Are you thinking about selling your house amid the Corona Virus Crisis (Covid-19)? We are experiencing a global pandemic not seen in decades. If you need to sell your North Carolina house, whether it be in Raleigh-Durham, or in the Greenville area, this article will empower you to make the best decision.
Traditionally, real estate has always been a face-to-face business. The majority of buyers need to see a house multiple times before making an offer, let alone buying it. Buyers meet in person with their agents, and agents meet with inspectors, appraisers, contractors, etc. Within the last week, Wake County, Durham County, and Pitt County have issued stay-at-home orders, which will knock a lot of buyers out of the market.
“Real estate is stressful for our clients and customers even without coronovirus”
said Scott Nagel, Redfins president of operations.
Redfin, like many other real estate companies, are cancelling open houses and limiting showings to actual buyers. Many sellers, who are fearful of being contaminated do not want people intruding into their homes just to look.
Even the large iBuyers are not buying any houses. I have had several sellers contact me saying that their iBuyer cancelled the contract at the last minute!
So what does this mean to the owner trying to sell their home in North Carolina during Covid-19? You can still sell your house, but this is an unprecedented time of crisis, and there is no way to know what the outcome will be. Many, who only want to sell their home, but don’t need to will elect to defer the sale. If you are a home seller, it is probably best to wait out the rest of the year. But if you must sell there are some things you can do to make the best of the situation.
Leveraging Technology To Sell a House During Coronavirus
The internet has opened the door for us to do so many things remotely. You can buy a car, sell a car, buy a house, and sell a home all without leaving your couch. 3d scans can be used to create a virtual open house. This can create an online experience, in high definition, that will allow buyers to experience the inside of your home while staying safe. The costs of 3d scanning will vary depending on the provider. But it costs money to sell a house and would be a worthwhile investment, especially during the stay-at-home orders in response of Covid-19. Consider virtual 3-d touring services such as Eyespy360, Cupix, or Matterport. These will be a better alternative to using a cell phone.
Sell To a Local Cash Buyer During Covid-19
I don’t think there has been a more significant opportunity in history to sell to a local cash buyer than during the Coronavirus outbreak. Here are the main advantages of selling for cash during Covid-19:
- Limiting the showings to one (with one person)
- You can require them to wear a mask & gloves (we do)
- Avoid financing contingencies
- Easy hassle-free sale
- Avoid new Covid-19 addendums that will be added to standardized contracts
By selling to a local cash buyer, you can limit the number of showings of your home. You reduce your risk of exposure by limiting your contact with others.
Selling With Social Distancing
You can even require them to wear a face mask and gloves. Wake County Home Buyers takes these precautions when touring our homes. We always have face masks and gloves when going to our properties during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Avoid Financing Contingencies
We are one of the few home buying companies that starting buying real estate before the great recession of the late 2000s. I have personally experienced the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and the effect it had on the real estate industry. One of my observations was how banks behave when they want to avoid loaning money. They do this by complicating the application process and then denying the loan at the last minute. This means the seller has had their house on the market for months and are now back to square one.
Avoid Covid-19 Contingencies
New addendums are being prepared by attorneys to give buyers the option of putting transactions on hold or backing out of contracts due to the uncertainty of the current market. This will benefit the buyer and leave the seller in limbo. By working with a local cash buyer, you can avoid the contingencies and the uncertainty.
Should You Sell By Owner During Covid-19?
Personally, I would not recommend anyone go For Sale By Owner at this time. Even if you are an experienced home seller, the benefits brought by using an agent are more potent during this crisis. Selling a house can be stressful, and things are stressful enough as they are.
Hire An Agent To Sell For You?
I would carefully screen any prospective real estate agent. There has been a massive shift in the market, and you will need an agent that is experienced, tech-savvy, and one that can adapt to the stay-at-home orders in place. An agent that has decades of experience, but it very traditional in their approach, may not be the best choice during this time.
What If You Need Money But Don’t Want To Move?
An option for those that need cash, but don’t want to move during the stay at home order is to leverage a home equity line of credit (HELOC). This will allow the homeowner to borrow money against the equity in their home should they need cash for living expenses. This can be an alternative to selling the home and having to move.
For more information on some of the options available to you check out: https://www.consumersadvocate.org/home-equity-loans for an analysis of the home equity lines that are available to you.
Adjust Your Expectations
I’ve written many articles on using comparable market data to determine the value of your house. As an active buyer in the market I will be looking for the most recent sales data available. I want to know what houses are selling for today, not last year, not last month. While we have witnessed disasters as a nation in the last two decades such as 9/11, and the great recession. We have never been ordered to stay at home for fear of catching a potentially lethal virus. It is impossible to predict with certainty what we will be able to sell a house for in the next few months. Therefore, now is not the time to push prices aggressively. Over the last few years, we have witnessed multiple-offer situations where bidding wars put an extra $10,000 onto the sales price. And many of us anticipated this when doing our analysis. We can’t rely on this in the current economic climate.
Do you have questions about the changing real estate market and how it will affect you when buying or selling a house in Raleigh? Don’t be afraid to reach out! Our experienced team is happy to help you get answers to all of your real estate questions!