How to sell your house during a lockdown
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How to sell your house during a lockdown

We’re predicting that 2021 will continue to be a seller’s market in Ottawa due to high demand and low inventory. But don’t expect the home selling process to be a cakewalk - the pandemic has changed how homes are bought and sold and it’s vital that you adapt to the new style of showing your home, communicating with all players involved, and sealing the deal.

Let’s take a look at what you need to do differently during the pandemic, and specifically during periods of lockdown in order to sell your home.

Add multimedia to your photo gallery

Now more than ever, buyers want to fully explore your home online. Photos, no matter how professional, cannot offer the same immersive experience that multimedia presentations can.

The Bob Blake team uses multimedia photo albums to offer interactive 3D tours through your house to give buyers the immersive experience they crave. By navigating through the rooms of your home with their mouse, virtual guests get a real sense of the flow and feel of each space. We place the floor plan besides the 3D tour window so that homebuyers can easily identify exactly where each room is located while they are entering, exiting, or turning around to see the full 360-degree layout of the room.

Offer virtual tours instead of open houses

One of the biggest changes to how we sell homes since COVID-19 was introduced into our lives is the stoppage of in-person open houses. At varying times throughout the pandemic, real estate open houses have been prohibited under lockdown regulations. But even when they were allowed, we are finding that more and more buyers and realtors prefer to take virtual tours, especially for initial visits.

A virtual visit can be conducted by the homeowner or their real estate agent acting as host. With the potential buyer and/or their agent on the other end, platforms such as Zoom or Google Meets are used to host a live-streamed meet-up as you tour through your home and answer questions.

Sellers should keep their home immaculately clean and staged when their listing is active so that they’re ready to host a virtual tour at any time. When a request comes from an agent or potential buyer.

The stage for working and studying from home

A major change in how people use their houses during the COVID-19 is related to the increased need for workspaces within the home. In addition to people working from home and school being delivered online, many college and university students are moving back to their parents’ homes.

Especially during periods of lockdown, keep in mind that home buyers are in the same position as you and might be experiencing the difficulty of providing appropriate study and work areas for family members staying home 24/7.

Consider staging extra workspaces and study stations in your home, even if you don’t need them for your family so that virtual guests can see an immediate solution to their problem.

Be ready to communicate online

As different businesses and services change their way of doing things due to public health restrictions, it is important for home sellers to adapt to the new way of communicating and completing transactions as well. Every player in the home-selling process is likely to use online communication more and more, and the frequency of phone calls and in-person meetings will decline. The players include:

●      Your photographer

●      Home inspectors

●      Home appraisers

●      Mortgage brokers

●      Agents for potential buyers

●      Lawyers

We’re even starting to see closings move to online meetings, a process that relied heavily on pen and paper in a face to face meeting with a lawyer in the past.

Give yourself more time

Just like almost every other service we use on a daily basis from grocery shopping to needing to book a spot on outdoor ice rinks, real estate can take extra time during the pandemic. Home sellers should expect some delays from the key players we listed above who are working on limited or restricted schedules and are also juggling the new way of doing business and taking care of their families during the lockdown.

Don’t get discouraged. Homes are selling in Ottawa. By adding some new tactics and a touch of patience to your toolbox, you’ll be handing over the keys in no time!