Summer is usually a busy time for buying and selling homes, but this is anything but typical in this Corona virus season.
While states are in various stages of opening, sellers are busy with new ways to put their homes up for sale, and buyers are working hard to search thoroughly while continuing to practice social distancing.
I was right in the middle of helping my mother this summer. She would like to retire in a few years and be closer to the grandchildren.
She has already found work here in Raleigh and is now selling her house during the summer break and looking for a place.
Be a buyer or seller of smart homes during this pandemic
If you want to buy or sell a house during the pandemic, you need to be specially prepared and ready to adjust as needed.
I have had the pleasure of speaking to Louis Guillama, VP of Real Estate Operations at Coastal Credit Union, a couple of times to find out what it takes to be successful in buying and selling.
Here are some ways my mother and I have adapted. I hope they help you achieve a lot while still practicing social distancing.
Sell your home
Every seller I know wants to get the most out of their home when they list it. With the pandemic, it can be a real challenge.
However, there are some important things you can do to really light up your home.
Create enthusiasm for your home with incredible pictures and videos. Great photos help you sell at any time of the year, but are especially important now. Photos were a wonderful way to attract interested buyers to a tour, but in some cases where the restrictions are strict, they are the tour!
Some tips to make your house look best for photos are:
Stage your home. Make it easy for buyers to fall in love with your home by taking the time to define and decorate your space.
Troubleshoot and depersonalize your space. You want your buyers to imagine that this is their home. So pack your photos, certificates and other personal items for your next seat.
Take photos with natural light. If possible, choose a sunny day to take pictures as this can make your home look more inviting.
Shoot from the corner of the room. You can better highlight rooms depending on their location. The "directly in front" method is usually not the right way. Instead, stick in the corner so that you get a wide view of the room.
Video is now practically a must as there are potential buyers with health issues. If you can see your home online, you can create a wider network. Many agents can now create a video based on your photos.
If all of this seems overwhelming, you may want to speak to your agent and ask for a transfer. You may know someone with experience who can present your home perfectly!
The pictures are wonderful, but there are some other key pieces you want to see.
Be objective in your pricing. A big mistake that sellers usually make is to confuse sentimental value with market value. Sit down with your agent and review comparable sales to get a clear idea of the best price for the listing.
You also need to pay attention to whether the market in your region has changed. Cities that are badly affected could now become buyers' markets.
Be ready to go virtual when you close. The graduation process has changed to meet the requirements of social distancing. My mother had the choice of signing digital documents at home or meeting in an office.
Buying a house during the pandemic
Buying a home under normal conditions can be stressful under normal conditions. You can understandably be scared in a pandemic. Preparing for your house search can make it more enjoyable.
According to Louis Guillama, Vice President of Real Estate Operations at Coastal Credit Union, it takes a few key steps to do a lot when buying a home.
Keep your own numbers. Yes, this is especially true if you are the buyer. Some lenders will approve you for a loan that is higher than you can comfortably carry. If you're considering other goals – like saving for retirement, looking after children, and yes, vacationing – you want to be conservative with your finances.
While 30% of your income is given as a guide, you may want to use 25% of your net income as a better guide so that you have a good financial buffer in your budget.
Make your needs and wish list. Now is not the time to visit every single house that comes on the market. You have to be strategic with the houses you visit. So sit down and define what you absolutely need and what would be nice.
For my mother, she was determined to get a house with about 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and that was 15 minutes or less from her job and where we live.
She was flexible about the size of the courtyard and the city she was in (there are several great ones around Raleigh). With this information and their budget, we were able to sort out many homes and focus on one that they would absolutely love.
Be an accomplished house hunter
My mother is not only out of town, she also has an underlying illness.
To help, I volunteered to do the actual tours with your real estate agent. If you don't have someone to go to the personal visits for you, you can still work with your agent and do a successful house search.
First, Go through the virtual tour This gives you a general idea of the layout and whether it works for you or not.
You will want that too Browse the photos to see which areas need further review. Are there signs of damage such as cracks, stains or are certain rooms missing? Both can be a sign of anger. You can then have your agent call you on video and go through these details.
Don't be an HGTV buyer focusing on things like color and decor. Instead, Louis advised you to upgrade key systems such as electrical, HVAC, and plumbing. You don't want to be hit by a major repair after buying your home.
If you talk about home tours and look closely, please make sure you Protect yourself. Visit restrictions apply in some areas. However, this does not mean that these are enforced.
In a house I was looking at, the agent and I were alone to inspect while the next interested buyer was waiting outside. We also had to make an appointment in another house, but in the middle of our tour were several other buyers and agents in and around the property.
Since part of the personal tours include checking equipment, cabinets, switches, etc., you want to do this Bring gloves and a mask.
Also check the neighborhood during your tours. Having neighbors taking care of their property can give you more confidence in your choice.
Speaking of neighborhoods, if you search a lot, Don't just limit yourself to the popular neighborhoods (which can be overpriced). Instead, look for the hidden gems in your city.
I hope these tips not only help you sell and buy a house in these unprecedented times, but also give you ideas on how to stay safe!
I would like to hear your opinion – how did you adjust to buying and selling your house?