The COVID-19 crisis has significantly transformed our lives, including how we buy or sell homes. Some states, counties and cities do not consider property trade as an essential service. As a result, it has been difficult to carry out processes that cannot be done remotely. However, as far as Minnesota is concerned, you will be pleased to know that the state has declared real estate as an essential or critical sector and introduced important measures that can help you buy or sell a home without having to leave the safety of your home. For instance, the state has enacted and permanently implemented remote online notarization (RON) rules that have been in effect since 26th March 2020. This means that no in-person signing is required and buyers and sellers can engage in property trade while observing social distancing rules.
Hence, if you’re looking to sell your home or have a home for sale in Robbinsdale, MN, it shouldn’t be too challenging anymore. Here are some steps to sell your house successfully during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Prepare Your Home for Sale
Regardless of the situation, you need to get the house ready for sale. This involves enhancing the interior and exterior of your home so that it not only looks neat and clean from the inside as well as from the outside.
If it’s a secondary home where you don’t live or have been renting it out, you will need to pay special attention to the inner improvements. Some easy tactics to give your home a quick makeover is to eliminate clutter, apply a coat of paint wherever required, and rearrange the furniture for desirable traffic flow and a refined look. These aspects make home buyers feel comfortable when they explore the interior of your house.
Besides, preparing your home also involves addressing those unaddressed issues you’ve been ignoring up till now. Now that you’re not hanging out with friends, visiting relatives, engaging in leisure activities, and are probably working from home, you have sufficient time to make those fixes.
These might include resolving plumbing and electric issues, replacing the doorknobs with better ones and any broken mirrors in the bathrooms, taking care of a drywall patch, and much more.
To enhance the curb appeal, consider painting the front door, refining the garden, clearing the gutters, and making other external repairs.
When potential buyers explore the property, no aspect of your home should be a turn-off for them. Remember, during these difficult times, anyone looking to buy a home will be more cautious than ever before making a decision.
Showcase Your Home
To make sure your home selling plan aligns with the state’s Stay at Home order, avoid conducting open-houses or even in-person showings during the coronavirus pandemic. Utilize virtual reality technology to provide a digital ‘walk through’ to buyers.
Offering a 360-degree view, 3D virtual home tours offer a complete view of your home in high-resolution. Not only will buyers be able to explore your home from the comfort of their homes, but you will also be able to reach a higher number of buyers. This will put you in a better position to negotiate or bargain.
Virtual staging and augmented reality allow you to alter the wall colors and furniture to show viewers what your home looks like with some changes. Thus, you no longer need to move dining room tables or couches around.
To highlight high-end elements of your home, such as a swimming pool, a golf course, etc., or simply provide a birds-eye view of your home, you can make aerial drone footage of your home, too.
However, you can’t totally do away with in-person showings. No one would make the most critical purchase of their life without personally visiting the property. However, what you can do is limit the in-person showings to those who seem genuinely interested, and that too with the proper protective measures.
One great way to approach the situation is to approve appointments for people who have a pre-approval letter from their lender so you know they’ve been working with the lender and are serious about buying a home.
Have Inspection and Appraisals
Maintaining a distance while reaching a reliable valuation for both the home seller and the buyer can be a daunting task. Although the regular practice is to have an in-person interior inspection of a home, alternative appraisal methods are being used amid the coronavirus pandemic if the lender allows the buyer to do so.
While it’s usually the property buyer who gets the home inspected, you can also get the inspection done from a third party to speed things up. Depending on how much flexibility lenders are allowing in your state, think about getting your home inspected and appraised with minimal contact to eliminate cross-contamination and virus-related fears.
Ask the third-party inspector to walk through the home on their own, unaccompanied by the buyer, or a real estate agent. You should also stay secluded away from the inspector during the inspection and clean and disinfect the surfaces when they leave. While it’s obvious, don’t forget to ask the inspector to wear a mask, gloves, and other protective gear during the inspection.
Conduct Remote Closings
As this is the most important step in home selling, closings have always been conducted in-person. However, given the gravity of the situation, many states including Minnesota have allowed for remote home closings to ensure safety and avoid virus spread.
Remote online notarization (RON) involves buyers and sellers being identified via video channels and the electronic signing of documents. Yet, you may still conduct mobile notaries, where the buyer may be visited or they may visit you to complete the documentation work.
However, be sure to stay informed about guidelines issued by the lawmakers in your state as well as what the buyer’s lender approves of.
Now that you’re well aware of how to sell your home during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s time to get started. If you have a home for sale in ST Louis Park, MN, or any other area in the state, follow the above-explained steps to sell your house during this tough time.
AJ Pettersen is a Minnesotan through and through. He grew up in Minnetonka and was later given the opportunity to play baseball for the hometown of the University of Minnesota. He would graduate, majoring in Economics, and realize a childhood dream when he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2011.