Social Distancing

How to sell a home during social distancing

Many people have questions about how to sell their house when all levels of government are putting social distancing requirements in place for the covid-19 national emergency.

Some of the key questions are:

  • Should I list my home for sale?

  • Should I hold open houses?

  • Do I show my home to every possible buyer?

  • How do I prevent lookie-loos from exposing my family to covid-19 virus?

COVID-19 VIRUS and the 2020 Spring Home Buying Season

For most home sellers the coronavirus emergency could not have come at a worst time. The spring home selling season of 2020 was just starting, with buyers coming out of their winter hibernation and looking to arrange a move during the summer. The fact is that social distancing is a requirement in most areas and just good sense where it is not required. It helps protect you and your community.

Should a House be Listed For Sale?

Therefore, the first decision is whether or not to list your house for sale.  There are advantages to listing a home the traditional way through a Realtor® in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). However, it is a major commitment on the home seller’s part because they should be prepared to show the house whenever a potential buyer wants to tour it, or a real estate agent wants to preview it.  As you interview each potential real estate agent we suggest you ask them about their plans for mitigating your family’s possible exposure to the virus. You will want to know if agent tours are being done for both their office and their local association of realtors. These are tours where local agents can preview your home, and often agents in the same office will quietly give their opinion on the listing to the listing agent.

Should I Hold an Open House?

You will need to know if they wish to hold an open house for the public. We are seeing most open homes being canceled, because with social distancing requirements, they are simply a bad idea and, in certain areas, violate the government orders unless there is a mechanism to prevent more than 10 people attending at one time.  Our recommendation is simple. Don’t hold open houses.

Given the research from the National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that the covid-19 virus is stable for hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, it makes sense to limit potential buyers to only those that are very interested in purchasing your home. Therefore, it is important that you do not cater to lookie-loos. The first step is to not hold any open houses. The second step is to not have the property listed on the MLS but still have your house on the market. These are often called “off-market” properties even though they are actually for sale, they just aren’t listed in the Multiple Listing Service. Another well known name for these type of off-market listings are “pocket listings”.

Should I use a Pocket Listing to Sell My House in Spring 2020?

Pocket listings are great for this situation. By using a pocket listing, your home is not listed in the multiple listing service, but it is available to buyers that are looking for it.

HomeQT offers home sellers the ability to market their homes for free to interested buyers.  Think of HomeQT as the Pocket Listing Matchmaker that is discreetly connecting buyers and sellers with off-market properties.

How Do I Find Serious Home Buyers in this Market?

Buyers using HomeQT are serious buyers because they are paying to find the home they want. They are using HomeQT to find their next home to buy, not for infotainment purposes. They describe in detail what the important features are to them, and then they are matched with homes that have a high likelihood of exceeding their needs.

Stay Private and Don’t Risk Unnecessary Showings

Once a home is identified by HomeQT as a high probability match, the buyer and seller communicate to learn more about the property and if it looks like it is the right home. Both the buyer and seller remain anonymous until they each determine that this is a likely match and they decide to arrange a home viewing.

In this coronavirus environment, this greatly reduces the number of people viewing the home in person to only those that are very interested in purchasing the home. Most of the preliminary requirements may be discussed in messaging.

We encourage you to visit HomeQT and learn more about how to use HomeQT for free to privately sell your home with less stress.

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