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COVID-19 & Real Estate?

Suzanne Dyer|October 6, 2020

Selling a home during the coronavirus pandemic requires creativity and flexibility, but the good news is—plenty of people are doing it every day. 

By getting creative, using virtual tools, and putting safety and health at the top of the priority list, real estate agents have been able to help sellers complete their home sales with minimum disruption. From fully-remote purchases, to Facebook Watch open houses, here are some selling tips to keep your home sale moving along during coronavirus

Work with a top local agent

Now more than ever, it’s critical to have the guidance of a top local real estate agent when selling your home. 

Your agent will know how active local buyers are, what kinds of virtual tools or tours they’re looking for, and of course, tips and ideas that will help your home sell faster, pandemic or no! 

 

Go all in with virtual tours 

Since a full 84 percent of agents have completely stopped open houses due to the coronavirus, according to Homelight’s Top Agent Insights Survey for Q1 2020—and we’re guessing you probably won’t want a parade of people you don’t know wandering through your house during the COVID-19 pandemic—you’ll want to invest some time and effort into virtual tours. 

These video tours are usually done by a professional videographer, but if you’d rather reduce the number of people as much as possible, you can work with your agent to get tips on how to record your own video walk-through. 

The same is true of listing photos. Although in normal times, it’s always best to have a professional photographer take them, you can take them yourself with your own camera and a tripod. Your agent may be able to send them to a professional editing service to be touched up, as well. 

Facebook Watch parties are also becoming very popular in place of open houses. During these, an agent gives a guided tour of a home, live-streaming through Facebook, so that viewers can ask questions and get answers in real time. 

 

Ensure any in-person showings are for serious buyers only

While it does happen occasionally that a buyer will buy a home remotely, without seeing it in person, it’s rare. 

And that means you’ll probably have to let a buyer or two walk through your home if you want to close the deal. 

To keep the number of in-person showings minimal, ask your agent to make sure the buyers requesting them are serious. That means having a pre-approval letter if they’re getting a mortgage, as well as possibly signing a COVID-19 disclosure form saying that they do not have the virus and have not been exposed to anyone who does, to the best of their knowledge. 

In addition, they should be as familiar with your home as is possible using the virtual tools and information that’s available. Doing a “preliminary” drive- or walk-by showing is also a good idea, so they can get an idea of the neighborhood and traffic patterns. 

Real estate in the age of coronavirus certainly isn’t business as usual, but you can still sell your home on the general timeline you’d planned—you’ll just need to be a bit flexible and creative. 

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