Tips for Home Sellers Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic

The current COVID-19 crisis can be compared, in some aspects, to past economic crises, like the Global Financial Crisis in 2007. However, what we are experiencing now is very much a first.

For the real estate market, what is important is how to overcome the uncertainty some people are experiencing due to COVID-19. 

There have been many changes that agents have had to work with including the ban on all real estate auctions and open for inspections. This was part of the Federal Government’s continuing clampdown on social gatherings.  Thankfully this has now been granted back to agents with physical distancing and the practice of good hygiene including alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol.

What’s interesting is that during this time many agents, including myself, reported a flurry of qualified buyers ready to purchase immediately and with many sellers deciding to hold off launching their properties to the market, buyers were competing for limited stock which resulted in the majority of listings selling quickly and above the asking price.

Now more than ever, it is important to give buyers the information they are seeking.

What are some of the things that your agent should be doing differently? Let’s take a look.

Provide the whole address – Buyers like to be able to conduct a drive by and if there is no address they are likely to pass over the property altogether.

Add a sale price to your listing – Research conducted by realestate.com.au says that seeing listings without a sale price is a common complaint among prospective buyers.

Add complete floor plans – Include room dimensions and as much information as possible. Buyers like to know if their furniture will fit.

Use video tours – This will let buyers see the location and dimensions of features like windows, soft closing cabinetry, etc., which may not be on display in photos and floor plans.

Describe topography – Provide photos of the gardens and lawn, and displaying the topography specified in the video tour.

Include details about nearby amenities – Prospective buyers are interested in information about what is close by and how it will effect their lifestyle. 

Tips for home sellers amid COVID-19

Your agent will be a big help in getting your property sold fast and for the best price, but there are things that you, as a seller, can do to make sure the process moves without a hitch.

Consider having a building/pest inspection and independent valuation – This is another way to make the buying experience pleasant for prospective buyers. It can also increase transparency for the transaction and help to speed the process up.

Present the property in the best possible light.  Remember that once you launch your property to the market, you are in the market in competition and not isolation.  You are not the only one!

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, agents and sellers really have to think ‘outside the box’ about how to best showcase a property.  Work together!

 

 

 

Styling

Put your Home on Centre Stage Through Home Styling

Styling

A selling method that vendors use to achieve a faster sale, lessen price cuts and drive up values is property styling, or home styling.

Developers, agents and retail stores like Ikea and Freedom use it. “Home Staging” is tantamount to merchandising. It involves styling a space to emotionally attract a target audience to eventually realise top consumer dollar. And it works.

When it is a sellers’ market a competitive advantage is needed to attain the best possible price, and a makeover is not the sole option.

Increasing the sales price

The reason for home staging is to style a house to copy those that are found on the pages of fashionable home magazines. This is a means to boost the price and buyer interest.  Home staging can really make a major difference. In terms of price, it can add $20,000 to $25,000 to a normal sales price compared to a similar home on the market that is not furnished.  Another benefit is it mitigates price cuts. It is all based on emotions for owner-occupier buyers, resulting from what they see and feel in the first 27 seconds.

Neutralise, de-personalise and the wow factor

Sellers should make the effort to neutralise and de-personalise everything in their home. Store away old trophies, get rid of everything off the fridge, put bills and other personal contact information out of sight, remove photos of family members because that can make people feel awkward and just store it away to make them feel they are purchasing something new.  It is also important to declutter. Think about the direction buyers would take to inspect the house and eliminate any obstacle from their path.  Home staging is taking the methods of depersonalising and decluttering to the next level by putting display furniture and furnishings to evoke a certain feeling.

Additional tips for sellers include economical cosmetic changes that deliver a little bit of wow factor like: changing the knobs or handles of the kitchen cabinets, installing a new mailbox, putting up new blinds or curtains, putting new kitchen appliances if they are very old or on the verge of breaking down, polishing the deck, adding mulch in the garden, pruning hedges or shrubs to make the yard look bigger, putting potted plants around the exterior of the house, or removing the  feature wall and either replacing it with a fashion piece or adding a bookshelf or a wall storage in its place.

