If you’ve been watching the hot housing market we’ve had for several years and are planning to put your home on the market, we have some good news for you.
“Home sales are as hot as ever, and in fact, they’ve actually increased during COVID,” says Laurie Ralston, Marketing Director at Kingwood Senior Living. “We are in the middle of a very strong seller’s market, which means that if you’re ready to sell or have been wondering if now is the time to sell – the answer is yes.”
According to ReeceNichols, housing inventory is down by 37.7% compared to the same time last year. Add the great interest rates we’re seeing these days (around 3%), and it’s no wonder that home-buyers are entering the market in droves … and driving up home values.
“The average selling price continues to rise, thanks to the low interest rates and strong market conditions,” says Penny Borel and Donna Bukovac, licensed Realtors® with ReeceNichols. “Your home may be worth more than you think. Since we’re entering what is the new peak selling season for the year (summer), now is the time to strike while the iron’s hot. That’s especially true in Kansas City, where inventory continues to be low and demand continues to be high. In other words, COVID isn’t going to stop the housing market. Far from it, in fact.”
However, COVID does necessitate a slight change in the way people buy, sell and show homes. “Sellers these days are going to have to meet buyers where they are, which – no surprise – is online,” says Penny & Donna. “Just as we’ve seen technological innovations in the business space that have enabled workers to work from home while still producing, the real estate market is rising to the occasion with virtual workarounds that are the next best thing to actually touring the house themselves.”
The Importance of Online Presence
These days, the majority of home buyers – upwards of 90% – begin their home search online. That means your online listings have to do the heavy lifting to get buyers interested and literally in your door. And it means making sure your home presents well online with high-quality photos, appropriate keywords in the listing and being ranked appropriately to get more eyes on your home.
One of the newest and hottest ways to get people virtually through your door is with video tours and 3D scans that create an “open house” experience. These technologies allow buyers to actually “walk through” your home, giving them an idea of the flow of your space and exactly what photo aligns with what room in your home.
Other tools that realtors and sellers are using are virtual staging, FaceTime showings with the buyers’ agent (one person live-streaming a walk-through means fewer bodies in the house, but just as many eyes), as well as e-document services like DocuSign, Zoom, Google hangouts and other virtual file-sharing options.
Making the Most of In-Person Tours
Still, most buyers want to physically walk through a home before they make an offer on a house. Following basic safety precautions will ensure buyers and you remain safe and healthy during the sale and throughout closing.
Make health and safety easy. Many realtors these days are instituting precautions on the homes they’re selling, such as having hand sanitizer available, shoe coverings, requiring masks and gloves during showings and the like. Making it easier for potential buyers to keep up their safety levels will go a long way and be a great gesture of goodwill.
Be open to “alternative” options. Consider hosting a “virtual open house” to get more eyes on your home and open the field up to as many buyers as possible. While this may seem a little awkward, it’s really the best of both worlds. If this sounds like an option to you, chat with your agent to get his or her take on what would be the best platform for your audience.
Make sure your home is set to show – even if it’s just a video tour. One of the first things that Realtors tell buyers is to keep their home as spotless as possible. A dirty home can subconsciously turn off buyers, and even though videos can hide a lot of sins, treat every virtual tour as if you had detectives with magnifying glasses going over every square inch of your place.
Embrace ambiguity. You may find yourself having to be flexible with closings, signing paperwork and the like. While it may not be the way you sold homes in the past, look at it as a learning opportunity and a chance to try out the newest technologies in the marketplace today.
Work with a licensed Realtor. It’s always good to work with an expert when you’re selling possibly your largest asset – a home. It’s predicted that consumers likely will depend more on their real estate agent than ever before to coordinate information, manage tours and showings and so much more.
“COVID-19 isn’t going to stop people from buying and selling homes, although it may change how, where, when and why we buy,” says Penny & Donna. “By working with a forward-thinking agent and utilizing the latest technology, buyers and sellers can make a smart investment in their long-term health and happiness.”
Watch our Virtual Real Estate Update
Last month, Penny and Donna hosted a very informative virtual presentation for our guests. They discussed current market conditions and insider tips on making the most of your move. Watch the presentation for yourself by clicking here!
Welcome to Kansas City’s Senior Living Sweet Spot.
Inspired senior living at Kingswood means living the retirement lifestyle you want – and deserve. We take care of most routine chores and maintenance, so you can keep enjoying all the things you love about living in Kansas City. And you have more time to try new things, have new adventures.
All of the activities and amenities are here to do more than just keep you busy. They’re here to enhance your whole life. It’s an intentional, holistic approach that helps you live healthier and happier. And, of course, you have plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like spending time with friends and family.
Our Life Plan community offers all levels of care right on-campus, from Independent Living and Assisted Living to Memory Support, Short-term Rehabilitation and Long-term Care. Kingswood is a Life Plan Community (also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community). This is an outstanding senior living value because you are assured access to care in the comfort of familiar surroundings. When combined with our maintenance-free lifestyle, a Life Plan Community represents an affordable option providing value beyond your current home and other senior living community offerings … and peace of mind for a lifetime.