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Taking a “Wait-and-See” Approach to Selling? What You Can Do Right Now

Were you thinking of putting your home on the market, and now aren’t sure what your next step or steps should be?

With the level of uncertainty that we’re all facing with COVID-19, it’s understandable if you want to wait before moving forward with listing your home, especially if there isn’t an immediate need to sell.

Taking a step backwards and waiting for more certainty doesn’t mean you still can’t be productive and be prepared for when the time is right for you to sell.

You do have control over what you can do in the meantime to have a distinct advantage when you’re ready to put out that “For Sale” sign.

There will most likely be pent-up demand from sellers in the market once this crisis is over, and your home can be primed to attract those buyers, and better yet, reap the rewards with a higher price and a quicker sale.

We always tell potential sellers to use their time wisely, and if you’re homebound and have the time, get ahead of the curve and consider these important steps you can be taking now.

Please stay positive and you will be able to sell your home when the time is right for you!

Get In Touch

We are here to keep you up-to-date on the current market and how it is evolving during this time. It’s never too early to contact us since we are here to provide any guidance and strategies for getting your home sold in the timeframe that works for you, whether that’s months from now or even next year.

Selling a home can be overwhelming and time-consuming. This coming year will be especially so for sellers because of evolving conditions. That’s why planning ahead is more important than ever. Keep your stress levels down and reach out to us so that we can come up with a workable plan together as early in the home-selling (and home-buying) process as possible.

Understand the new rules of real estate may be here for a while.  We can go over the ways that real estate industry has adapted with the current health conditions so that buyers and sellers remain safe. Social distancing restrictions will eventually be lifted but some safety precautions may remain for a bit longer even post-COVID-19.  You might have to adjust your outlook on how you will list your home, so take the time to understand what is going on as you approach your timeframe to list your home.

Make Your Home Shine

Start today in getting your home in tip-top shape and tackle any projects that could make your home look its best when you do list. Now more than ever, you can feel productive and work toward your goal of selling your home. These efforts will be well worth it when buyers step onto your property and walk through your front door.

Stay on budget or know your potential return on investment. You may have to spend money to earn money but not all home improvements are worth it. So be careful and don’t overdo it. We can help you on this since we know what is worth it for your particular neighborhood or your potential buyers. And, keep in mind, the availability of professionals right now may vary for certain projects due to social distancing restrictions and your jurisdiction, so plan accordingly.

Set specific goals and map out a timetable with deadlines. Schedule certain times each week or month to work on prepping your home with specific tasks or DIY projects (i.e., tackle basement, paint bedroom, etc). Your timetable will depend on when you want to list it and how much will need to get done. Now is the time to get bids from outside contractors on any projects and to also get a sense of the timeframe for completion. However, some of this could depend on COVID-19 in your community and any restrictions.

Prepare your property and fix what’s broken. Make a list of all the nagging items that bother you and fix them. Looking at your home with fresh and unbiased eyes right now can help. You’ll see where it needs a fresh coat of paint or discover that loose step you’ve lived with way too long. We can give you guidance on what you should spend money on if you’re uncertain. Now could be a good time for some DIY projects if you’re comfortable handling yourself. YouTube also can be a source of how-to’s. And right now, some paint stores are doing curbside service if you are not comfortable going inside a store.

Clear away clutter. You don’t want your home to look cramped and clogged with too many personal items. Buyers like to see more of a clean slate. Start today with paring down your belongings – sell on eBay, donate, or recycle or trash. Depending on your community, some disposal services may be closed during this lockdown period. For those items you want to keep, consider boxing them up and finding a place or purchasing a storage unit to store them, including any furniture, until your home is sold.

Clean like you never did before.  Now could be a good time to tackle those cleaning jobs even your cleaning service didn’t handle if you had one. Focus on areas of your home that could use a good scrubbing.  You could focus on windows one week, and then polishing wood floors another week. Turn to YouTube for any guidance in cleaning or prep if you’re not sure. Here’s your chance to get ahead of the curve in prepping your home, so it will really shine when you want to list it.

