As a Pacific Northwest home buyer or seller you might be wondering if you should move forward with your real estate plans, or wait until after Covid-19? As Washington and Oregon (as of May 2020) are still facing regional re-openings from shelter-in-place orders, there are a few strategies to keep in mind so you can stay proactive about your goals to buy or sell — whether that’s now, or post-Covid-19.
Know the market
Realtors in Tacoma, WA and across the Pacific Northwest will advise you that it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the market when you are getting ready to buy or sell, and that especially holds true now, when we are living in unprecedented economic times and markets can change quickly. When it comes to Washington state, the real estate market is currently very hot, pointing to a seller’s market, according to Zillow. If you are looking to sell, now may be the ideal time. The median home value in Washington is $428,896, while values have gone up 6.6% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will fall -0.5% within the next year. In Oregon, the market is a bit less favorable to sellers, considered warm, according to Zillow. The median home value in Oregon is $372,868, while values have gone up 3.5% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will fall -1.5% within the next year — buyers might consider waiting.
For sellers: Get your home ready for buyers
It is likely that you have never spent as much time in your home as you have during the last couple of months. What better time for home improvement projects and getting your space ready to show off to potential buyers? While now is not the time to go through an entire kitchen or bathroom remodel, you can focus on the smaller details that can make a difference. You can give your yard a little TLC, by weeding, trimming hedges, or planting bright spring flowers. You can also consider doing some DIY home staging, moving furniture around and changing lighting to create a space that will be inviting for potential buyers. Another easy upgrade is giving the interior of your home a fresh coat of paint — even if it’s just updating an accent wall, or trim.
For buyers: Research your dream home
Maybe you wanted to buy a new home before Covid-19 hit, or maybe all that time at home has you rethinking your current home and dreaming about what you need from your next one. Now is the time to imagine the possibilities. Chef’s kitchen? Soaking tub? A yard for the kids and your dog to enjoy? Make your list and research how much this dream might cost you. Another advantage about spending more time at home now is that you are likely in a better position to save, without the extra expenses of dining out, vacations, or gasoline and tolls for your daily commute.
As it’s unclear how long social distancing practices will remain the norm, buyers and sellers need to get comfortable with the idea of going virtual. For buyers, that means that you may be seeing your new home on the screen of your laptop or mobile device before you view it in-person. An advantage is that even if you don’t want to buy now, you can research homes virtually to see what you might be looking for later. Sellers will want to work with their realtors to prepare a virtual home tour, which can take the place of in-person open houses or tours. In fact, fully-scripted and carefully orchestrated virtual showings are one of the top selling tips for agents selling safely near you.
Above all, staying proactive is about keeping calm by doing what you can to stay focused on your real estate goals and how to achieve them, even during these uncertain times.
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