Selling a home is never easy. There are many reasons why people decide to sell their home. It’s a process that can be complicated at times, and will involve multiple parties along the way.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced realtors, home buyers and sellers to rethink how property transactions are conducted.
People aren’t able to interact face to face as much, and some businesses involved in real estate have either been temporarily closed or have their employees work from home. This has permanently changed how transactions will be handled moving forward.
If you’re thinking about selling a house in California at this time, it can still be done. You’ll just need to exercise a few precautions and go about some of the usual steps a bit differently.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Safety first.
Many states are limiting public gatherings to ten people or less at a time. Keep this in mind when scheduling meetings with your realtor or arranging open house showings.
When you are hosting an open house, make sure to wipe down door handles, countertops and other commonly touched surfaces before and after every visit.
You should also have hand sanitizer, protective masks, shoe coverings and other safety equipment. Do all that you can to avoid or reduce the possibility of infection as much as possible. Your realtor may be able to provide these, and other items, if you’re not able to do so.
You’ll have to stay in touch with the realtor and interested parties frequently. Questions and concerns are bound to be raised from time to time. You might not be able to meet in person as much, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t communicate.
Video conferencing, phone calls, texts and emails are great ways to get your point across during this time.
Important documents can be attached to emails as Word, Excel or PDF files. These documents can be signed electronically and returned as needed.
Meetings can be scheduled via teleconference or video conferencing. If you do have to meet in person, just make sure that you follow the local guidelines for social distancing.
3. Think about virtual marketing
The Internet is going to be your most important marketing tool. More and more buyers will be searching for home listings in their area.
It’s a good opportunity to provide them with as many reasons as possible to purchase your home.
You can take some time to write up a listing and take photos yourself, or you can hire a professional to handle these tasks for you.
You can take video clips or set up a virtual tour of the property. Virtual tours can be conducted for the entire house or just certain areas as needed.
4. Follow all rules and regulations.
The laws, ordinances and other rules will vary depending on where you live. Some areas allow realtors to show homes in person, while others do not.
Certain areas also have regulations that require disclosures about whether or not the homeowner or other occupants in their home have contracted COVID-19. Other states allow interested parties to know if a home is in a neighborhood that has had several coronavirus infections.
Be sure to follow all rules and regulations in your area. Failure to comply could result in fines or jail time. Remember that safety procedures are put in place for realtors, prospective buyers and home owners.
5. Stay on top of your finances.
Your financial situation may have changed during the pandemic.
Thousands of people are currently unemployed, are unable to work because their businesses are not allowed to open yet, or may have had their hours greatly reduced due to restrictions imposed on their line of work.
If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, you should inform your real estate agent and your mortgage lender. Your lender may be able to work with you to extend your loan or come up with alternate arrangements to ease your financial burden a bit.
Your realtor will still continue to market your property, but you may have to lower your asking price if the property has been sitting unsold on the market for several months. If this happens, just make sure that you set a new selling price that doesn’t put you in considerable financial strain.
6. Conduct any necessary repairs and renovations carefully.
Depending on where you live, there may also be restrictions on renovations or repairs. This is especially true if you are hiring people to work on your home before the home can be sold.
There will probably be rules regarding social distancing. Each worker may need to be tested for the virus or questioned about their possible exposure. Supervisors may require them to wear masks or face shields, gloves and other safety equipment.
It’s okay to ask contractors and their employees any questions that you may have while they are working on your home. However, you should only do so in a manner that’s safe for you and the workers.
Limit your personal contact with them as much as possible. You may want to leave the premises while work is being done. You may also want to wear a face mask and take other necessary precautions when you’re around them.
These are just some of the more important things to keep in mind if you’re trying to sell your home during a pandemic.
No matter what happens, try to keep an open mind. Things have changed for everyone. There’s bound to be some aggravation, frustration, anxiety and added stress along the way.
It’s clear that a pandemic will cause immediate changes in just about any process, but it’s important to adapt to the “new normal.”
In the meantime, take extra measures to ensure the safety of you, your loved ones and others involved in the sale process.
Be considerate to everyone that you interact with. You’ll be able to sell your home before too long and start the next portion of your life in a new location.
📞 Have Questions? Ask The Chris Eckert Real Estate Team
Give The Chris Eckert Real Estate Team a call today at 650.627.3799 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.