Selling a house can be a feat in the best of circumstances. But selling during Covid-19 presents its own unique challenges. In addition to safety concerns for everyone involved, there’s a general feeling of uncertainty and instability around the global and local economy.
But people are still moving and buying, in spite of the pandemic. While it’s a new world for everyone involved, there are certain practices and methods most knowledgable professionals agree will improve your chances and increase your safety if you’re selling a home in the midst of Covid-19.
Virtual tours are especially effective for buyers who are already familiar with the city and neighborhood but still need to complete a tour of the home. Luckily, we live in a time when almost anyone can capture a good video and several dozen high-quality pictures. Agents are already especially skilled in these areas and should excel at presenting your home in its best light via photographs, videos, or FaceTime tours.
Virtual tours are so effective that they may become the new preferred method over time. These kinds of viewings are an undeniable time-saver, making them a strong option long after the threat of Covid-19 has dissipated.
Lastly, virtual tours are a fantastic way to weed out people who aren’t serious or truly interested. If a potential buyer doesn’t like the look of the yard, the height of the ceilings, or the type of flooring, all of this can be established during or after the virtual tour. With virtual tours, you and your agent can narrow it down to only the most serious buyers.
Many agents are still involved in house-selling, albeit in highly-modified roles. While most group open houses are still discouraged, many agents are still hosting in-person tours. Once the virtual showing weeds out those who aren’t a good fit, an agent might opt to schedule a safe, somewhat modified tour with a serious buyer.
Currently, tours are usually one party at a time and involve extra precautions like masks, gloves, and social distancing. Many agents have “cleaning kits” with a sanitizer, disinfectant, and booties for their feet and plastic gloves. They may also make hand sanitizer or gloves readily available to their guests.
While a house is always shown in its best light, Covid-19 calls for extraordinary cleaning measures. An agent might spend a great deal of time disinfecting all the areas being touched by potential buyers: handles, doorknobs, cabinets. By leaving the closet, bathroom, and bedroom doors open, an agent can reduce the need for guests to make personal contact with surfaces in the home.
Another convenience that could gain new popularity long after Covid-19 has diminished is the remote closing. As of right now, 23 states – including Texas – allow remote closings. This practice may very well expand in the near future as many lenders are currently lobbying to extend the option to other states.
Unfortunately, the stay-at-home-order and general Covid-19 fears have seen the Houston housing market plummet through April and May. But there still seems to be plenty of interest in consumer real estate, so adaptability to the measures outlined above can help improve the state of the housing market in Houston.