After the initial lockdown led many businesses to shut their doors, places are starting to reopen now that restrictions are being lifted. But even with phased reopening, one thing we can count on is that all businesses are operating a little different these days. The real estate world is no exception, which means sellers are using more digital tools in lieu of traditional open houses. If you’re wondering how that works (and how on earth a buyer is going to fall in love with your home through a video), don’t worry! Here’s everything you need to know about safely selling your home in today’s market.

Cleaning and Decluttering

If you’ve sold a home before, you know how important it is to make your home look as appealing as possible. This rule of thumb holds true for selling during a pandemic too, and if anything, it may be even more essential now. The first thing you should do is pack away tchotchkes and anything else personal, and then declutter room by room. The next step is to do a deep cleaning, including every nook and cranny. You may even want to hire professional cleaners, but if you do it yourself, this cleaning checklist from The Spruce will help ensure you don’t overlook anything.

You’ll also want to stock up on cleaning products so that you can do quick cleanups before showings (and after anyone outside your family has been in your home). Of course, everyone else is stocking up on cleaning products now, too, but if they’re in short supply where you shop, it’s easy to make natural cleaning solutions yourself. DIY cleaning solutions smell much nicer than harsh chemical cleaners, and they’re made with basic ingredients that you may already have on hand. For example, all you need to cut grease is some borax and a lemon, and to give your home a fresh smell, you can make an air freshener with citrus fruits, herbs, and spices.

Home Improvements and Staging

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, and when that first look takes place through a virtual tour, it’s worth going the extra mile to make it count. This is why you should also think about home improvements and staging—starting with curb appeal. To get great curb appeal, make sure you stay on top of basic lawn maintenance, including getting rid of weeds. Then focus on exterior improvements that will catch buyers’ eyes, such as planting flowers or painting your front door.

It’s also perfectly acceptable (and even recommended) to make sure your home fits with others that are on the market in your area. Before making lots of improvements or staging your home, search online to see how other homes are being staged and which features are most prominent. It’s smart to also take a look at the average sale price of homes so you can get a feel for how your home’s value compares. For example, Weston homes have sold for an average of $1.3M over the last month. Then you’ll have a better idea of what buyers are looking for and how you can stage your home so it’s competitive in the market.

Marketing and Showing Your Home

Now that your home is ready for buyers to see, you have a few options for how to handle virtual showings. In addition to 3D virtual tours that anyone can view online, hosting live viewings is an ideal method for giving buyers a more personal feel for your home. This could be done as a live event on an app, or by having agents conduct virtual walkthroughs. Most buyers will still want to tour your home in person, but CNBC recommends being selective so that only serious buyers are allowed to visit your home.

Selling a home is a major transaction, so it’s unlikely everything can be done entirely online. But even as more businesses reopen, the safest choice is to continue limiting contact as much as possible. The good news is that virtual tools make this possible, and with the right preparation, you can use them to make a memorable first impression and get the offer you’re looking for.

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