Is Listing Your Home During The COVID-19 Outbreak A Bad Idea?

Spring is a popular time to list a home and now that we’re officially there, you may be gearing up to put your home up for sale. However, given the health and financial crisis COVID-19 has created, you may be wondering whether now’s a good time to deal with the inconvenience of selling a home, not to mention the potential danger of having strangers come in to view your property. The answer? It really depends.

 

Why move forward with your listing?

Though rates have zigzagged in the past week or so and they’re currently quite competitive; many experts predict they’ll drop even lower in the coming weeks. With that being the case, many homebuyers will no doubt want to capitalize on those rates, in which case you may be in a good position to find a buyer should you decide to move forward with your home sale.

Furthermore, though there’s talk of COVID-19 spurring a full-blown recession, that has not happened yet. But we don’t know what the economy will look like three, six, nine, or 12 months from now. So, if you hold off on listing your home, you run the risk of doing so at a time when the housing market as a whole is down and you’re less likely to get the asking price you want.

Although there is less traffic on the market, we have seen that the people who do come out are real buyers rather than people just looking or filling their time on the weekends. As well, the home sellers have not listed their homes for sale as normal this Spring due to the virus, so less inventory equals less competition.

 

Why delay your home sale?

On the other hand, there’s one very good reason to hold off on listing your home right now: your personal safety. With the Center for Disease Control (CDC) warning Americans to socially distance to avoid exposure to germs, now’s really not the time to have people traipsing in and out of your home, touching your furniture, and breathing in your general vicinity.

Also, it’s generally a good idea to vacate your home during open houses or while Agents are showing your home to prospective buyers, but given the self-isolation mandate, there’s nowhere to go. This means picking up and leaving for hour-long stretches at a time, which is suddenly a much bigger ask.

Finally, many people are worried about their financial prospects even if their income has thus far held steady. Due to this, there is also a possibility that, if you try to sell your home now, you may struggle to find a buyer or one who has the money to give you the price you’re looking for.

 

Should you hold off on listing your home?

If you have a specific reason for selling your home — say, you’re already under contract to buy another one, you’re relocating, your property is vacant or you’ve been struggling with your mortgage for quite some time and want to get out before you find yourself to be underwater — then it could be a good idea to move forward with listing your home for sale, albeit with caution. On the other hand, if you’re not desperate to sell, then you’re probably better off waiting for a host of reasons, your health and safety is paramount.

Even if you’re not particularly worried about catching COVID-19, the fact that it has stunted life as we know it is jarring enough. The last thing you need during a period of nationwide upheaval is the hassle of having to deal with a home sale and moving.