Many potential sellers have held off putting their homes on the market in 2020 due to COVID-19. But this may actually be an amazing opportunity to sell your home. Housing inventory is low right now in many suburban and rural areas and demand is high.
Mortgage rates have been at historic lows. People are interested in living in places with more green space, bigger yards, and more room. Prices have been increasing and in many areas in recent months. Some markets are so hot, houses get multiple offers within a few hours or days.
It’s a seller’s market in the suburbs and rural areas in 2020!
Realtors and sellers, alike, want to get houses ready ASAP. And we’re here to help!
“Should I sell my house or wait?”
If you are a homeowner, you may be wondering if you should sell your house at all. Here are some questions to ask yourself (or if you are a realtor, questions for your client), before diving in.
Questions to ask before selling your home
- Do you have a place to live if you sell your house fast?
- How much work do you expect to put into your home before selling?
- How much time do you need before placing your house on the market?
- Do you want to sell it as is? What is the estimate of work that would need to be done? How much profit can you expect to lose?
- Is your home in one of the hottest real estate markets or is your area’s current real estate market rather chilly?
- Are you and your family emotionally and financially ready for this big transition?
- Values are pretty high right now in a lot of areas, do you want to risk the prices dropping if you wait?
- Do you need the money from selling your home more than you need the home?
How to get your house ready to sell
If now is the time for you to sell, what should you do to sell your house fast? The vast majority of buyers want a home that is in move-in condition. Most don’t want to deal with the hassle and expense of handling repairs.
However, if you happen to be in a very hot seller’s market, you may be able to get away with doing fewer repairs than you would if there were more houses for sale around you. Still, your home will need to appeal to buyers and it will need to pass inspection. There are some repairs that simply must be done.
Before fixing up your home, speak with a trusted real estate agent who can provide a real estate marketing analysis of your home and help you decide how much to invest in repairs before you sell your home.
From Troy Ott, a licensed real estate broker in NC and SC: “Have a licensed agent establish the value/price of your home, as they are the true valuation experts. Secondly have your agent representative facilitate a pre inspection of your home by a licensed local contractor focusing on the big three, “HVAC, roof and your crawlspace”, this proactive measure will save you time and money BIG TIME by discovering if problems exist before your buyer finds them for you”
Selling a house as-is could be a good option if there are major issues that need to be repaired or replaced and you are willing to price the home lower.
Home Selling Tips
If you are thinking, “I want to sell my house fast!” Here ya go! Some tried and true ways to sell a home quickly.
Outside—spruce up the curb appeal!
- Clean up the yard
- Touch up the paint on the outside of the house, if needed.
- Make sure the front door and porch area look welcoming.
Inside—clean, organize, and refresh!
- Pack up your extra belongings and put them in storage.
- Paint your home in neutral colors.
- Focus especially on making the kitchen and bathroom look their best.
- Use a plug-in air freshener with something like a fresh linen breeze scent.
- Consider staging your home, especially if you are in a buyer’s market.
- If you are able to vacate the house, it may sell faster during COVID-19.
- Repair, replace, or remove anything that is broken or worn out (even furniture).
Your real estate marketing plan may depend on what area of the country you are located in. A realtor can help you come up with the best strategy for your home.
Real estate marketing ideas
There are some things you always want to do to make sure your home looks its best for potential buyers.
- Gorgeous, professional photos are a must.
- Open the blinds and curtains to let in all the beautiful natural light.
- Put your listing online.
- Offer virtual tours.
- Consider an open house if your realtor thinks it will help.
- Take the time to write a great description of your home.
- Consider sharing about your home on your social media with friends and family.
Punch list ideas
When you decide to sell your house, you’ll want to come up with your punch list items. These are the repairs you need to do in order to get your home ready for sale.
Some suggestions for your punch list include:
- Repair or replace leaky plumbing fixtures.
- Replace old toilets.
- Repair or replace broken bathroom fans.
- Repair or replace the roof, if needed.
- Repair or replace broken steps, deck boards, or loose railings.
- Pressure wash the house.
- Clean the gutters.
- Patch any holes or cracks in the drywall or ceilings.
- Repair or replace broken windows, doors, doorknobs, cabinets, hardware, etc….
- Repair or replace loose or broken railings.
- Apply fresh caulking in bathrooms, kitchens, and around doors and windows.
- Replace worn weatherstripping.
- Replace old lighting fixtures or ceiling fans.
- Replace dead and dim lightbulbs to make the house look bright.
- Repair or replace broken light switches or outlets.
Checklist for selling a house during COVID-19
Sellers want to protect themselves and their families from illness and they want to protect potential buyers, too. Your real estate agent can help you come up with the best plan to prepare for selling your home during this pandemic. (Please refer to resources at the bottom of the post for more information.)
Keep home hunters safe and healthy by providing:
- Hand sanitizing stations.
- A limited number of people at showings.
- Personal protective equipment at the door.
- Disinfection for high-touch surfaces after each showing.
- Touchless showings—leave all the lights on, closet doors open, interior doors open, and some cabinets open.
Be sure you or your realtor let potential buyers know what steps you are taking to help keep them safe.
Real estate digital marketing in 2020 — virtual home tours
Online real estate is booming. You can hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your home, of course. But don’t stop there! Let people experience what it’s like to walk through your home via video and even offer a 3D virtual home tour. Some realtors will do videos for you.
You can also have a professional drone virtual house tour made that will really wow your buyers with aerial shots and amazing angles.
Selling your house online has never been easier or more mainstream than in 2020. Many buyers do all their tours online only this year. Some sellers, for various reasons, also only offer virtual tours. So talk with your realtor about how online real estate may be right for you.
Ready to put your house on the market in the Columbia, SC area?
At Punch List Pros, we help realtors and property owners get homes ready to sell or ready for the buyer after the inspection. Check out the types of services for realtor punch lists!
Please contact us today!
Our service area includes:
Lexington, Irmo, Columbia, Forest Acres, Cayce, and West Columbia
COVID-19’s Impact on Real Estate by Realtor Magazine
Sanitize Your Listing Realtor Magazine
Coronavirus: A Guide for Realtors by the National Association of Realtors (helpful information for sellers, as well)