No one could have foreseen it. With the pandemic crisis ravaging the world, there is one industry in the USA that sees an unbelievable demand, and that is the housing market.
The real estate industry experienced slow activity when the restrictions brought about by the pandemic were in full force. However, as the country began to reopen, the housing market also started to recover.
By July, market activity in 18 of the US real estate markets has significantly increased. According to the National Association of Realtors, the sales of pre-owned homes were at a record high. The national median price was up by 8.5% compared to last year at $304,100.
The housing boom is so unbelievable that Redfin CEO even calls it absolutely insane in an interview. Home sales increased by 9.4% by September, and the surge is believed to extend into 2021.
What Caused The Surge In Demand?
People who can afford to work in a remote setup, who moved out of the cities and moved into the suburbs, are one of the surge’s driving factors. For some, it is the record low mortgage rates that encouraged them to get a new and bigger home.
Homebuyers are taking advantage of the low mortgage rates. This offsets the increase in housing prices brought about by very strong demand. There is also a shortage of homes for sale, so buyers may need to act quickly if they want to get ahead of the competition. New listings and active listings are both down, but the interest from buyers is increasing.
Unfortunately, banks have been stringent in approving mortgages due to the pandemic’s financial uncertainties. With millions of workers losing their jobs, banks, of course, want the assurance that buyers have the capacity to pay the mortgage.
Virtual Property Tours: Should You Do It?
To ensure everyone’s safety and enforce social distancing, real estate agents are going virtual. With buyers looking for a home to buy, you would have to take advantage of the craze.
Say goodbye to open house events where home buyers line up in front of the house. Make use of technology. You can provide virtual open house tours, a much safer option for you and your potential buyers. This way, you can reach potential buyers who are wary of going out because of the pandemic. They are safer and more convenient for everyone.
Of course, to boost your chances of selling your home, you will still need to look professional, even on a virtual tour. Don your blazer and skirt or your suit, and do not forget to schedule your tooth-whitening session so that you can flash those pearly whites on screen.
There are several virtual marketing techniques that you can consider. Here are some of them.
- Virtual Open House. A virtual open house lets you open your property for sale to many potential buyers on the web. Set up a Facebook page for your business if you still don’t have one. You can give your viewers a virtual walkthrough of the property. Describe each section of the house as you would when you are doing a one-on-one personal tour. The best thing about it is, potential buyers can view it anytime at their convenience.
- 3D Home Tours. A panoramic 3D picture gives potential buyers the feel of the house. The best part is, you can easily do this with an app on your smartphone. Make sure you are taking great photos at the best angles to make a great impression with buyers.
- Video Tours. You can hold a Facebook Live where potential buyers can ask you questions in real-time. It will feel more personal, and you also get to boast of the benefits of buying the property you are selling.
To increase your chances of selling a home, make sure that you take only clear and HD videos and photos.
Giving One-on-one Tours With A Serious Buyer
A serious buyer who has fallen in love with the property while watching your virtual home tour would understandably want to see it in person. However, remember to abide by safety protocols to keep you and your potential buyer safe during the tour.
Keep the visitor at a minimum. Families touring the home is a thing of the past. If possible, allow only one person during the visit. Ensure that you and the buyer wear protective gear, such as face coverings, disposable gloves, and shoe covers when you enter the property’s door. Keep a hand sanitizer nearby.
Practice safe physical, social distancing. If you or your buyer feels sick during the scheduled tour, postpone it to some other date. Your health and that of your buyer as well should come first.
Once you have closed a deal, the same protocols should be followed. If you can already discuss everything online, do it. This way, you will only meet to sign some papers, reducing unnecessary contact.