How to Sell Your House During a Pandemic
Summer is traditionally the busiest time of the year in real estate. By early spring, many people across the United States get ready to list their house for sale, scrubbing surfaces, and planning for extra storage if needed. However, 2020 started under vastly different circumstances than usual.
With the COVID-19 epidemic in full fling, many would-be buyers and sellers have been forced to revisit their plans. Nevertheless, life does not always stop for coronavirus. Whether it is a dramatic life change like a birth or a divorce, a job relocation, some have no choice but to move forward and sell their house during the coronavirus. So, how can you sell your home during a pandemic?
Check your local laws.
Local ordinances on how you can sell your property during a pandemic vary widely across the United States. While real estate agents are considered essential in some places, many have had to take a back seat for the time being. As laws change quickly in these troubled times, make sure that you and the real estate agent are working to stay up to date in the latest developments.
Some cities allow in-person visits; others do not. Buying a house sight unseen is not as new as some may believe. People relocating from abroad or military families with little notice have had to trust their real estate agents and technology for years. However, there is no denying that a buying experience that used to be marginal is now turning into the norm.
Thankfully, technology is catching up quickly with the latest turns of events. Most real estate agents are proactive about finding solutions to help their clients list and sell their home even in the middle of a pandemic.
From video tours to Zoom open houses and 360-videos in listings, many options can help you, and your real estate agent, promote your home for sale to potential buyers while respecting the social distancing rules in place in your area. While interviewing listing agents, ask them what strategies they have in place to help sell your house through these difficult times.
Be prepared for a different selling experience.
Put all the chances on your side so that yourself, the potential buyers, your real estate agent, but also all the other actors involved in a real estate transaction like the appraiser, mortgage agent, house inspector, etc. have a smooth experience.
If you are still occupying the house, showings can be a challenge. It is a good idea to set up a station with hand sanitizer at the property entrance so anyone that comes in can be as safe as possible. You can also offer masks, gloves, and shoe protections if needed, as well as soap and towels in every bathroom. Ask your agent to turn on the lights and open the doors so visitors can limit contact with the high touch areas. Make sure you have a place to go to while buyers and inspectors can walk through the house in privacy.
Some rules for closings, which used to require all parties to be present, have changed. Ask your agent what the new process is, from online signing to drive-by closings.
Beware of market changes.
The good news for house sellers is that the pandemic doesn’t seem to have affected the real estate market. In fact, the demand for new properties for sale is still high, while inventory is limited. The difference between offer and demand is likely to rise potential offers, especially since the interest rates remain low.
However, the constant uncertainty and changes also mean that buyers are more likely to get cold feet and be worried about losing their job, which would affect their financing. Don’t be surprised if one or more potential buyer ends up backing off at the last minute.
If you are pressed by time, you may want to investigate selling your house to a company like National Cash Offer instead of going the traditional real estate agent route. It allows you to get a cash offer and a guaranteed quick closing, removing the time factor and uncertainty that comes with selling your house during a pandemic.