Monday, May 11, 2020 / by Chris Carozza
These past couple of months under quarantine have seemed to stretch on forever, and what’s ahead is uncertain.
However, what we do know is this: at some point, the coronavirus crisis will pass and we’ll be able to leave our homes, engage with other people, and—if you’re in the market to buy or sell a house—get back to the typical schedule of home showings and open houses.
So what can you do now to put yourself in a strong position once the coronavirus has been contained? Here’s where to start.
Buying Tips During Coronavirus
If you were planning on buying a house before the pandemic began, you’ve probably gone back and forth a bit as the virus has progressed. Should you continue to search? Or wait it out?
No matter what your decision is, it’s always a good idea to continue working on making yourself an attractive buyer. That means protecting or building up your down payment fund, finding a great local real estate agent to work with, and getting pre-qualified, if possible, for a mortgage.
It’s also important to remember that it’s hard to predict where the housing market will be come summer or fall, so you may want to adopt a more conservative price range or expand your home search to different areas than you originally were considering.
If you’re selling your home now or planning on doing so after the virus is contained, there are lots of things you can do to increase your chances of selling quickly and at a solid price.
First, take the time you have at home to make any repairs or improvements that have been on your list. Focus on high-ROI projects like deep cleaning, decluttering, and lawn maintenance.
In fact, anything you can do to increase your curb appeal will be especially helpful, as many potential buyers during quarantine will be spending more time looking at the exterior of homes before they decide to request an in-person showing.
You’ll also want to take advantage of available technology to enable virtual tours or showings. Remember, even after things start returning to normal, it will take some time before people are comfortable going into other people’s homes for regular showings—you may not be comfortable with it, either!
Marketing a home during the coronavirus requires creativity, so talk with your agent about recording your own video tours if you’re not comfortable having a videographer walk through your home. Your agent may also want to employ creative tactics like hosting a Facebook Live walk-through, so interested viewers can ask questions and get answers in real time.
Finally, work with your agent to make sure you’re pricing your home accurately for the market (which you should do, of course, no matter what’s going on in the world). The good news is that most agents don’t foresee home prices falling as a result of the coronavirus—just a slowdown in how fast they’re rising.
Selling and buying homes during coronavirus, and even after, will be different than any of us are used to. But by taking safety precautions and working with an agent who’s flexible and creative, you’ll be able to accomplish your goal whatever may be occurring.