To get the best possible price, implement a holistic approach as you prepare your property for the market. Home staging should be combined with inexpensive makeover techniques to increase the sales price. If the property has no furniture and furnishings, small things like peeling wallpaper or crackers become obvious. It is important to repair these because any noticeable maintenance issue can significantly impact a buyer’s decision.

It is important to remember that people are purchasing a lifestyle, not just a home. If there is nothing for them to determine whether their king size bed will fit in the bedroom, then it makes it more difficult to envision themselves living in there.

 

Buying a home during COVID-19

There’s no doubt it’s an unusual time during this global coronavirus pandemic. But, fortunately, we can find some positives in buying property!

Almost everyone suspected that buying a property while in isolation would be almost impossible however, at the end of the day, we all need a place to live. So while some buyers probably wouldn’t have chosen to be looking at purchasing their next home during an unprecedented lockdown, it might not actually be as bad as you might think.

If you’re thinking of buying now, here are some tips how best to approach the situation.

1. Assess your own situation

While the outbreak is one matter, the economic aftershock of the pandemic is another and conditions can change rapidly, both positively and negatively, so you’ll need to take it day by day.

If you find yourself working in an industry that is currently affected or will possibly be affected, then you need to assess the likelihood of continued employment.  If you feel comfortable, or as comfortable as you can be, then now could be a great time to find that dream home.

2.  When it comes to your money,  plan for the worst

It’s impossible to know what the future holds but you can plan for the unexpected by making sure you can access a financial buffer if you need it.  The more money set aside the better, but this isn’t always possible – especially for those working in industries affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns, such as travel and hospitality.

If you’re thinking of taking out a new loan, you should do your best to make sure you’ll be able to service it especially if someone else in the household loses their income.

On a positive note, companies will need to rehire once the pandemic eases and the economy comes back.

The other unusual thing to consider is, the record-low interest rates.

Owning your own home is still the great Australian desire, and as we are seeing at inspections, many owner-occupier buyers are pushing hard to secure their home in the face of the global pandemic.

3. Seek out the best advice

If you have any doubt about anchoring yourself to a long-term relationship with the bank then search for knowledgable experts.

The adjective we’re hearing around this current situation is “unprecedented”, so it’s highly likely you’re going to get a wishy-washy answer. But the more informed you can be, the better decision you’ll make.

I also recommend you only focus on accurate and timely sources as situations in the property market are changing almost daily and what was relevant 4 months ago is not now.

4. Remember, property is for the long term

An important thing to remember is that property is a long term purchase. Experts agree that owning the family home is a great way to ensure long-term financial security, and while markets can dip in the short term, property values will generally increase over the long term.

To be in the best position to buy be pre-approved, confident and informed and don’t be afraid to make an offer.

“Be greedy when others are fearful, and be fearful when others are greedy.”
Warren Buffet

 

 

Ban Lifted on Auctions & Open Homes

 

 

As reported last Sunday, the NSW property market will be rolling out the welcome mat from May 9th 2020 with agents  able to hold traditional property inspections and on-site auctions after a six-week limited shutdown due to COVID-19.

Now as we make the move back to a more normal mode of operation Real Estate agents will have the following health guidelines to adhere to:

Key health guidelines include:

  Ensure physical distancing of greater than 1.5m is maintained;

  Promote good hygiene on premises and at auctions including hand sanitiser;

  Use digital platforms where possible to discourage physical contact;

  Keep detailed contact records of people attending open homes and auctions;

  Ensure people with any symptoms of illness do not attend a property;

  Manage the number of people entering small spaces;

  Consider extended times for open house viewings and inspections;

  Use outdoor venues for auctions wherever possible;

  If auctions are held indoors, use large venues where physical distancing

between household groups of one person per 4m2 equivalent is possible.

AS PER MEDIA RELEASE:
Trevor Seymour – Treasurer  & Julie Garvey – Minister Hazzard

 

One Agency Pinkerton Properties feel the need to continue to offer our clients, both sellers and buyers, the option of private inspections as well.  Especially for those who may still feel uncomfortable about attending open homes.

Plus for the sellers who have been sitting ‘off market’ or waiting for the return of auctions, we are offering a HALF PRICE Auctioneers Fee until June 30th 2020.