Tuesday, August 25, 2020 / by Katie Sievert
Who would have ever thought we would be living through a global pandemic during our lifetime! COVID-19 has certainly not given us the 2020 vision year we were expecting. All the holidays this year were perfectly aligned to be the ideal set up for days off. Well, we are where we are. The amazing thing is the housing market has not been impacted by this. Or I should say people still need to move and houses are still selling. There is a drastically low number of houses for sale, creating a seller's market. But with interest rates so low, many people want to take advantage of that, so there are a lot of buyers and creating multiple offer situations. So if you have had any thoughts of selling, now is a good time. So, how do you sell your house safely during a health pandemic? Here are some things that we suggest to our clients:
Provide potential buyers with a video tour (already our standard) - We always have our professional photographer make a video of the property. This shows off all the best features and captivates potential buyers. It is a standard part of our marketing plan, but with today's climate is even more important!
We offer virtual showings - These are showings that involve us, the agent, being at the property, but the potential buyer not.
We host virtual open houses - Similar to a virtual showing, a virtual open house is one where the potential buyers can tour the property from the comfort of their own home.
You turn on all lights and open all blinds before a showing (recommended anyway) - Turning the lights on and opening the blinds enhances any natural light and makes the property. This is recommended for all properties, not just those for sale during a pandemic. However in a pandemic, it limits the number of times and people that touch a light switch.
You open all doors before a showing - similar to turning on all lights, opening all doors will limit the number of times a door is touched and who touches it.
Request pre-approval to see the house... serious buyers only - By requesting only pre-approved buyers tour a property, it will eliminate the number of "tire kickers" that come into the property. It should be noted this will mean the property is not shown as often, but that could be a good thing in a pandemic.
Ask visitors to remove their shoes or provide shoe coverings - This is another one that can be done outside of a pandemic to limit the dirt on carpet or freshly mopped floors. It should be noted that if you are going to require shoe coverings, please provide them or have your agent provide them. It is much easier to enforce when they are provided at the property.
Only agent touches anything - Similar to the lights being turned on and doors being opened, having the agent be the only one touching things will limit the number of people touching things.
Require masks and gloves of guests - The use of masks has become quite common and almost standard practice. However, if this is something that is important to you when you are selling your home, make sure you agent specifies the request in the listing. Same thing with the gloves, but if you have taken the other precautions mentioned above, the use of gloves really won't be necessary because everything is already open and turned on. There is no need for the buyer or their agent to touch anything except maybe the front door.
You don't have to choose all of them, but they are all options. Which of these do you think are the most helpful and would put your mind most at ease?