The coronavirus has turned life upside down and created financial uncertainty for millions of people. You may be wondering if you should put your home on the market, especially if you still live in it.
Reasons to List Now
If you have to sell your house to move for a new job or for another time-sensitive reason, you can go ahead and list it. Now might actually be a great time to sell. Many people have taken their homes off the market or decided to wait to list them. That means there are fewer houses available and people who are selling now may be able to quickly find a buyer and get a good price.
How Selling Your House May be Different Due to the Coronavirus
Real estate agents have been adapting their strategies and practices to deal with the challenges of COVID-19. Instead of having prospective buyers view your home in person, your agent may record a virtual tour video and share it online to help interested parties figure out whether the house would be a good fit for them without having to see it in person.
Given the current circumstances, some buyers may be more open to the idea of buying a house without first seeing it in person, although many would not be comfortable with that idea. Your agent might agree to show the house virtually and explain to a potential buyer that an in-person showing would have to wait until it was safe. Some real estate agents are only allowing interested parties to see a house in person after making an offer and giving people the option to back out of the deal if they are displeased with what they see. If a buyer wants to physically view the house, you can take safety measures, such as cleaning and disinfecting before and after the viewing and requiring everyone to wear a mask and gloves.
Options and Protections for Buyers and Sellers
Many real estate agents are adding “coronavirus clauses” to contracts that allow either party to delay the closing or back out of a deal without penalty for a reason related to COVID-19. For example, the closing may have to be pushed back if a government office is closed or if an inspector or appraiser is unable to visit the home due to safety concerns. A potential buyer may become unemployed and unable to qualify for a mortgage and may therefore cancel the purchase agreement.
In some places, buyers and sellers can close without having to meet in person. Your agent can tell you if that is allowed in your location and, if so, explain how it would work.
Talk to Your Real Estate Agent
You can still sell your home now and doing so might be a good idea, but the process may be different than what you expected. Your agent can answer your questions and guide you through it.