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Selling a home in a pandemic: How to pull it off

Figures recently released by the National Association of Realtors state that existing-home sales and new-home sales increased by 21% and 32% respectively in September from last year. These numbers are indicative of a real estate market that’s not just surviving the pandemic but actually thriving despite it. This is good news if you’re looking to sell your home right now.

With the right home selling tips and strategies at your disposal, you’ll be able to secure a good deal for your home. Where to start? Check out the recommendations below:

Digital presentations now matter a lot

Nowadays, putting up a “for sale” sign in the yard won’t do much to reach out to potential buyers. With COVID-19 still a threat to everyone’s safety, most people will be reluctant to go out and view homes in person.

That said, the digital presentation of your home is the next best tool to use at this time. For many, it could be the only way to examine the property while remaining in the safety of their respective homes.

Before getting all the digital presentation elements right, there are several tasks to be done. Aside from replacing outdated lighting fixtures, repainting walls, and updating the flooring, you have to take decent photos of key areas of the home. Make sure to come up with a well-written home listing, where all important information (e.g. property description, highlights, nearby schools) is neatly laid out.

To make sure you’re not missing some vital details of your digital presentation, always have your audience – your target homebuyers – in mind. Put yourself in their shoes and think of what they would like to see, potential questions they might ask. Having this perspective allows you to create a virtual home walkthrough that’s more buyer-focused.

Dazzle potential buyers right from the get-go

In the real estate industry’s new normal, digital platforms will be key battlegrounds in jostling for buyers’ attention as these are crucial for an assured sale. So, expect stiff competition from other sellers with digital presentations of their own properties.

To see to it that your home stands out among the rest, you need to entice buyers to explore the home further within seconds of laying their eyes on your listing.

Put your best photos in front and center of the page. Resist the urge to do a photo slideshow that starts with an image of the main door then slowly makes its way around the other parts of the house. Believe us when we say that buyers won’t have the patience to keep clicking on a step-by-step tour when seeing a listing for the first time.

Instead, make sure to give a concise snapshot or snappy introductory description of the property — enough to convince home buyers to schedule a virtual showing.

Figure out the appropriate price according to market conditions

For all the trouble it has caused, the pandemic has done little to dampen soaring buyer interest since March. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t be a reason for you to dictate a sky-high listing price for your home.

The temptation to overprice your property in a hot real estate market could be quite strong. However, consider the repercussions – your home could spend a considerably longer time on the market.

When buyers notice that no one is making a move on the property, this could create the impression that the home has glaring red flags or issues that nobody wants to deal with. That’s a scenario you’d want to avoid entirely.

Erring on the side of underpricing is a better situation. Potential buyers are likely to bid more for your home, especially if they are quite keen on acquiring the property and are aware that the low price can attract competing buyers who might beat them to the punch.

Master virtual or physically-distanced closing

Closing a real estate transaction has always involved the buyer, seller, agents, and other parties (e.g. attorney, closing officer) meeting face-to-face. But COVID-19 has impacted how closings are traditionally done.

To comply with stay-at-home recommendations and physical distancing protocols in some areas, sellers must become tech-savvy and creative as they draw negotiations and other home-selling matters to a close.

Here are various strategies that you can explore:

  • The virtual close. As the name suggests, this involves the electronic signing of digital documents. While the two parties never meet in person, the sending and exchange of documents are done through platforms like DocuSign or HelloSign.
  • The curbside close. This involves two parties driving up to the title office but remaining inside their respective vehicles by the curbside. A closing officer verifies identification and facilitates the exchange of closing documents.
  • The onsite close. Alternatively, parties can meet in person at the home while maintaining physical distance and wearing face masks and gloves. In some jurisdictions, this may be permitted. You may also be required to sign an affidavit confirming that you are in good health.

Work with our team of real estate agents from RE/MAX Direct for the best home selling strategies in the time of COVID. Call us at 610.430.8100 or send us an email at remaxdirectwc(at)gmail(dotted)com.