How to Sell Your Home During a Pandemic this Holiday Season
Choosing to sell your home is always a big decision, but doing so during a pandemic might be even more difficult. In such a scenario, multiple health and safety concerns—and possible economic distress—may be layered on top of the typical market conditions you’ll consider before making the final decision to sell.
Demand for housing is still incredibly strong, despite the hit to the economy, and supply is at a record low.
But, why should you sell your home this holiday season?
Benefits to Selling Your Home Over the Holidays
Nobody wants their home to languish on the market nor do they want to have to lower their asking price. While many fear that reality if they list their home during the holidays, it often isn’t the case. When you sell your home during the holidays, you will face less competition, find more serious buyers, and may even be up for a quicker sales process. It also presents a unique opportunity to create a warm and cozy environment that you can’t present during the Spring or Summer months.
It’s also more likely the buyers will be financially qualified to buy the home. The reason is, no busy agent is going to be wasting their holiday time showing homes to unqualified buyers.
Home Buyer’s Motivation During Holidays
Consider the mindset of your prospective home buyer. Since it’s the holiday season, it’s doubtful he or she would be spending their time searching for homes, unless they were truly serious about buying. As the seller, you can expect to receive less home viewings, but you won’t be wasting time with window shoppers. Remember, you’re looking for qualified buyers, not window shoppers.
Selling During the Pandemic
The impact of COVID-19 on consumer buying behavior has been extensive and quick. Spending across most industries has decreased, purchases have shifted to digital channels, and public safety has become the priority.
Heightened fears of the pandemic, along with social distancing and continued lockdowns, have shifted buyers’ preferences and pushed them online.
If you are trying to sell your home in this market, there are some things that you can do to help keep everyone involved as safe and healthy as possible.
Ask your agent about creating a video tour
Because circumstances beyond your control may preclude homebuyers from seeing your house in person, now would be a good time to consider investing in a virtual tour of your property. There are plenty of people who are interested in house hunting but are confined to their homes. Producing a virtual tour allows you to feature your property to your advantage and allows today’s buyers to view your home at their convenience.
Professional quality photos and videos have long been important for catching the eye of potential buyers, but now, savvy real estate agents are conducting virtual showings in real time so buyers can attend a showing via a laptop or tablet.
To that end, it may be a good idea to ask your agent to create a video tour of your home as part of their marketing process. Many MLS websites allow agents to upload video files to listings in addition to photos.
Watching a video tour will allow potential buyers to get a sense for the layout of your home before they see it in person. Ultimately, it will help give them a better idea of whether or not your home could be a good fit for them. On your end, it will also help to limit the amount of traffic going through your home to only those buyers who have serious interest in your property.
To obtain the most lucrative sale right now, sellers should streamline their homes of clutter so that photography and virtual tours can be maximized.
Clean your home before and after showings
While you should always clean your home before showings, these days, this task is taking on a new level of importance. Be sure to clean your home as thoroughly as you can before and after any scheduled showings in order to create the safest possible environment for everyone involved.
You may also want to have a selection of personal hygiene products like hand sanitizer available for buyers to use while they are viewing your home.
Use teleconferencing and e-signing programs to negotiate contracts
Once you do get an offer, you can handle it digitally. Thanks to technology, there are many different e-signing programs that you can use to sign contracts without having to go into an office and meet with your agent.
If you’re unfamiliar with this process, lean on your agent for assistance. Ask him or her to teleconference with you as you sign the documents. That way, you can get your questions answered before you sign on the dotted line.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to selling a house during a pandemic. Consider your health, your priorities as a seller, your financial outlook during uncertain economic times, and the overall risks and rewards of going ahead with listing your home. If you’re still unsure of what path to take, consult a real estate agent and your physician for guidance.