The past year has seen so much upheaval globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An unexpected effect of this in the local countryside real estate market has been a significant uptick in sales, and corresponding reduction in available inventory. The net result has been property value increases and bidding wars being the norm, rather than the exception.
Recently, the respected Loudoun County, Virginia magazine, Leesburg Lifestyle magazine arranged an interview at the Hunt Country Sotheby’s International Realty Leesburg main office with my industry friend and colleague, Debbie Meighan of Washington Fine Properties and myself.
With COVID restrictions still in effect throughout the country, open houses and in-person showings may be off the table for sellers. Even states where these activities are allowed, selling a home can feel risky. So how can you make sure the right buyers see your home without sacrificing your health or sense of well-being? Well you can start by using these tips to stage your home and get it ready to “wow” potential buyers during online tours and showings.
Deep Clean Everything From Top to Bottom
If you anticipate that your home will be shown in person, cleaning for COVID is essential for your family’s health and safety. So be sure to clean every surface in your home after each showing, or have a professional take care of this cleaning for you. Even if you only plan on showing your home online, cleaning will be crucial for making a good first impression on potential buyers.
Since you won’t have to be as worried about killing germs and viruses, you can use effective homemade cleaners to complete this sort of deep clean, using safe and effective ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You can make a non-toxic wood cleaner using olive oil, vinegar and water, or a high-power window cleaner by mixing dish soap, vinegar and water.
Spend Downtime on DIY Improvements
If you’re stuck at home, you may have a lot of free time on your hands. So why not put that extra time to good work by making a few improvements to your home? Some do-it-yourself upgrades that can help your home sell faster and for more money include refreshing the master bathroom, making over the kitchen or even repainting your front door.
Projects that enhance curb appeal can also help your home stand out in online showings, so spend some time cleaning up your landscaping as well. Curb appeal is crucial for attracting serious buyers to your listing but improving curb appeal can also help increase your home value. In addition to sprucing up your landscaping, make any needed repairs to your roof, driveway, and other exterior features.
Find Quiet Ways to Keep Kids Distracted
Having kids at home quarantining with you can make staging and selling your home slightly more challenging. For one, having kids playing and making noises in the background of a virtual tour can be distracting to potential buyers. So before you schedule any tours or showings, you will need to have a plan to keep your kids occupied and out of the way. Setting your kids up with a tablet in a tucked away room can be a simple way to prevent these distractions but you may want to pick up some top-rated headphones to keep the noise level to a minimum.
Of course, keeping things organized can also be a challenge for sellers who have kids at home, but Vogue offers a few tricks you can use to keep your home tidy, even with kids who love to make a mess. For instance, you can designate one area for playing, and keep bins handy for last minute tidy-ups. Make things as easy on yourself as possible by keeping clutter confined!
Discuss Safe Selling Options with a Real Estate Agent
There are plenty of DIY staging tips and tricks you can use to get your home ready wow buyers. From deep cleaning to boosting curb appeal, these projects can be a productive way to kill some extra time in lockdown. If you are serious about selling your home, however, you really need to work with an experienced real estate agent like Peter Leonard-Morgan, who can guide you through this process. He has all of the latest information on COVID-safe selling practices and real estate trends in your local area, which can help you make smarter decisions when it comes to staging and selling your home. Plus your agent can walk you through using various online tools to sell your home, which can include 3D walkthroughs, virtual tours and even contactless closings.
Honestly, using the right agent can save you a lot of hassle and headache if you need to sell your home during the pandemic. So start by hiring a real estate agent you can trust and then use the rest of the tips and tricks above to prep and stage your home to impress potential buyers.
Photo Credit: Pexels
Peter writes for his local magazine, Country Zest & Style, as its Wine Editor. He also enjoys writing blogs on interesting and pertinent real estate matters, so please follow!