You can do it, but it’s going to take some creative thinking
In the normal, pre COVID-19 world, spring and early summer have traditionally been the hottest time to sell your home. This spring (as you’re surely aware) things are different. This doesn’t mean that now isn’t a great time to sell your home (or buy one!). It does mean that you’re going to have to be a little creative, flexible, and willing to think outside of the box.
The Bad News
Let’s rip this band-aid off. Selling your house when people can’t come and see it easily in the normal way – showings, open houses, etc. means that it may take a bit longer to sell. The market is slowing down in many markets, too. According to the National Association of Realtors, 90% of agents reported a decline in interest from home buyers because of fears over the coronavirus. Also, 80% said they saw fewer houses listed on the MLS. The number of houses sold is also reflecting this. In March there was a decline of 8.5% in home sales over February, for a total of 5.3 million homes sold that month. This should reverse, but with people in a different financial position in the coming months, it will be hard to gauge when that might be.
In an interview with Kiplinger, real estate agent Alicia Stoughton, who works in Cincinnati, OH, indicated that increasing levels of unemployment is also causing sellers to pump the brakes. “A major concern of sellers right now is the risk of [buyers] losing their income prior to closing,” she said.
“A major concern of sellers right now is the risk of [buyers] losing their income prior to closing,”– Alicia Stoughton, Real Estate Agent and Interior Designer – Cincinnati
So… there’s that.
The Good News
Money is REALLY cheap right now. With mortgage rates averaging 3.3% on a 30-year fixed loan right now, buyers (and potential buyers) have a reason to make a move. For those that are thinking of a move, selling your house right now could actually be fantastic timing. There’s a tremendous shortage of homes on the market, and those that are in decent shape that get listed could actually get an offer over asking price (this isn’t the case though, for those that need work – we’ll cover that later). It’s going to be important that you consider all of your options before you choose an agent. Agents are people too, and they don’t want to expose themselves to COVID-19 any more than you do. This means that you’ll need to speak with several agents before choosing one. You should also consider selling your home off-market to a cash buyer (like Simply), to limit the exposure risk to you and your family (this is especially important to consider if your home needs work or updating, as that can increase potential time on the market, and more people may come through the house, increasing opportunity for exposure to the virus). To that end, here are Simply’s 5 Tips For Selling Your Home After Coronavirus