Times being what they are, it’s hardly surprising that we’re fielding innumerable calls from panicked clients asking they should sell their homes immediately. It’s understandable. Anyone who was even thinking about selling—and certainly anyone who had already begun preparations—is feeling the pressure of financial news that seems to worsen by the day. Exactly how it will all effect the real estate market is anyone’s guess, but the feeling seems to be that it might be wisest to sell in case things are about to go from bad to worse.
The short answer is: don’t sell. If you’re able to wait, you should wait. There are a number of reasons we’re advising this. Some of them have to do with the spread of Covid-19, others have to do with getting the most for your home. But all of them are worth considering.
You may have heard that real estate brokerages have been deemed “essential personnel” by the state and federal authorities. This designation has been met with some consternation within the real estate industry. While we recognize that there will always be those buyers and sellers with an urgent need to make a move (lease termination, relocation for a new job, financial pressures), many of our clients simply do not fit into this category.
At a time when everyone from elected officials to health experts to sequestered celebrities are urging us all to stay home—and laying out for us in stark detail the risk represented by Covid-19—showing homes, viewing homes, and holding open houses is frankly unconscionable. You don’t need to be an expert to know that bringing a string of new people into your home is the very opposite of the social distancing we know is essential to curbing the spread of the virus.
Consider, also, how the current situation will negatively affect the sale of your home, and how waiting will benefit you:
- There are buyers in the market right now, but the number is far reduced from what we’ll see under more normal market conditions
- The spring market 2020 started early as a result of a mild winter; even if we don’t get back to some kind of normal until end of May, that still leaves plenty of time to sell your home
- Real estate transactions are complicated now for a number of reasons: unstable lending; closure of legal and government offices; and the general challenges of doing what has always been personal business during a time when no one can meet
- The financial uncertainty of the near-future makes buyers more cautious than ever
Our message is clear. If you have an urgent need to sell your home, we will work with you to figure out how to do so successfully and safely. But, if your need is not urgent, please, take a deep breath and know that when the dust settles, we are here for you and we will sell your home for you.