There is no doubt about it: trying to sell a home during a pandemic creates its own set of unusual circumstances and obstacles. This does not, however, mean that it is impossible to sell during these unusual times. By keeping these simple tips in mind, you will be sure to be happy with the outcome when selling your home during and after the pandemic.
Tip #1: Know What to Expect
Generally speaking, homeowners who put their homes on the market during the pandemic are experiencing a decrease in the number of interested buyers, but an increase in the number of who genuinely serious about making a purchase. The pandemic has virtually eliminated those who are simply curious about looking at a house or who are casually considering making a purchase. For a buyer to go through the trouble of viewing a home now, that buyer has to be quite serious about making a purchase. Furthermore, with mortgage lenders tightening up on their qualification standards in response to rising unemployment and economic instability, most potential buyers in today’s market have strong credit and are quite likely to be approved for a loan when making an offer.
Tip #2: Take Advantage of Teleconferencing Options
When putting your home on the market, your real estate agent should be in regular contact with you throughout the process. While this form of contact may look a little different now than it did before, a variety of teleconferencing solutions should still make it possible for you to remain in continual contact with your agent. In addition to meeting with your real estate agent through teleconferencing rather than in-person, your agent may eliminate in-person showings of the house.
With the increase in teleconferencing and tele-showings, it is important for you to know that certain coronavirus clauses are being added to contracts. These are frequently put in place to protect the buyer who may not have seen the property in person before seeing it. You need to know how these clauses may affect you and the sell of your home.
Tip #3: Watch the Market
Before the pandemic struck, it was always important to watch the market to know when was the best time to sell. The same is true now, too. If a shelter in place order is in effect, for example, it may not be the best time to put your home on the market. Discuss these concerns with your agent in order to determine whether or not now is the right time to sell.
Similarly, you may wonder if it is a good idea to lower the asking price on your home during the pandemic. Generally speaking, the answer to this question is “no”. While it may feel like we are heading into a similar housing crash as the one we saw in 2008, the reality is that this pandemic is quite different. Housing prices are not currently dropping and, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, data was trending toward a nationwide robust seller’s market. Housing inventory continues to remain low, thereby suppressing any trend toward lower prices. While a downturn may be somewhere in our future, that is not currently the case.