The coronavirus outbreak dealt a massive blow to the economy. Many industries find themselves struggling during the pandemic because of the restrictions imposed by the government and authorities in order to contain the spread of the disease. With the current situation of the pandemic, many people fear to go outdoors while others are careless.
We are also witnessing a change in the real estate landscape. The pandemic has affected the real estate industry as well. Practicing social distancing during the home selling/buying process is reducing the number of deals closed. Real estate agents witness home buyers backing out and sellers taking down their listings.
With the current situation, the real estate industry has to be approached from a different angle. Real estate agents have to come up with solutions toward the crisis that is at hand in order to provide the same services at the highest standard. With that being said, selling a house during a pandemic may seem challenging both for agents and home sellers. But, with consideration toward the home buyers needs as well as awareness for the safety of all the parties involved, selling a home can be as easy as before.
Motivating home sellers to sell
For the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, the risk during real estate transactions lies with the buyer rather than the seller. Home sellers looking to sell during this time would have to pay close attention to the market. While finding local real estate agents to list your home for sale is easy, the real estate market has changed.
Because there are so many buyers backing out, the demand for housing has reduced in many places. Interest rates are dropping as well as prices. This is not very good news for a home seller. With less overall activity the real estate industry is really taking a hit and those that feel it most are real estate agents and brokers.
Without customers, the real estate agent’s job is at risk. That’s why agents would have to find a way to motivate people to engage in real estate transactions even during the pandemic. Here are a couple of things agents should consider while working with home sellers/buyers.
Better keep it listed, rather than taking it down.
Although many discuss the viability of selling a home, realtors, and agents would have to find a way to motivate home sellers to keep selling even during the pandemic. The real estate market behaves differently in different geographic locations and sometimes it might differ from one neighborhood to another. Low-interest rates and prices are attracting potential home buyers.
Someone’s interest in a property might arise thanks to the current market conditions and agents should try and rationalize with the seller not to take down their listing. Even if home sellers don’t get the offer they are looking for there is nothing stopping them from turning them down and waiting for a better one. During a crisis there are many willing to take advantage of low rates, therefore, home sellers can end up closing the deal on their home sale.
Motivate through short term contracts
Homes usually sell quickly in good market conditions, that’s why many realtors would ask sellers to sign a 12-month listing agreement for their service. But, with the current situation, the market place is moving slowly and the risk of listings becoming stale if the marketplace is high.
This can impact the amount of money sellers make on a home sale, that’s why it is advisable at this time to seek shorter-term contracts with your realtor. Motivate home sellers to go for a shorter contract. Push 90-day contracts and explain to home sellers that it would allow for a cooling period if the home does not sell right away.
Contract terms are negotiable so make your clients feel that they are in control and comfort them with the benefits of having a short-term listing agreement for the time being.
Make sure home sellers have their plan well laid out
Before home sellers manage to sell their property and proceed with all the necessary steps, have a chat with them about their plan and intentions. You might get too personal with some questions but times like this ask for a well-structured plan after selling.
Do they have another place lined up where they can live? What’s the next move after you sell? It might seem like a no-brainer type of question but showing a bit of care for your clients in regards to their intentions is reassuring for them. Also, future plans after selling are worth considering during the ongoing pandemic.
After the sale if sellers don’t have another place to live then they will be entering the market as a renter or a buyer. In this instance, as a home buyer, facing all the concerns of buying during a pandemic is something your clients should be informed of. Practicing social distancing when prospecting for a new home is not very practical or convenient but necessary.
Let you clients know that the evolution of virtual tech made closing real estate deals from a distance easy and convenient. At this point in time during the pandemic, agents should check the current status of the area. If there is an ongoing quarantine, it is advised not to hold open houses. Otherwise, try to reduce the number of times people come in for viewings and provide a disinfectant at the entrance for open home tours if possible. Also, contact points should be cleaned and sanitized so there is no risk involved.
Helping home buyers overcome their fears during a pandemic
Buying a house during a pandemic is definitely not easily achievable. Financial uncertainties generated by job security and payments involved during the process of home buying are the reasons many back out. There are a couple of concerns that home buyers are faced with, therefore it is advisable for agents to reassure home buyers by taking these things into account.
Things home buyers consider before looking for a house
There are some concerns that home buyers are facing before actually going to an online listing site in search of a new home. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, most of these concerns relate to the home buyers financial situation.
Any real estate purchase requires a stable financial situation, therefore, home buyers are concerned about their employment situation. With most companies and businesses ceasing their activity, for the time being, people are more worried about their job stability. Having a steady stream of income is essential and now people are genuinely concerned about that.
During a pandemic, all home buyers searching for agents will face or already have faced these concerns. Knowing this, try your best to reassure your buyers, by emphasizing on low-interest rates that make it a favorable time to buy. It’s a buyers market so let clients know the possibility of getting the best deals is at hand, in some of the top cities to buy a home in the USA. Tell your clients that the most significant real estate purchases were made during a crisis because what followed was property appreciation that led to high profits.
Staying for the duration of the loan makes it a favorable time to buy, because of low interests. However, if home buyers are not sure about their long term plans, they should reconsider committing for a home loan.
Also, the required down payment might not be in the home buyers favor. The conditions are steadily met for what could be the next recession. Therefore, if buyers are not prepared as far as personal finances go, a home loan could be detrimental.
Home features buyers are looking for during pandemic
Some concerns are related to the house's features. With the current quarantine situation where people are advised to practice social distancing, these home features might help close the deal, therefore, your clients will be leaving happy and satisfied.
Open spaces are a plus, therefore, any home featuring a minimalist design might be a bonus for home buyers. With the possibility of leaving your home reduced to a minimum, it is essential that home buyers can see themselves spending their time during quarantine indoors. Agents should emphasize on the open space of the house that will make them feel comfortable in the new home even if they are required to stay indoors for a long period of time.
Since most people are so used to the outdoors, tight spaces are very uncomfortable for them. Open-spaces and plenty of natural light will definitely make them feel more comfortable, so count this as a bonus during virtual or in-person showings.
Entertainment is also a great way to let time pass by till all this is over. Think about home amenities oriented toward the entertainment of your prospect. Pool tables, home theater rooms, swimming pools, man caves or she sheds, these are all things that might please your prospects so try and showcase them as much as possible.
Also, color has a tremendous impact on health and mood. Since everyone is going to spend most time indoors during the pandemic it is important to have the walls painted with the right colors. Bright colors that boost energy levels and make you feel comfortable and peaceful. A friendly and welcoming environment is a win for any home buyers and you might end up closing the deal.
Emphasize on these home amenities and you will surely close deals with your home buyers even during a pandemic.
The ongoing pandemic, produced temporary changes in the real estate market, changes that might be in the favor of home buyers. Closing deals is now more difficult because of the social distancing situation and home buyers postponing their decision to buy a home. On the other hand, many would see this as a real investment opportunity. Following these simple guidelines would help any real estate agent close deals even during a pandemic.
Let us known if you would adventure yourself into the real estate market during a pandemic to become a homeowner. Would you consider selling your home during these times? Let us know in the comment section.