2020 has many families reevaluating their living situations. Here in Connecticut people are questioning the functions of their home and if they are truly happy where they are at. Maybe you have decided your house just simply doesn't have enough space for your family to function. You need an office and a place to work out. The kids need their own play room but aslo a quiet place to learn. Open concept just isn't working anymore. The yard isn't big enough or maybe you want to move to a more rural neighborhood. Seems like overnight our homes went from somewhere we sleep to a place that has to function for everything and everyone 24-7. You've been thinking it over for months and heading into the new year, this may be the fresh start you needed. NOW is the time to list. When will you ever get this perfect storm of LOW interest rates and high return on selling your home. LOW inventory has buyers STILL in a scramble offering at and over asking price. Some properties 10-20k over asking! Homes that expired and went off market last year go active and are get scooped up! What is holding you back? Here's what you should know about listing in 2020 during covid times.
"I don't really want people coming in and out of my house how can I sell my house and protect my family?"
This is a very common question we get.
If you are moving to a rental, know where you are going or with family it may be best to move prior to listing however where that is generally not the case here are some tips on how to safely list your home while living in it..
For starters all paperwork is done online, so many digital signing programs have given agents the tools to be able to work more remote and distanced but connected then ever. So by the time we show up for pictures you have already signed your listing agreement and ready to begin. To start... Get infront of the market virtually. We live in such a technological age that everything can be seen and previewed online. When hiring an agent ask if they do their pictures themselves or get professional photos done? If you prefer less traffic the agent can very well do them, however professional photos really shine a property in its best light in such a digitally driven time. Another option which has become very popular is 360 Virtual tours and/or virtual walk throughs. Agents can do virtual walk throughs either by video or specialty camera giving the buyer the opportunity to tour the home without ever stepping inside. This will give a great idea of feel especially in homes that are unique or have difficult layouts where you typically see from photos. This will also weed out any unnecessary traffic of those who do not feel after viewing it is the home for them.
Following CDC guidelines. As required all agents and buyers entering home are required to where masks. Some sellers have sweet little stations by the front door with sanitizer, wipes for doorknobs, sometimes gloves and even booties. Other sellers require buyers remove shoes. I have even seen sellers request no-one uses the bathroom. Whatever your request it really is not too much to ask, many buyers are respectful and understand. What I generally recommend is sellers leave lights on and closets cracked, this will eliminate anyone having to touch extra items around your home. As Realtors we also request only primary buyers accompany agent to showings, inspections and such no extended family and friends. Agents are only bringing out qualified ready and willing buyers. With our current market if priced appropriately, and listed immediately you should ideally be able to get your home under deposit with one buyer within the first couple weeks. From there showings with slow/stop and you will just have inspections to closing with minimal traffic.. Again paperwork is done online. Our goal as agents is to show, sell and keep everyone safe. We have adapted and will accommodate to the needs of our sellers and buyers to ensure a smooth transaction in a challenging time.
"Someone said I have to have my house listed before I can put in an offer.. is this true?"
To be a viable buyer in this market, yes you need your home listed under contract. I recommend putting verbiage such as subject to seller finding suitable housing in your contract. Be open and honest about the probability that you may need to extending dates out. See how flexible the buyer is to work with you.
"I want to do some updates before I am ready to list."
In this market buyers are more willing to look past the lack up updates to get the right house. They are more willing then ever and while I cannot predict the future I would not wait long. Our numbers have doubled from the prior year, with less inventory then ever. To get active sooner then later is your best chance at capturing this market in its entirety and will set you up for success.
"What kind of offer should I give on a house in this market?"
When purchasing know that there are many buyers, MANY without a home to sell. You need to be ready to jump and come in strong with your offers. Loan type and down payment amount matter in this market. Waiving inspections or doing them for informational purposes only, can matter. There is more to this market then highest bid wins, its about the quality of the offer and sometimes even the buyer themselves. It never hurts to include a heartfelt letter or picture.. Have patience, many buyers are disheartened and frustrated losing one house after another after another. Also know that homes are going on and off market, falling through often. Many inspection items, anxious buyers and sellers, and just that sellers not finding homes.. there is a lot of turnover from active, to under contract to active once again. Keep an eye out, just because a property goes under contract doesn't mean it won't come back on. Consider putting in a back up offer, where your offer will take the place of current if the current one was to fall through. There are scenarios where this can all work but be conscious of what is happening in this market, speak with your agent on your best plan of action whether it be selling and/or buying.
Are you happy in your current home, Where do you see yourself in 2021?
If you have any questions or concerns holding you back? Contact your local Realtor!