The Most Clever Tips Real Estate Agents Shared With Us

This year was unique for home buying and sales, with virtual shows, no-touch tours, and low interest rates. Our real estate agents were there for us throughout the whole process despite price increases and uncertainty. Please find out the top three tips that they gave us in 2020.

Sell your house vacant instead of staging it.

Furniture-filled spaces tend to sell well. Furniture can make a room look bigger and give a buyer ideas about how to utilize the space. During the pandemic, furniture could mean more exposure to the virus. Gerard Splendore is a broker at Warburg Realty, New York. He told us that in August, it was better to show a vacant home than stage the house.

This 425-square-foot Brooklyn studio apartment feels larger. The video player is currently playing an advertisement. The ad can be skipped in just 5 seconds with either a keyboard or mouse. Splendore stated that an empty apartment was much easier to show because the agent did not have to work around the schedules of the residents or occupants. It also eliminates having to clean the bathrooms and kitchen, or store clutter. A vacant apartment is available to be viewed at any time, anywhere, 24/7. Plus, there’s no risk of exposure to viruses.

Lowballing your offer won’t help you get a deal.

Some buyers believed that homes sold during pandemics would be naturally cheaper because those in need would try to sell their homes as quickly as possible. Real estate agents tell us that this is not the case.

Michelle Mumoli, CEO of Mumoli Group and realtor at Triplemint in Hoboken, N.J., told us in May that “high-interest rates are what bring down the value of the property, not a crisis.”

Katrina DeWit is a real estate agent at Engel & Volkers, Minneapolis. She agreed and said that a lowball bid could kill the sale instantly.

DeWit explained that “starting out too low could risk offending the sellers to the point where they will not continue to negotiate even if they are willing to raise your price. They likely have both a financial and sentimental worth accrued to their home.”

Check if the home you are viewing is pandemic-friendly

The fact that we are stuck at home more often than not has taught us something: we need more room than we ever thought. Real estate agents told us this year that buyers were gravitating more toward homes that are pandemic-friendly–in other words, homes where you don’t have to use your bedroom for an office or your dining room for a Zoom Room.

John Romito of Heart & Home Real Estate, based in Eugene, Ore., told us that in November, “Most potential homebuyers look for homes with a dedicated office space as opposed to repurposing a room or basement.

Other unique features are also sought by buyers: a separate room for packages to keep constant deliveries from disrupting the living area, a dedicated half-bath for guests, or a playroom for children.

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