Should I sell my house right now? Are there any buyers? How can buyers consider purchasing my home without walking through it and looking inside? How do I stay safe?
There are so many questions right now from people who are thinking about selling their house, and rightfully so. While we have come a long way since the beginning of this health crisis in terms of protecting ourselves, we are always learning.
As far as the state of the current real estate market, this is actually a really good time to sell – if you’re open to a new process that has been effectively implemented industry-wide to keep both sellers and buyers safe. Inventory levels are as low as they have ever been in the history of the United States, and there are some sellers who are electing to wait to put their homes on the market which is only exacerbating the inventory issue. There is no shortage of buyers and it is not uncommon for many homes for sale to get multiple offers right now.
What modifications are part of the new selling process? Here’s how things are currently working:
Step 1: Virtual Agent Interview. If we are meeting in person, we will maintain proper safety measures like wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer, and social distancing. If you are not comfortable with a face to face meeting or if it is not convenient for you, we can meet at a distance and get to know each other. Tools like GoToMeeting and Zoom allow us to take you step-by-step through the process just like we would in your kitchen or at our office.
Step 2: Preparing the house for sale. Once we have made a decision to work together, it’s time to get your home ready for prime time! Luckily, the cadre of professional, licensed, and insured vendors/contractors that NextHome SunRaye has relationships with are willing and able to get the work done that needs doing, as they are taking precautions to stay safe and protect their clients’ wellbeing. Of course, it will be socially distanced preparation, if you are in need of any repairs, painting, cleaning, etc. Everything is just as possible as it was before, it just may take a little extra coordination and communication, which is what being a real estate agent is all about and why you choose one you can trust.
Step 3: Pre-Inspections. We’ll also work with inspectors who can do inspections before you put the home on the market so the buyer has as much information about the home as possible without even seeing it.
Step 4: Marketing, Marketing, Marketing. This one is more than one step. It’s a lot of steps. Exposure of the property has always been important, but now it’s more important than ever. So let’s break this down piece by piece.
- Custom Marketing Plan: How we market homes has changed, that is why we’ve developed a custom marketing plan to make sure buyers know your house is for sale. With everything from increased online presence, virtual showings, virtual open houses, aerial drone footage, and more, you need new tools in this “new normal” and we’ve got them.
- Maximum exposure online: Right now maximum exposure online is everything. During the beginning of this crisis, the largest real estate sites saw a huge drop in buyer activity. As people became a little less scared and a lot more bored, they started looking at houses again. The same real estate sites have seen a massive spike in buyer activity. That’s why we syndicate our listings to hundreds of websites – so basically your house will have a HUGE online presence when you enlist NextHome to market it for sale!
- Virtual Image Package: Since so much of the process will be done at a distance, that old saying of “image is everything” is true right now. That’s why we’ve got Matterport 3D home tours, virtual staging, and always use professional photographers. All of this helps the buyer get closer to feeling like they’ve seen the house from their computer screen (in their daytime pajamas).
- Virtual Open House and Showings: Even with a Virtual Image Package, eventually a buyer is going to want to see the inside. That’s why we’ve developed strategies around doing Virtual Open Houses that profile the property to potential buyers and a virtual showing approach where the buyer can get a guided walkthrough of the property.
Step 5: Offers, Addendums, Negotiation, and Close! Your house has had more eyeballs on it than YouTube (ok, not THAT many… they got 1.6 billion visits monthly), so now it’s time to get an offer in. You might be surprised to know that much of this has been done “virtually” for a long time. Today, with a full suite of tools, we can literally do all of the paperwork remotely without missing a beat. Just adjust the font size so you can read the fine print and with a click the mouse button, you’re off to the races!
We believe the real estate process will become and most likely remain more “virtual” going forward. Sure, we may get back to shaking hands (maybe fist bumps?) and meeting in the dining room to review the process, but much of this virtual procedure will stay even after COVID-19 is gone. It’s simply more convenient and just as reliable.
If you’re ready, NextHome SunRaye is at your service. Give us a call, we can lead you through the process from start to finish!