Sometimes it feels like COVID-19 has ground the world to a complete halt. If you need to sell your home, however, you’re probably all too aware that some things continue on regardless. When it’s time to upgrade to a bigger property, downsize for retirement, or relocate for a new opportunity, a successful home sale is a high priority. Right now, you need to find ways to advertise, show, and sell your property without putting yourself or your buyers at risk. Here’s a look at how to make the most of the options available right now.
Research Your Market
First, you should do some digging to see what’s happening in your housing market. The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t affecting all areas equally, so safety guidelines will vary from market to market. Start by reaching out to your real estate agent to get a feel for what they’ve seen work so far. They should be able to give you some insight, particularly into which virtual options are making headway with buyers.
You can also investigate the market by taking a look through local listings; this will give you a feel for what is and isn’t working. Browse listings by “pending” to see what homes have offered. Take notes on those listings’ photography, the details of the home, the price, and the time the property spent on the market. For example, Sarasota homes have sold for an average of $290K while averaging 41 days on the market. All of these little aspects of a successful listing can clue you in to how the market is managing amidst COVID-19.
Prepare Your Home
Even if you don’t expect to host in-person tours, you’ll still need to prepare your home for sale. Thoroughly clean and declutter every room in the house. Consider removing any personal or highly stylized decor, as these touches can turn buyers off. Other simple renovations, such as a new coat of paint or updated hardware, can give your property a sales-ready sheen.
If you have kids, consider setting up a daily tidying schedule to keep things looking great. Getting the whole family involved in the cleaning up process makes the work go faster and prevents any one person from feeling like the whole job rests on them. Plus, it’s good practice for keeping your next home neat and tidy!
You may eventually need to show the property in person. If this time comes, be sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect the house before and after the showing. Simple cleaning can go a long way toward reducing the risk of potential transmission to you or the viewers.
Investigate Virtual Options
There are several options available for sellers who aren’t comfortable hosting open houses or in-person tours. The most basic way to give buyers a digital look at the property is via a video tour. If you’re comfortable doing so, hire a professional to come in and take the video. They’ll have the best sense for lighting and the eye to catch the property’s best features. Moreover, a pro has the editing skills to keep the video informative and engaging from start to finish.
If you’d prefer to film yourself, here are a few tips. Film during a time of day that your property has lots of natural light. Avoid getting any pets or family members in the frame – the video should be about the property, not the occupants. Finally, use a simple video editing software to remove the original audio and replace it with pleasant, royalty-free background music.
You can also have a 3D model of your home constructed. This allows buyers to tour the property virtually, almost like a video game. In fact, many virtual reality consoles are able to navigate these tours; of course, this is only relevant for buyers who happen to have access to this tech. Still, anyone with a computer can tour a 3D model and get a sense of what it’s like to move around your property. So far, these have been more common for new construction, as they can show what a property will look like before it’s even built. With social distancing, these kinds of virtual tours are on the rise — and they’re getting easier and easier to make.
Social distancing guidelines make selling a home more complicated, but it’s far from impossible. With so many options at our fingertips, there’s never been a better time to show a home from a distance. So, focus on nailing your listing and creating great virtual tours.
Written by our dear friend Shirley Martin
Photo Credit: Unsplash