Is Selling a House During the COVID-19 Pandemic a Good Idea?

COVID-19 Home Selling

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to change the way we live, many people want to know how it will affect the housing market. Most importantly homeowners want to know if they can still sell their home and if so, how will it affect the pricing and are their interested buyers at this point?

The Housing Market Outlook

It’s no secret that the housing market has taken a hit. In fact, we’ll probably feel this hit for the next couple of years – it’s not going to go away anytime soon. How much it affects each area depends on how hard the area was hit by the coronavirus itself as well as the bans put in place. With Massachusetts in ‘shelter in place’ orders until at least May 4th at this point, it puts a damper on the housing industry, for both new builders and existing home sellers.

Selling a House During COVID-19

Builders and home sellers throughout the state are seeing the repercussions of the ‘stay at home order.’ With fewer or any buyers coming through, sales are almost at a standstill. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the traffic homebuyers typically create has dropped dramatically since the start of the pandemic.

What’s worse for home sellers is the tighter lending restrictions loan programs and banks are instilling. With much higher rates of foreclosures expected, it’s hard for banks to have the same flexible guidelines borrowers are used to seeing. Any borrower with questionable credit, higher than average debt ratios, or questionable employment may find it nearly impossible to get funding right now.

How Can you Sell a House During COVID-19?

Despite the drastically low numbers, there are ways you can sell a home during COVID-19, just plan to be creative when doing so because it won’t be business as usual.

  • Make repairs – During the ‘stay at home order’ it’s a great time to make home repairs. Look around the home and think about what buyers will see first and fix those areas. Make the home as appealing as possible. Once you fix the ‘obvious’ repairs, think of the things an inspector may find. Buyers are going to be picky when the market does pick back up again, so using your time wisely now will help increase your chances of selling the home.
  • Clean and organize – When you do list your home, you’ll need to stage it. Start decluttering and removing unnecessary items now. You want the home to look as open as possible. Grab a storage unit or POD and store things away that you don’t have an immediate need for right now.
  • Prepare a virtual viewing – Buyers can’t come through your home right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t list your home. A video or photo slide tour will have to do for now, but this is a great way to get the listing out there, especially with the ability to share on social media. Some real estate agents are even offering ‘virtual showings’ so that no one walks through your home.
  • Price it carefully – Pricing can be tricky right now. Not too many foreclosures have happened yet because the government put a stop to them for the time being, but buyers are still going to be on the hunt for a ‘good deal,’ so making your pricing attractive, yet profitable for you is the key.

Selling your house during COVID-19 will prove to be a challenge. Expect many ups and downs with buyers. They’ll be picky, ask a ton of questions, especially if they have to view the home virtually, and they’ll want a great deal. Even you are lucky enough to strike up a deal, the financing can be an issue depending on the buyer’s credit, current financial status, and employment status. The process may take longer and have its ups and downs.

If you want a straightforward sale that isn’t affected by the ups and downs of the market and that doesn’t care about the home’s condition, consider a cash sale. We’d be happy to talk to you about your home, make an offer, and settle on the sale in as little as a week! Call us today to find out more!

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Selling a property in Massachusetts in today's market can be confusing. Get in touch with us and we'll be happy to help guide you through your options.

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