Make it as move-in ready as possible. Today’s buyers are not crazy about doing repairs and replacements. They do not want an immediate to-do list. We can discuss whether you should leave something “as is” or replace it. An older roof, stained carpet, or a warped fence can bring down the price or your home. Determine what is best for your sale financially, and then determine if professionals are available to work on any of these projects. Again, it depends on your jurisdiction and your comfort level for any work done by others now or in the weeks and months ahead.

Appeal to a buyer’s emotions. Not only do you need to appeal to a buyer’s mind and wallet, but you also need to make their heart skip a beat. How do you do that? The answer depends on your particular home and your most likely buyer. You want buyers to envision themselves living in your home so think about how your rooms are used and how they can be set up to create these positive emotions, whether through photos, a virtual showing, or when buyers can actually walk through your home.

It’s a beauty contest when they drive up. Believe it or not, selling a home can be like a beauty contest. Curb appeal and the “wow” factor can sway buyers.  As you get closer to listing, schedule some landscaping work to make your yard look its best. This spruce-up is even important for online photos or for virtual showings.

Become More Tech-Savvy

Today’s buyers are better prepared than ever to deal with virtual anything when it comes to house hunting! And this tech-savvy approach will be helpful even when more certainty returns in our communities. Make sure you’re just as informed and willing as buyers out there.

Promoting your home with technology. Now more than ever, homes will be promoted more virtually as needed, and this could continue for a bit depending on your community and your level of comfort. The good news is that buyers are more accepting of this process – even virtual showings. They’re already tapped into technology and do their own electronic searches, receive seller disclosure forms, order home inspections, etc.

Online photos can sell your home. Buyers already spend lots of time viewing online listings and its photos to get an idea on what homes they want to visit. So now more than ever your photos need to have “curb appeal” in every single shot! Take pictures when your yard looks its best no matter the time of year and save them. But, remember, this takes pre-planning! When the time comes, our photographers have the correct lens to make sure you home looks large and bright.

Understand the Market Is Evolving

The market will be evolving over the coming months and we’ll be monitoring it and have a better grasp of the impact of COVID-19 in certain neighborhoods and communities in the weeks ahead. Stay informed and be willing to be flexible if you can as needed, and that way you’ll be ready to jump into the market at the right time for your home.

Go with the flow of the market. This coming year will be interesting to see if the flow of the market will change, and if there will be a large uptick in buyers come fall since the spring has not seen its usual surge. So it’s critical to be flexible, and most importantly, prepared to list your home ASAP if the timing is right.

Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. Most of us are a bit more emotional now and uncertain, which can cause stress and anxiety. Make sure you take care of yourself and your family during this time so that when you are ready to list your home, you can handle it with confidence and a calm preparedness. And if you’ll also be looking for a new home, having a positive outlook and a system of self-care can get you through the emotions of house hunting too.

Focus on the “business” of selling.  You love your home and feel a surge of protectiveness to it at times. Because the market could be different in the coming year, it’s more important than ever to think of selling your home as a “business transaction.” It can be hard to do, but try to distance yourself and view it as a financial opportunity for the next phase of your life. You need to stay focused on getting your home sold, so you can buy your next one.

Study sales prices, not asking prices in your particular neighborhood.  The true market is based on what buyers are willing to pay when you list your home. Basically, buyers will only pay what they deem your house is worth in current market conditions. Again, the market could still be evolving and we’ll adapt and make sure to price your home accordingly.

Be willing to price your home competitively from the get-go. More than ever, once you decide to list your home, take advantage of the first two weeks of showings that bring the most traffic to your home. Even if you mistakenly price your home slightly low, you’ll get multiple offers.  You can’t go wrong … unless you price your home too high and it sits, and sits, and sits.

Remember that all real estate is local. The particular street or block you live on can be a strong influence on how it appeals to buyers and how to price your home, especially in the year ahead. We’ll keep abreast on your particular neighborhood, of what is selling and what isn’t, and even who is buying and why.  That’s why you should reach out to us sooner than later, so we can make smart and strategic decisions together.

As you can see, selling your home is a “project” that takes work and planning. But it can be done and it will be so worth it once you’re in your new home. We are here to help you so you can start planning today for your future move … whatever your timeframe!