Selling your home during Covid

By Gigi Marion

Contact Jose Hernandez, Realtor
Chicago Real Estate Source – Coldwell Banker
1910 N. Clybourn Ave Chicago, IL 60614
Text or Call 312-788-7079

Covid-19 has changed the way we go about our lives. Whether it be social distancing, face masks, or suspending face to face interactions, it is safe to say that we have had to adapt to living in a Covid-19 world. While selling a house during a pandemic may seem like the wrong move, research proves quite the opposite. Thanks to technology, selling and showing a home is still a possibility, it just looks a little different. The housing market may have gone down during the beginning of the pandemic,but new research indicates that is only growing from here. 

According to research, as of July 30th, the housing market is recovering with remarkable momentum. The housing demand is visibly reaching recovery…with this week’s index reaching 116.8, 16.3 points above the January baseline. This in part is due to lower mortgages that back consumer’s confidence as well as less supply on the market for a growing demand. Along the lines of lower supply of homes on the market, sellers again have the leverage and are translating to the fastest growth price this year (Real Estate Data and Market Trends).This buyer demand has driven the house prices up 8.5%, with July national median listing price being $349000 (Speianu). Data also indicates that listing prices will continue to grow. 

As shown above, the housing market is improving considerably, making now the best time to sell, especially as the market may change in the upcoming months. If you are wanting to list your house, but are worried about how to proceed with the new protocols in place, here are a few options that maintain new protocols. For example, virtual presentations and tours, electronic delivery of documents, and meeting apps such as Zoom, skype, and facetime makes selling a house just as practical online as it was in person (Brumberg). 

There are many benefits to selling a home now. For one, there is a lot less competition on the market, making it easier to get your asking price. Additionally, more and more people are spending time at home, meaning that they spend more time researching listings, bringing a higher chance that they can stumble across yours. Plus, with new social distancing and online technology becoming the norm, you can show your house without having strangers pass through, which keeps everyone safe and allows you to keep your privacy. 

While Covid-19 has brought many uncertainties to our lives, there is one thing for sure – now is the best time to sell.

Selling your home is a big deal. Whether you’re selling for the first time or for the fifth there is a lot that goes into the sale of your residence. Before you can ask questions like ‘how do I sell my home?’ you’ll need to ask yourself ‘am I ready to?

Knowing you’re ready to sell isn’t as easy as waking up and deciding to. It’s never going to be the perfect time to move on from your current place, however there are ways to know if it’s a good opportunity, and a good decision, for you, your family, and your finances.

In order to know if it’s the right time to sell, consider these questions:

  • Do you have a plan?
  • Have you studied the local real estate market?
  • Are you financially ready?
  • Are you ready for a change?
  • Are you emotionally ready?
  • Has your family outgrown your home?

This article is going to go over six ways in which you’ll know you are ready to begin the process of selling your house.


It’s the right time to sell when you have a plan

Having a plan is the most important part. You’ll want to play out all the outcomes in your head with a lot of ‘what-if’ scenarios so you are prepared for anything. If there’s anything you’ll learn in the process of selling real estate it’s that you should always expect the unexpected.

What if….

You can’t find a buyer?

If you’re prepared for the worst of outcomes you’ll be prepared to handle anything! If your home expires it’s not the end of the world. Have a plan so that if you can’t find your buyer maybe you’ll either find a new realtor, or maybe you’ll test the waters and rent it out?

The inspection report comes back with issues?

Are you prepared to handle a home inspection? Maybe you’ll want to consider having the home inspected before buyers make an offer and you go under contract? Having additional ammunition before negotiations gives you a great advantage as a seller. It also shows the buyer that you care enough about your home to have it inspected prior to selling. There are many typical issues that arise on a home inspection, so set the proper expectation for the buyers!

You have a decent offer the first day on the market?

Having a plan will help you understand if it’s the right offer for you. If it’s the first day maybe you’ll want to hold off a day or two. When you sign on with a strong Realtor to list your house they will be able to assist you in determining the fair market value for your property as well as how to handle this situation. Knowing a number in your own head will help you determine if it’s the right offer.

You are in a multiple offer situation?

Being in a multiple offer situation is a good thing, that can go bad if not handled properly. First you’ll want to be sure that everyone is aware that there is a multiple offer situation. Next you’ll want to set a time deadline for everyone’s final and best offers. It’s a good idea to maintain great communication throughout or it may come back to hurt you. A top Real Estate Agent will not only generate a great offer, they will generate a strong back up as well!


You’ve studied the Market, and it’s a good time!

When selling your home it’s wise to study the local market. If your neighbor’s home sells in the first few days on market than you know there is a strong desire for a property like yours in that area.

In Cary, NC we have seen a number of homes come up for sale at astronomical prices simply because the homes next door have sold so quickly. It’s not that surprising that these properties are selling at these prices, though around 50% or so end up sitting or lowering the price.

