Low Inventory Might Help You Sell Your Home During COVID
Selling Your Home During COVID? You Might Have an Edge...
Less is more when it comes to successfully selling your home during the COVID pandemic. That’s because if you’re still going ahead with your plans to sell right now, there’s dramatically less competition on the market—and this might be true for the coming months ahead, too.
Usually, the spring months bring a surge of listings to the market. Depending on your neighbourhood, there would either be a comparable surge of buyers eager to relocate, or more properties than there are interested buyers. Of course, what used to be typical is no longer, as we all adjust to stay-at-home measures and day-to-day headlines.
While many would-be buyers have decided to hold off on their plans to purchase, there are still potential buyers looking to take advantage of low-interest rates, the possibility of fewer competing buyers, and the technology that’s allowing open houses to still happen (albeit virtually). In the mix, too, are potential buyers who have to move due to life changes, employment, and other personal reasons that make right now their time to make a move.
With fewer “for sale” signs in your neighbourhood, you’re possibly in a great position to find a great buyer for your home. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you can benefit from this unexpected positive.
Less competition = more focus on potential issues.
Even if a buyer has a pressing need to move ASAP with fewer options to consider there’s more time to take a critical eye to what’s available. Mainly, the attention will be paid to issues relating to condition over style. With an unknown timeline for life getting back to normal, there’s also an unknown timeline for a potential new owner to embark on a renovation, being able to hire professionals to make fixes or longer wait times for deliveries (especially for DIYers). Addressing key conditions and cosmetic issues now will help nudge a buyer towards your home versus another.
Camera appeal is now just as important as curb appeal.
The virtual “open house” is a must right now due to social distancing guidelines that restrict gatherings. This means that your realtor will either record a walk-through, host livestream tours, or schedule tours via FaceTime or Zoom. However, the same tech that makes virtual tours convenient can also distort many aspects within your home. For instance, paint colors might appear off, interior lighting can create a yellow cast, shadows may appear darker and clutter can look worse than it is.
Have masks, gloves, and other precautionary safety measures on-hand.
After a virtual showing, serious buyers will want to come by to see your home in person. Your realtor will give you more notice when an in-person showing will occur, to allow you time to find a place to go to while the showing happens. Beforehand, follow all the safety precautions to disinfect your home. Keep extra masks and gloves available (in sealed packages) just in case the buyers do not have them on hand. Reduce the chance of contact with surfaces by leaving all lights on and interior doors open. Once the showing is over, do another clean-up to disinfect commonly touched surfaces.
Expect some delays.
While your realtor has been adapting to the new process of selling a home during a pandemic, other key parts of the process can face delays. For instance, it might be difficult to get in touch with lawyers or schedule inspections. Issues that could be resolved with a quick meeting may go back-in-forth as others get used to working remotely. Limited bank hours might also affect a potential buyer’s ability to get financing. Stay calm when faced with delays, because that is the one thing that can be predicted during this uncertain time.
Stay on top of your own home search.
With so much uncertainty happening right now, it’s even more important to have a new home lined up once you’re ready. That’s because short-term and seasonal rentals (and even Airbnbs) might not be available in many areas for when you’re between homes, due to new municipal regulations. This is particularly true in downtown Toronto and areas that are popular with tourists in the city.
Whether or not reduced inventory due to COVID-19 concerns can help you sell your home will depend on your area and the overall demand. With the exception of cleaning routines, though, the above advice will apply to increase the odds of a successful sale. Staying prepared (and keeping a positive attitude) goes a long way no matter when you plan to list your home for sale.