The coronavirus pandemic is reshaping the way real estate transactions are handled. Virtual home tours are on the rise, with some sellers making their own videos, and closings are being handled remotely as much as possible, with instances of attorneys finalizing documents in parking lots. And many would-be sellers are declining to list their homes at all, particularly in areas such as New York City that have been hardest hit by the virus and where inventory has plummeted.
That’s not to say buyers aren’t out there—in fact, some are spending their quarantine time online, researching properties and preparing to act once stay-at-home orders are lifted. To reach buyers in these challenging times, sellers must be more flexible and nimble than ever. This can mean taking on the work of filming and photographing their homes themselves, and connecting with buyers in a more personal way.
In this new reality, sellers should also be flexible in their expectations of timelines for sales.
A lot of sellers are clinging to the rule that you have 30 days to close, but to get a deal done successfully in this environment, you have to compromise and understand that each situation is unique. In some cases, adjusting to the Covid-19 crisis as it unfolds could mean sellers pulling their listings entirely. Some real estate listing services have halted their “days on market” feature, but some haven’t, which creates the risk that homes languishing during lockdown will appear stale. For sellers of such properties, it may be best to go off market for the time being.
On some luxury listings, the best thing to do is take it off market and do an off market campaign. You reduce accruing days on market. The first thing potential buyers think when they see 100 days on market is that the price is flexible.
Adjusting Marketing and Negotiating Tactics
For many sellers of luxury properties, it’s a good idea to keep their listings up. Buyers at the high-end may not be able to act right now, but they’re still showing interest.
But given the scope and severity of the coronavirus pandemic, sellers may need to adjust the language of their listings to reflect sensitivity to the situation. This may mean simply acknowledging the strangeness of this moment, and creating promotional materials with a stronger sense of the personal.
Change your tone in all your marketing so as not to sound tone-deaf, but still participating in the conversation and pushing your agenda forward. The idea of perfection in marketing has gone out the window. Some of the best content can be home-grown, authentic videos.
See this time as presenting an opportunity to change your approach to marketing, and to tell the story of your home from your own perspective. Host virtual open houses through Instagram, Facebook or Zoom, walking through the space with their phones.
Many buyers seem to appreciate this level of authenticity, but it’s still a good idea for buyers and sellers to use a broker as their intermediary, and not take on all the explanation and negotiations themselves.
Whatever your situation is in real estate during this time, the guidance and help of a real estate professional is valuable and will save you time and money. Reach out to The Jarrad Barnes Group to discuss your options and how these special circumstances could affect your next real estate transaction.