COVID-19 - Should I sell?

Can I sell my home during COVID-19?

Yes, you can still sell your home or investment property.

The new rules to contain the spread of the coronavirus may have changed some of the ways we buy and sell real estate, but it is still business as usual. The industry has adjusted and made the switch to a virtual environment.

From now on, and for as long as the COVID-19 restrictions are in place, most activity will happen online. You will be able to get a virtual appraisal of your home, sign your documents electronically, conduct virtual tours and live viewings using video communication apps or software like FaceTime and Zoom, and sell your property by private treaty or virtual auction on a dedicated platform.

However, if you absolutely need to meet with your local real estate agent, or if a buyer wishes to inspect a property in person before potentially making an offer, this is still possible. You will be able to request one-on-one appointments, during which all government social distancing and hygiene measures will be strictly applied.

Are all the methods of sale still available to sell my property?

If you wish to list your home for sale, you will generally still have access to the three main methods of sale: by auction, by private treaty or by expression of interest (EOI).

The only and main difference is that auctions will now, and for as long as the coronavirus restrictions are in place, only be available virtually. Your property will be listed for sale on an online real estate auction portal, where the virtual auction will take place when the day comes to sell.

What are the best ways to promote my home for sale in this environment?

COVID-19 or not, online tools and resources should always make a big part of your marketing campaign. However, with the COVID-19 restrictions now in place, digital marketing has become the only way to promote your home for sale.

This doesn't mean that you won't be able to market your property as well as you would normally. On the contrary, you might even end up doing it better. Use all the resources available to you to create digital assets for your campaign: virtual tours, videos, floorplans, social media tiles, etc.

To promote them, think real estate portals such as, Domain or LJ Hooker, social media campaigns, email marketing. Word of mouth has not lost any of its efficiency, so call, text, or email your family, friends, neighbours, etc. As people are still allowed to get outside, a signboard in front of your property might also be useful.

As usual, your local real estate agent will be your best ally to guide you and create the best marketing campaign for your property.

How can I know how much my property is worth?

If you wish to sell your home but are unsure about its current value, the best way to figure it out is to get an appraisal from your local real estate agent. It will give you a precise indication of how much your property is worth.

Appraisals can now be done virtually by using video communication apps and software such as FaceTime, Zoom, or WhatsApp. They can also still be done in-person, as long as all the government social distancing and hygiene regulations are strictly respected.

If you would like a free expert property appraisal, get in touch today with your local LJ Hooker real estate agent. To make sure you feel safe and comfortable, we offer this service both in-person and virtually.

How will my real estate agent run home inspections with the COVID-19 restrictions in place?

You real estate agent will have three main options available to run home inspections:

  • Virtual tours and videos
  • Live viewings
  • One-of-one private inspection by appointment

Virtual tours and videos can sometimes be enough to give potential buyers all the information they need about the property.

Live viewings allow a more interactive experience, as they allow buyers to get immediate answers to all the questions they may have. The real estate agent will conduct these viewings using apps and software such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom or Facebook Live. Potentially, buyers will also be able to request private live viewings for a more personalised experience.

If a buyer really wishes to see the property in-person, then one-on-one private inspections are also available. These private inspections will be conducted following all government social distancing and hygiene regulations.

I've heard about online real estate auctions. How do they work and are they as efficient as "in-person" auctions?

Online or virtual real estate auctions have been around for years. They work the same way as in-person auctions, but give buyers the opportunity to bid in the comfort of their own home (or wherever they may be as long as they have access to the Internet). LJ Hooker has held many successful online auctions, and we expect to see a continued upward trend.

As the seller, you will be able to log into the virtual auction platform to follow the interactive bidding happening in real-time. Every step of the way, you will know exactly what is going on.

Increasingly, buyers appear comfortable bidding behind a screen. This can be because technology has always been an integral part of their lifestyle, or because they feel like it minimises the pressure that an in-person auction would put on them.

At the end of the day, the success of an auction comes down to the agent gathering the bidders, the vendor, and the stock.

As an example, LJ Hooker recently sold 22 Fowler Road, Merrylands (NSW). This property was auctioned virtually using the Auction Now platform. After 51 bids between 8 registered bidders online and via telephone, it finally sold for $1,251,000, which undoubtedly exceeded the owners' expectations. The buyer had inspected the property via a virtual tour at 9:30 pm the night before the auction.

Should I wait until after COVID-19 has passed to sell my home?

The real estate market is still very active. And, with less competition, there will always be opportunities for the sellers wishing to list or keep their home on the market.

Indeed, many potential buyers will be at home with time on their hands, connected to the Internet almost 24/7. They will have more time to spend looking at listings on real estate portals and websites. That means that if you do decide to sell, there will be a captive audience out there to view your property.

Moreover, thanks to interest rates at record lows, there will definitely be buyers looking to purchase a home or an investment property while there is also less competition for them.

In this new landscape, refining your selling strategy is imperative to achieve the best outcome possible. Working on this with your real estate agent will allow you to stay ahead of the competition and cultivate the best decision-ready buyers.

Key Takeaways

During COVID-19, private treaty and online auctions are the main ways to sell your home or investment property

Virtual tours and live viewings are the main ways to inspect a home, but in-person private inspections are also available

Social media and email marketing should be your main channels when it comes to marketing your home for sale

The market is still active with less competition from other sellers and buyers enjoying more time to house-hunt and record-low interest rates

If you are unsure about the worth of your home, you can request a free property appraisal with your local LJ Hooker real estate agent (virtual or in-person)

Rely on your local real estate agent to guide you through your selling journey


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DISCLAIMER - The information provided is for guidance and informational purposes only and does not replace independent business, legal and financial advice which we strongly recommend. Whilst the information is considered true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact the accuracy of the information provided. LJ Hooker will not accept responsibility or liability for any reliance on the blog information, including but not limited to, the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or links.