How To Prepare Your Shoreline House For Sale Post-Pandemic

So we’ve lived through the corona virus pandemic, masks, demonstrations and destruction in downtown Seattle and now they say this is the “new normal” – maybe . . . maybe not.  I like to think I’ll be smiling at my neighbors mask-free one day again soon.  Now, maybe you are wondering whether its time to put up your Seattle house for sale and what to expect in this brave new real estate market.

After all the changes and upheaval, one thing is certain: people are now a lot more health-conscious and health “cautious.” And that applies to home buyers as well as the folks venturing out to the grocery stores and businesses again. This means, then, that the real estate terrain has been altered too, especially for Seattle home sellers. So let’s see what you need to do now to prepare your Shoreline house for sale post-pandemic.

Clean and Disinfect . . . Often

How To Prepare Your Shoreline House For Sale Post Pandemic

Sure, de-cluttering and deep cleaning are standard steps in preparing your Shoreline house for sale. But now, post-pandemic, you have to take it a step or two further and do it repeatedly.

Not only should you clean your home, but you also need to disinfect as many surfaces as you can. And then make sure potential buyers know that the house has been disinfected. And you need to do this especially when it comes to showing – both before and after.

If you want to sell your house after coroa virus, know that there is not much competition - very few home are for sale in Seattle now.
Potential home buyers will feel more comfortable visiting your home if they know you are keeping it clean and disinfected.

Here’s what real estate pros recommend: “While you should always clean your home before showings, these days, this task is taking on a new level of importance. Be sure to clean your home as thoroughly as you can before and after any scheduled showings in order to create the safest possible environment for everyone involved. You may also want to have a selection of personal hygiene products like hand sanitizer available for buyers to use while they are viewing your home.”

Open Houses Have Changed

Are real estate open houses a good idea in Seattle, WA after the coronavirus pandemic?
We can discuss whether an open house is a good strategy for your home depending on safety measures in place in this post-pandemic period.

Although their effectiveness has been debated, open houses have been an integral part of a home selling for a long time. Now, though, preparing your Shoreline house for sale post-pandemic means potentially skipping these gatherings. While I am still happy to host open houses for my clients, many buyers feel concerned about the idea of large social gatherings. Wearing masks, social distancing and limiting the number of people in the house at one time are now part of the standard operating protocol.

Larger gatherings with people in close proximity are simply not a good idea {if they are allowed at all). During an open house, there is simply no good way to control how many people come into your home and how they behave while there. Industry pros recommend canceling such events and relying on other methods and tactics to sell your home.

Take Precautions for In-Person Showings

In-person showings are now being kept to a minimum due to the preferences of some buyers and sellers, but there will still be the inevitable few – hopefully serious – buyers who are ready to see your Seattle-area house in person. In those cases, you should prepare for and take extra precautions.

Selling a house after coronavirus
One of the coronavirus recommendations from experts is to sanitize “high touch” areas like door knobs before and after showing your home.

Real estate pros advise sellers to “to clean and disinfect high-touch areas, like countertops and doorknobs, and to leave lights on and doors, closets, and cabinets open to limit what visitors need to touch. And, put a sign on the front door requesting people viewing the home to take off their shoes.” They also recommend making hand sanitizer and soap available with signs encouraging hand-washing. Once the showing is over, clean and disinfect thoroughly to lower your exposure risk to whatever the buyers may have brought in with them.

Your agent can provide valuable assistance with these in-person showings. Your agent can – and should – vet buyers and eliminate the tire kickers. (There’s no sense risking exposure for a buyer who isn’t serious. You can be more or less strict about this depending on your own personal level of health concerns and risk tolerance.) A good agent will ensure that buyers are-approved, have taken the virtual tour, and have read the disclosure. To discuss this with a local agent, call (206) 395-6262.

Get Ready for Virtual Marketing

An important piece of what you need to do now to prepare your Shoreline house for sale post-pandemic involves gearing up for virtual marketing. While this means primarily online video home tours, you also need to consider a couple of other virtual marketing tactics.

Online virtual tours real estate agent Seattle, WA
Digital marketing is even more important in this post-corona virus pandemic period, as potential buyers depend more upon finding real estate for sale online.

Since in-person open houses are now out of favor, virtual open houses are really coming into their own. A virtual open house will still allow you to showcase your home’s best features to as many buyers as possible. Just be sure to contact your agent so that you can get the virtual staging right.

A new tactic in virtual marketing is the agent-led video tour. This is a digital tour “with a sales agent talking about what makes the house unique, special or perfect for an incoming family… It’s one thing to view a video that shows an upscale kitchen. It’s quite another thing to be able to ask an agent in real-time via online video when the chef-quality stove was installed and if the counter is marble, granite, or quartz. In this case, video isn’t the only medium to deliver a message; an agent can offer additional content via the spoken word.” Basically we are doing a zoom meeting from the house, or we can pre-record a professional video tour of the home and include a voice-over explaining the highlights of your home.

Prepare for a Remote Closing

Another growing post-pandemic phenomenon in real estate is the remote closing. When you have a Shoreline house for sale and you reach that final stage, you can do most of it with little risky contact.

Here’s how remote closing works: “If remote closing is possible, title companies prepare the required documents and mail or email them to you (or upload them to a portal). The title company verifies personal information and identification by video, and the documents are signed electronically. Another option is using a mobile notary, who travels to a buyer or seller’s home or workplace to complete the closing to limit in-person contact.”

For all of my out of state investment properties, I typically do a remote closing with a mobile notary. Honestly, it is faster and easier than going in to the title company. The primary disadvantage is that no one is there if you have questions about the paperwork, but you can always call or schedule a zoom meeting to handle this contingency.

Find an Agent Who Knows What to Do

You can still sell your home after the coronavirus pandemic.
Outlaws or concerned citizens? Emily Cressey is the notorious leader of the Cressey gang… if you need to see her please call (206) 395-6262.

Ultimately, if you want to make sure you cover everything you need to do now to prepare your Shoreline house for sale post-pandemic, you need an agent who takes this seriously and who knows what to do.  Your agent should have a firm grasp of virtual marketing and remote, digital closing. To find out how our qualified agents can help you during this difficult period, just give us a call at (206) 395-6262 or send us a message!

Emily Cressey

Emily Cressey is a real estate broker residing in Lake Forest Park, WA who services the Greater Seattle area including Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Lynnwood, Kenmore, Bothell and Edmonds, WA.

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