Timing is everything. That’s especially true when you’re asking the question: should I sell my house now?
There are a lot of factors at play. Where are you moving to, and what do their COVID-19 restrictions look like right now? How soon do you need to move?
Or, you might be dealing with external pressures, like moving for a job or taking care of an aging family member.
If you can strategically plan your move, asking: should I sell my house now or wait? is an important question.
With the right moves, you can sell your house at the asking price, without staying there forever waiting for the perfect buyer.
However, it’s a huge decision, so it’s a little more complicated than that. Selling a house in 2021 is challenging, but with the right considerations, the decision becomes easier.
1. Consider the Pandemic
We know, we know. COVID-19 has likely impacted every facet of your personal and professional life. At this point, experts are starting to identify what’s called ‘pandemic burnout.’
None of your efforts, such as masking up or social distancing, seem to be helping. (Even though they are!) And you’re weary of the constant stress of a deadly global pandemic that’s changed everything, altered your work schedule, and possibly kept your kids at home for you to educate.
However, now is not the time to throw in the towel, particularly if you are interested in selling a house.
The first thing you need to do is conduct some risk analysis. This may include:
- The vaccination rate in your county
- Current social distancing guidelines
- What opening phase your county is in
- Case rates in your county
Why? Because you’ll be inviting strangers into your home. They could be COVID carriers, or you could be.
If you feel safe enough with current conditions to continue selling your house, it’s time to establish some ground rules for prospective buyers.
Start with weeding out buyers who aren’t serious about your home. Now is not the time to accommodate leisurely weekend strollers who simply wanted to get out of the house, and would never really make an offer on your home.
Experts suggest you eliminate hobbyists by only allowing buyers with pre-approved mortgages to see your home. The next step is making sure that all home tours are scheduled.
This will allow families to readjust their schedules. Maybe one spouse could take the kids to the park, while the other stays to give the tour.
You should also crackdown on all unnecessary visitors. In these times, viewing a home cannot be a group event. Limit tours to one or two people, in case a couple doesn’t feel comfortable making an offer without seeing it together.
Mandating masks and gloves are also crucial. Due to recent highly contagious variants of COVID-19 that are starting to circulate, mandating double-masking is another good idea.
Much like a business, you can set up hand sanitizer stations. Place one in your foyer, for starters. This allows buyers to sanitize when they enter and when they leave your home.
If it’s feasible with the weather, open every window and door when you’re touring. It’s proven that increased ventilation can dramatically reduce your risk of contracting COVID.
2. Be Flexible
No matter how much hand sanitizer you provide, some buyers simply won’t feel comfortable viewing a home in person. Depending on the danger in your county, it might not even be safe to provide tours.
However, you might not have the luxury of waiting. If you have to move, it might be time to embrace technology!
This may be easier if you have the help of a great realtor. Here are some options:
- Video chats
- Virtual tours
- High-quality photos
Showing off your home could be as simple as leading a FaceTime call! You or your realtor can do this. Set up a time to call, and then position the camera as you slowly walk through the home.
This will allow you to visually zoom in on features you want to highlight, like new chrome fixtures on the sink or the lovely chandelier you recently installed.
This will help duplicate the in-person experience without the risk. However, another good way to tour is to get your realtor to set up a 3-D experience.
Take a moment to Google an easy term, like “apartments in X city.” On common sites like apartments.com, you’ll have the ability to ‘walk’ through an apartment just like you would in person.
This makes people feel like they’re getting a real experience, rather than a simple FaceTime call.
Of course, you can go the old-fashioned route. Take your time and really focus on showcasing your home. Add more pictures than you think anyone would ever want to see!
With highly detailed pictures, people can take their own time without being fixed to a schedule. This adds the benefit of letting them investigate from the comfort of their own home when there’s no risk involved.
3. What Happens Next?
Right now, all your focus may center on one question. When should I sell my house?
It depends on what your situation looks like afterward. What are your plans? If you’re moving in with a relative, it can likely happen at any time.
However, if you’re moving into a new house, this complicates the timeline. How has the pandemic affected buying and selling in your new location?
If you sell your current home quickly, you don’t want to find yourself between a proverbial rock and a hard place. Once you sell, where will you go?
The important thing is to give yourself more time than you think you’ll need. This will give you some flexibility to sell and move into a new home.
