Selling a home is a difficult and multifaceted process which can often take months from start to finish even in the best of times. To make matters more difficult, add a healthy portion of global pandemic with a side of stay at home orders and you might be asking yourself what now?
Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of hitting pause on selling their home. Regardless of a global pandemic, the world is still spinning and life, while looking completely different from just a few short months ago, must continue forward. And if you fall into that category, we can help. So grab a pen, flip to a new page in your quarantine journal and get ready to take some notes, because class is in session.
Now before we jump right in, there are a few things to keep in mind:
First, while selling a home during social distancing will require a different approach, real estate has been deemed an essential business in most areas and real estate professionals have quickly responded by adapting new technology focused approaches.
And second, like you, there are many people who will have to move regardless of a pandemic. Whether they accepted a new job, are expecting a child, or already sold their old home, buyers are out there despite the swirling uncertainty. With concerns about the safety of open houses and showings, selling a home is going to be more difficult, but it’s not impossible. Check out our COVID-19 real estate resource center to see how we’ve made it easier than ever to chat with an agent, view video tours and attend live virtual open houses from the safety of your own home. Our News & Insights team also has published a series of articles on Selling During a Pandemic, which provides a comprehensive breakdown to everything from the getting your home ready to list to striking the right deal despite the pandemic.
Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and jump in.
1. Hire A Real Estate Professional
If you’re a frequent reader of our blogs or News & Insights, you’re probably thinking this bit of advice sounds like a broken record. But it’s for good reason. You should always consult a real estate professional when buying or selling a home, regardless of a sweeping global pandemic. For most people, their home is their largest single asset and a real estate professional can act as your sage guide through the ups and downs, and often emotional, sale process. A seller’s agent can help stage the home or suggest how to declutter, take listing photos, provide marketing materials, organize showings and open houses (video or live), prepare documents for closing, etc. Additionally, they have their ears close to the ground and will be able to give you realistic expectations for selling your home during these highly unusual times. Follow this bit of advice and you’re already off to a great start.
2. Consult Your Real Estate Professional About A Virtual Tour
Technically, this is more step 1.5, but bear with me. If you followed step one, the next step is to ask your agent about their marketing strategy — you want someone who has adapted their business to meet how the industry has changed. Are they using video or virtual tours? How are they producing the listing photos, handling showings, etc?
Many agents are now offering virtual open houses and tours, and are moving much of the offer process online. This means you can get eyes on your home without having to open your door to strangers. Depending on time, budget, and location you can choose from several options: a simple video your agent takes while performing a walkthrough, 1-on-1 virtual tours with potential buyers, and even 3D renderings of your home.
3. Turn Quarantine Time into DIY Time
Instead of having Netflix ask if you’re still there for the fourth time in a day, use all this time at home to your advantage and tackle some home DIY projects that will give your home the glow-up it deserves.
No need to go overboard, a little spackle and paint will go a long way toward refreshing old doors, walls, and trim that are showing a little wear and tear. Additionally, this is a great time to take care of those pesky maintenance tasks you’ve been neglecting such as cleaning your gutters and washing those hard to reach windows. We offer a full list of things to tackle while you’ve got some extra quarantine time on your hands and much more on our home improvement page.
4. Make a Great First Impression
Anytime you’re selling a home you need to make sure your home has a well maintained exterior — a freshly mowed lawn, a yard free of dead tree limbs, an organized porch free of clutter, etc. While this should always be your goal while selling a home, it’s especially important right now during these coronavirus stricken times because the exterior is the only part of the home a potential buyer can see in person if they drive by. However, they may lose interest in the property if they don’t see what they like on the outside.
While most of the home-selling journey has gone digital, that’s not going to stop potential buyers from doing a drive by and checking the place out from the road. First impressions count, so make sure your home has its best foot forward.
5. Spread The Word With Social Media
Ahhh social media. The “tool” that once offered endless scrolling of memes and cat videos has now become an integral part of keeping in touch with friends, family, and loved ones during these times of quarantine.
Leveraging your “friends” online can help spread the word that you’re selling your home and could lead to finding an interested buyer. Now’s the time to post those fabulous photos of your home and the best part is, it’s free! This last step is simple yet effective in increasing attention for your listing. And you never know if one of your friends is looking or knows someone who is. Just make sure to go easy with the filters. No need to “facetune” your master bath.