Many home sellers say that, right now, they’re willing to let potential buyers and their agents tour their homes under the right conditions, according to a recent Realtor.com survey.* But when it comes to open houses, sellers aren’t feeling as comfortable. This makes sense when you consider our current health concerns that require social distancing.
For those needing to sell their home in the age of the coronavirus, it begs the question: What virtual tools should sellers use to keep their families and prospective buyers safe?
The top 5 virtual practices today’s buyers are looking for
The housing market is quickly changing. It’s never been more important for a home seller to have a strong virtual marketing strategy and effective tools for digital communication.
Your loan officer and agent can help put this plan in place by capturing stellar listing photos and video tour footage, while also providing buyers access to quick remote prequalifications. Simple as it seems, this attention to detail can help your home stand out in a sea of digital competition.
If you’re ready to sell, preparing to use virtual practices can provide a big advantage. Taking the needed digital steps, in line with local and state regulations, can give buyers what they’re asking for.
When asked which technology would help most while house-hunting, the same Realtor.com survey showed that today’s homebuyers favored:**
- Virtual home tour capabilities.
- Thorough, accurate home listings.
- Detailed neighborhood data.
- Premium-quality photos for listings.
- Video chats led by agents.
**Ordered by preference.
Even when leveraging technology, a serious buyer may still want to tour your home before making an offer. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) provides several safety guidelines for in-person showings.
Here are just a few, understanding that following local and state regulations always takes precedence:
- Limit in-person contact wherever possible.
- Require visitors to wash hands or apply alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Remove shoes before entering or cover shoes with disposable booties.
- Wear face coverings and practice CDC standards for social distancing.
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With these potential obstacles in place, are homes selling at a good price? Surprisingly, yes, for many. In the April 2020 Flash Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 63 percent of realtors reported that their buyers were hoping to see price reductions of a minimum of 5 percent. But sellers have been holding steady. Even in this time of crisis, 72 percent have not dropped their price.
These charts, based on numbers from the NAR REALTORS Confidence Index for March 2020, show that seller competition is low while buyer traffic ranges from stable to high:
Since demand still exceeds supply, home values aren’t expected to depreciate. In almost all states, seller traffic is weak. Buyer demand remains strong in 34 out of 50 states and stable in 16 out of 50.
Seller competition may increase soon. Seventy-seven percent of sellers plan to sell once stay-at-home orders are lifted, the NAR Flash Survey for May 2020 found.
But right now, there aren’t enough homes to meet the needs of the buyers looking for them. So, sellers who list in this unique window have an advantage.
How long will these strategies be needed? Realtor.com’s CMO Nate Johnson says:
“As real estate agents and consumers seek out ways to safely complete these transactions, we believe that technology will become an even more imperative part of how we search for, buy, and sell homes moving forward.”
It’s looking like many new remote selling practices may become permanent, not only to give buyers and sellers more convenience but to compensate for a changing world post-COVID. To swiftly sell your house, taking a digital approach can be game-changing.
Here’s how to succeed at selling virtually
Step one. Locate a local lender fully equipped with the latest remote mortgage technology. Step two. Make sure your loan officer puts your physical and financial health first, using virtual communication to provide you with plenty of options that can help you make a smart decision for you and your family. Step three. Once your house sells, and you find a new home you love, prepare to close remotely in 10 days.
*“Would You Buy a Home Without Stepping Foot Inside?” Realtor.com, April 2020.
For educational purposes only. Please contact a qualified professional for specific guidance.
Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.