Can I Sell My House During the COVID-19 Quarantine?
I was thinking about selling my house this spring, but now there’s Coronavirus COVID-19. What should I do? Can I sell my house during the COVID-19 quarantine?
If you were hoping to put your home on the market but are now second guessing because of COVID-19, let Team Sztanyo explain why now just might be the perfect time to put your home on the market.
All right, hey everyone! This is Eric Sztanyo from Keller Williams Realty and Teamsztanyo.com, where we are helping families find their way home.
A big question from several potential sellers, and rightfully so, is what in the world should I do now that the Coronavirus is here? Everyone is sheltering place. You may have been thinking about selling your house this spring, but now what should you do? Can I even still sell my house? Is that even allowed right now? Well, we are going to get into all of those questions and hopefully give you the answers that you were seeking. We are going to go over FIVE reasons why right now may be the perfect time to list your Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky home.
First and most important, of course, is safety. Everyone is trying to flatten the curve and everyone is trying to stop this pandemic from reaching astronomical heights. The good news is that the data has been showing that, maybe, that is starting to happen, which is great. People are starting to shelter in place, which is awesome. This means that, hopefully, things can start returning to normal sooner.
A lot of changes have happened in the recent weeks, in day to day life as well as in the real estate industry. These changes have been put into place to help keep everyone safe and to do our part in making sure the Coronavirus COVID-19 doesn’t spread any further. One of the biggest changes real estate has seen is that there are no open houses allowed anywhere. With social distancing and everything else, open houses are shut down.
Along with this, in the MLS or in the Showing Time app, overlapping showings are not allowed. This means that if you do actually go to see a house in person, you can’t schedule a showing at the same time as another buyer, you must go one at a time. This has been put into place to maintain our social distance while viewing homes.
How is Real Estate changing due to the crisis?
A lot of businesses have reverted to having their employees work from home and doing everything electronically during the quarantine. Similarly, real estate has began to use technology to do more things virtually rather than risking exposure. Virtual listing appointments, or buyer presentations have become extremely popular within the last few weeks due to the pandemic. All of these things are happening with the agents home using things like zoom, or other online technologies.
Along with this, virtual tours are now available. What that means is that people can tour your home without ever actually entering. Some agents are are doing this by walking through the home with their phone on video and they’re literally saying, “Hey, any buyers who want to see this house, here’s the open house. It’s going to be me on a live zoom and I’m going to walk through each of the rooms one by one!”. This has been great for both the buyers and sellers because they are still able to see or show their property without ever actually going there.
Another way to do this is to use photographers. A lot of photographers are launching, or may have already had, a 360 degree camera. So, instead of just shooting the home traditionally, they’ll have cameras that will do a 360 rotation.This creates a tour that can become a video that people can actually scroll around on their computers and see the home from room to room. Click here to see an example of a virtual home tour.
Many sellers are opting for these virtual tours saying, “Hey, I still want to sell my house. I still want to get the sale done. I want the equity out of the home.” Whatever the reason, whatever your motivation is. However, they are using this technology, and virtual tours to keep themselves and others safe during the Coronavirus crisis. There’s a new setting in the MLS that’s coming out in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati (I believe), where you are able to list as a virtual tour only, by doing this potential buyers will only have the option to tour virtually and will not be allowed in your house. Regardless, many people are still listing and selling their houses using these safer methods.
So yes, we’re staying safe and also continuing business as normal as possible. I’ve closed a couple of houses since the shelter in place orders have been in place. Title agents, if they’re not closing the transactions online and people are actually coming in and signing in front of a notary, may be by themselves.
The other thing they’re doing is having one party go in at a time. So they will have the buyers go in and sign while the sellers wait outside and then they switch and have the sellers sign. I’ve got this picture where there is an eight foot table set up for closing, the title agent was over to the left and the sellers were over to the right and he had printed out copies of both and he was just walking them through what to sign. So lots of hand sanitizer, you know we’re doing everything we can to stay safe. That’s most important.
Is Real Estate “Essential”?
Another commonly asked question is, can I still sell my house? As you know, I’ve already kind of answe
red this from a logistic point of view. However, governors in both Ohio and Kentucky, at least at this point, have deemed real estate as being an essential service.
What does that mean? This means that real estate and all aspects of real estate (lender, title companies, etc.) are allowed to continue to do business through the shelter in place orders. People still need a place to live, real estate is still such a fundamental part of the economy that the governors have left this as an essential service. So, yes, houses are still being bought and sold.
This little graphic over to the right was from March 30th. This graphic was taken from the Cincinnati MLS and it shows that just on that one day, in that 24 hour period, there were 92 new listings, there were 108 new contracts and there were 124 closings of real estate in the Cincinnati market. I know it might seem like everyone’s locked down and nobody is doing anything, and that’s true to a degree. There is a large demographic of people who are not listing right now because of COVID-19, but real estate IS still happening and people are still buying and selling homes.
Benefits of Listing your Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Now, let’s talk about why you might want to list your home during COVID-19 and about the market dynamics. First of all, inventory is still very low, or at least it is for now.
Now, there is a big difference between what is happening right now and what happened in 2008. In 2008, what happened with the economy and the market is that a lot of bad loans were given and there were a lot of people who shouldn’t have had homes who were getting into homes. The real estate bubble is actually what caused such a hurting on the economy, right? This is a black Swan event where the underlying fundamentals of the real estate economy are not what’s causing the economy to dip right now, and so we’ve been in a sellers market for several years.
The fact is that inventory is still low. It is still a seller’s market, at least it is right now, for properties that are being listed. We are still seeing high demand from buyers, we are still seeing offers come in and we are still seeing houses going fast.
Number four. During this time, if you were to list your home while everyone’s sheltering in place there’s even lower competition. This is because more and more people out there have decided that, even though they want to sell now, they are going to wait until all of this is over. Then, what is going to happen is there’s going to be a big rush, right? Everyone is going to go back to work and everyone is going to be trying to buy the things that they haven’t bought in several months, including houses.
So, what you might see come this summer is a flood of inventory. Where all of the people who have been waiting, finally list their homes. What that means is, is if you lis right now, you may be one of the only houses of quality on the market. And if you do list, it could mean that demand that is still here from the buyers, could net you more money. Whenever there’s less competition and higher demand, that’s a good thing for you, sellers. It means you might be able to get more money for your house!
Are We Still In A Sellers Market?
The last thing I’d say, and I kind of brushed on it, is demand from buyers is still high. Because there is less inventory than demand, at least for now, the demand is still high. This is good for a sellers market.
What you may want to consider is, if the economy does go through a shift, if the unemployment rates and the millions of people who are becoming unemployed right now, doesn’t bounce back right away. It is likely, in this case, that people are going to fall short on their mortgages, right? And an inventory is going to start to go up as the banks start to foreclose, which they’re not doing right now, but it’s likely that more inventory can creep on the market like we saw back in 2008, 2009, 2010.
If that’s the case, and I would say that’s likely that that could happen, that means that this could be the top of the market right now. So, if you’re trying to get the most equity out of your home and if you’re trying to sell while your property value is really high, that is right now.
Certainly, there are safety factors to consider, but those are some reasons why you might want to consider selling your home right now. Overall, we want to say stay safe. Do not make any decisions that are going to put you at risk, or someone that you love it at risk. Just know that Real Estate is still happening and houses are still being sold.
If you have more questions, give us a call at Team Sztanyo (513) 813-6293.
If you are wondering “can i sell house during the COVID-19 quarantine?” call us today and we can discuss further. Thanks so much for watching guys, we’ll see you next time!