4. Use iBuyer
Sometimes, selling a house is a lot like selling a car. You need to clean everything up, make it look good, and then start advertising it!
However, there’s a simpler way to sell cars these days. The same is true for houses. In some cases, you can input your car’s relevant details into selling sites. Then, once they’ve reviewed these details, they’ll give you a cash offer.
It’s hassle-free, and a great way to make some quick cash and get competitive pricing for your home.
Here’s how it works. You go to iBuyer’s site, input your address, and a highly precise algorithm provides you with a cash offer. iBuyer then purchases your home and gives you cash for it.
Speed is one of the primary factors. When you use iBuyer, you could get offers in under a day. In a week, your home could be sold with the cash in your hands for you to make an offer on your next home.
5. Consider Interest Rates
If you’re buying a new home as soon as you sell your current one, you’re in luck! For buyers, interest rates are at an all-time low. According to Dave Ramsey, the average interest on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.61%.
That’s the lowest rate since reporting began! And if you’re selling, there’s still good news.
Home prices have been rising. In December 2020, median home prices went up by 13%. Experts expect that number will spike by 8% in 2021.
Why is the market changing like this? Population patterns are changing as the world adapts to coronavirus.
Many major workplaces are no longer requiring people to come into the office, and have no plans to change that once it’s safe to do so. Others are realizing that they never needed people in-person at all.
Some people only live in highly populated, highly urban areas such as San Francisco because of work. If not for their jobs, they would leave to a cheaper area. Who wouldn’t?
Urban centers are shifting and changing. Many people are living their dreams of buying a home in a cheaper area, moving to a rural location, or simply moving to another state to be closer to family.
Others, when they have the money to spend, are moving in order to decrease their coronavirus risk. Living in an apartment complex puts you much closer to other human beings.
Whether you’re using community amenities to soak in the pool or simply trying to get the laundry done, it puts you at higher risk than you would as a homeowner.
Other people are in a more precarious position when it comes to making big decisions such as buying a home. The pandemic has altered everything, and it’s worthwhile to take that into account when you’re conversing with buyers.
Try to get a sense of their story, and feel out the situation. If everyone is flocking to your county to escape COVID-19 in larger cities, congratulations! You’re making the best of a bad situation, and this will likely be an easy sell for you.
6. It’s Easier Than You Think
If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of selling your home in this environment, take a deep breath! It’s easier than you think.
Selling a home in spring 2020 was more challenging. Think about it. The country was reeling with uncertainty, wondering whether to wear masks or not, and still hopeful that all this would be fixed after a month of lockdowns.
Now, we’re a lot wearier. But we’re also a lot wiser. There are simple steps that can be taken to combat this pandemic.
The best part? Your realtor knows it! By this point, they’re as ready as anyone could ever be when it comes to selling homes in the midst of a global pandemic.
They’ve had over a year’s worth of experience. They can cater to changing market trends, worried buyers, and COVID protocols that require buyers to sign papers outside and so forth.
7. Take Changes Into Account
When buyers are trying to get financed so that they can make a good offer for your home, be prepared for it to take a little longer than usual.
There will always be overambitious buyers who think they can afford more than they practically can.
However, many lending requirements have tightened dramatically since the start of the pandemic. Down payment amount requirements have increased in many cases. Job history needs to be more stable than it did before.
Lenders are trying to reduce their own risks in a consistently volatile environment. That’s why it’s so much harder for some buyers to get approved than ever before.
While you’re accounting for that, consider a COVID-19 addendum. This is a caveat that covers both the buyer and the seller, and it might be a good idea to add to the paperwork as you’re selling your home.
This addendum allows both parties to cancel the contract, or extend the closing process if either of them needs to. Of course, this can only occur if the cancellation or extension is directly related to COVID. If you’re wondering “Should I sell my house right now?”, this can help.
The idea behind this addendum protects both parties in case COVID-19 makes the situation impossible or impractical to navigate through.
Some buyers and sellers have been burned during the pandemic and this allows some measure of protection. Think of it as a ‘barring acts of God’ clause in other types of contracts.
Should I Sell My House Now?
You might still be asking: should I sell my house now? You’re the only one who can make that call, by assessing risk levels, the market, your own priorities, and what your realtor says.
However, if you want to avoid all the hassle, getting a cash offer for your home greatly simplifies the process. It’s simple: go to our site, submit your address, and get a cash offer for your home.