The world might be facing a global pandemic emergency, but you can still sell your home. Yes, that’s right, while residents of Westchester County might, like most of the United States, be restricted by shelter in place and social distancing rules, it’s still possible to continue on with your real estate goals. We’ve outlined some selling tips during coronavirus, to help you as you navigate this process during these unprecedented times.
Keep it clean
Everyone is talking about cleaning these days — washing your hands, keeping high touch surfaces, like doorknobs, spotless, and generally being aware of what we touch. If you are putting your home on the market, now is the time to keep it extra clean, too. A deep clean is always recommended, with special attention to hard to reach areas like ceilings, and sometimes overlooked areas, like windows. Now, when you might have your agent or potential buyers in your home, taking your cleaning up a notch will keep everyone at ease, and also have your home looking its best.
Get creative with staging
You might already be familiar with staging — that action of making your home an inviting space that can appeal to a wide audience — and wondering how it is possible to get your home staged when you might be limited by using what you already have inside of it. You can follow some DIY tips, by first removing clutter, and creating space in your rooms, perhaps by moving furniture from one to another. Removing heavy drapes can add light, as can bringing in some greenery, fresh flowers, or even a bowl of fresh fruit into living areas. Some professional stagers will even offer virtual consultations, especially now, where they will assess your home on video and advise you about what you can do to help it look its best without having to completely redecorate.
While we might be social distancing, life still has to go on and more and more people are using video conferencing for everything from workouts, to lunch dates, to classes. The same goes for showing your home and marketing a house during coronavirus. That’s not to say that you won’t show your home in-person at all during this time, you likely will when you find that perfect buyer, but virtual showings will be your most powerful tool to show off your home in the meantime. Your agent can open your home up to a virtual open house, following the same format as a regular open house, but virtually. You can also schedule appointments individually with potential buyers, and create a video tour that can be available to anyone who is interested in your home. The best strategy might be a combination of all three tools and you can work with your agent to coordinate these alternative showing options.
In tandem with organizing virtual showings, you’ll want to gather everything that potential buyers might want to know about your home — information about warranties, repairs, renovations, inspections, etc. — and have this readily available to share in a digital file. The key is to work with your agent to anticipate questions that might arise, and have the documentation ready to share to save time searching for or requesting copies of files. You might already have this paperwork ready, and then it’s just a matter of scanning it or taking photos to consolidate everything into an easily-accessible file.
While in-person showings will be limited during Covid-19, they can’t be eliminated completely. You will likely invite your agent to your home for virtual showings, and when you find that perfect buyer, they will want to see your home at least once so they can make their final decision. It’s possible to do this safely if you follow some guidelines: If possible, allow your agent into your home while you and your family are elsewhere and ask them to wash their hands as soon as they arrive. If your agent is showing a buyer around, only allow one agent and one buyer at a time and require everyone to wash their hands when they arrive, maintain social distance, and even, wearing masks for extra safety. When you return to your home, clean all high-touch surfaces like doorknobs and handles.
While it might seem overwhelming to sell a home during Covid-19, it doesn’t have to be. Working with your agent to come up with a game plan is our number one strategy, to help you stay calm and sell your home so you can move in to your next one.
The housing market is beginning to soften, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. With context, it's actually a good thing that our market is softening. Throughout the past year, home prices have skyrocketed and reached all-time highs.
This market was not sustainable, and now it's beginning to head towards pre-pandemic, stable levels. Home showings are also trending down, but they are still higher than they were before the pandemic.
Low inventory has also impacted our markets. Mortgage rates are at historic lows which have allowed for home appreciation to soar. This has led to homes being less and less affordable.
Overall, the market is slowly stabilizing and heading back to its pre-pandemic levels.
If you would like to hop on a Zoom call to discuss any real estate question, an update on your home's value or to dive deep into the local market you are interested in, please feel free to reach out.
From older people calling everyone younger than them a Millennial to younger generations saying, “ok boomer” whenever they don’t agree with their elders. Social media has exasperated the divide between the generations, there’s no denying that. We don’t want the same things as what our parents and grandparents wanted.
Generation X are in that middle-age realm where their kids have left the nest and now they’re ready to enjoy the peace and quiet. Those who are looking for a new house have high expectations, namely finding a move-in ready abode that they can move into from the moment they have the keys in their hands. This generation doesn’t just crave a move-in ready home, they want a house that can be a place to entertain guests but also support their careers.
One of the features that’s important to this generation who loves to host get-togethers is an upgraded backyard. 47.1% of real estate agents say their clients place outdoor living spaces as their top priority. Home offices are almost as important, coming in at 32.2%.
Millennial Generation (born between 1981 to 1996)
Millennials haven’t been starting a family at the same rate as their predecessors, but 80% of children born in 2016 are to millennial parents. 64.7% of real estate agents say homebuyers with children in this age group rank a good school district as being the top priority when they’re looking for a house. Along with a good school district, millennial homebuyers also value proximity to work as a deciding factor during their house hunt.
Although these buyers consider the commute to work as an important deciding factor, the possibility of remote work becoming a permanent policy (or at least a hybrid work week) could change that. Some people may stay in the same area and just look for properties with space for a home office while others may consider moving closer to family or somewhere that’s more affordable since there’s no need to go into an office.
Generation Z (born between 1997 to 2012)
Generation Z may be the youngest of the bunch, but they make up 24% of homebuyers. Buyers in this age bracket are interested in move-in ready properties that are located near dining and shopping venues near a large city.
Since remote work is likely here to stay, 40.5% of real estate agents state their clients are eager to find properties with a home office. With that said, 8.8% of agents say their Gen Z buyers are willing to sacrifice square footage just to be in the heart of their desired city.
Priorities for today’s homebuyers have changed
In the past, open floor plans, luxury spa bathrooms, and impeccable landscaping were high priorities among buyers. That’s not so much the case now. Buyers from different age groups have different priorities and that’s okay! The housing market may be short on inventory, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any houses out there that fit the bill. Real estate agents are paying close attention to the market to stay up to day about what amenities and features buyers want. With their help, homebuyers young and old can find the home of their dreams - or at least a home that checks off most of the things on their “wants” list.
Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!
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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.
We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.