By Donna Leibow, Senior Certified Licensed Real Estate Agent
That’s right, even in the midst of a world forever changed by COVID19, I advise sellers to put their homes on the market. The real estate climate is different than it was last spring, but certainly not shut down. People still need to buy and sell homes for personal or business reasons they can’t postpone.
The good news about real estate during the pandemic
Buyers actively looking right now are serious; “window-shoppers” tend to browse online at their leisure. Sellers are equally serious as they tend to have with a genuine need to move within a specific time frame. With social distancing measures in place, casual buyers and sellers can, and probably should, wait. And now, with fewer listings available, sellers have less competition for their homes.
If you plan to sell your home during this time, I do not recommend you list at a reduced price to start. Choose a reasonable number based on a current market analysis in your neighborhood and see how it goes. This month, I closed two homes in Dallas, both at above asking price. (article continues after ad)
Don’t assume there are no showings
In-person home showings still take place in many areas, though the way they are held is different. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released open house guidelines advising real estate agents to limit the number of people in the house to ten at a time. They also require potential buyers to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands, and either remove their shoes or cover them with booties when they enter a home.
How to entice buyers
An attractive online presence for your home is essential. Virtual house tours are a great way to keep buyers and sellers safe, and online views are reportedly higher than ever. However, due to the popularity of online house tours, the bar is significantly higher for how a home is presented and marketed. In the past, a few nice photos was sufficient, but now the bar is much higher. It’s a good idea to obtain professional photos and find a realtor with strong online skills.
An empty home is also desirable. I advise sellers to move out prior to listing their home if possible. Buyers prefer to view vacant homes for obvious reasons; they feel safer in an empty home than one where people still live.
The Bottom Line
Life goes on. A move during the coronavirus quarantine is not ideal, but it is not an insurmountable problem. The real estate market is not closed. In fact, those shopping for a new home are more serious than ever.
A native of New Orleans, and with a degree from LSU, Donna started as an elementary school teacher. For many years, she found self-fulfillment by helping her students learn and grow. In 2008, she made a career change to real estate with Keller Williams. Clearly this was not the ideal time to begin a career in real estate, but Donna’s never quit attitude is summed up by her favorite saying, “Dream Big!” It was because of Keller Williams’ support system and continuing education that today Donna is a Triple Diamond award winner, mega agent, and is ranked No.7 out of 450 Keller Williams agents. And like Keller Williams, she strives to “pay-it-forward”, by sharing her knowledge and experience with new agents as they enter the profession. Her motto is simple: “My clients are clients for life!” OTHER ARTICLES BY DONNA
Top image source: Francesca Tosolini from unsplash.com