There seem to be two sides to the coronavirus (COVID-19) debate. Some say, “the flu is way worse! I’m going to proceed business as usual.” There are others who are staying home at all costs and hoarding all of the toilet paper. I’m not here to take a side in the debate. The goal of this article is to help you understand selling a house during coronavirus and how to maximize your profit despite the circumstances.
Just to make sure we are all on the same page here:
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.World Health Organization
COVID-19 in particular shows symptoms a lot like the flu or the common cold. The difference is that there is so little research done on COVID-19, that there is no vaccine or medication proven to assist in recovery. In addition, this ninja virus is able to spread to a new host even when the old host shows no symptoms. With a virus that none of us have an immunity to, this means it spreads very rapidly.
You may think selling a house during coronavirus is no different than selling a home before. After all, agents and lenders are telling you that there is very low inventory and people still want to buy. This is changing. There are orders nationwide for people to remain indoors. In fact, it is now illegal to break the 6-foot social distancing requirement in some areas. As an investor and realtor we have seen this distancing affect real estate in a big way.
Even though inventory is still low and there are still those who want to buy, no one wants to pay for a house when they fear the market will decline soon after the purchase. On the opposite end, retail buyers who care less about market decline are less likely to buy when it’s less convenient for them to go see a house in person.
Most real estate agents are following business as usual. They hold secret open houses, market the same way, and expect the same results. We are in the middle of a shift. If your home is being marketed this way alone, you won’t receive as much as you could with an agent who thinks on their feet and offers creative listing marketing plans.
One way Laura has set herself apart is by paying a film crew in addition to the photography crew to do a video tour of your property. With everyone stuck at home on Facebook and Google, these videos have provided great results. There’s one way to hit buyers emotionally with your listing even when they can’t see it and that’s with a professional video tour!
People have proven that emotion is a driving force when they decide to buy a house. As stated before, much of the population is choosing to stay home during the coronavirus because they feel that is the best way to protect themselves and their loved ones. Now imagine these people’s emotional reaction when they learn your house has an open house during a time when it is federally advised NOT to gather.
Selling a house during a coronavirus means interpreting the emotions of the audience of buyers and acting accordingly. This is why we will not hold an open house for you during the recommended social distancing time and why this will get you more money for your house.
There’s more than one way to sell a house. Yes, you can list your house on the MLS with a realtor, wait for a buyer, and tip-toe through the closing process. This process usually lasts 4 to 7 weeks. When selling a house during the coronavirus, you might not want to wait this long. Consider the following examples:
It is best for most people to wait it out and sell on the MLS. However, this is not a gamble you want to take if you fear the real estate market stability and want to sell as soon as possible. An alternative we offer for people who have these goals is for us to buy your house as is or find a buyer to connect you with who will. This process often takes less than 10 days!
There’s a saying amongst realtors, “the market will decide your house price.” During this time, your house value may have dropped slightly and this may not yet be reflected on Redfin or Zillow. If you price a house too high, it will sit on the market longer. Even if you’re okay with this, buyers see this and think there is something wrong with the house. For houses that have been on the market for an above-average time without much activity, you will start to see low-ball offers. This pulls your final sale price down. Alternatively, if you list slightly below market value, buyers will usually present offers that compete against one another, driving up the price.
Usually, we suggest to price the house slightly below market value in an attempt to spur traffic and multiple offer scenarios. However, selling a house during coronavirus is not normal. With the hesitation in the market, you risk only getting one offer and never finding that multiple offer gold mine. This is why it is best to pinpoint the most accurate price point and not over or under price your home. We love our numbers and evaluate multiple homes daily. Trust us to do this for you instead of trusting the Zillow and Redfin numbers that are generated with a computer.
We know this is a difficult time for everyone. No matter your opinion on the subject, this virus is something that has affected all of us. We feel your pain and want to do anything we can to help. The best way we know how to help is by using our real estate creativity and knowledge to help you sell your house for more despite the trying times.