5 Step Guide to Selling your Home Virtually
Selling your home can be stressful, with or without social distancing. Our simple guide offers steps and advice on choosing a listing agency, readying your home, and easy recommendations on how to sell your home virtually. We are advised to take certain measures to protect our clients and ourselves during the Covid 19 crisis, and luckily at My NC Homes, our seller strategies easily adapt to virtual sales. When we emerge from the Covid 19 quarantine, more homes will be coming on the market and your home will need the best, virtually equipped representation. My NC Homes has over 50 years of combined experience in real estate marketing and we are here for you when you are ready to take the next steps in selling in the time of social distance.
Step 1 Virtual Representation
With the world rapidly changing its more important than ever when choosing a Realtor who will represent you to do your homework. You will need to thoroughly check out their online presence and consider their IRL (in real life) experience. Now more than ever is not the time to get someone who is new in the business. They’ve barely learned real estate, rarely have the financial resources necessary to properly market your property online; let alone mastered the nuances of negotiating and communicating effectively while overseeing your real estate closing to a successful conclusion. It’s equally important to remember that just because a business is top ranked in search engines, this does not necessarily mean they are top ranked in the field. What does a great listing agent look like online?
- Website: A good agent will have a website that is in good repair with operable links and resources to answer basic seller and buyer FAQ. Your home will appear prominently in their listings section, in addition to in a blog or content piece on the site. Be sure to look and see when their last article posted and how often do they post?
- Social Media: Love Facebook and Twitter? Agents do too, however, many spend too many hours socializing, and not enough hours promoting your home and getting your home sold. Choose an agent who is active in social media marketing, but not living in the cloud.
- Ads: The ad strategy of your listing agent is very important and should be readily apparent from online searches and discussed thoroughly during the interview process. It is important to know how you are advertised, where, and with what frequency. This ensures that your home is getting the attention it deserves digitally, in addition to IRL.
Step 2 Social Distance Approved Prep
Being at home more while observing social distancing recommendations is a great opportunity to perform the more odious selling/moving prep tasks. The first is removing personal effects from around the house and sorting through items that you will not be taking with you, from closets to cupboards. My NC Homes pays to have a professional stager consult with you to give you very detailed information on how to get your home in “Show Shape” In the past this was done in person, now we’ve made arrangements with our staging guru to do this virtually. If you are not working with us; we suggest the Mari Kondo book, Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It is a great read and if you follow her advice your home will show much better.
Step 3 At Home Improvements
We could write a small book on home improvement projects that are not worth the money in resale, including fully remodeling your kitchen or baths, to adding special wellness features to your yard. Remember not everyone loves a swan water feature or a pool. Home improvement projects other than paint rarely are money makers and for this reason our advice to clients is do them at least a couple of years before you sell your home so that you get to enjoy them. That said they make a huge difference in the time your home is on the market and how it shows both IRL and digitally. Our experience both as Realtors and builders has proven to us time after time that “You only have one chance to make a good first impression” and “People buy with their eyes”. With that in mind:
- Repaint rooms in neutral colors
- Replace any rotten exterior siding and repair chipped paint on the exterior of the home. Have your home power washed prior to having photos taken and going on the market.
- Take the time to add plants in your outdoor and indoor living spaces. Clean up and define your outdoor areas.
- Clean out garages and closets, Bonus: Donate your unwanted items to area nonprofits list here.
Step 4 Virtual Staging and Virtual Tours
Not all real estate agents are Realtors. Realtors are bound by a strict code of ethics regarding how they display properties online. See 2020 code of ethics here. A reputable realtor will not photoshop your photos, but rather will hire a photographer who understands light and vantage points for professional photos. Depending on the listing and requirements of a seller, staging may also be arranged. Staging works well for empty homes and can be done virtually as long as this is disclosed. Whether your home is staged or not, a virtual tour of the property is essential to online marketing. A virtual tour accompanies all our listings at My NC Homes and has been for as long as the capability has been available. In addition My NC Homes will have a 3D floor plan created as part of your “Virtual Tour” so that buyers may walk themselves through your home and see everything online. Our virtual tours are a fantastic way for buyers to gauge the suitability of a home without ever having to step inside.
Step 5 Safety Selling and Contracting at a Distance
Below are the dictates of the Orange Chatham Realtors Association that we are adhering to regarding safety, inspections, and contracts. We are following the above standard precautions for client safety and our own. Be wary of agents who are not following these recommendations as they may put your safety in jeopardy.
We are committed to protecting our communities from the severity of the rapidly spreading coronavirus.
We want to continue working, and we want to be safe. We are committed to moving our real estate practice to a VIRTUAL environment that involves ZERO physical contact with buyers or sellers for as long as necessary. We are committed to protecting our clients, attorneys, inspectors, photographers, appraisers, and the community at large by STAYING HOME. We realize that counties throughout the Triangle vary in the strictness of their rules regarding showings in particular, but we are committed to uniting around these guidelines in an effort to keep all our neighborhoods safe and healthy.
We commit to AVOID the following activities:
No residential open houses (including new construction model homes) No showings on actively occupied homes (virtual tours provided by seller okay) No in-person showings on vacant homes - only virtual/FaceTime tours with agent We commit to AVOID the following activities:
We commit to handle transactions currently under contract in the following manner:
Inspections and vendor visits are allowed, but no buyer or agent will be in attendance If staying at property or providing access is necessary, use social distance measures that include staying outside house/in car (no two people in home at the same time) Agent and buyer can tour property separately for final walkthrough (each party will drive separately and wait for the other outside). Agents will not attend closings (can attend virtually)
We commit to following these safety precautions when giving virtual tours of vacant homes and/or opening houses for vendors, final walkthroughs, etc:
All parties should handle doors, cabinets, etc with wipes/towel or gloves. We will have these with us for you should you not have your own. No two parties should be in the house at the same time. All parties should maintain a minimum 6-foot distance, even outside of homes.
Some buyers and sellers will want/need to proceed with a purchase or sale in a strict virtual environment. We will do our best to ensure the following:
Buyer/tenant must be pre-approved for a purchase/rental. Buyer/tenant should complete a drive-by of property and confirm satisfaction with location. Buyer/tenant must review all available photos, floor plans, video tours and/or 3D tours provided by listing agent. Sellers should confirm that their situation requires them to market their property immediately, rather than wait for more ideal showing circumstances. Sellers should confirm they have completed the work recommended by their agent to ensure the house is ready for the market.
My NC Homes has always been committed to serving our Seller and Buyer clients in the most professional and safest manner at all times. We value our clients, vendors, and associates health and trust above all else. We are confident that we will get through these challenging times by working together to do our best to keep everyone safe.
If you would like to know what your home is worth or for more information about listing with My NC Homes contact us today.
Posted by Larry Tollen on