How to Sell Your Home During the Pandemic
The Listing Appointment
Currently, I am meeting clients outside while the weather is fine – fortunately that is most of the year here in Charleston. Delivering my marketing presentation is typically around the kitchen table with clients in close proximity as I review the unique marketing plan for selling their home quickly and for top dollar. Now I awkwardly hold the information up like show and tell, fumbling with ill-fitting gloves, while papers blow across the yard as I explain the benefits of professional architectural photography. We have a good laugh and keep going. I have always had contracts on hand so we can sign as I explain each paragraph to them. Because we can sign documents electronically, I am forgoing explaining in person to limit exposure, and then go back and email the docs explaining them on the phone.
One of the documents we need to sign is a form that dunes properties has implemented to protect our clients and others. The form specifies what protocols the homeowner requires such as masks, gloves, sanitizer, and booties. It gives clients an opportunity to assess their risk tolerance and it helps facilitate the conversation. It also gives them peace of mind and in one case, gave their tenants confidence to have people in their space. These instructions are posted for each listing so that buyer’s agents are informed prior to scheduling the showing. I then assure my homeowners I will be present for all showings in order to enforce the policy. I have had to turn people away who failed to comply, but it was the right thing to do.
Prepping Your Home For Sale
Once the docs are signed, I work on the staging necessary to get top notch photos. I have a talented person that often helps me with staging, however while in the past I used her on nearly every project, I am limiting the contacts involved and doing much of that work myself. Staging remains crucial to the listing process and I will take on the additional tasks. We all know “click bait” is how we now sell homes. If that first photo doesn’t pop, buyers will move on in less than a second. My regular photographer also has his set of protocols as well. All lights are to be on when he arrives, all doors are to be ajar, and masks are required. Clients wait with me outside while he works his magic.
Showing The Property
I have recommended to my clients that they limit each appointment to no more than three people at a time. Since I am present for all of the showings now, I want to protect my clients and myself. I had one extremely popular listing with more showings than I could schedule. Ordinarily I would allow for overlapping showings to accommodate everyone, but by limiting to three people at a time, we simply had to turn some folks away. I promise, I have never done that before! For long conversations I always suggest we move outside. And, in every situation I am encouraging appropriate social distancing. Buyers and agents are taking their own precautions as well. In early March, when I was showing property and before safety protocols were the new normal, I was insisting on hand sanitizer reminding my buyers how many door handles they had just touched. While there has been a trend for years now of taking separate cars, I have not seen anyone roll up to a showing and hop out of the agent’s vehicle.
The Good News
Sales are up! Sellers are benefiting from a very low inventory, and people are laughing with me as we figure this out together and make people’s dreams come true.