While a global pandemic of a potentially lethal virus may be a challenging time to sell your home, there are creative ways to do it without compromising safety. From cleaning between showings to using technology to connect with potential buyers, there are plenty of options for home sellers—despite being in the midst of a health crisis.
The importance of staging
A crucial piece of selling a home is staging, and often, sellers turn to professionals for help. Right now, it’s difficult and could be risky to invite a staging company into your home, but luckily, there’s technology that can help stage your home.
Virtual staging has traditionally been a great option for people who have very little furniture in their home. Rather than dragging in new couches, beds, and tables, virtual staging can allow you to drag-and-drop furniture into a room, digitally. The cost is typically much lower than traditional physical staging companies, and allows for endless arrangement possibilities without the challenge of finding new furniture and heavy lifting. It’s a great option to consider during the COVID-19 pandemic – in fact, it may be your only option as some counties in California still do not allow traditional stagers to do their work in your home.
Make the most of technology
When it’s not feasible to show your home in person, you can also turn to online tools. One great option for a no-contact showing is a video-chat tour, which is a win-win for both parties. This method ensures no contact for the buyer and seller, and it provides the opportunity for an in-depth look at a potential house without having to schedule an appointment. Along with video showings, 3D walk-throughs and virtual reality tours are great options for sellers who want to showcase their homes without the risk of virus transmission.
Showing your home in-person
Inevitably, a potential buyer will want to see your home. Even in normal times, this can be difficult, requiring you to leave for up to an hour at a time while strangers traipse through your home. With specific limitations, California agents are allowed some in-person showings, and it’s important to note this could be a reality and to be prepared.
Showing your home during the COVID-19 pandemic creates its own set of challenges. With your whole family at home all the time, keeping your home clean requires a more conscious effort, which means it’s a good idea to get the whole family involved in keeping things tidy while you’re in the showing period. Get in the habit of putting away personal items, and keep common areas as clean as possible.
When the time comes for a potential buyer to enter your home, be sure you have a clear plan with your real estate agent. Before the showing, wipe down surfaces with a disinfectant. Prospective buyers should be instructed to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately upon entry, and to remove shoes or cover footwear with disposable booties. If possible, gloves and masks should be worn, and buyers should avoid touching surfaces and door handles. Tours should be brief, and a thorough cleaning should happen between showings.
The CDC has some helpful tips on cleaning your home. The basics: clean surfaces with soap and water first, then use a disinfectant to kill any remaining germs.
Of course, finding certain products right now can be tricky, as grocery stores are low on inventory for everything from toilet paper to sanitizing wipes. Luckily, there are options for making your own hand sanitizer and face masks. You can also make your own cleaning supplies through household items like bleach and alcohol.
Selling your home in the COVID-19 era is certainly possible, so long as you’re willing to be creative and resourceful. Use technology to your advantage, for everything from staging to virtual tours and 3D walk-throughs. Above all, keep your family safe by thorough cleaning and limiting the number of people in your home while you sell.
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