Despite the pandemic, there are plenty of homeowners who are ready to sell but preparing to do so looks a bit different these days. To attract homebuyers, yet keep them at a safe physical distance, will take some creativity. Let's explore how you can prepare to sell your home, with help from your real estate agent, so that everyone stays safe. (NOTE: at the time this article was written some states were opening up the real estate market.)
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way homes are sold and there's no way around it. Open houses and client showings may never be the same. Currently most of the legwork for sellers and buyers consists of video tours, photos, and a lot of phone/video calls. When your state is open to showing homes again, be prepared to accommodate buyers using the following tips.
Many sellers refuse to have a photographer come into their home because of the virus -- this includes their real estate agent. You, the homeowner, may be in charge of taking the first round of photos.
Your real estate agent will request honesty and transparency when it comes to issues that may exist in and around your home, so your photos should include problem areas too (not to be published publicly). For example, you may have a water spot on your ceiling that could be from a roof leak. Sharing issues like this will help your off-site agent provide the best solution, before putting your house on the market.
If you don't want your agent in your house, record a video while walking through your home to give your agent a better feel for the condition and overall layout. This can be done with your cell phone, a GoPro or a drone. As you pan from floor to ceiling, room to room, your agent can see where improvements need to be made so your home can be sold for top dollar. For example, if there is a lot of outdated furniture, your agent may encourage staging (yourself or a pro) or possibly buying new furniture.
Once your agent has all of this visual information, you will receive a list of action items. This could include anything from clearing off your bookshelves to remodeling the bathroom. Most agents will have a list of vendors to help with repairs. Your agent can help initiate a conversation with them to make sure everyone's on the same page, wearing protective gear, and moving toward the goal in a timely manner.
Once your agent has a better idea of the condition of your home and the improvements you're planning, he/she will provide comparisons on similar homes which have sold in your neighborhood. These "comps" will help determine the most competitive price for your home (what buyers are willing to spend).
Your agent will want to schedule an in-person visit to your home before putting it up for sale. Discuss whether or not you want to be there during the visit. Your agent will determine if all necessary repairs have been made, take new photos, and possibly a 3-D video tour. At this time you'll want to discuss how you plan on handling showings and whether you or your agent will provide protective masks and gloves for potential buyers.
Selling a home during the coronavirus pandemic looks much different than what we're used to but it can be done. Be flexible as your agent provides direction on photos, showings, and open houses. Be patient when your home goes under contract and you move toward closing -- there could be unexpected delays. Communicate often with your real estate agent to ensure you're providing enough information to help the potential buyer make an informed decision about purchasing your home. Let's get your home sold! If you need help finding a real estate agent, please let us know.