COVID-19 struck the US just as the seasonal housing market was heating up for another strong year. Existing home sales have now plummeted nearly 18% through April, which is the largest decrease since July 2010.
If you can delay the sale of your home for another year, all indicators suggest it’s a wise strategy. But not everyone has that luxury. Whether you’re reeling from your current mortgage or recently inherited real estate, you know it’s time to make a sale.
While the home selling process is now more complicated than ever, there are still ways to reach a fair and satisfying transaction. Here’s what to expect when selling a home during — and after — the coronavirus pandemic.
1. Rise of Virtual Showings
It’s no secret that simple pictures fail to convey the atmosphere or condition of a home. They’re often a jumping-off point for interested buyers who will later inspect the home in-person. Unfortunately, recent mandates and common courtesy have limited the availability of physical tours.
That’s why many real estate agents have adopted the use of virtual tours. With specialized equipment, realtors are able to create a 3D space that offers a more realistic house depiction than basic pictures.
Of course, few buyers would be satisfied with a virtual tour alone. For serious inquiries, an agent can perform what’s known as a virtual showing. Buyers can ask questions in real-time while the agent shows the home through a live video stream.
Although buyers may never walk into the home, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to skimp on basic practices. Staging a home is even more important than before, as even the best cameras can struggle to depict a space in its best light.
For these reasons and others, you can expect the traditional process of selling a house to cost more than before.
2. Limited Home Tours
In some states, such as Michigan, lawmakers are relaxing distancing rules within the real estate market. For example, private showings are an option — but don’t expect open houses to make a return anytime soon. Most buyers and real estate agents will likely continue to rely on virtual assistance for the foreseeable future.
There’s still a chance that a pre-qualified buyer will demand a physical home tour. When that occurs, it’s not business as usual.
Work with your real estate agent to disinfect high-use objects, mainly doorknobs and light switches. You may also offer simple protective equipment like gloves or hand sanitizer. After the tour, you’ll want to disinfect the entire home once again.
Remember that while home tours are available, they still must follow current safety ordinances. A large collective of buyers may not be able to attend a home tour at the same time.
3. The Importance of a Good Realtor
With the real estate market in a state of transition, it’s more important than ever before to find the right real estate agent for the job. Traditional signs of a good realtor like neighborhood experience, sociability, and trustworthiness are still key traits.
But nowadays, that’s no longer enough.
During the interview process, focus your attention on the agent’s marketing plan. Technological prowess is the new cornerstone of success. You want a realtor that understands and embraces virtual software.
If yours doesn’t, you could be looking at a lengthy time sitting on the market, struggling to find buyers who haven’t moved on to the safety and convenience of virtual showings. Ideally, you’ll find a real estate agent with proven experience selling homes in a virtual setting.
Need more help choosing a realtor? Here’s how to find a real estate agent in Ft. Lauderdale.
4. A Slower Home Selling Process
Selling a home can oftentimes include at least a dozen or more separate professionals from brokers to surveyors to appraisers. All of these people may need to visit the property to do their work. And traditionally, you’d be there to work with most of them.
The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated the home selling process. Due to social distancing efforts, major delays can occur. This is most notably the case during the actual closing of the sale.
Bringing buyers, sellers, agents, and notaries together is ill-advised. For that reason, many real estate moguls are pushing for virtual notarization. But so far, this is an option for only about half of states across the US.
Expect a few hangups while you’re selling your home as the moving parts adopt their policies for seamless post-pandemic operation.
5. Conservative Pricing
With fewer homes on the market, it stands to reason that yours is worth more. Such is the mechanism of supply and demand. And to some extent, home prices have enjoyed a modest increase.
But don’t ask for too much. Current homebuyers won’t bend over backward to make a sale in this market. That’s because there’s still plenty of time for buyers to take advantage of mortgage rates nearing historic lows.
If you need to get rid of your home as soon as possible, offer a good deal. Otherwise, you’ll wonder why your house won’t sell.
Simple Homeselling During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Homeselling has never been an easy experience. It may take several months or years for all involved parties to streamline their processes in a safe, effective manner. That’s a long time to wait for things to blow over.
If you’re looking to sell your home and avoid the complicated home selling process, you’ve got options. Get a cash offer for your home in as-is condition. No home visit is necessary.