June 27th, 2020
Spring is normally the prime home-selling season. However, with the spread of COVID-19, the housing market may look a little different than it has in years past.
If you’re considering putting your house on the market during the pandemic, you should prepare to face a few unique obstacles. Aside from a longer time on the market, you should expect most aspects of the selling process to change.
While the times are uncertain, you can still move forward with selling your home. To help, here are four factors to consider before putting your house on the market:
- Property Condition
The condition of your home can impact your ability to sell quickly, especially during a crisis. Buyers will feel more at ease if a home is move-in ready and in good condition. Figure out if there are any repairs or improvement projects you need to complete. Then, determine if you have the time and financial means to complete them.
Completing essential home improvements and repairs with high returns on investment may help increase overall home value and ensure a quicker sale. To get your home in selling condition, you may want to consider financing options like personal or equity loans that you can pay back once you’ve recouped the costs after selling your home.
- Market Conditions
As many prospective buyers halted their home search at the start of COVID-19, sellers simultaneously began pulling their properties from the market. Though buying and selling have both slowed down, home values are still up compared to last year, making the pandemic a potentially attractive time to sell.
Questions still loom around how the housing market may change in the future. For instance, some experts think that higher unemployment rates may negatively impact the real estate market, while others believe buyers may feel more compelled to close on a home thanks to historically low mortgage rates. Be sure to evaluate housing trends with your agent to ensure you make the best decision given the market.
- Home Showings
With many stay-at-home orders still in place, you should be prepared for a new selling experience. Online listings have always been crucial for attracting buyers, but now it’s become an even more critical component of selling. Virtual showings and electronic documents make it possible for house hunters to tour and close on a home, so you’ll want to pay special attention to staging to ensure an attractive listing.
Even if you live in a neighborhood where restrictions have been lifted, you will still want to take sanitary precautions. You should expect to provide hand sanitizer, single-use face masks, shoe coverings, and disinfectant wipes for in-person showings, and space out appointments to avoid larger tours.
It’s important to evaluate your finances to determine whether or not you can afford to move during a pandemic. Funds may already be tight during these times, so you’ll want to consider your current mortgage and any moving costs before making the decision to list your home.
Keep in mind there are other costs that can impact the bottom line. Be sure to factor in agent commission, property taxes, and closing costs, which can also impact your profitability. As a general rule, it’s best to hold off on selling if these expenses outweigh your listing price substantially.
The current crisis presents several unique challenges for buyers and sellers alike. By heading into the process with an open mind and taking these factors into consideration, you’ll feel better prepared to move forward with selling.