Due to the current global COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of both buyers and sellers have taken a pause on real estate activity. Many home sellers are understandably concerned and are either holding off on listing their properties or are taking them off-market. And in many areas, families are either unable or unwilling to tour properties due to shelter-in-place orders or self-imposed quarantines. Potential homebuyers are also being affected by an uncertain job market and many families are delaying their decision to buy a home.
But while the current real estate situation might look bad, there is plenty of evidence that the market will recover with a strong rebound once COVID-19 and its effects are a thing of the past.
The current situation is primarily a health crisis, not a financial one. Interest rates are at record lows and are likely to remain this low for months to come. The availability of cheap credit helps with all areas of economic recovery, but the real estate sector is especially poised to benefit. Smart home buyers will take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and eventually the number of qualified buyers will increase once again.
So what can sellers do to help ensure they will be ready for a post-coronavirus real estate recovery? Here are some tips and recommendations on how to sell homes quickly and easily after COVID-19 is gone.
Optimize for mobile
Mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic in real estate search volume every year since 2016. And during the current COVID-19 lockdowns, homebuyers have sharpened their mobile skills even more with all the extended time on the couch. In 2020, the amount of real estate traffic from mobile has increased further, and these habits will carry over into the post-coronavirus world.
In addition to being the most common, mobile traffic is also a great source of high-quality leads. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, over 25% of home buyers will call a brokerage or agent while looking for houses on a mobile device! One of the most important things sellers and their agents can do to get more converts from mobile users is to make sure updated contact information is easily accessible to buyers.
Use a variety of online and offline strategies
Today’s home buyers often use multiple sources of information to research homes and will be especially eager to tour properties after COVID-19 closures are over. Sellers need to be prepared to cover all these important bases in order to maximize showings and get more agents talking to buyers face-to-face.
Studies show that buyers who research online are over 50% more likely to go to open houses compared to people who do not research online. Focusing on getting more online clicks and leads will be important than ever during and after COVID-19.
Make sure your agents are active online, now
Surprisingly, 75% of home buyers interview only one real estate agent during their home search. Quite often, the first agent that a buyer connects with will become the professional that the buyer will work with permanently throughout the entire home buying process. Agents should make it a point to keep their online profiles updated using high-quality portraits and make sure all their properties are listed online.
It also pays to keep in touch even after the sale. 41% of home buyers used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative. Having a large pool of active real estate agents available once things begin reopening will result in more referrals and more home sales. In the meantime, it would be beneficial for agents to use this time to reach out to clients and former clients to check in and request referrals to qualified buyers in their networks.
Invest in a better photography solution
The average home buyer will take about 3 months to select and purchase a home. In this time, they will have looked at hundreds of properties online but will only visit an average of 10 homes in person before making their decision. The disparity of these numbers will only become more dramatic in a post-coronavirus world. Even after economic reopenings, it is likely that home buyers and their agents will remain even more selective about which homes they choose to visit.
Sellers will need to work harder to ensure their listings stand out from the rest of the competition - especially once the backlog of pent-up inventory hits the market. In order to make the best possible first impression, sellers and their agents should consider using high-quality professional photos and virtual tours. Having these professional level visuals will better showcase a home’s selling points and increase the chances of a buyer visiting the property in person.
As proof that better photos will help sell more homes, The National Association of Realtors asked home buyers to rank what they considered to be the most useful information when searching for a home online. Not surprisingly, photography came out on top.
A Redfin study showed that home listings displaying professional photos sold faster and for higher amounts than those of sellers who did not utilize the skills of a professional photographer.
Ready to take your photography to the next level and make a real impact on your bottom line? Contact Snappr today to learn how we can provide you with the best real estate photos on the market.