Should I Sell My House During the Coronavirus Crisis?
By Alyse Wolfard | April 20, 2020
Winter is over, flowers are blooming, and the weather is heating up. Spring is typically when the real estate market heats up as well. But this Spring is anything but typical due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, homeowners are wondering, “Should I sell my house now during this health crisis or wait?” Here’s some information to help you decide on your best course of action.
Do you need to sell your home?
If you need to sell your home, you can still list and show your home safely. People are still buying and selling homes and property, even during this health crisis.
Can you list your home with a Realtor?
Real estate is an essential business according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. However, your Realtor may be required to adjust some business practices for everyone’s safety. Because of this, it’s more important than ever to list your home with a Realtor. Your Realtor will have the knowledge, tools, and expertise to sell your home as quickly and safely as possible.
How can a Realtor sell your home safely?
Safety is everyone’s #1 priority. The National Association of Realtors released guidelines for showings to help keep everyone safe. These are in addition to any local guidelines and restrictions. Here are some of the ways your Realtor can sell your home safely:
Modified in-person showings: In-person showings are still being held, but with safety precautions such as social distancing and limiting the number of guests per showing. Many real estate agents are conducting showings for serious, pre-qualified buyers only. Real estate agents are requiring potential buyers to wash or sanitize their hands before entering a home and to either take off their shoes or wear shoe coverings.
Increased use of technology: Listings can be showcased through interactive, 3-D pictures and virtual tours. Realtors can host a live virtual home tour or walk-through using tools such as Facebook Live and others. Video conferencing is a way to meet face-to-face while limiting social contact. Documents and contracts can be signed through secured email.
Your Realtor should be familiar with the digital technologies to showcase your home in the best light for your particular market.
What factors in the current real estate market should you consider?
Vacant, clean, move-in ready houses get more showings, which may lead to a quicker sale. Because of the limited exposure to other people, these homes seem safer and more desirable to buyers.
Lower inventory: Local real estate markets differ, but housing inventory is low nationwide. This “seller’s market” means more potential buyers per house for sale.
Lower mortgage rates: Mortgage interest rates remain low, which historically entices buyers. But, economic uncertainty may lead some buyers to delay buying a home.
Sales may take longer: Because situations change rapidly due to COVID-19, buyers are asking for more contingencies on their offers, such as longer home inspection windows. Mortgage pre-approval might take longer because of changing financial circumstances. Repairs may take longer to complete. But because everyone is in the same situation, buyers and sellers are less concerned about the number of days a listing is on the market before selling.
Economic Uncertainty: No one is certain the impact the coronavirus restrictions will have on the real estate market. It’s possible this uncertainty will mean fewer buyers, leading to a temporary drop in home prices. Or it could mean that home buyers want to move to less crowded areas (such as Western North Carolina) and those areas won’t experience a price drop at all. Your Realtor is a good source for information on your area’s current real estate market.
Should you sell your home now?
Real estate agents are still showing and selling houses. They are finding workable, creative and safe solutions to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Speak with a trusted, reputable Realtor for more in-depth information about your local real estate market. Do your own research. Carefully weigh all the factors. In the end, only you can decide the answer to this question based on your specific needs and situation.