If you have a great grasp on the local market you’ll know if it’s the right time to sell your home.

5 key factors to look at:

  • Homes that have sold
  • Price they’ve sold at
  • How fast they’re selling
  • Local Trends
  • Interest Rates

This data will help you determine if it’s a good time to sell. Once you’ve looked at the factors outside of your control, you’ll want to go over the factors that are within your control.

You’re Financially Ready to Sell

If you’ve owned your home for a long time and paid down your mortgage you should have some great equity built in. Maybe you were a first time home buyer and you’re looking to upgrade or an empty nester who’s looking to downsize.

Having a strong understanding of your financial position will help you understand if it’s a good time for you to sell. It will also help you develop a plan after the sale, and where you’ll be able to go next.

Knowing what you will net on the sale of your home will help you understand what you can afford to do financially. You’ll want to find a home seller net sheet so you understand what you will owe the bank and any other charges that will go into the sale of your house.

When you understand your finances it’ll allow you to determine if it’s the right time to sell, or if you should save up for another year or so. At Raleigh Realty, one of the ways in which we help owners sell their homes for more money is with home improvements that add value.

You want a change of scenery

Change can be a good thing.

There are many reasons you may want or need a change – whether it’s because you’ve outgrown your current place or are ready for a new location, there’s an abundance of reasons why it may be time to move on. Let’s talk about a few common reasons things change for people.

One of common reasons people sell their home is because they’re looking for a change of scenery, or they’re moving for an outside factor. It may be a job transfer that causes you to sell your home, or are simply looking for somewhere a new location to move. On average, people in the United States move every five to seven years and it’s for a variety of different reasons.

If you’re looking for a change of scenery than you’ll want to be sure you’re committed to the change before deciding if it’s time to sell your home. If you’re on the fence about it, than it’s probably the wrong time for you to list your home for sale. However, if you decide you’re one hundred percent ready to make a move than go for it!

Sometimes people don’t have a choice in the matter because it’s a job transfer or they’re moving for other reasons that are outside of their control. This means that whether or not it’s the right time to sell you probably have no other choice. If this is the case you’ll want to be sure you have a plan, are financially ready, and you’re not emotionally attached to your home and area.

Being emotionally detached from your home

It’s tough working with a seller who is still emotionally invested in their home and that makes it even harder for your home to sell. You don’t have to remove the sentimental value from your home in order to sell it, just don’t allow it to influence your decision making process. If it does than you may not be ready, which is ok!

Being one hundred percent committed to the sale of your home is important before you undergo the process. Once you close, there’s no going back. That home no longer belongs to you, it belongs to someone else. Make sure you can handle that before moving on to the next phase of the sale. You’ll be moving to an exciting new chapter of life when you transition!

There are common reasons someone who isn’t emotionally detached will still have to sell their home and this can pose a lot of challenges for both the seller and the Realtor. Have a good understanding of how you feel about the sale of your home and be open with your Real Estate Agent about them.


You’ve Outgrown Your House

Outgrowing your house is typical for first time buyers, and young families. It’s time to find a home that can fit everyone. If your family is growing, there is a good chance you want to sell your house, and find a new one with more space.

Outgrowing a home is a natural progression in life. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right time to sell your home. You’ll need to have a plan, understand the local market trends, as well as be sure you’re financially ready to make the transition from your current house into a new home.

Final thoughts on the Right time to Sell

There’s a lot that goes into real estate sales. You’ll want to be sure you have set aside time, finances, and you have a plan.

If you’re worried that it may not be the right time sell than you’re probably right.

You’ll know it when the time comes. When it does, consult with local professionals who can help you to understand your options and don’t necessarily hire the first Realtor you interview. There are a lot of Realtors in the world and not all are created equal. Understand their marketing, selling, and how they generate buyer leads for your property.

Selling your home for the most money involves working with a great Real Estate Agent, as well as setting the stage right so that when buyers view your property they fall in love. While you may be emotionally detached from the house, you want the buyers to be able to envision themselves living in the home. Paint the home with neutral colors and remove the ‘personal items’. You can move your personal items into a storage unit which will help open more room in your home for buyers to visualize. I asked a group of Realtors what is the first thing they recommend to sellers before they find an agent. Gary Gaertner, a Realtor working in Springdale, Arkansas, nailed some great tips for those preparing to sell:

  • Settle your financial obligations
  • Declutter
  • Clean
  • De-personalize
  • Move items into storage
  • Talk to a lender

Settling your financial obligations is a great tip because you want to make sure you don’t have negative equity in your house and not find out until it’s too late.

Chat with a lender as well to know whether or not you’ll be able to secure a new mortgage, as well as where your credit score stands.

These are six tips for owners that are deciding whether or not to list their home for sale to help determine if it’s the correct time!