The Covid-19 pandemic took full effect in late March of this year and has certainly disrupted the spring real estate selling season. An influx of inventory usually hits the spring market. What do you need to know about Covid-19 and selling your house?
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic left so much uncertainty in home buyers and sellers minds that the spring real estate market came to all but a screeching halt shortly after the lockdown occurred.
Initially, home sellers were scared to list their homes, thinking that they will have to sell well below market. Homebuyers hesitated, thinking they would be overpaying for a new home.
What Is Really Happening With The Real Estate Market During The Pandemic?
So far, the real estate market is marching on.
The real estate market in the greater Boston area was very strong before the pandemic hit. There was unprecedentedly low inventory with more buyers than homes for sale. Prices were appreciating at a modest rate preCovid-19.
Not much has changed. There still more buyers that want to buy than there are homes for sale.
Homes entering the real estate market for sale are down roughly 40-50% from the same time last year.
Dealing with Covid-19 and selling your home is starting to become mainstream 3 months later. Buyers and sellers are adapting to selling a home during a pandemic. Not only are buyer, sellers and agents are adapting to home sales during the coronavirus crisis, so are home inspectors, mortgage brokers and closing attorneys.
What’s happening around Tewksbury MA?
|Same Day Last Year|
% Change in Inventory from same time last year
Sold data for Essex County shows that in the past 3 months house prices are up approx 9% from last year, homes are selling for 101% of the list price and offers are being accepted in 28 days fro listing, 8 days faster than the same time last year.
It seems that selling a home during the Coronavirus pandemic has not altered the success of selling a home. Do remember that all real estate is local and consult your local real estate agent for market trends in your area.
Covid-19 May Have Buyers Thinking More Rural
Some agents are thinking the Coronavirus has home buyers more interested in rural communities. Less population density may translate into far less exposure!
Recent data has shown younger generations more interested in urban and city environments. But Covid-19 may cause a rapid shift in home buyers thinking.
Not A Bad Time To Be A Home Seller
Remember, the Covid-19 is ever-changing and we don’t always know what tomorrow holds. But the data is showing it is not a bad time to be a home seller.
Why is selling your home during the pandemic not a bad idea?
- Lack of inventory with more homebuyers wanting to buy than there is inventory.
- Unprecedentedly, low-interest rates are making houses extremely affordable.
All in all, it looks like trying to sell a home during a pandemic is not a bad idea at all.
What It Takes To Sell Your Home During A Pandemic?
The greatest challenges of selling your home during a pandemic are two-fold.
- You must protect your family, buyers and agents from the transmission of the Covid-19 virus.
- Provide as much information about your house as possible prior to an actual showing from a buyer.
Preventing The Transmission Of Covid-19 When Selling A Home
The important thing to remember when you are selling your home during the pandemic is to try and keep everyone safe. Your agent should be taking the lead.
- Less contact- Meetings and appointments can be done on the phone or better yet using video conferencing. Many meetings that were face to face don’t have to be.
- Signing Contracts- Signing contracts can be done electronically. No longer do you need to be face to face with your agent or attorney to sign certain documents.
- Enhanced Showing Protocols- Showings are bringing people into your home that you don’t know. There are steps every REALTOR should be taking:
- A Covid-19 Questionnaire signed prior to closing ensuring no buyers or agents are sick.
- Pre-approval sent to the listing agent prior to a personal showing.
- The insistence of the use of gloves and masks during the showings
- The showing agent should be the only one opening and closing doors, cabinets, etc…
- Sellers should be disinfecting high touch surfaces after a showing.
- Your agent being able to provide virtual showings can be a key piece in selling your home. Some buyers want to view the house remotely to make sure the home is a good fit before scheduling a showing.
- Facebook Live open houses is an event where people can log in for a live video walkthrough and ask questions from the safety of their own home.
- Open houses should be kept to a minimum with visitors following procedures. Though I feel strongly, open houses are unnecessary to sell a home.
Enhanced Listing Information When Selling Your Home During A Pandemic
Because home buyers are more hesitant to view homes that may not be perfect for them it is important to provide as much detail as possible in your home’s online presence.
- Photos reign supreme. Even prior to the pandemic, quality real estate photos were essential to selling a home. Offer plenty of professional real estate photos to give potential homebuyers a true sense of your space.
- Offer a video walkthrough. The video walkthrough will enhance the still photos. Video can give a better sense of how the spaces work together with each other.
- Drone videos and photography are great for a home’s exterior. Drone stills and videos give a sense of how the home sits on the property and the neighborhood as well.
- Use floor plans. Floor plans confirm a home’s layouts and help put it into perspective.
- Write great real estate descriptions. Use the description to tell potential buyers the features of your home they might not be obvious in the photos. But keep your real estate descriptions accurate without exaggerating.
Summary Of Covid-19 and Selling Your Home
The data is showing that because of a lack of housing inventory, the real estate market is still moving along well. Prices are holding and inventory is selling quickly.
Combined with very attractive interest rates it is not a bad time to sell if you have a want or need to sell.
If you decide to throw your hat (or house) into the ring, be safe. Discuss with your agent your concerns and the measures your agent is taking to keep your family safe during the sale of your home.
The goal is to limit exposure of Covid-19 to serious buyers for your house. Get rid of the looky-loos and allow serious buyers to make an informed decision before showing up for a personal showing.
And don’t feel like you are missing out on anything if you are not having an open house. The majority of open house attendees are not there to buy a house. And, it is too hard to monitor the attendees to make sure they are practicing social distancing and following all protocols.
You can successfully sell your home and protect yourself from the coronavirus with a few extra steps.
Other Real Estate Resources:
- Buyers are left wondering if they should buy a house during the coronavirus. Petra Norris provides some great info on why buying a home during a pandemic is a good move.
- Do I need to update my home prior to selling is a question often asked by home sellers. Karen Highland shares that small changes can make a big difference when selling your home.
- When a house is not selling a home seller is quick to turn to their agent. Eileen Anderson says take a look at yourself first. Are you doing anything to sabotage your own home sale?
- Is now the right time to sell a home? TIME discusses how home sales are changing during a global crisis.
Everything You Need to Know About Covid-19 and Selling Your House is provided by Kevin Vitali a Massachusetts REALTOR located in Tewksbury MA. If you would like to sell your home or buy a new home give me a call at 978-360-0422 and let’s get the process started.
Real Estate Services in the following areas: Northeast Massachusetts, Merrimack Valley, North Shore and Metrowest. Including the following communities and the surrounding area- Amesbury, Andover, Billerica, Burlington, Chelmsford, Dracut, Groveland, Haverhill, Lowell, Melrose, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, North Andover, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Wilmington, Westford