Pandemic Innovations/Changes – Changes for Sellers – Second in a Series

I’m going to take notes as we make our way through this COVID-19 crisis. When we come out of this, there are going to be a lot of changes. I’m going to focus on real estate (for now). This is the second post in what’s likely to be a series. This one is focused on sellers in the Charlottesville area. The first post was focused on buyers.

Recently seen/heard instructions on new listings in Charlottesville

  • “Serious buyers only please”
  • “Must have pre-qualification for at least the purchase price.”
  • “Limited showings; must watch video first.”
  • “All offers contingent on financing should provide as much information as they are comfortable
  • regarding employment of the buyer etc.”

What are some changes for sellers?

You’re going to see less traffic through your homes, and no open houses.

The loss of open houses is a loss for the agent, not the seller. In our market (broad brush), the open house is an opportunity for the agent to gain business, meet neighbors, and show the seller that she’s doing something. Buyers who come through the open houses are frequently either nosy neighbors, people looking for a way to spend an afternoon, buyers looking for agents, or buyers who are learning the market in anticipation of buying in the future.


You’re going to see less buyer traffic, and that’s good, if your home is well marketed and well priced

As I discussed in my buyer pandemic change post, buyers through homes in this new COVID-19 world are likely to be at a further point of the searching/evaluative process. That’s a good thing for sellers.


Video Tours

I have done videos for buyers for years (a buyer even noted that on a recent review; apparently my commentary is appreciated). I’m still proud of myself for calming not reacting during the video I shot for a buyer when a black snake went across my Birkenstock-clad foot. But I digress. I am going to be doing more of these for buyers, as first “showings” are often limited to FaceTime or video. (I prefer video vs FaceTime – video is higher quality, can be paused, re-watched, and I get into the nooks and crannies of the houses and properties).

I now do videos for all of my listings, keep them in Dropbox and share upon request. These videos are literal showings of the house, and shot as if the buyer is walking through the house, looking in bathrooms, out the kitchen window, finding the HVAC, looking at the plumbing, etc.

Good video tours and daresay cinematography are going to matter, during and post-COVID-19.

Related: Pictures from the Potty.


Listing Preparation is going to be harder

And that’s fine. Staging, painting, cleaning, landscaping, photography – all are going to be a bit more difficult due to the current shelter in place, essential -v- non-essential, and social distancing.

Describing your home is going to be more important. Add color as best you can using words. Describe life. Here are some questions I pose to my sellers that I use when marketing their homes.

Hire well.

Yes, it’s a self serving statement, and yes, I would appreciate the opportunity to talk with you about whether we could be a good fit to work together. Here. Call or email me here. But seriously, hiring a family member might not be the right choice. Please, hire well. The right agent makes all the difference in a transaction. Or, as a friend and colleague said to me years ago,

We’re only as good as the agent on the other side of the transaction, and that scares the sht out of me

What About Post-COVID-19?

No one knows when that’s going to be, so we might as well accept that, evolve, and innovate and adapt our way through.

Who Knows?

We might be looking at 2020.

Dr. Christakis said that while early studies from China predicted that weather may not play much of a role in the progression of the pandemic, more recent studies suggest a reduction of cases and deaths during the summer, but not a huge reduction and not has much as some previous pandemics which were stopped in their paths by summer heat. 

“In the fall, I think there is at least a 75% chance it will come back with a second wave as it did in 1918 and 1957 pandemics,” he said.” I don’t know that it will be deadlier, but there will be a second wave and we will have to prepare ourselves for it.” 

However, even the brief respite is still months away, he said. “We are just at the beginning of this first wave” and there is still much damage to come. 

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