Selling During COVID

Top Selling Tips to Focus on During Quarantine


Now that we are a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it is becoming clear to many homeowners and real estate professionals, that traditional methods of selling homes are no longer practical. Shelter in place restrictions, fears of germs, and restrictions on large groups mean the days of open houses are long gone.


That does not mean the real estate market is going to stagnate. Many industry experts feel that today’s housing market is in much better shape than the one in 2008 because banks have since tightened their lending standards. Additionally, since many homeowners are postponing home sales, there is less inventory on the market, which helps to keep prices from significantly dropping.


If you have been thinking of selling a home, now is a great time to list. Below is an overview of how the coronavirus pandemic is changing home sales.


The home evaluation process is going digital

To save time and reduce potential exposure to coronavirus, many real estate agents are now having virtual meetings with sellers. In these meetings they go over logistics such as what the housing market looks like in their neighborhood, pricing strategies, and tips on how to enhance the look and feel of the property.


Additionally, real estate agents are increasingly using virtual tours and walkthroughs in place of having in-person gatherings. It is not difficult to host virtual showings. The agent only needs Zoom, Google Meet, Facebook Live, or other web conferencing solutions to broadcast their video to interested prospective buyers.


Once a buyer reaches the closing stage, agents are now using E-signature and remote online notarization (RON) solutions to finalize paperwork. Although RON was previously prohibited, many municipalities are allowing its use due to the pandemic.


Protecting your health and safety during in-person interactions

While it is true that most of the home buying/selling process can be done virtually. Most, if not all your prospective buyers will want to have an in-person showing before signing off on a sale. Fortunately these selling tips for in-person showings during the coronavirus pandemic are easy to implement.


When you are scheduling showings, you should only have one client party at a time, without any overlapping visits. When the parties are on your property, it is important to ensure that every individual stays at least six feet apart, and if possible, that disposable gloves or wipes are provided for use when opening doors.


To minimize the need for buyers to touch surfaces, before each showing, you should turn on all the lights and open all closets and cabinets. Agents should also advise visitors on best practices to avoid coronavirus, such as not using the restroom and refraining from touching surfaces unless necessary.


Walkthroughs should be bound by time limits and buyers should be asked not to linger.


Conducting home inspections

In addition to addressing the needs of prospective buyers, when you sell your home, a home inspection is a must. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many lenders are allowing buyers to use alternative appraisals.


Alternative appraisals consist of a licensed evaluator reviewing tax and property records, along with exterior inspections, drive-bys, inspection reports from other professionals, and video walkthroughs hosted by the seller to assess the home’s quality and condition.


By using alternative appraisals, your buyer can complete their purchase without you having to worry about preparing for an in-person visit. 


 By Tom Bookhardt, July 16, 2020