Selling a Home During COVID

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Many people ask me whether this is a good time to sell a home. Well, let me tell you...there hasn’t been a better time since 2006!

Housing inventory across the United States is at an all time low. The fewer houses that are available, the more coveted the homes that are on the market. Demand has been high for a while now and low interest rates are just making homes that much more obtainable for those who thought otherwise a year ago. The great thing is, if you were to sell your home today you would more than likely see multiple offers and a fast sale (less than 45 days). This is true for a variety of price points including luxury housing (over $2M in OC) which hasn’t seen this fast of a market in 20 years. 

This chart below shows active inventory which is at it's lowest since January of 2018. Interestingly we are seeing an uptick in listings late in the year which is not our seasonal norm.


Active listing inventory OC

This chart shows the demand for housing which is higher than ever due to low interest rates making homes more affordable for first time home buyers.

Housing demand from buyers in OC.

But selling during COVID isn’t easy. There are a lot of protocols we have put in place to ensure the safety of all parties. We sanitize homes and equip them with personal protective equipment, such as masks and booties and gloves. I also like to minimize the exposure to my clients by holding private showings within a window of time rather than hosting showings over several days. Making sure your agent has a plan is key.

If you think you've seen more for sale signs than usual it's because we have had a late season. Usually by this time inventory and demand drop steadily. This has not really been the case as both buyers and sellers move to capitalize on the market.

But, wait, the home down the street seems like it's been on the market for awhile. If you see a home that has been sitting on the market in your neighborhood there could be a few different reasons. 

1. Investors are holding it up. Not every transaction with an investor is difficult, but it is important to know that investors work a little differently. In some cases, investors that are looking for rental properties may increase the time on market for a property. When an investor seeks a 1031 exchange it can take longer to manage the transfer of one property to another and in some cases they will hold up multiple properties before selecting one. Once they select one property they will cancel escrow on others. A frustrating process and one to be aware of for sure. It is important for your agent to have a direct conversation with the investor's agent so you know what you are getting into.

2. The home is overpriced. In some cases, sellers are getting a little greedy and asking for amounts that exceed the appraised value of the home. Educated buyers know better and unless the location or some other factor warrants the value of the home, they will not pay it. If a home is sitting on the market for more than 30 days there is a definitive problem with the home and 90% of the time it is the price. The condition of the property is an important factor as well. If you want top dollar for your property, you should make sure your home is in the best possible condition and be aware of its faults.

3. Poor marketing. I’m amazed at the marketing I have seen on some properties. Sellers are trying to capture the top of the market in terms of price and the agent they selected has not even taken professional photos. This is not a time to cut costs on marketing…...If anything, online shoppers are #1 and the first step to selling a home is hi-def photos, videos and technology that shows the floorplan of the home. Additional tools, such as, Matterport, gives the viewer a dollhouse view into the home that they can virtually walk through making it even easier to get a feel for a home without stepping foot inside. COVID has accentuated the need for online advertising and imagery to be spectacular and to stand out.

Next, is the agent actually selling the home with social media ads and promotions? This is where the market is. If your agent does not do this you should question what they are doing. Simply listing a home in the MLS is not enough to get TOP DOLLAR on your home anymore. Yes, a good agent will require a decent commission. Most agents are roughly the same %. If you are going with someone who is giving you a discount you are probably not their priority and they will not invest the time it requires to get you the best price. In the end, you will more than recoup the commission expense in the sale of your home by using a successful agent who has a solid virtual marketing plan.

For more information about what we do to sell your home for TOP DOLLAR, contact me today! It is not too late. The market is still going strong. In fact, it is unlike anything we have seen in the past 25 years!