None of us understood what this year would look like when it began. The changes that have been brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic have left some home sellers feeling particularly overwhelmed. Other sellers abandoned the concept of selling altogether once the pandemic erupted, which led to the largest inventory shortage in history in cities like New York where housing supply dropped by an unprecedented 90%. This of course caused a rise in property values — which is a fantastic opportunity for sellers who chose to continue or begin sale efforts during this time — but we can leave this topic for another piece. Read on as we explore all you need to know about ensuring a successful and safe experience if you happen to be one of the sellers aiming to capitalize on the inventory shortage.
Begin with the Basics
There are a few things all property owners need to do when they are selling during a pandemic or not, and those things remain the same: clean, declutter, and depersonalize. Since those things are familiar ground, and they lay the foundation for everything else, they are the perfect place to start.
A thorough cleaning is always a must since it implies to buyers that your home is well-maintained. Give your home a deep cleaning, scrubbing everything from top to bottom, inside and out. To ease this part of the process, put together a convenient arsenal of cleaning supplies. Unfortunately, given current shopping situations, this can prove challenging.
While cleansers might be hard to come by at the grocery store, Cleaning Products Reviews explains how to mix some solutions yourself that they claim to be safe and effective against COVID-19. You’ll want to have them handy in the event anyone wants to view your home via a virtual tour, and for others who might come to your property, such as any repairmen, your home inspector or a real estate agent (in jurisdictions where city and state governing bodies permit such professionals to physically enter properties, of course). Keep in mind that in the case of the latter, cleaning afterward is as critical as cleaning prior. Also keep in mind that the CDC offers a list of approved cleansers to mitigate the contagion in properties; be sure to obtain these CDC approved options if at all possible.
Decluttering is next. Reducing the amount of furniture and other belongings in your home allows buyers to focus on the house itself and envision what their own things will look like in the space, which is especially important for an online video presentation. This will make it easier to keep the property clean and it gives you a headstart on packing as well. This also leads naturally to depersonalizing the space.
Depersonalization takes your personal influence away, removing house hunters’ inclination to wonder about who lives in the space and encouraging them to consider it as their own. As Allstate explains, removing strong color schemes, collections, personal photos, sports trophies, and so forth, helps buyers think about living there with their own belongings.
Projects with Punch
In the course of covering your basic preparations, you might decide it’s time to take on a few DIY projects. Now is a perfect time to tackle certain types of projects, keeping in mind safety and health. For instance, arranging a master bedroom so it appears more spacious or replacing kitchen hardware are simple DIYs that efficient, economical, and do not jeopardize your health to complete. On top of all that, these kinds of nuanced changes can make a lasting impression on house hunters.
If you’re unsure about what is working well in your area, take a look at your local housing market. You can learn a lot by studying trends. Contact a broker in your immediate area that can consult with you who what styles and aesthetics appeal most to the target market in your specific location.
When it comes to the tech side of your presentation, keep in mind that quality counts. This is vital, especially if house hunters intend to skip an in-person tour — or in some locations like NYC, where they aren’t permitted yet by the mayor or governor to even necessarily enter a space physically. Work with your broker to help them create a virtual tour that includes things like still images of highlights and unique features, and schematics that provide the dimensions of various spaces. Your real estate agent will be able to help you with more details regarding what your local buyers are most interested in, but remember that quality is the key.
2020 got off to an unforeseen start, but it has also presented unforeseen opportunity to property sellers. Properties are still selling — for an average of about 8% higher than this time last year due to historically low inventory — and with the right strategies, yours can be one of them. Tackle the standard must-haves, incorporate new strategies, and find ways to stand out. Soon, this phase will just be a memory, and the sellers who capitalized on it will be a very happy group.
Author: Suzie Wilson, Happier Home