Tips for Selling Your Home During the Pandemic

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Realtor with paperwork and keys outside a home

Post from MilitaryByOwner

While we eagerly awaited the arrival of 2021, it hasn't exactly brought with it the fresh start that we all fantasized about. Instead, we're getting more and more acclimated to the craziness of the COVID-19 pandemic and have learned to roll with the punches better than ever.

But the world is no longer at a standstill. While the pandemic and its effects on us are still very much alive, military life is starting to regain momentum.

PCS season is looking mostly normal, which means that all the typical military move to-dos are as demanding as ever.

At the top of those to-do lists is selling your home.

So how do you sell a home during the pandemic? And what does the 2021 real estate market look like?

Pay Attention to 2021 Real Estate Trends

2020's influence on the real estate market is still alive and well. The four main trends we noticed last year are holding steady well into 2021.

  1. Low interest rates. Those favorable mortgage rates we all saw pop up mid-2020? They're still here!
  2. High prices. Low inventory and lots of interested buyers set the stage for higher home sales, which is great for home sellers.
  3. Low inventory. Homes are selling faster than new ones can pop up.
  4. Coronavirus. Despite all of our hopes and prayers, the pandemic is still here. And though the vaccine is becoming more readily available, we're still noticing a few of the trends that started last year. For example, many city dwellers continue to seek distance and space. A few of the major metropolitan areas, like San Francisco, have lower home prices, while the surrounding suburbs maintain healthy, generous asking prices.

What Military Home Sellers Can Expect During the Pandemic

"As far as simply selling your home in 2021, you should do very well. A well-priced home in good condition will be snapped up, as a significant demand remains, especially for entry-level homes," writes Dawn Smith in "What Military Members Should Expect from the 2021 Real Estate Market". "Your challenge, as a military home seller, is to answer two big questions: 'After I sell, can I find and afford the next house?' and, 'Should I consider becoming a military landlord?'"

A quick sale. Homes aren't sitting on the market long. As soon as a property is listed, the buyers come flocking. You can expect multiple interested parties and offers sooner in the process than you might be used to. However, it's still important to find a buyer on the same timeline as you to navigate your PCS orders -- that or have a solution in place should you close and find yourself homeless before your "report no later than" date.

Multiple offers. With low interest rates, homebuyers are in a better position than ever. This means that your well-maintained property near, say, Camp Pendleton, California, is now more attainable than ever for incoming military homebuyers. That, plus the lack of inventory, means that your move-in ready home will attract a lot more attention than just a few years ago.

To make a little money (hopefully). There's a pretty good chance that if you bought your home just a few years ago, you'll sell the property for more than you paid for it. And in any home seller's world, that's a win. Time to put that profit toward your next home, pay off debt, or invest in a bigger, brighter future!

Tips for Military Home Sellers During the Pandemic

Make your listing shine. If you thought online listings were important two years ago, think again. Now, more than ever, a dazzling home listing is the ticket to interested buyers.

The key to an unforgettable home advertisement comes down to three things:

  1. Outstanding photos. You've heard that a photo speaks a thousand words? Make that 2,000 during COVID. With the desire to house hunt from home at an all-time high, how your home presents online is everything. This means that you need to stage, cut the clutter, clean, and capture incredible, high-quality photos. Think lots of light and favorable angles, whether you hire professionals to jump in and work their magic (you'll make your money back!) or take them yourself.
  2. A relatable, healthy description. Capture the homebuyer with relatability while answering the big questions they may have. If you're located near a military installation, there's a good chance that interested buyers aren't familiar with the area. While you shouldn't write a book, it's always a good idea to include the neighborhood and nearby hot spots, along with your housing details.
  3. Reliable contact information. What good is a listing if you don't have a good email or phone number listed? Buyers have questions at all times of the day. Many of us suffer from the endless thought wheel when we lay down at night, right? And while you shouldn't be taking calls at 11 p.m., you don't want to keep them waiting for long.

Include a Virtual Tour

While it may sound daunting, especially if you don't have a fantastic relationship with technology, a virtual tour gives buyers a better idea of your space and helps reduce the number of in-person showings.

Take Precautions

While it's no secret at this point that everyone's response to the pandemic is different, it's always a good idea to take precautions and make a showing comfortable and safe for everyone involved.

Here are a few quick and easy tips to safely open your home to buyers:

  • Create a disposable kit containing gloves, shoe bootie covers, masks and hand sanitizer for agents and potential buyers to use during the showing.
  • Schedule showings without overlap.
  • Require that real estate agents, sellers and buyers wear masks at all times.
  • Turn on lights and open interior doors to minimize high touchpoints.
  • Wipe down door knobs, drawer pulls, countertops, switch plates and faucets after each showing.

Though it might feel less than ideal, home sellers have experienced favorable results during the pandemic. As you navigate this unique process, keep your eyes on the prize and adapt to the changes of this past year.

When you're ready to start the process, head to MilitaryByOwner and check out our advertising packages!

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