4 min readThe COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of upheaval in the lives of just about everyone. This widespread crisis has changed the way we live and work. What the future holds is uncertain, but we must continue moving forward. That includes finding safe ways to manage significant life events, like selling a house.
You may find yourself limited as far as what you can do and where you can go. That doesn’t mean you have to completely shut down and push aside your plans for the coming months. There are several things that you can do to prepare your property for sale during the COVID-19 outbreak.
How to prepare to sell your home during COVID-19
Declutter every room and closet
It would be best if you never try to sell your home when it looks messy and cluttered. This can make rooms look smaller, your storage to appear insufficient and put off potential buyers. With many people taking time off work and others no longer having to commute while working from home, you can invest some of those spare minutes into tidying up and ensuring your home looks its best.
Go through each room and pack up any excess possessions and decorations. Keep it attractive but minimal. Make sure your belongings are stored neatly in drawers and cupboards.
Most areas still have kerbside collection so that you can get rid of broken or unwanted items. Australia Post is still operating as well, so you can also list items online to sell to make a bit of cash. Just remember that delivery times will be extended due to increased demand and use due to COVID-19.
Deep clean hard to reach areas
Another way to spend that extra time at home is deep cleaning it inside and out, especially areas that usually get neglected in your regular spring cleaning routine. Get down deep into cupboards, the fridge, garage, shed, shower, cabinets and the attic. Dust cobwebs, wipe and polish appliances, clean windows, vacuum, and organise your belongings.
While deep cleaning, it’s an excellent time to start packing up anything that you don’t need to use right now. If you’re going through your things to declutter and deep clean anyway, you might as well get them ready to streamline the move to your new place. These are all easy things that you can do on your own, so you don’t have to invite anyone inside your home.
Beautify the exterior of your home
Potential buyers will first see your home’s exterior, which will set the stage for their initial impressions. It could also mean the difference between buyers contacting your agent or driving away and looking for something else.
Clean up the yard and nature strip, and make sure your front entryway looks inviting. Sweep the porch, get rid of any lawn debris and weeds, and touch up anything that’s damaged or worn. Repaint your front door to create a welcoming first impression. A fresh, cheery coat of paint on the door can make a big difference in visual appeal.
Also, remember to step outside and look at how your home appears from the street. Make sure any visible windows look clean and neat, both inside and out. Little things like having an electrician fix a faulty sensor light or stopping a dripping hose can affect a potential buyer’s first impressions.
Organise a virtual tour
The internet is a valuable tool that can help you sell your house during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of holding traditional open for inspections and having lots of people walk through your home, you can instead record a virtual tour. Your real estate agent will be able to assist with this.
Talk to your agent about how to get the best shots of each room, highlight the best features of your home and how they plan to share the video to drum up interest with buyers. They may even be able to offer you 3D floorplan tour technology, as well as professionally shot videos.
Set stricter guidelines for in-person showings
We want to emphasise the importance of social distancing and hygiene to stop the spread of COVID-19. If you’re holding in-person showings, be strict about who can come in, and your agent will ensure that the government’s latest social distancing guidelines are being followed.
During COVID-19, it is best to minimise the number of people coming onto your property. So, ask your agent to screen, survey and qualify buyers ahead of inspections.
You don’t have to turn others away outright. Instead, send them to your virtual tour then go from there if they are serious and want to move forward with a private viewing.
Virtual appraisals, inspections and auctions
Traditionally an agent and buyers are physically present for home appraisals, inspections and auctions. A majority of agencies are now offering to conduct appraisals and live property inspections via FaceTime and video, and have the technology in place to perform online auctions.
To reduce the number of people entering your home request with your agent a video appraisal, FaceTime open for inspections and an online auction. Or you may want to carry out an in-person appraisal and a combination of one-on-one in-person inspections as well as FaceTime walk-throughs, whatever you’re most comfortable with.
Showcase your neighbourhood
Use Google Maps and Street View to showcase the area around your home. Come up with a list of local attractions and amenities for your agent to include in your listing description. Remember to include the things you like as well as things others may be interested in, like parks, sports facilities, childcare, restaurants, transport, gyms, hotels, and anything that makes the neighbourhood stand out.
Additionally, review your street and suburb on Homely to let potential buyers know all the best things about your home and neighbourhood that only you would know. For a personal touch, ask your agent how you can add your street review onto your Homely property listing.
Home sellers face new challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Work with your agent to come up with smart solutions that will get your house sold for a great price without risking your family’s safety.