Delisting a home has become unfortunately common for Sellers in 2020. Between state-mandated lockdowns and general fear about COVID-19, delistings skyrocketed from March through May. Now, demand for housing is heating back up, with some reports estimating that housing demand is 25% higher than it was before the pandemic. That means that relistings will likely dominate the summer. Here are six tips to help you relist a home, especially during COVID-19.
1. Stay focused on cleanliness
Cleanliness will be key to successful relistings. Though there were many reasons why delistings increased after COVID-19 (e.g., low consumer confidence, fears of plummeting value), a big driver was that Sellers didn’t want strangers in their homes potentially spreading the virus. Helping Buyers and Sellers feel more comfortable in terms of cleanliness will likely be one of the most important things you can do.
You can see some great ideas for how to make cleanliness a focus in your relistings here. These ideas include requiring Buyers to wear a mask, creating a specific viewing schedule, and going digital with marketing materials. COVID-19 was the driving force behind delistings, and properly addressing it will drive your success in relisting these properties.
2. Determine why the house needs relisting
It’s important to know why the Seller took the house off the market in the first place. Though many otherwise-sellable houses came off the market because of COVID-19, some came off for other reasons. Ask the Seller questions about their original listing to determine why it came off the market. If the Seller delisted based on COVID-19 fears, you may not need to make too many changes to make the house sellable. It could just be a matter of shifting how you market it.
On the other hand, if the Seller delisted for other reasons, it’s important to know those. Start by looking at the house through the eyes of a Buyer. Is there something immediately obvious that the Seller should fix? If not, is there something about the house that is vastly different from other houses in the area? Knowing why the house came off the market is the first step in addressing the issue.
3. Commit to home improvement prior to relisting
Many Sellers likely spent more of their time at home during COVID-19. As a result, that could mean more scuffs, dings, and problems around the house. Before relisting the home, recommend that Sellers commit to minor home improvement projects. Fresh paint, new light bulbs and fixtures, caulking, and lawn care are just a few minor projects that can have a major impact on the home’s appeal.
4. Stage the home for live and virtual viewings
More viewing options means more potential Buyers. This could be a great opportunity to stage the home using a clean slate. If your relisted home has fallen out of style, staging with modern furniture and paint colors is a great way to attract younger Buyers. And Sellers may be more open to staging changes, if only to add a sense of newness for themselves!
Once again, it’s important to focus on cleanliness when staging. After coming out of quarantine, Buyers will likely have little patience for a lack of cleanliness in the homes they consider.
5. Make the relisted home photo and video friendly
Good photos and videos can transform a relisted home. Sometimes, excellent homes suffer because of poor or absent photos and videos. But the importance of photo and video has risen in the wake of COVID-19, beyond just making good houses look great before the open house.
Even as in-person open houses ramp up, virtual tours are still more popular than ever. Knowing how to stage, market, and show your homes virtually is a necessary skill that’s here to stay. Many elements of live touring transfer to virtual touring (e.g., good lighting and a focus on the home’s strong points are musts). But you’ll want to make sure that you’re using the right apps when committing to virtual touring to make it as easy as possible for Buyers to tour virtually as you relist.
6. Recommend a home warranty
Peace of mind is especially important to both Buyers and Sellers as COVID-19 lockdowns begin to end. A home warranty from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10 HBW) can provide reassurance and a plan for when an unexpected breakdown occurs.
Even before COVID-19, home warranties were the incentive that Sellers used most to attract Buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As things begin to reopen, Buyers and Sellers may be more cautious in their decision-making. A home warranty speaks to that cautiousness by protecting them against unexpected systems and appliances breakdowns.
Many Sellers worried that their home values would plummet because of COVID-19, but that didn’t happen throughout most of the country. With demand still vastly outpacing inventory, it’s extremely unlikely that Sellers will need to lower the price of their relisted home. Instead, a home warranty could be the push that cautious Buyers need to commit.
2-10 HBW offers comprehensive systems and appliances home warranties to help protect your clients from unexpected repair and replacement costs. Contact us to learn more.