May Sellers: Don’t Wait—You Can Still Tackle A Home Sale During a Pandemic
The coronavirus may have transformed life as we know it, but the business of buying and selling homes? That’s still going strong.
It’s true that selling a home looks very different during COVID-19 than it does in normal times. However, that doesn’t mean that sellers need to wait until the pandemic has passed in order to sell their home and move on to their next one.
In fact, according to a HomeLight survey of top real estate agents shortly after the pandemic struck in March 2020, more than 60 percent of agents still characterized their local housing markets as sellers’ markets.
So how do you tackle a home sale during a pandemic? Here are some selling tips to help you during the coronavirus.
Get creative with virtual showings and tours.
While in-person showings are greatly reduced due to concerns about spreading the virus, video tours and virtual walk-throughs can give potential buyers the information they need to either move forward or look elsewhere.
Invest in a video tour by hiring a real estate video company. Ensure that the company you work with takes safety precautions, like having any videographers wear a mask, gloves, and booties while they’re in your home.
If you’d rather not have someone else in your home, work with your agent to record your own video on your phone—it’s not ideal, but it’s certainly permissible in this environment! Buyers want to be able to tour homes during coronavirus from the safety of their devices, so anything you can do to make that easier will help you immensely.
Ask your agent to carefully screen buyers.
Sight-unseen home purchases are occurring, but they’re still very few and far between. Most buyers will still want to see your home in person before making an offer.
The difference now is that most agents are screening buyers very carefully before granting any in-person showing requests. This could mean requiring that buyers be pre-qualified for the amount of the mortgage they’d need, and have a pre-approval letter or proof of funds they can show you, as well as having buyers do a “preliminary showing” by driving or walking by the home and exploring the surrounding neighborhood or environs.
Take safety precautions at all times.
Exercise social distancing from your agent and anyone else you need to engage with during the process at all times. This may mean doing things a bit differently, like driving in a separate car from your agent while looking for your own new home.
If you’re allowing people into your home for a showing, do whatever you can to reduce the need for them to touch anything: turn on all lights, open all doors, and ask that buyers wear gloves, masks, and booties. You or your agent should disinfect everything before and after the showing, and wear your own protective gear if you’ll be on the property while anyone else is.
Selling your home during coronavirus will be different, but it can absolutely be done. By working with a great real estate agent and taking the right precautions, you’ll be placing a “Sold” sign in your yard in no time.
What is the number 1 question both buyers and sellers are asking right now? I bet you know what it is...
With Covid-19 running rampant, work stoppage and skyrocketing unemployment, and with mortgage lending getting tighter and tighter everyone wants to know what is going to happen to the real estate market. But what they are really asking is what will happen to the price of homes.
I wish I could answer that question, but I can tell you that based on the amount of available inventory I would say that I don't believe it will go down, at least not in any significant way. Take a look at this chart of Inventory of Single Family Homes in Bristol County spanning the last 5 years:
Notice the number of listing units. One of the biggest issues we have had over the last few years is lack of inventory. Now look at the inventory level for 2020. It is down 25% from this time last year and down 45% from 5 years ago.
Now look at the months of supply. A stable market, a market in balance (equal number of buyers and sellers) is usually indicated when there is a 6 month supply of homes available. We are currently at 1.7 months of supply.
Now, let's take a look at this chart for Multi-Family homes in Bristol County:
See a trend here? Very similar statistics as the single family chart. Now let's look at condominiums:
Again, similar story.
There is no doubt that the effects of the corona virus will have a chilling effect on the economy and the number of home buyers in the market place but with so little inventory the likelihood of any long term and significant downward pressure on pricing is low.
However, if there is one constant in real estate it's change! I do expect that once we are on the other side of this, and businesses are able to re-open and we all start to become more accustom to this new normal that there will be a flood of homes hitting the market. So when that happens we will have to see how the market responds.
EZ Home Search Real Estate