So you've decided to sell! Excellent choice. For all the reasons we've been talking about over the last couple weeks, it seems to me that this really is a great time to put your home on the market. We have talked about what upgrades you could do to attract potential buyers as well as how best to show your home through static pictures as well as virtual tours. You've got this! Today, I'd like to focus on the ever-present cloud of unrest that appears to be lingering over our heads since the new year. What are the steps we can take to sell our home during a pandemic. Honestly, there are some great ways to "tweak" your home and get it sold! Let's dive in.
This first one is going to make a ton more sense in about 8 months. That is to upgrade or at least tidy up your outdoor space. As most of the top half of our country is already feeling fall creeping in, outdoor space is not going to be all that important in a few weeks. That said, this pandemic has forced most of us to spend a ton more time at home and thus we all need a bit of respite from the inevitable cabin fever. You don't have to rush out and throw a hot tub in your backyard (although, I can tell you they are amazing after a day on the slopes!) but small changes can make a big impression on buyers.
For those of us up north, adding an in-ground fire pit and even one or two of those gas heaters can change the personality of your backyard overnight. The propane heaters are a very hot item right now, so you may want to start looking. Restaurants are gobbling them up faster than stores can keep them in stock. In keeping with that warmer tone, add a couple area rugs to your outdoor space as well. It makes it more comfortable overall and you can keep your cozy slippers on! Anything you can do to make that space warmer and more welcoming during those chilly evenings is going to help.
The next area we have covered pretty extensively over the last few weeks. That doesn't diminish the importance of this area at all. You really do need to have a dedicated space for work and school. "I strongly recommend sellers stage at least one room as a work space for office or school," notes Badger Realty agent, Peter Pietz. "Nearly everyone we talk to these days puts that at the top of their 'needs' list when looking for a home," he continued.
And being able to close off that space is equally important. If your home doesn't have the actual space for multiple work spots, consider room dividers as an alternative. These can be quickly taken down if you need the full room, but create a spot where one person can be gabbing on the phone with clients while the other is learning algebra (gag!). Just having the potential for multiple work locations is important to buyers. Look around your home and see where you can create these spots.
Every morning, for the last 10+ years, I spend 10-15 minutes doing some yoga and stretching. I honestly don't know how anyone over 40 can make it through their day without stretching! I'm fortunate that I don't need much space for this. It's literally just my mat and me. For today's buyers, it might make sense for you to highlight the potential of a room for workouts. Simply adding a couple workout mats, some free weights and some sort of cardio trainer (bike or treadmill) is enough. You don't need to pick up the phone and order that "all-in-one" gym you saw on late-night TV. Just make the space available for a workout with some basic equipment. This is also a perfect room to make dual-purpose with an office and a gym!
If you are fortunate enough to have some sort of in-law suite, first of all, I'm jealous. I have looked for homes with this feature before and they are a smidge out of my price range. That said, if you DO have this space, now is the time to spruce it up and highlight it. Not only are people much more likely to invite guests over if they have external (or at least separate) space, lots of people are out of work and are looking for additional sources of income. The in-law suite is the perfect solution for both. Whatever you can do to make this space fully self-sufficient will make a huge difference. A kitchenette, a bathroom, and even a small laundry unit will help your guests feel more welcome and comfortable.
It does not appear that we're going to be "back to normal" anytime soon. If you are thinking of selling, give your real estate professional a call and start looking around your home for areas that could be improved and highlighted for today's buyers. You'll be glad you did!