Should I Sell My Home During COVID-19?

Many people I’m speaking with now are asking themselves this very question.  As we enter what is traditionally a heavier selling season of the year, I’m being asked “Should we wait?” or “I’m concerned our house will not sell.“  It has become a similar conversation with everyone, my past clients AND our newer clients. With that being said, here are some of my thoughts:

Safety is #1

For Elam Real Estate, safety is of the upmost regard.  Very few people mention this initially on our calls, so I bring it up early in our conversation. We discuss the varied options to prepare their home and ultimately get their home on the market SAFELY.

Here's what we are offering while this virus continues:

  1. Virtual Seller Meetings where the seller uses their cell phone to walk around the house and show us their home. We make suggestions just like if we were right there with them.
  2. In person visits where we come out directly to their home either with or without them being home. We ALWAYS follow CDC recommendations either way. This can and is being offered / completed in a very safe manner. Don't be surpised if we look like ghostbusters.

Where are home values going in middle TN?

Many people have sizeable equity built up in their homes. 

As of today, home values have actually increased month over month, March being 2.8% above Feb 2020.  Over the past couple of years there has been a shortage of homes up for sale in Middle TN.  This shortage together with very low interest rates has been a strong driver to push home prices higher. Many sellers have decided to hold off on selling their home, reducing supply, thus potentially pushing values even higher. While there is no way to predict the future, housing values seem to be steady and poised for a potential rally in the 2nd half of 2020. 

What are mortage rates like during COVID-19?

Today’s ultra-low mortgage rates are pushing many buyers to buy NOW vs waiting. 

We are finding about 1 in 4 buyers we are speaking with are wanting to take advantage of today’s rates.

Low interest rates are allowing buyers the choice between:

  1. Buying more home for their money 
  2. Saving money in the form of monthly payments 

Either way, it’s a win for buyers.  That said, buyers are finding low inventory rates partly driven by sellers deciding to stay on the sidelines. Buyers are still facing multiple offers (in some cases) and fairly stable home pricing. So far our company hasn't seen homes plunge in value as some feared. 

Are home buyers motivated to make a move now?

The short answer is, a lot of them have to move.

People's obligations don't end even when the goverment presses pause. Due to jobs, family status changes, etc., many buyers can’t wait – they must buy now.

Whether it be by choice or situation, there are many buyers in the marketplace seeking to buy a home, and with the limited inventory it can be difficult. Jobs change, families increase in size or break apart, and rental leases end. These situations often drive buyers to move quickly. Buyers need homes. 

Unemployment is up, what about all the home buyers that were taken out of the market?

No question, furloughs and layoffs have affected a portion of the market.  

As of this writting, things SEEM to be steadying. Not to say we will not see more, but most people now know if they are in jeopardy or if their income is secure. I'd say about one in 4 or 5 of our contacts are affected by under employment, and that's still plenty of people needing a house. 

We've noticed many sellers want to move forward but feel like they have to wait. Once we explain how we use modern video chat technology like LIVE videos instead of in-person open houses, digital contracts, gallons of hand sanitizer, and of course social distancing, several sellers reconsider, especially when we explain that inventory is low.  Depending on your situation, it could be a good time to take action even if it’s just preparing your home for market. It’s typically not a good thing to wait until everyone else decides to sell. If you can hit the market when there is less competition (fewer homes on the market) your home could sell faster, for more money, and with fewer potential challenges. 

If you are on the fence, please call and talk with one of Elam’s Professional Agents! Let us explain how we are preparing listings and selling homes safely in this COVID-19 market.


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