Contributed by Shirley Martin, tidylifetoday.com
With stay-at-home orders in place nationwide, it’s safe to say that COVID-19 has made a major impact on this spring’s housing market. Some homeowners have decided to postpone selling, but plenty of others are continuing to put their homes on the market. If you’re in this boat, the best thing you can do is tailor your strategy to meet buyers’ current demands, all while maintaining safety measures to protect yourself and others.
Scope Out the Market
You may have heard how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the nation’s hosing market, but the reality is that trends in home sales are highly localized. This is true no matter what else is going on, which is why any seller should become familiar with their local market. This is easy to do by searching online to find out the average price homes are selling for in your area, along with other crucial information like how competitive the market is. For example, homes in Atlanta have averaged 50 days on the market for an average sale price of $325,000.
Another thing to note is how other sellers are staging their homes and how they’re marketing them online. At a minimum, you can expect to see high-quality photos. When you look at other listings, are you also finding other media like video tours or floor plans? At a time when people are doing more business online, including searching for homes, you want to make sure your listing meets or exceeds the standard others are setting.
Make the Best Home Improvements
Regardless of what other homes in your area look like, the best way to get your home sold fast is to make sure it’s in excellent condition. Before starting any home improvement projects, make sure you can do them without putting anyone’s health at risk. For DIY projects, check with your local home improvement store to find out if they offer online orders with curbside pickup. If you need to hire a professional, Consumer Reports has some great tips for doing so safely, including maintaining a contact-free visit and making sure the company follows safety measures.
The first thing to take care of is anything that’s broken, dirty, or dingy, like smudges on walls. Once you’ve done any necessary repairs, consider other updates or renovation projects that will increase your home’s value, both inside and out. Curb appeal is always important, so it’s a good idea to spruce up landscaping. Buyers also pay close attention to kitchens, but since you likely can’t hire contractors at this time, you can make small changes yourself by painting cabinets and switching out the hardware. Home offices are also in high demand, especially now that more people are working from home.
Try Creative Marketing Ideas
First impressions are everything in real estate, and now more than ever, your buyers’ first impressions will be made when they see your listing online. Agents who want to show your home may want to use live video to share it with their clients. You can also create recorded video tours and even 3D tours of your home that buyers can view online.
Obviously, the better the impression you create from these tours, the more likely buyers are to want to see your home in person. To create high-quality virtual viewings for buyers, you may want to hire a company that specializes in this kind of work. You can also take steps to highlight your home’s best features in these videos, such as maximizing lighting and staging your home so it looks more inviting.
The ultimate goal is to get your home sold as quickly as possible, while also preventing the spread of infection. To make this happen, sellers should expect to spend at least a little time and money. The good news is that, with the right strategy, there’s no reason why COVID-19 should stop you from making a sale.