The housing market in the United States bucked fears of a meltdown and instead surged in 2020 and 2021, propelled by record low borrowing rates, robust demand, and inadequate supply. Many sellers have stayed there, foregoing high sales prices in order to ride out the epidemic in familiar surroundings.
It is appropriate to assess the impact of the outbreak on real estate activities on a local scale. That includes thinking about best practices for selling, displaying, and buying a house in these difficult circumstances. If you’ve been considering selling your house, you still have time. Here is what you need to know about selling a home amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The Current Status of COVID-19 Home Showing Restrictions
The majority of the early COVID-19 laws, such as stay-at-home orders, mask mandates, and social separation, have now expired. However, several states and municipalities continue to impose limitations, and many more are considering doing so in reaction to the Omicron variant and rising COVID-19 infection rates.
If you’re preparing to sell, inquire with your realtor to find out what regulations apply. In the absence of strict guidelines and with COVID-19 still in effect, it is entirely up to sellers and their listing agents to determine what precautions must be taken when displaying their homes.
How to Sell Your House During the Coronavirus Pandemic
1. Virtual home tour
Since unexpected incidents may prevent purchasers from viewing your home in person, this is an excellent time to think about investing in a virtual tour of your estate. Many people want to move but are unable to do so since they are restricted to their houses. Creating a virtual tour helps you to highlight your house and allows today’s purchasers to examine your property at their leisure.
A virtual home tour, in addition to going around your home, delivers a highly accurate experience. Potential buyers may virtually tour your home and receive a detailed look while keeping a suitable social distance. Once completed, your property agent may share the film on social media platforms and on the property agency’s website to pique the attention of additional potential buyers for your house. Before you begin filming the home tour, consult with your realtor for advice on staging, lighting, and software.
2. Participate in a remote closing
A real estate closing is a multi-step process in which final paperwork is signed and funds are delivered to the sellers, real estate agents participating, and anybody else who is owed, such as an inspector or an appraiser. More and more closing businesses are now reducing in-person interaction by utilizing software like Qualia, which allows whole closings to be done online.
3. Be prepared for delays
Hiccups in transactions involving real estate can occur even under the best of circumstances, but they are nearly unavoidable during a pandemic. Be adaptable and ready to contend with delays caused by social distancing, travel limitations, and other unavoidable conditions. It may also be more difficult to organize inspections and assessments during this time, and if you or the buyer become ill, the transaction may be postponed for the length of the confinement and recovery period.
4. Provide display kits
If you have to stay in your home while it is on sale, you can put together a “showing kit” to reduce the danger of virus exposure during a property showing. For the realtor and potential purchasers to use during the house show, the kits should include hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, masks, and shoe coverings.
5. Request a virtual appraisal
Lenders want a professional evaluation to confirm that the residence is worth the loan amount. While checks must be performed in person, some financiers waive the in-person appraisal requirement. To make this happen, you or your realtor must supply measurements of the inside and outside of your home, as well as detailed pictures of each room demonstrating the status of the home, so the appraiser can calculate an accurate valuation without having to step foot on the property.
6. Consider e-offers
When a buyer makes an offer, the buyer’s agent will often meet with her buyers and deliver that offer physically to the seller’s agent, who then shows it to the sellers. Considering that a purchase offer for your home might be complicated, request that your realtor send it to you and then review it with you on the phone. If you take the offer, you must sign the real contract, which your realtor can place in your letterbox for you to collect and later pick up once you’ve signed.
7. Sanitize before and after
Even if you take rigorous precautions, there is no assurance that the individuals who visit your property throughout a showing will be as cautious, so sterilize your home before and after the showing. Concentrate on cleaning high-contact areas including faucets, light switches, doorknobs, counters, and drawer handles.
8. Avoid open houses
At an open house, prospective buyers have the opportunity to stroll around a residence without feeling forced to make an offer by an agent. While it’s a brilliant marketing strategy in good times, it’s risky during an outbreak, and it could even be prohibited in your city. To be safe, avoid showings in place of other means of viewing.
9. Don’t tag along with the inspector
Following the acceptance of a purchase offer, a home inspector will extensively check the property and provide a summary for the buyer’s financing firm. Normally, house sellers accompany the inspector to address questions and highlight different issues. However, it is risky to have unnecessary close contact with a person during a pandemic. Instead, leave a note if you would like to discuss anything with the inspector, and then evacuate the house like you would for a showing.
10. Encourage hand washing
Hand washing is one of the most efficient ways to minimize virus transmission. Even basic measures such as placing signs at the kitchen and bathroom sinks encouraging complete handwashing can help lower the likelihood of germ spread. Place a roll of napkins and antiseptic hand soap next to the signage.
What You Should Know Before Virtually Signing Legal Documents
Isolation laws particular to your region’s events can have an influence on how a regular commercial transaction will occur. During a forced lockdown, your jurisdiction may pass specific rules allowing for virtual e-signing, electronic recording of deeds, and remote notarization. These exclusions are intended to streamline the property contracting process temporarily. Discuss the usage of digital signatures on your closing and sale agreement documents with your realtor or attorney.
Despite the thriving property market, most homeowners who are expected to sell their houses this year are still hesitant. This comes as no surprise, given that limitations remain in place and the economy remains shaky. Since March 2020, the real estate business has changed dramatically, but it has effectively responded to the problems of COVID-19 by depending primarily on technology.
Are you prepared to take the leap and sell your house? We’ll buy your house in any condition without listing fees, and you’ll get a free, no-obligation cash offer. Why not give us a call today?