The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lives in so many ways – from how we work to how we socialize and travel. It has also had a major impact on how we buy and sell homes. Due to the health protocols laid out by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), selling your home in 2021 will not be business as usual.
How to Sell Your Home in 2021: 15 Tips
1. Work with an experienced real estate agent
Home selling is possible using a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) approach. However, if you want to sell your house fast, working with a real estate agent is advisable. Real estate agents across the US have quickly adapted to the current situation. So having one by your side will surely help you sell your home during COVID-19.
Additionally, a licensed agent will help you get an MLS property listing which will give you exposure to thousands of potential buyers. In addition, a good agent will conduct comparative market analysis (CMA), help you negotiate the best deal, navigate any counteroffers, and guide you through the closing process. Though you will have to pay realtor fees for selling a house, you will avoid potential pitfalls.
2. Turn unutilized space into an office or gym
Due to the coronavirus, more people now realize the importance of having a dedicated workspace at home. In addition, exercising from home has become increasingly popular. If you have an insulated garage, spare bedroom, or unfinished basement, you could transform them into a usable space. This could even boost your home value.
3. De-clutter the home
De-cluttering your home will make it look neat and even more spacious and space will be a big selling point in 2021 due to COVID-19. So before showing your home, be sure to get rid of all the clutter in your bedrooms, hallways, kitchen bathroom, and yards. You could even consider hiring a professional organizer to advise you on how best to organize your spaces before attempting to sell your home.
4. Invest in professional photography
In recent years, more and more buyers have started their home search online. No doubt, this trend will continue in 2021. Since you will be selling your home online, you must ensure that the photos in your listing are top-notch. Investing in a professional photographer will ensure that your property is presented in the best light. Be sure to capture all the spaces around the home, as well as the surrounding views.
5. Write a vivid description
When selling your home virtually, some details might not be evident in your photos or videos. This is why you need to write a description that paints a vivid picture of your property. Be sure to mention all the main features and upgrades that someone might miss in the visuals.
6. Get listed on multiple online platforms
Once your photos and description are ready, get your home listed. For better exposure in 2021, consider listing on multiple platforms. You can choose between property listing websites such as the multiple listing service (MLS), Mashvisor, Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia. You could also consider a marketplace like Craigslist.
List your property for sale in the Mashvisor Property Marketplace. The best part? It’s free!
7. Promote your listing
Start by sharing your listing in Facebook groups that target real estate investors or young families. Next, promote your listing on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn with relevant hashtags. You could also consider posting a short video of your home on YouTube.
8. Minimize contact during the home inspection
To stay safe when selling your home, it would be advisable to stay away from the home during an inspection. Also, consider getting multiple inspections (termite inspection, radon inspection, etc.) done at the same time to minimize exposure. Once the inspections are done, do a thorough sanitizing of your property.
9. Minimize contact during the home appraisal
With the technology available, home appraisers don’t have to conduct in-home inspections. They can use tools like Zoom to view the interiors and exteriors of homes they are appraising. Appraisers can also drive by the home or view photos provided by the property owner.
10. Use virtual staging
When it comes to selling your home, staging is a very crucial part of the process. It gives potential buyers a chance to visualize themselves living in the home. If you don’t have experience in home staging, you could consider paying for a virtual staging service.
11. Conduct virtual tours
With all the social distancing rules, physical open houses may not be possible. Even if they are permitted in your area, buyers may still be discouraged from attending them next year. However, with a 3D virtual tour tool, you can provide a realistic experience of the property and make potential property buyers feel like they are walking around the home. Alternatively, you could use a streaming service like YouTube or Facebook Live. Allow interested buyers to interact and ask questions in real-time during the tour.
12. Exercise extra caution during in-person showings
At some point, you might have to show your home to potential buyers since many people do not want to buy a property they have never seen. One preventative measure you could consider is limiting such showings to potential buyers who already have a pre-approval letter. In addition, they should have viewed any relevant paperwork and taken a virtual tour before making an in-person visit. During the showing, all parties should wash/sanitize their hands, wear masks at all times, and follow other CDC guidelines for interactions.
13. Take sanitation seriously
You must always sanitize your home before every showing. Pay attention to important areas like light switches, countertops, drawer pulls, and doorknobs. To minimize contact, it would be advisable to leave the necessary lights on and all the cabinets and doors open. Once the showing is done, be sure to sanitize the home again.
14. Use teleconferencing for meetings
Teleconferencing allows people to meet ‘face-to-face’ while exercising social distancing. With tools like Zoom and WebEx, you can hold discussions with different parties and share documents remotely during the home sale process.
15. E-sign all paperwork
When it comes to signing documents, it would be advisable to avoid contact with your agent, attorney, or buyer. Tools like HelloSign, DocuSign, PandaDoc, AdobeSign, and SignEasy have made contactless document signing possible. Currently, about 23 states allow signers and notaries to complete paperwork while in different locations.
2021 will likely be a seller’s market on the national level. This means it could be a great time to sell your home and make a good return on investment.