Even during our Coronavirus lockdown, people continue to buy and sell real estate. So whatever your plans were before the virus, you can still make progress and achieve your goals. And if you’re on lockdown at home, you now have extra time to tackle the projects you’ve been too busy to do. Plus, who doesn’t feel better when they accomplish some of the tasks on their to-do list?
There are tremendous financing opportunities for well-qualified, entry-level, and mid-range buyers. According to Linnea Arrington, President, San Diego Funding/Great Pacific Funding, “If buyers were in the market before the current COVID-19 situation, they should seriously consider purchasing now. There is more opportunity for them to have their offers accepted. Once we come out of this, there will be huge pent-up demand, and the market will once again be flooded.”
For buyers who are on the fence, the best thing is to be pre-approved and active in looking, so you are ready to jump when this current health crisis is over. Here are our top three tips to prepare from home:
- Get Your Mortgage Paperwork Together – make sure that you’ve gathered all of your documents. If you’ve already given everything to your loan originator, confirm they have your latest information. For example, if it’s been two months since you’ve supplied your bank statements or paystub information, go ahead and get the updated documentation to them right away. Then check to see if they need anything else.
- Get Pre-Approved – if you want a conventional loan, you can still get pre-approved now. Government-backed loans are closing on time. When you have a solid pre-approval, you can jump on the house you want before anyone else. Keep your eyes open for anything new coming on the market so you can make an offer immediately.
- Sort & Toss – when it comes time to move, you’ll be in much better shape if you went through every closet, cupboard, room, and garage to get rid of anything you don’t need. It’s incredible how much stuff collects when you’ve lived somewhere for a while, and if you take a look at it, you probably have mountains of items you don’t use and never will. So start sorting, packing, donating, and tossing.
There is good news for those whose homes are currently on the market as well. According to Wendy Purvey, CSO, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, “We are seeing a tremendous increase in our website activity since people have been home-bound. Prospective homebuyers are spending a greater amount of time looking at our listings online. Our agents have been able to pivot and adapt to prospective buyers using online technology to bring buyers and sellers together and close deals remotely. Throughout Southern California, real estate activity continues to move forward.”
As a seller, this means you have a much better chance of selling your home since so many people are online shopping. The more prepared you are, the sooner that will be. Here are some tips to help you right now.
- Unclutter Inside – Clutter in your home can be a deal killer. When a buyer walks into your house or views it online, you don’t want them distracted by personal items lying around—for example, extra knick-knacks, paperwork, or pictures. You want your home to be a beautiful blank slate the buyer can picture themselves in. The ideal property for sale looks like a model home. Keep that in mind and take advantage of any time off you have to get rid of what you can and even start packing.
- Go Virtual – While physical property showings and open houses are on hold, there are still buyers who want to see your home online. Work with your agent and be inventive! In addition to traditional professional videos and virtual tours your agent has set up, you can participate by taking personal videos of things you think buyers might be interested in. For example, what your backyard looks like in the springtime, or your favorite nearby running path, or how close the nearest schools are. Buyers are home – shopping online, so give them the information they’d love to have.
- Spruce Up The Outside – Take a walk around your home and make a list of everything you could do to improve it. You’d be surprised how fixing little things can make a big difference. Here are some examples: paint can go a long way to making a home look fresh and beautiful. You might not need to paint everything but take a look at the trim and front door to see if they could use an extra coat to spruce things up. Clean out your flower beds and trim bushes. Pressure wash your deck and put a fresh coat of stain on it. Every little thing you do creates a better impression and more curb appeal.
Real estate is an essential business, it continues to move forward. Take advantage of any “down-time” at home to make small changes that can result in achieving your real estate goals.