Can I sell my home during the Coronavirus Pandemic?

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Yes, you can sell your home during the coronavirus pandemic in Minnesota. When Governor Walz issued stay-at-home orders real estate was declared an essential service. Life’s basic needs are food, water, and shelter. Since real estate is providing shelter, it seems logical real estate should be an essential service.

The photo above shows a family currently busy helping their parents get the house where they have lived for 57 years ready to sell. One of their daughters told us that the coronavirus shutdown has actually made it much easier, because they have time to deal with things. It nevertheless is a big job whenever you sell and move… and some things have changed because of the coronavirus.

How does this whole process work during the COVID-19 situation?

More than ever during the coronavirus pandemic, what we do is tailored to individual needs and concerns, with everyone’s health and safety as highest priority. Below is a basic overview of how we are handling listing homes during the pandemic, it could be different for different agents.

Consultations are conducted virtually whenever possible, utilizing phone, email, video (Zoom, Facetime or similar). All face-to-face meetings require only essential people present, with face masks, hand sanitizer/gloves.

  1. Contact us to discuss your situation and decide how you feel most comfortable moving forward
  2. Sign initial representation documents, most often with electronic signing emailed to you from your agent which you can e-sign from your smart phone or computer
  3. We will arrange for a professional staging consult to develop an action list of what to do to get your home ready to sell (paid for by us as part of the service we provide)
    • Not a face-to-face visit at this time
      • Either follow protocol to take pictures with your phone of the exterior house from each side and yard from every corner; same goes for taking interior photos of every room from every corner; stager Shar Sitter of Rooms with Style will prepare written recommendations for the exterior/yard and every room in your house
      • OR schedule a time for a video (Facetime, Zoom, or similar) walkthrough of your home with Shar for interactive recommendations and questions
    • Request a cost estimate for bringing in furnishings to stage your home when vacant if desired
  4. Decide whether to prepare your home for showings with your own furnishings, vacant, or staged with stager’s furnishings and accessories (Shar will provide a detailed estimate); allow for 3 days with no one in the house both before bringing in staging and before removing it; photo below is of a home she recently staged… this home had been on the market last year and some potential buyers had seen it before, commenting how much better it looked with current staging… they had multiple offers the first weekend on the market1755 Lincoln – living1
  5. Schedule any required city inspections
  6. Arrange for fixups/repairs/updates as decided upon (we can give recommendations for workers if needed)
  7. Declutter/downsize/pack depending on how you decide to present your home
    • This is often the hardest part of the process
    • We can give recommendations for professional help if neededclutter1
  8. Sign the rest of the listing papers, prepare info about the house and decide how you want to allow showings
    • Open houses are not allowed at this time due to social distancing
    • Decide how you want to restrict showing times… only one showing can be scheduled at a time… no overlapping showings
    • You can allow potential buyers to physically come into your home for showings, or allow virtual showings only via Facetime or similar… conducted by buyer’s agent, you, or your listing agentshowing masks
    • Notes to agent can include instructions such as the following…
      • Please ensure that no one who is showing any signs of illness, has been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 or traveled to any high risk areas enters the home
      • If anyone is ill, please request a virtual showing conducted by buyer’s agent or arranged by listing agent
      • Please use a face mask and sanitize hands or wear gloves
      • There should be minimal touching, with the person opening doors, etc wearing gloves
      • Only 1-2 decision-makers should be present at the showing, with no children present
  9. Schedule photo shoot
    • No one should be present for the shoot except the photographer
    • All lights should already be turn on and all window coverings opened
  10. List in the MLS, starting with Coming Soon if desired
  11. If you decide to allow physical showings, sanitize surfaces such as door knobs, handles and countertops after each showing if possible
  12. When you get an offer, review and discuss via phone or video chat and sign electronically rather than meeting face-to-face if possible
  13. Buyer inspections are done alone by the inspector only, with no one else present
  14. Same goes for appraisals, and some appraisals are even being allowed via driveby only during this time
  15. Closings are conducted with the seller pre-signing and only the signing buyer(s) and closer present at the actual closing to keep social interaction to a minimum

Only you know whether it makes sense for you to sell during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Homes are still being bought and sold, and at this point a continued shortage of homes for sale is keeping prices stable.

Give me a call or shoot me an email with your questions… we are here to help!

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – shensrud@homesmsp.com

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I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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