How to Sell Your House During Social Distancing

Selling a house is a detailed, sometimes complex, and definitely time-consuming process. From finding an agent and setting the right listing price, to staging and marketing and photography, there’s a lot for sellers to do — and that’s not even counting trying to sell during a global pandemic.

But people need to buy houses, and people need to sell their houses. We can’t collectively stop selling while we wait at least a year for a COVD-19 vaccine to come out. If you have asked yourself, Is now really a good time to sell my house?, the answer is yes, you should still put it on the market. You just need to keep your health and the health of potential buyers as the main priority, and to take the following into account.

Consider hiring a Realtor.

Realtors have received tons of information on selling and buying during this time from the NAR (National Association of REALTORS®) and their local MLS. Here are four reasons why hiring a Realtor is a good idea:

  1. Access to industry knowledge. FSBO sellers don’t have immediate access to the insights that Realtors have — not only for selling a house, but for selling specifically during a global pandemic.
  2. Add a level of safety. Realtors will likely know how to set up your space so that it eliminates the chances of contamination as much as possible.
  3. Lighten your load. There are parents of young children being asked to work full time and watch/homeschool their kids full-time. This is an already stressful time — adding another huge responsibility won’t help.
  4. Help someone out. Times are tough for a lot of people. For a part-time Realtor who was laid off or furloughed from their job, commission can mean the world. If you’re in a financial place where you can manage giving some of your sale money over and you know hiring a Realtor will benefit you, this is a win-win.

We think hiring a Realtor is a great solution for many sellers (and we even have cash credit incentives who use RH to find an agent). However, we also know that for some people, FSBO is still going to be the best option. If that’s the case for you, then…

Market your property as normal.

Post on social media, as well as on real estate platforms like Zillow, Trulia, or RealtyHive. Do as much cleaning, staging, and stellar photography as you can on your own. Remember that lighting is key! Bright, clean spaces translate well, even if you don’t have the latest iPhone model. Check out our blog on great examples of real estate photography for ideas.

Set up video tours and go online.

Many aspects of home selling have virtual alternatives. From video tours to even finding the proper closing documents, you could very well end up selling without having to ever shake hands (or even meet in person).

Instead of…Try…
Inviting people overSetting up a Zoom call or FaceTime
Hosting an open houseGoing live on social media or posting a Zoom meeting link for people to join at a certain time
Hosting multiple showings for multiple interested buyersMaking a website, form, or calendar where people can sign up for a virtual showing
Meeting in person to go over closing paperworkDo the paperwork online, including e-signing

Worried about a shaky camera hand and how it might affect your selling potential? Look into getting a gimbal. A gimbal is a support that steadies your phone for an extremely smooth video recording. They’re a little pricey, but some models are under $100 and it could be chump change if it helps you successfully sell your home.

Take extra precautions for an in-person showing.

If you’re selling vacant land, this won’t be nearly as difficult. Just make sure you stand at least 6 feet apart, consider wearing masks, and don’t shake hands. 

While virtual can be great for many things, in the event of buying a house, there’s a good chance that buyers will want a walk-through. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Ensure your guests have consistently practiced social distancing (ask them if they’ve social distanced, and to what degree). It is not rude for you to deny someone entry to your house if they aren’t taking this seriously. Health is wealth, and it’s the number one priority through all of this.
    This isn’t to say you should automatically deny essential workers access to your home — if anything, many essential workers are already doing what they can to keep others safe. But if someone is intentionally shirking the necessary precautions, they are putting you (and others) at risk.
  • Only show to people with proof of loan preapproval.
  • Insist that everyone wear masks or some kind of protective covering.
  • Deeply sanitize everything before people enter your home (and again after they leave).
  • Kindly remind guests not to touch anything.
  • Let guests know they can take pictures instead of coming back for a repeat visit.
  • Limit two people per visit, and make sure only one house member is giving the tour.
  • Check with CDC or WHO guidelines for further safety precautions.

Keep these same rules for anyone coming to your home, such as a home inspector.

Connect with a title company and your mortgage institution ASAP.

Title companies and banks are considered essential services. While they’re still operating, many are now offering online or drive-up options to limit contact. However, these institutions have dealt with a boom in calls so you want to act sooner rather than later. Each bank has its own way of dealing with things; find necessary information before you get too far into the selling process.

Sell your home as-is.

You don’t have to have showings in order to sell your home. You can even avoid having a house inspection if you decide to sell as-is. With RealtyHive, your property gets marketing with no upfront costs, amazing exposure, and access to a market of highly motivated buyers. Our time-limited events naturally practice real estate social distancing, even if there isn’t a pandemic to worry about. List with RH today to safely sell your home.