The How-To Guide for Safe Home Sales During the COVID-19 Pandemic
If you put your home on the market before the COVID-19 pandemic began, you may be worried that trying to find a buyer with the usual sales and marketing tactics could present major health risks. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to forget about selling your home until the pandemic ends. You just need to get creative and find ways to connect with buyers while practicing social distancing. These strategies will help you sell your home and avoid exposing yourself or potential buyers to COVID-19.
Changes in the Housing Market
Before you begin utilizing new tools for advertising and communication, it’s important to understand the impact this pandemic has had on the real estate market. For instance, while average home prices have been dropping, and new construction has also slowed down in many areas, this is not the case for the San Diego market. Inventory is exceptionally low, and many first-time home buyers in the $500,000 to $650,000 range are finding that they have to offer 5% or more over listing price just to have a chance.
Some home sellers feel that these factors are reasons to pull their homes off the market and delay sales, but no one really knows what state the market will be six months from now. This will all depend on the course of the pandemic. Therefore, it’s best to go ahead with your plans to sell and relocate rather than trying to choose the perfect time to re-list your home in the future.
Prepping and Staging Your Home
Right now, most home sellers are using digital strategies like virtual tours, 3D walkthroughs, and video chatting to connect with prospective buyers. But even if you won’t have any interested parties physically entering your home, you still need to make an effort to clean, prep, and stage each room!
Before you begin filming a virtual tour or photographing your property, Turnkey suggests deep cleaning every room in your home. You’ll also need to touch up your landscaping and yard decor to improve your home’s curb appeal, as buyers will want to see the entirety of your property. Make sure to take care of any important repairs, too, as some damage will still be visible on camera, and buyers will likely have questions related to maintenance and renovations. And if your family members are working from home or taking classes online, you may have more clutter lying around than usual, so find a place for disorganized items and spend a few minutes tidying up at the end of each day.
Virtual Tours and Digital Communication
To film your virtual tour, RISMedia recommends using a few specific tools in addition to your smartphone, like a tripod, a light panel, or even a microphone to record narration and explain your home’s features to viewers. You may want to film a mock tour first and watch it to see what you could improve upon before recording an official tour to upload with your online property listings. With the right camera and software, you could also create a 3D walkthrough.
Ideally, you’ll connect with buyers who would like to learn more about your property after they view your virtual tour. Choose a reliable and widely used video chatting platform like Zoom to host meetings with them and answer their questions.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
You may choose to host private showings while taking precautions with guests. If so, you cannot overlook sanitizing your home before and after they arrive. Creating a regular cleaning schedule will help you stay on track. For example, you will need to disinfect your kitchen and bathroom, wipe down fixtures that are often touched like doorknobs and light switches, and even change out your bedding. Going through this routine will help you ensure that your home is a safe place for your family and any buyers who want to see it in person.
With the technology available to home sellers and listing agents, selling your home in the midst of this pandemic is possible. You probably did not envision yourself taking these kinds of precautions when you put your home on the market, but if you take advantage of the virtual tools at your disposal, you’ll increase your chances of finding a buyer.