Practical Tips for Home Sellers
in the Coronavirus Era
A lot of people have decided not to sell their homes in the middle of a pandemic, which has led to a drop in new listings, as well as the total supply of homes on the market. However, some people still need to move, and it’s not a bad time to sell because there is a high demand for homes. Plus, as states slowly begin to re-open, new listings are starting to rise and more people are warming up to the idea of showing their homes.
Since the home-selling process is stressful in a normal year, you may be worried about taking it on with social distancing in place. But if you approach it with the right strategies, you can land the sale you want without becoming overwhelmed along the way.
Learn about the real estate market.
Researching the impact that the coronavirus has had on the housing market can help you to prepare for selling. More people have de-listed their homes than usual, sale prices have dropped, and fewer homes are being built. Also, where the market will stand in six months largely depends on what happens with the spread of the coronavirus throughout the country. However, the demand for housing is still strong, which you can take advantage of. Plus, working with a savvy real estate agent like Dawn Peterson with HomeSmart Evergreen can put you on the path toward a successful sale.
Learn about safe ways to show your home.
While more prospective buyers may be reluctant to see your home in person, there are a number of ways to show your home virtually. For example, you can create a 3D walkthrough, where buyers can view a 3D model of your home and even edit the furnishings and decor.
Another option is to create a video walkthrough, which will allow buyers to view your home at any time; however, this method uses real photos and videos to showcase the property. One method that is becoming especially popular among buyers and sellers is live video chat, through which you basically give buyers a tour of your home using a video chat app or software.
Regardless of how you’re selling your home, de-cluttering is an essential part of the process. Go through each room and space, and purge all of your unwanted items. Also, determine which items you want to keep but need to get out of your home while it’s on the market. If you have a considerable number of such items, renting a self-storage unit is a good approach.
Clean. And clean again.
Similar to de-cluttering, you will want to clean your home more thoroughly than you ever have before. This means going through each room and dusting, wiping, and vacuuming from top to bottom. One thing to consider is making your own cleaning solutions from ingredients you already have at home. That way, you can ensure that you are able to clean, whether or not the local stores have the right products in stock. Plus, this helps you to minimize the number of chemicals and toxins circulating throughout your home.
Moreover, if you are working from home and experiencing more clutter, or if you have kids in tow, you will need to come up with a daily cleaning routine. Along with keeping your workspace and surrounding areas organized, recruit your kids to help keep the home clean and tidy.
Prepare your kids for disruption.
Getting your house ready for sale is one thing, but getting your kids on board can make the process a bit more challenging. In addition to having a cleaning routine they can help with, keeping them occupied during online showings or video chat tours will be critical. Explain to your kids what’s going on, and look for ways to help them better understand the situation. To keep them busy and out of the way when it’s go-time, distractions like an age-friendly tablet, handheld video game systems or their favorite books can go a long way toward giving you the chance to take care of business without interruptions.
Depersonalize your home.
Last but not least, you will want to depersonalize your home. This basically means showcasing your home’s best features, even if it’s not in your personal taste. For example, you might rearrange the furniture to open up certain spaces, paint the walls a neutral color, and/or remove family items like trophies, photos, and refrigerator art. It’s okay to maintain a little of your personality; just keep in mind that your goal is to appeal to a wide range of buyers.
There have been worse times to sell a home. And if you employ good strategies, you should be able to make the sale you envision. Consider the tips listed here as you get started, and remember to take advantage of the high demand these days!
Selling your home yourself can be a huge undertaking that requires a significant amount of hard work and investment of time and energy. Some homeowners choose to go the for sale by owner (FSBO) route, thinking it will save them money. But in the long run, using a professional real estate agent is the way to go to make your home selling process simpler, less risky, and more time- and cost-efficient. Here are the top six benefits of using an agent versus doing FSBO:
Pricing: An average agent-assisted sale is $265,000, whereas FSBO sales only go for $200,000, on average. That’s $65,000 more that you could put in your pocket with the help of an agent.
