When is the best time to sell your home? It is a question that many homeowners want a definite answer to, but according to a USA Today article, the science isn’t exactly clear. Nicole Roeberg, an agent for Redfin, a national real estate brokerage, told USA Today “You can drive yourself crazy trying to time the market just right.” But what should sellers think about the current COVID-19 situation when considering listing their home? “The COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer to the discussion with sellers,” said Jon Sternberg, a Realtor at Re/Max Associated Realty in Vero Beach, FL. “There are a myriad of reasons for why people sell, so my response is based on their unique individual needs.” Experts weigh in on what to consider when contemplating putting your home on the market.

Evaluate Your Situation

According to Sternberg, it’s difficult to give a simple answer based on the wide variety of sellers in the market.  What I would say to the seller whose property is in high demand, typically a lower priced property, is different than what I would recommend to a seller whose property is in low demand. Currently, sellers who have high demand properties, we are moving forward with our custom marketing plan and procedures. Sellers whose property is in low demand, we would need to evaluate their individual circumstances. Are they in a situation where they have to sell, and if so, we would discuss price and other options to make the property more marketable. If the seller is not in need of selling and can wait several months, then the recommendation may be to pull it from the market and wait for the market to adjust when there is higher demand. Then there is the range of sellers whose properties are somewhere between low and high demand, so recommendations would be based on each individual circumstance. What is the motivation? Has there been a job change or a job loss? Do they have to move, or are they just selling to test the market and possibly buy a bigger home? Is this an estate situation that needs to be sold and have closure for the family? In some cases selling is the answer, and in other cases, waiting is best.

Picture Perfect

Jared Blais, owner and photographer at Argonaut Marketing, says with so many people shopping online it’s never been more important to have your listing photos be of the highest quality. People want a good idea of what a home looks like before taking their time to see it in person. In addition, virtual tours are becoming a necessity. With the times we are in right now people can shop new homes by way of video walk-through tours. Buyers can get a better feel for the flow of the home, the size of the rooms and the location which they would be purchasing in. I believe both of these tools, photos and video, are a must for realtors’ wanting to market their client’s homes and to maximize their selling potential.

Stage It

“In this competitive real estate market, you need to inspire potential buyers the minute they walk onto your property or see it on a video tour or in a photo,” says Kirsten Kennedy, owner of Hazel House, a furniture and home retail store and staging company. Kirsten and her team create an individual design plan for each property, selecting color schemes and cohesive décor that appeals to the target market base. According to a U.S. News & World Report,  Maritz Research Staging poll found that 63 percent of buyers are willing to pay more for move-in ready homes. “We help clients merchandise their home to a specific buyer’s lifestyle whether it’s an upscale family or an astute retiree,” says Kirsten. “With our staging services, we have seen homes go under contract in days.”

While you can’t control the real estate market, you can work with professionals to both evaluate your personal situation to determine if it’s the right time to sell and if so, take steps like staging and photography to help market your home to a potential buyer.

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