The coronavirus has had a devastating impact on the economy. Yet at the same time, with mortgage rates at an all-time low, it is a buyer’s market. Plus, according to Forbes, a growing number of first-time home buyers are in the market for properties because they want to get away from crowded cities. We believe this calls for some tips for selling homes during the coronavirus outbreak.
At Century 21, we understand that individuals and families are still looking for places to live. But, some modifications to typical practice are essential to keep buyers and sellers safe. So how can you continue marketing homes for your clients in this challenging time?
First, you should always consult with the sellers to find out if they are comfortable with people coming into their homes at this time. If not, it is imperative to respect their wishes. Similarly, if you are not comfortable coming into contact with others, you shouldn’t feel pressured into doing so.
If you do decide to keep showing properties in person, tighten your hygiene protocols. Provide booties and hand sanitizer for your clients, and wipe down door handles and other surfaces people touch.
If a client is infected and needs to self-quarantine, reschedule the showing. Of course, this may affect the client’s ability to make an offer. That is why it’s advisable to ask the sellers whether or not they’d be willing to postpone their decision in the event they get another offer in the meantime.
A lot of people are currently working at home, which means they have more time on their hands. Even if it is only because they don’t have to commute to and from the office. Capitalize on your audience’s availability by contributing to local publications or news channels. For example, you could pitch a story explaining how you are protecting your clients during this time. You can also ramp up your social media activity to increase your online presence and engage more with your audience.
Virtual staging apps have been around for a while, and if you have not started using them yet, now is the time. HubSpot offers a list of top apps including Virtual Staging Solutions, BoxBrownie, and VisualStager.
You can make matters extra convenient for your clients by offering virtual tours, as NY Curbed recommends. There are various apps you can use for this, including the Zillow 3D Home app, RICOH Tours, and iStaging. You can also simply FaceTime or Skype a client while doing a walkthrough of a property.
This method comes with several advantages. You can:
Also, note that virtual tours, when well done, can help you significantly widen your market because potential buyers can be located any distance from the home.
The National Association of Realtors® advises that in order to comply with fair housing practices, it is crucial to implement the same exact measures for every client. So, if you normally drive clients to open houses and prefer not to do that until the epidemic is over, you shouldn’t drive any clients at all.
Similarly, if you ask one client whether he or she has come into contact with an infected individual or has traveled to an affected country, you should ask all of them. And if you are doing business in person, request that all your clients adhere to your hygiene protocol.
If these tips for selling homes during the coronavirus outbreak are to be of any use, they must be followed consistently. All it takes is lessening one safety measure once to spread infection. Century 21 takes the safety of our clients seriously, and we hope you do as well. With care and attention, we can overcome this virus and provide quality real estate at the same time.