Is Selling Your Home During The COVID-19 Outbreak A Bad Idea?
In any normal year, spring would be a great time to sell your property.
However, 2020 has been everything but normal. The current COVID-19 outbreak has understandably made people uncertain.
Even people looking to sell a house fast might well be wondering if now is the right time to be selling a property. On top of the usual headaches of making a deal, you’ll have the additional economic and health worries the virus brings with it. However, there could be some benefits of selling your property in the current environment.
The Government has urged people involved in property deals to increase their flexibility and adjust their practices in lock-down so social distancing rules can be upheld. They have declared property transactions should not be abandoned and chains should be kept in contact as long as all parties agree to wait until the lock-down is lifted.
Let’s look at some complications, advantages, and disadvantages of listing your property in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reasons to List Your Property
Mortgage rates have been zigzagging for a while, but at the moment they are competitive and are predicted to drop further in the upcoming weeks. Buyers may be keen to take advantage of those rates. This could make it easier for you to find buyers if you sell your home.
As things stand, the financial impacts COVID-19 hasn’t struck. Most believe it will slow the economy, but it’s not clear yet if it will cause a full-blown recession. We don’t really know what the economy will be like after 12, nine, six or even three months’ time. If you hold off selling your property, you could potentially sell in a far less attractive housing market. When the market is down, you are more likely to get offers below what you are asking for.
Reason to Delay Selling Your Property
However, there is one powerful reason you might think about delaying the sale of your property: your health and safety. The Centers for Disease Control are still warning people to socially-distance in order to reduce the chances of coming into contact with the virus. Now is not the ideal time for having conversations with frequent visitors looking around and touching surfaces in your home.
Most agents will advise you to leave your home while potential buyers are viewing. In this climate, it will be more problematic as people are on lockdown, and most shops and businesses are closed. This could leave you circling the block or sitting in car parks for hours at a time.
Another reason to consider delaying your sale is the insecurity in the job market. Although at the moment many people’s jobs and income has held steady, the public are still being cautious with their finances. This could mean sellers have a hard time finding buyers willing to part with their cash.
Should You Hold off Listing Your Property?
There are some reasons you should go ahead with listing your property: if you’ve signed a contract to purchase another one, changing location due to work, or you’ve been having problems paying your mortgage and want to escape the payments before they overpower you.
Conversely, for health reasons, you might be better off waiting if you were never that desperate to sell, anyway. Even if the possibility of contracting COVID-19 doesn’t particularly scare you, there are other factors the virus has caused which may make you postpone your home sale. Most people are stressed enough without adding a property sale into the mix.
How to Do Viewings
Properties already on the market will still be advertised- mostly through portals, like property websites and social media sites. Potential buyers can schedule viewing for when the lock-down is finished, and you may want to prepare a virtual tour to improve their experience.
How to Accept Offers
All the processes for selling your property are still operating as normal- except without storefronts. Agents will still advertise properties and will accept offers on your behalf. The process itself may take slightly longer than usual, and vendors will not invite people into your home.
How to Exchange Contracts
When contracts are exchanged, the property purchase becomes legally binding. According to the government’s advice, the move can continue if the property is empty. However, if the property has tenants, and there is a stay-at-home request, then the exchange should be put on hold until the request has been withdrawn.
Looking to Get on the Market?
It’s still possible to enter the market, but the process will involve more seller and technology involvement. Video conferences and social media will play a large role in selling your property. However, there will need to be at least one face-to-face meeting before the property can be entered into the market.
Impacts on Scheduled Completions
The Government and companies involved in the property market want renters and buyers show a willingness to delay moving into properties until stay-at-home requests are lifted. By communicating with all parties, they are hopeful people that have exchanged contracts can make an agreement to set a new date to complete their move.
Moving house has not been judged unnecessary, but those shielding, self-isolating or showing symptoms of the virus should follow medical guidelines and not move property at this time. If buyers form part of a chain, they are asked to work together to find an agreeable solution for everyone involved.
Selling property is never simple, virus or no virus, but We Buy Any Home are here to help you sell your home quickly and easily.