Hello and welcome to hands down one of the weirdest times featuring the infamous COVID-19 along with lots social distancing and quarantining with family or by yourself. Every profession is learning to adjust and transition the way we do work by moving more digitally and enhancing relationships virtually. For some real estate buyers and sellers, you may think that these quarantimes is putting everything on pause, but I don’t find that to be the case. This time can be utilized as an opportunity for reflection for buyers and preparation for sellers.
We’ve got lots of time out our hands to scroll through Facebook and binge through Netflix shows (I mean Tiger King had me SHOOK), but let’s use it for something productive as well. Whether you’re buying or selling, I’ve got a couple of items you can handle now before life hits us even faster later on.
THINKING ABOUT BUYING A HOME?
Get with your agent. Well duh! This is a great time to build a relationship with your real estate agent and let them know that you’re ready to buy. You can discuss the type of home you are looking for, wish list items and really start narrowing down what you’re wanting in a home.
Think about that money. Your agent can set you up with a great lender, so use this opportunity to see what you want your monthly mortgage payments to look like. Set up a monthly budget. This can help narrow in your price range when house hunting. It’s also a great time to speak with your agent and lender about down payments and closing costs so fees don’t hit you in the face later on.
Narrow down your wants and needs. With all this time you now have, truly figure out what you want and what you need in a home. Yes… there’s a difference! Do you need a big yard for a growing family or your cute little pup? These are priorities that you an get in line before you start looking after the quarantimes. Just be sure you’re making a list of what is a priority and what may not be.
Research areas and school districts. Hey, school districts and location may not matter to you right now, but it’s good to start researching potential schools or drive by certain areas. This can save you and your agent so much time in the long run. You doing this extra homework helps!
THINKING ABOUT SELLING A HOME?
Declutter. Take spring cleaning to a whole new level and really clean out those toy bins or junk drawers hidden throughout your home. As your agent, I want your place to look clean and make it easy for a potential buyer to see themselves living in it without jumping through mess and junk everywhere.
Landscape. No, don’t run to Lowe’s with all the other people. Get a little dirt therapy in your system and weed your flower beds or clean up around the exterior of your home. Curb appeal is EVERYTHING!
Give it another eye. Walk through your home with a new lens. Think about coming in as a first time home buyer and take note of little items that could use a little love or upgrading in your home. While it may work for you now, it probably won’t for others. I’m not saying completely repaint your whole home or replace appliances. What I’m talking about is painting over that scrape on the wall or caulking in that opening from humidity. These little projects make a big difference over time and right now all you have is time.
Keep it cute. Yes, you’re decluttering, but don’t forget that buyers like a staged home. You don’t have to go out and buy all this new decor. Use what you have! Take down those family photos, play around with furniture and make the home flow from the front door to the back of the house. You’ll want these buyers to imagine themselves in your home. Make it welcoming!
Plan for what’s next. Where are you going? Do you already have an idea of a house you want? Let your listing agent know, so they can keep an eye out. Want to build? Your agent can help you find land and a builder. Your home could sell quicker than you think, so take this time to figure out a plan for the next step.
Although we all seem to be at a pause and standstill in life right now, this is a great time to prepare. Prepare to buy, prepare to list and prepare with your agent!