How Can I Sell My Home During COVID And Stay Safe?
So, you are considering selling your home but have concerns about the safety and the viability of selling during COVID. We have adapted and figured out how to transfer property with minimal human contact, and the way we buy and sell our homes may never be the same. There are plenty of upsides to not letting 100 strangers wander through your bedroom and peak inside all your cabinets!
As you probably have heard, housing inventory across the country is at an all time low. As we entered 2021, there were less than 400,000 homes on the market; five years ago, there were nearly 1,000,000!
Despite all the turmoil we are experiencing due to COVID and economic fallout, the demand for housing is incredibly strong. The demand is largely driven by historically low interest rates, which allow one to buy more home for the dollar. Secondly, many families’ housing needs have changed as parents now work from home, kids attend school remotely, and more space is needed. Lastly, since we are spending so much time at home, our home has become our sanctuary and of much greater importance.
Homeowners, on average, saw their home’s value increase 10% in 2020. If you have been contemplating selling, it’s hard to imagine a better time than now to take advantage of increasing prices and strong demand.
You can sell safely if you take the proper steps to reduce your risk and exposure. The primary objective is to reduce the number of buyers that want to physically see your home by using the best tools and practices available. Technology is your friend, offering some great tools to aid and enhance the marketing of your home. Professional photography and video are more important than ever to catch a buyer’s attention. Here are some samples of effective video use in previewing homes: 1864 Queensberry , 1691 Meadowbrook. Some other tools in the belt include 3D video-Matterport, detailed floor plans, virtual tours and staging, and drone video showcasing your neighborhood and community amenities. To maximize the effectiveness of these tools, it remains critical that your home is properly prepared, i.e., cleaned thoroughly-inside & out, minor repairs completed, and decluttered.
For buyers still interested after the online preview that wish to schedule an in-person showing, there are some additional steps you can take to ensure the interest is genuine and your buyer is qualified to purchase your home. Prior to scheduling the preview, you may require:
Mortgage pre-approval up to or beyond the asking price of your home.
Proof of available funds to facilitate the down payment or outright purchase.
Review of all disclosures.
These steps will eliminate almost all looky-loos, and only serious/qualified buyers will be peeking inside your closets.
Regarding physical showings, there are many variables to consider and a thorough discussion with your agent is critical prior to making your choices. Some decisions will depend on the amount of interest in your home and may change if your home does not sell quickly. If the home is vacant, showings are simpler, but health and safety protocols are still required. Certain requirements are subject to change (specific to your community), so be sure to review thoroughly with your agent and agree on who is responsible for what.
While your home is on the market, as well as during escrow, you can continue “safe practices” and reduce risk by using Zoom to meet with your agent/others, and DocuSign to sign documents.
If now is the right time for you to sell, do not let COVID stop you. With proper guidance and care, you can safely sell your home.