Marketing: While 49% of FSBO sellers have no marketing strategy for their property, agents will have access to professional marketing tools and resources to help your home stand out from the competition.
Paperwork: The second most difficult task for FSBO sellers is paperwork. Agents have built-in broker and paperwork support, taking the responsibility for doing paperwork off of your shoulders.
Liability: A lack of real estate experience puts owners who do FSBO at a higher risk of being sued. With the help of a compliance-trained agent, homeowners can rest assured that their home will be sold without legal complications.
Negotiation: An agent will act as a middleman in your transactions, whereas on your own, you would have to juggle all negotiations by yourself, putting you at risk of selling your home for less than it is worth.
Time: When doing FSBO, you always have to be on call to let potential buyers view your home. An agent will schedule and host showings for buyers, saving you precious time.
Although you may feel the need to get out of your house as soon as possible after the death of a loved one, you should avoid making major decisions too soon. VeryWellMind recommends waiting at least six months before deciding to move. It's possible that you will view your living situation differently after settling many of the other stressful tasks to be taken care of after, a death.
The death of a loved one causes a huge change to the survivor's existing lifestyle. Perhaps you can no longer afford your big house without the contribution of your spouse's salary. Or, maybe you want a more minimalist life that allows you to spend more time enjoying hobbies than maintaining your home. In this case, consider downsizing to a home that supports your new needs. Downsizing can make it easier for you to manage both maintenance tasks and a mortgage on your own.
If this will be your first time selling and buying a house solo, it can be financially daunting, especially if you’re taking out a new home loan. Generally speaking, if you’re moving to a smaller home and have equity in your current home, conventional mortgages with a cash-out refinance may be your best option, especially since these loans come with flexible term options. As you survey your options, ask your realtor to guide you along the way so you don’t get tripped up by all the details.
Selling your house can be extra tricky after a spouse dies. Start by looking into the legal steps you may have to take to transfer real estate, though this typically happens automatically if you and your spouse held a joint deed. According to The Washington Post, you can receive tax deductions of up to $500,000 on the profits from your house, but only if you sell within two years of your spouse's death. To make your life easier during this difficult time, it's recommended that you talk to a trusted financial advisor before selling your home. This will ensure it’s actually financially beneficial to you.
Before you move, you’ll have to go through your loved one’s belongings and make some difficult decisions. What will you keep and what will you throw away? Many mundane items can take on new, sentimental meanings after, a death, making them difficult to part with. Think about the meaning attached to each item and what your loved one might have wanted for it. For example, someone's expensive yard tools may be better cared for in the hands of a neighbor than left sitting in the garage to collect rust. Just make sure you avoid getting rid of things too early. You may throw out precious keepsakes and reminders that cause you pain initially, which may later bring you great solace to keep. If it’s a lack of space that makes you uncertain, and you’re not moving too far, take advantage of renting a storage unit for the time being. Storage can be expensive, so research deals and special offers in your area. For instance, StorageMax on North Pima Road in Scottsdale is currently offering 50 percent off the first two months of storage (with a minimum six-month contract).
Moving can be difficult when you’re grieving, so ask friends and family to help. This enables you to connect with your support network if you've spent some time in social withdrawal. Moving houses is busy work, making it a great way to get your mind off of grief for a little while. Planning ahead here is a great way to stay busy too. If you line up your moving truck, set up a pizza and beverage delivery, and get the right supplies like sturdy gloves and moving dollies, you and your crew can easily get through this job, and maybe even have some smiles along the way.
If you’re moving to another state or country, book a moving company as early as possible to get the best rates (for a local move, you can expect to pay each mover an average of $25 an hour). Just make sure you ask them for references to avoid the headache of, a bad moving experience.
The additional stress of moving houses after a death can be too much for many people. But on the other hand, it can provide a much-needed distraction from grief. Whatever you do, don't use moving as an escape from pain since your emotions will follow you wherever you go. Instead, treat moving as a new way to deal with your grief and eventually move on with your life.