Low Inventory Might Help You Sell Your Home During COVID
Selling Your Home During COVID?
You Might Have an Edge...
Less is more when it comes to successfully selling your home during the COVID pandemic. That’s because if you’re still going ahead with your plans to sell right now, there’s dramatically less competition on the market due to buyer demand far exceeding current inventory.
The spring months typically bring a surge of listings to the market. There is also usually either a comparable surge of buyers eager to relocate or more properties than there are interested buyers, both of which balance out the market conditions. Of course, what used to be typical is no longer, as we all adjust to continued stay-at-home measures and evolving day-to-day headlines.
While some would-be buyers have decided to hold off on their plans to purchase, there are still plenty of potential buyers looking to take advantage of low-interest rates, the possibility of fewer competing buyers, and the technology that’s allowing for homes to be shown virtually. Also in the mix are potential buyers who have to move due to life changes, employment, and other personal reasons that make a move necessary.
With fewer “for sale” signs in your neighborhood than the number of buyers looking for homes, you’re possibly in a great position to quickly find a great buyer for your home. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you can reap the full benefits of low inventory levels.
Businesses slow to reopen means longer wait times for contractors.
Even if a buyer has a pressing need to move ASAP and not many available homes to choose from, they still will pay attention to issues relating to the condition of the house. With an unknown timeline for life getting back to normal, there’s also an unknown timeline for a potential new owner to embark on a renovation, hire professionals to make fixes, or receive deliveries of materials (especially for DIYers). Addressing key conditions and cosmetic issues now might help nudge a buyer towards your home versus another that needs more work.
Camera appeal is now even more important than curb appeal.
Virtual “open houses” remain a must right now due to social distancing guidelines that restrict gatherings. This means that we will either record a walk-through, host livestream tours, or schedule tours for prospective buyers via FaceTime or Zoom. However, the same technology that makes virtual tours convenient can also distort many aspects within your home. For instance, paint colors might appear off, interior lighting can create a yellow cast, shadows may appear darker and clutter can look worse than it is. Read our recommendations for getting your home camera-ready here.
Have masks, gloves, and other precautionary safety measures on-hand.
After a virtual showing, serious buyers will want to come by to see your home in person. We will alert you when an in-person showing has been scheduled, to allow you time to find a place to go during the showing. Beforehand, follow all the safety precautions to disinfect your home. Keep extra masks and gloves available (in sealed packages) just in case the buyers do not have them on hand. Reduce the chance of contact with surfaces by leaving all lights on and interior doors open. Once the showing is over, do another clean-up to disinfect commonly touched surfaces.
Expect some delays.
While our team has quickly adapted to the new process of selling homes during a pandemic, other key parts of the process can still face delays. For instance, it might be difficult to get in touch with lawyers or schedule inspections. Issues that could normally be resolved with a quick meeting may go back-and-forth as many are still working remotely. Limited bank hours might also affect a potential buyer’s ability to get financing. Stay calm when faced with delays, because that is the one thing that can be predicted during this uncertain time.
Enlist a buyer's agent to stay on top of your new home search.
With so much uncertainty happening right now, it’s even more important to have a new home lined up once you’re ready. That’s because short-term and seasonal rentals (and even Airbnbs) might not be available in many areas for when you’re between homes, due to new local regulations. This is particularly true in beach towns and other areas that are popular with tourists. Our team of buyer agents keeps a very close eye on new homes as they become available, and will be sure to alert you when one hits the market that might meet your needs.
Whether or not reduced inventory due to COVID-19 concerns can help you sell your home will depend on your area and the overall demand. Regardless of what happens to inventory levels in the coming months, the above advice will still apply to increase the odds of a successful sale. Staying prepared (and keeping a positive attitude) goes a long way, no matter when you plan to list.