How to Sell Your Home in a Pandemic
Selling your home during the current Covid-19 pandemic may seem like a risky move, considering many typical real estate practices have needed to be adjusted to adhere to current safety guidelines. Many may not see the pros of listing their home in a market where events such as the ‘Open House’ are prohibited. Truth be told, there is still a very high demand for optimal real estate, where supply is low and buyer demand is high. In this high pace ‘sellers market’ now may be as good a time as ever to reap the benefits of listing your home. Here’s how to get your home sold for optimal price while on lockdown.
Perform and Inspection and Make Repairs: In this pandemic a speedy sale is ideal and buyers are more likely to gravitate toward homes that are ‘move-in ready’ and don’t appear to require a great deal of work. To get ahead of any buyer inquires; consider hiring a home inspector to notify you of any ‘red flags’ before you list the home. By doing your due diligence ahead of time, you can tend to all those repairs, updates and renovations that need maintenance and list your home with confidence.
Cleaning: While in many cases your agent would ideally hire a professional cleaner to prep the home, many sellers may not feel comfortable having a stranger entering their home at this time. In this case, the responsibility to ensure your home is spick and span and ready for a sale falls on you! Declutter as much as you can and be sure you are tending to all surfaces, nooks and crannies that are dust and dirt magnets. A clean and crisp canvas is what buyers are looking for so they can envision themselves living there.
Virtual Marketing & Staging: Staging is a MUST do practice with all successful home sales, but it is especially important amid a pandemic. Due to current restrictions prohibiting ‘Open Houses’ in many regions, sellers and their agents are relying on photos, videos and the virtual tour more than ever! Think of it as a walkthrough of your home but done virtually. You want your home to ‘POP’ on screen and really standout in the eyes of buyers, especially for those who can’t view the home personally. Therefore, stage your home tastefully and hire a professional to come in and take the appropriate photos and video footage of your home. You agent will know how to market these materials and in some cases will host a ‘Virtual Open House’ event to still tour your home to buyers and draw them in.
Listings Price: After you’ve determined the ‘Fair Market Value’ of your home, you and your agent will decide on the best price to list your home. As a seller you may be tempted to price at market value or above. However, an effective strategy is to price slightly below your home’s market value; this broadens your buyer pool and encourages demand for the property. You’ll be surprised how many buyers will be reeled in by the appeal of the price, and this could spur a multiple-offer situation and result in a bidding war, which would ultimately drive up the sale price of your home.
Showings: For some buyers, viewing a home online is simply not enough to justify making an offer. That said, while open houses may be off the table for now, showings are still permissible, with restrictions of course. You can also be encouraged by the fact that those who book a showings are serious about the property if they are willing to venture out during a pandemic to view your home. It’s up to your agent and the representing agent of the buyers to ensure all parties are kept safe during the showing process. As for precautionary measures, all showing must be scheduled by appointment only and should not overlap one another. It is absolutely crucial that all potential buyers who are entering your home complete a Covid-19 screening questionnaire. In no way is this negotiable and anyone showing signs or symptoms are not permitted inside the home. Assuming the potential buyers have been screened properly, all attendees of the showings should be reduced to ONLY the buyers (no more than 2 adults) and their representative agent. All attendees are permitted to wear masks and sanitize before entering the home and should be refrain from touching any surfaces during their tour. Because time slots for showings have been reduced from 1 hour to 30 minutes or less, it’s important that your home is in topnotch shape for every viewing. Be sure the home is tidy, tastefully staged and highlights all the features you most want shown. Keeping things simple and sleek makes the home standout and more easy to navigate for buyers! Remember that while you may require plenty of ‘notice’ before showings, sometimes this won’t always be the case. You will need to maintain the home’s pristine look as best you can so you can be prepared for a showing at the drop of a hat.
Now that you know the steps to listing your home during a pandemic, you can be rest assured your sale will follow through safely and smoothly with top results! Need help preparing your home for sale? I’m here to help!