typically 19 days on the market) compared to February (36 days).
  • Work with a Realtor: A seasoned real estate agent can also help expedite the sale while ensuring you get the best possible price. Communicate your urgency to them, and they can devise strategies like aggressive pricing or attractive seller concessions to attract buyers quickly.

Each of these approaches offers different advantages depending on your priorities, whether it’s speed, maximizing profit, or convenience.

If you opt for the traditional listing route, understanding the local market dynamics in your Virginia area is crucial. Your local listing agent plays a vital role in providing insights into your home’s market value and its positioning within the local housing market. Key discussions to have with your agent include:

A real estate agent can assist in accurately determining your home’s market value and devising an optimal listing price for a swift sale. They analyze local comparables (comps)—recently sold homes similar to yours in proximity—to establish a competitive asking price.

Major home improvement projects such as extensive kitchen remodels and basement renovations involve significant investments of both money and time. Typically, these projects do not fully recoup their costs at resale and often take longer to complete than anticipated. If you’re looking to increase your home’s sale price without the extended timeline and expense, consider quicker and more cost-effective methods like enhancing your curb appeal.

Imagine yourself as a prospective buyer walking through your home. Would you notice any obvious issues? Broken shelves, cracked windows, or chipped paint are noticeable items that should be addressed. Consult your agent for guidance on what repairs are worthwhile and which ones you can overlook. If your home requires extensive repairs, you might consider selling it as-is. This approach means you won’t have to deal with repairs, but keep in mind that you may fetch a lower sale price since the buyer will need to budget for these costs.

Buyers are drawn to homes that feel inviting and lived-in, making it easier for them to picture themselves living there. Investing in professional staging may involve some upfront costs but can potentially lead to a faster sale. According to a 2023 report by the National Association of Realtors, 27 percent of seller’s agents noted a reduction in the time homes spent on the market when they were professionally staged.

In Virginia, sellers are required to sign a statement indicating they “make no representations” about the home, emphasizing the buyer’s responsibility to conduct due diligence. This means sellers must honestly answer specific questions from buyers but aren’t obligated to disclose every detail unless asked. Buyers typically bear the cost of a home inspection to uncover any issues. Additionally, if the property belongs to a homeowners association, sellers must provide documents detailing bylaws, past meeting minutes, and the association’s financial status.

Home sellers in Virginia incur various closing costs before finalizing a sale. The largest expense typically includes real estate agent fees, though upcoming changes may affect how these commissions are paid. Currently, sellers generally cover commissions for both their own agent and the buyer’s agent, totaling around 5 to 6 percent of the home’s sale price. For instance, on a $350,000 home, this could amount to $17,500.

Other closing costs for Virginia sellers may include:

  • Grantor tax: Sellers are responsible for a grantor tax, approximately $1 per $1,000 of the home’s price statewide, with higher rates in Northern Virginia.
  • Title insurance: Typically paid by the homebuyer in Virginia, so sellers are not usually required to cover this cost.
  • Escrow fees: Charged by the escrow company or third party managing the funds, these fees can range from a few hundred dollars.
  • Attorney fees: While not mandatory, hiring a lawyer for a home sale in Virginia can be prudent given the transaction’s complexity and financial implications.
  • Capital gains tax: Sellers may owe capital gains tax on profits depending on factors like residency status and marital status. Consulting a tax professional is advisable to determine your tax obligations accurately.
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