For many homeowners, the hot real estate market of spring and summer of 2020 was going to be the season they put their homes up for sale — until the coronavirus hit. With people struggling just to get by financially, selling a home seemed like a dream from another lifetime. Records of U.S. home sales for March show a sharp decline of 21% in total homes sold, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.
Now, though, the U.S. real estate market is looking very different. As the economy limps toward a recovery, national home sales climbed a record 20.7 percent in June, compared with home sales from June 2019.
However, many homeowners who have planned to sell this year are still reluctant to take that leap. Here’s all you need to know about selling your home during the COVID-19 crisis.
Are you really ready to sell?
Before putting your home on the market, consider all variables involved and be sure it’s a financially responsible move. Thanks to coronavirus, life circumstances you may have relied on, such as a steady salary, may not be dependable anymore.
Stage your home to sell
With restrictions still in place in many states and lots of people home in quarantine, many buyers will be doing their touring virtually. For sellers, this means staging and photographing a home properly is more important than ever.
Consider hiring a professional home-staging and photography service to present your home in the best light. You can also invest in virtual staging software to help you update the furniture with just a few clicks.
To make it easier for buyers to view your home, you can post a virtual tour on your online listing, and offer the option of scheduling a live tour with an agent through FaceTime.
Play it safe
If you will be allowing potential buyers into your home, set up a box of disposable masks, shoe covers and sanitizing wipes at the door for all visitors who will be tramping through your home.
Price it right
Fewer homeowners are putting their houses up for sale this year, but the pool of buyers is also smaller than usual. This means that you won’t be able to jack up the price of your home for way more than it’s worth. Work with a real estate agent to look at comparable home sales in the area and to determine a fair asking price.
Closing during COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic will likely affect every aspect of selling your home. With many professionals working with a smaller team now, be prepared for various steps of the process to be delayed. This is especially true with lenders, as low mortgage rates have triggered a spike in refinance applications and lenders are busier than ever.