There are so many questions amid the Covid-19 quarantine. The real estate market is especially hard hit, and we know that sellers in particular have significant concerns about how this shut down will affect market value.
Real estate at its core is a relationship-driven business. It relies on person-to-person interaction, which needless to say is a challenge during these times of social distancing. One of the most helpful things to remember is that modern real estate has largely embraced the social media and internet shopping habits of our consumers. Studies do show that home shoppers turn to the internet more than 90% of the time even in normal times. The question becomes – how proficient is your chosen listing agent at manipulating that type of media exposure? If an old-timey realtor currently holds your listing, they may not have the proficiency to tread water when those old timey mediums are severely limited. So how do you know if you’re in the right hands, or considering the right realtor, during this particularly challenging times? Maybe I can help. . .
1. Should I still try and sell my home? – There is no one right answer to this question. It’s a personal decision that comes down to weighing the health concerns of the seller and their family, versus the need to sell. I would suggest unless absolutely necessary, the elderly and those with underlying health issues should not allow people into their homes – which is where strength in internet marketing, making use of high quality virtual tours and video walkthroughs, even live streaming open houses becomes a viable alternative to opening the home to in person showings.
On the other hand, if the household is essentially healthy and not considered high-risk, then this could be a great time to sell! Consider the advantages of lower inventory coupled with low-interest rates; as listings become rarer, the remaining inventory will get more attention which could create stronger or faster offers than you may otherwise have found!
2. Is it safe to have people through my home? – This is certainly a concern, but there are practical steps you can take to ensure safer home showings. If you are allowing in person viewings, I would think it reasonable to require face coverings (i.e. homemade or store bought masks) to be worn throughout the home. You may also consider asking your listing agent to provide hand sanitizer at the front door, and/or to then wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant after each showing.
3. What happens if my buyer loses their job? – As with the typical home purchase, there are several contingencies in place to protect the transaction in the event of unforeseen circumstances. A loss of income would be protected by the financing contingency – meaning that your buyer would no longer be considered qualified for the loan, and the deal would have to be terminated, provided you received notice during the appropriate time frame. Florida Realtors just introduced a new addendum specifically written to protect purchase contracts through epidemic. This would ensure that any delay in closing due to the pandemic would not affect the purchase, and the contract would remain binding. That includes situations like hospitalization, delay in financing, or possibly a temporary loss of employment.
4. Will I get a higher price if I wait to list my home? – There’s just no way to know how long this epidemic will last, or how the financial markets will rebound once the economy does reopen. What I can say is that personally, I have qualified more new buyers over the past month than in the previous two months combined, so I can confirm first hand that people are still out there buying. The old adage about a “bird in the hand” is important to remember when weighing decisions like these. . .
This spring selling season is certainly a unique one, but luckily, Rose Tree Realty thrives on a modern, multi-faceted approach to business, now and always. If you have any questions at all about how we’re approaching our listings, feel free to reach out. I’m always happy to help!