Can you Sell Your Home During Covid-19

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Real Estate

Can I sell my house during the COVID-19 pandemic? Selling a house should always be based on a number of factors, particularly with regard to your family’s health and financial situation. But to cut to the chase: Yes, you can still sell a home during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly now that states are beginning to reopen.

In most markets, inventories are low and prices are high—which means you can still make a profitable sale. “Now’s a great time to sell,” says Melissa Corkum, “With low inventory and high buyer interest, many homes are selling very quickly—within days or hours in some cases. Interest rates are also low, and there’s serious pent-up demand for homes, especially in lower price ranges.”

Is it safe to sell your home during such an outbreak? Selling your home during a pandemic means extra precautions. You might be asking yourself if it’s safe to go through the traditional home showing and selling process. Assuming your family members are all in good health, there are several precautions your real estate agent can take to safely show your home to interested buyers. We’re allowing showings, but with safety in mind. For my team, that means no overlapping showings, no children in the house, masks on, shoes off, and hand sanitizer at the door. She also recommends people leave all of their lights on and doors open (even for closets), since this translates into fewer surfaces being touched.

The fact is that people still need to move, pandemic or no pandemic. Newburyport is low on inventory; we still have more people moving here than we have housing available. Other markets, like Amesbury, are seeing a similar trend in sales. Markets with low inventory are seeing houses sold quickly. As always, we’d recommend chatting with a local real estate agent to get the pulse on exactly how your market is performing.

Will you get the most for your home? Since this recession is largely dictated by the pandemic, it’s almost impossible to keep the two separate. But if you do decide to sell during this period of economic downturn, take the time to consider your own financial stability, as well as the conditions of the market you're moving to.

If you planned to sell your home due to relocation, a short sale, or moving for larger space, then I would recommend proceeding—but with caution. Do you have another home or area in mind? Always be sure to see if what you are seeking is available or will be available when you’re ready to find a property to purchase. And while the buyer pool has undoubtedly shrunk in the past few weeks, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Will I have competition if I try to sell my house right now? Even during a pandemic, you can expect some competition from other sellers. You’re likely to have much less competition as a seller right now since potential sellers are still wary about putting their homes on the market amid a pandemic. (These conditions are expected to change as summer ramps up; more on that later.)

Avoid getting caught up in the competition, and focus instead on the things they can control—like competitive pricing, getting their home in a good state, and having a solid marketing strategy. Another point to remember? Competition happens on both sides of the street.

While some predicted a price drop for 2020, experts now expect the fall home-buying market to be much hotter than expected, as many Americans feel more secure in their jobs and can physically step into the homes they are considering. While you might not have to drop your price, remember you may need to be more patient in pursuing a good sale.

How can I sell my house without allowing buyers to walk through?
If you're selling, now's the time to make the most of virtual tours. I personally make sure that each buyer has reviewed an on-line tour and driven by the home to check out location. This cut's down on the number of fruitless showings. Understandably, buyers want to see the home they’re buying in person. And no, telling them they can walk the property without entering won't help matters much. It’s mostly impossible to sell your home with no showings or [prospective buyers] in the home at all. If you have special health concerns or live with someone who’s considered high-risk, talk with me about the possibility of virtual showings. Otherwise, consider just cleaning up thoroughly after would-be buyers leave.

Should I stage my house?
Absolutely, professionally staged homes always sell faster, but especially in times like these. I will arrange staging and help with the process. The real question isn’t whether you should stage your house, but how you should stage it. With more tours and showings happening online, you might consider having your home virtually staged rather than actually inviting people into your home to decorate it.

How can I prepare my home for a virtual tour?
A virtual tour can run the gamut from a live walk-through with an agent on FaceTime to a sophisticated 3D rendering from companies such as Matterport. But for the most part you want to prepare for a virtual tour the same way you would for a still-photo shoot—by decluttering it, upping the curb appeal, and making sure nothing is broken or an eyesore. Make sure everything is clean, all lights are turned on, fans are off, blinds are open, surfaces are cleared, and everything is put away.

How can I close remotely?
States are handling remote closings a little differently, so the short answer is to ask your me. The long answer: The way settlements are being handled varies quite a bit.

Looking for more advice on selling your home in the age of COVID-19? Call or text to set up a call. 978-270-4993