Ask McEnearney: How Do I Sell A Home During This Coronavirus Environment?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Joan Shannon, Founder of The Shannon Group and Lifetime Diamond Award Top Producer with McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Joan at 703-507-8655 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: How do I sell a home during this coronavirus environment?

Answer: In good times and bad, there are few things more important to us then the place we call home. In uncertain times deciding to buy or sell a home can create increased angst and pressure on the individual that can influence the local real estate market. People who are being transferred in or out of the area may feel the greatest anxiety.

The limited inventory of houses available will, most likely, become even more limited as owners “hunker down and self-quarantine.” Buyers may reduce their number of physical viewings by also “hunkering down” or finding out that house hunting trips are not considered essential travel.

However, while these are extraordinary times, many practices can remain the same with a bit of tweaking. Sellers who are anxious about selling during this coronavirus challenge may find a bit of solace and opportunity in The Shannon Group’s Home Seller’s 11 Helpful Hints for success in today’s complex and jittery residential markets.

Home Seller’s 11 Helpful Hints:

  • Today more than ever, turn to trusted, local, experienced agents with a network of other agents who may be able to produce a timely purchaser, minimizing the home’s time on market.
  • As in ordinary times, have the home professionally cleaned to maximize the cleanliness factor, appearance and overall value of your home.
  • Ensure you have dozens of professional photos, videos and floor plans online to maximize social/traditional media exposure as physical viewing by the buyer may become more restricted.
  • Reconsider whether to conduct open houses where large groups of viewers may gather as “cabin fever” and warmer weather set in over the next few weeks. In recent months, listing agents have noted that some Old Town properties had 50 to 100 individuals walk through the home during a 2-hour open house.
  • Consider showing the home by appointment only with your agent and stagger showings by three hours.
  • Provide hand sanitizers and/or cleansing wipes as a considerate and practical act.
  • Remember, people who need to buy a house, still, need to buy a house and will most likely appreciate your consideration towards virus mitigation in spite of some inconvenience in scheduling.
  • In uncertain times, working with a real estate group/team provides additional team members to show your home to prospective purchasers throughout the week and can accommodate just about any owner’s and buyer’s scheduling needs.
  • Seek experienced agent with years of in-depth neighborhood and local housing knowledge who have expertise in producing successful home valuations over the decades of changing markets in Alexandria and surrounding areas.
  • Even if for just a few days, market your home in “Coming Soon” status to generate local agent/neighborhood/social media buzz. This enables you to get the word out to the market while you are finalizing your preparations.
  • Find the local listing agent who provides you honest and concise analysis on whether “to sell, buy OR stay put” — good advice is a soothing elixir in troubled times.

Remember, people who needed to buy a house before the virus outbreak, still need to buy a house and will appreciate your efforts to make your home available to them through enhanced digital methods as well as safe practices for all.

I am applying these hints to my new listing, a circa 1880 Old Town, 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath single family home, located at 109 S. Lee Street. This home has “everything Old Town” that buyers in the historic district desire. It is steps to the sights and sounds of King Street, one block to the Potomac River and Waterfront Park, has exposed beam ceilings, 3 fireplaces, original hardwood floors, streetscape wall murals, master bedroom breakfast room leading to a balcony, and a sunny, inviting stone-terraced garden and courtyard.

In this 21st Century, the country and Northern Virginia have weathered the 2008/2009 financial crisis and the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. Hopefully soon, the coronavirus crisis will meet its end. Until then, sellers should look to agents with hyperlocal expertise and experience to navigate home sales transactions to a successful closing.

Bring your home buying or selling needs and questions to The Shannon Group Old Town experts, Joan Shannon and Philip G. Matyas. Contact us to set up an appointment to view homes from Old Town to Mt. Vernon and beyond and to see how 40+ years of experience, local knowledge, integrity, dedication and care means success for you.

If you have any questions or comments or questions regarding this article please connect with us at Shannon-Group.com; [email protected] or call 703-507-8655. The owner of 109 S. Lee Street is a licensed Virginia Realtor.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria