7 Tips for Selling Your Home During Coronavirus

On one of your social-distance walks around the block, you may have noticed something surprising: for-sale signs popping up across front lawns. 

But how does selling a home work in this new environment? Are you destined to sell for less or spend months on the market waiting for an offer? What challenges can sellers expect and how can they overcome them?

Here's what to expect and how you should navigate selling your home in this environment.

1. Don’t entertain lowball offers — yet

The shake-up of day to day life and the economy might have some sellers reeling about whether their home value has plummeted since the coronavirus hit, but now’s not the time to panic — or accept lowball offers.

Before the coronavirus outbreak home values were appreciating rapidly. With current low levels of inventory, prices are not dropping. So in general, think twice before accepting an offer you’re not happy with.

2. Expect less interest, but more serious buyers

Economic uncertainty and skyrocketing unemployment have led many mortgage lenders to tighten their qualification standards, making it harder for borrowers to secure pre-approval or a home loan. 

Sellers can make the most of this slow but serious traffic. Here’s how:

  • Let buyers experience your home online
    Work with your agent to attach a 3-D self navigable tour, pre-recorded video walkthrough, or listing video to your property listing. Cyber tours give buyers a realistic experience of the property, which may help them see that your home is truly a great match.
  • Boost your home’s curb appeal.
    Before booking a tour, agents are taking their buyers on preliminary showings to highlight the surrounding neighborhood, street, and exterior of a home they’re interested in. So spend a quarantined weekend sprucing up your curb appeal to impress any buyers who may do a drive-by.
  • Hit on your home’s highlights and key upgrades in your listing description.
    Paint a vivid picture of your home with a rich and descriptive listing detailing features that a buyer might miss during the virtual showings.

3. Communicate frequently using teleconferencing solutions

Even in more predictable times, a good real estate agent is in constant contact with their client.  Now data and information is more important than ever.  You need to be kept up to date with any new listings, competition, price drops and overall conditions of the market.

Common questions sellers have:

  • Can I eliminate in-person showings and still sell my home?
  • Should I take my home off the market until the shelter in place order expires?
  • Do I need to cut the price of my home to sell?

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4. List now or be ready to pull the trigger

Inventory is down right now, but buyer demand is still high, making it a good time to list a property while others are hesitating to do so.

At the very least, get your home ready to sell so whenever the shelter in place is officially lifted you can be one of the first ones on the market.

Listing your house now is getting ahead of an anticipated surge in listings. Since you’re spending more time at home than ever before, start taking the steps to prepare your home:

  • Declutter your home.
  • Organize your closets, pantries, and drawers.
  • Tackle simple and affordable curb appeal projects

5. Anticipate new addenda and disclosures

Over the past couple of months as contract delays and hurdles become more common, “coronavirus clauses” — also called coronavirus “addenda” or “amendments” — have become a frequent addition to buyer’s purchase agreements across the country. These provisions permit contract extensions and even termination without repercussions.

It’s important, as a seller, that you know what you’re signing and what your options are. When you receive an offer, you should verify what the terms of the coronavirus amendment are.

6. Push for a standard closing, but plan on delays

During the coronavirus outbreak, one of the biggest challenges in selling homes has been delays.  The delays stem from delays in appraisals, inspections, and other key closing services.

While some delays are inevitable and fall under the coronavirus clause, aim to keep your buyer on track with a standard 30 day closing.

7. Check to see where the buyer’s loan is coming from

Trends in real estate will vary based on your location and market, and therefore you should see who your buyer is pre-approved with.  Are they getting their loan through an online or out of the area lender?

Your listing agent should have insight into which lenders have a tendency to close late and which lenders can perform on time.

 Many online or out of area lenders don't understand the demands of our local real estate market.  As a result, online or out of area lenders have a tendency to close late and not expedite their buyer's files to make short close deadlines.

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