It’s May 2020 and we find ourselves in the middle of a pandemic. For many of us (if not all of use) our lives and plans have been put on hold in many dramatic and unexpected ways. But if you’ve been planning to sell your home, it’s not necessarily time to cancel your plans.
Of course, locking in a sale might be harder in uncertain times (especially when social distancing is added to the equation), but taking a few proactive steps can put you in a much better position to keep your home-move plans alive.
1) Make Full Use of Technology
Now more than ever, it’s critical to market your home effectively online. Cautious buyers will be doing as much of their research as possible from the safety of their own homes. Not only does your property need to catch the eye among hundreds of other listings, it needs to inspire a strong desire to view in person even while social distancing measures are in effect.
If you haven’t already, ensure you upload plenty of high-quality photographs that show your home in its best light, and include extensive descriptions about every aspect of your property. Remember, you need to start clinching the sale before a viewing is even on the horizon.
And if your real estate agent doesn’t have a strong online presence, consider switching to one who does. The traditional way of mostly marketing your home offline was already going the way of the dinosaurs, but in these difficult times it’s not a realistic option at all.
2) Step Up Curb Appeal
Strong curb appeal is always important for making first-time viewers eager to see more of your property. But in times of social distancing, it’s essential. If your home doesn’t impress right from the start, potential buyers are almost certain to look elsewhere rather than risk entering a stranger’s property.
Make sure the lawn is mowed, the exterior clean and fresh, all minor repairs are made, and so on. Try and ensure there’s nothing at all to make a viewer think twice about continuing.
3) Be Extra Flexible
Even though selling your home is entirely possible during a health emergency, it’s realistic to accept that it’s going to be more difficult and take longer. It’ll pay to be a little more flexible than you ordinarily might be. For example, now’s not the time to stick rigidly to specific viewing times, nor to reject low offers out of hand.
And when it comes to flexible viewings, if you can offer a guided video tour as a first option, you could boost your chances of arranging an in-person showing later on.
4) Try and Vacate Your Home
If at all possible try to vacate your property for the whole of the marketing period. This will allow you to disinfect it thoroughly, helping to reassure wary viewers that it’s safe to visit. It’ll also lessen your worries about allowing potentially infected viewers into your home.
Of course, vacating your home is vastly easier said than done, but try and explore whatever options are available, from staying with family to taking the financial hit of a short-term rental in a small, makeshift property.
But if complete vacation is impossible, at the very least arrange for your home to be empty of family and pets whenever a viewing is expected.
5) Set Strict Ground Rules for Viewings
Whether you can vacate or not, as the property owner it’s your responsibility to set the ground rules for all viewings. It may seem draconian to insist that all visitors wear masks and use hand sanitation before entry, but it’s actually a beneficial action to take in marketing terms.
Laying down strong rules shows viewers that you’re serious about safety. Combine this approach with being loud and clear about other measures you’ve taken, such as sanitizing all touch surfaces before every visit, and you’ll send reassuring signals to help put nervous viewers at their ease.
No one knows for sure how long the disruption to the real estate market will continue, but while social distancing recommendations remain in force, taking these steps will put you ahead in the home-selling game.