Tammy Dunseath of RE/MAX Premier Realty is one of the top real estate agents in Lake and Sumter Counties. Despite the pandemic, she has been selling houses. In fact, she needs more homes to sell because demand is so high. It is counter intuitive to think that during the worst pandemic in 100 years and in uncertain economic times that houses would be selling. However, the real estate market in Lake and Sumter Counties has two unique advantages—they are in Florida and people fleeing from the big cities want to live in Florida.
Tammy Dunseath points out that unlike the housing boom of 2005-2006, people are not paying ridiculous prices for a home and the financial institutions are not lowering their standards for buyers. While prices are up, the home buyers she represents want value, and she notes that some home sellers are “overpricing their homes.”
Although it is a great time to sell a home, the experience of home buying has changed somewhat because of the pandemic. Tammy Dunseath shares her top five tips for selling a home during the pandemic, which will maximize your experience and price.
Dunseath’s first tip is, “Limit touch points when showing a home by turning on lights and opening closet doors, especially the master bedroom closet.” Home buyers who are concerned about COVID-19 will have a better experience if they can walk your home without touching anything. Make it an easy walk through.
Homes in Lake and Sumter Counties are being sold remotely and online to buyers across the country. Many buyers do not want to fly, and with modern technology and a good realtor there is really no need to make a trip to Lake County to purchase a home. Dunseath’s second tip is to hire a real estate agent with a broad online marketing program, which includes a 3-D tour, Facebook tour, video, and plenty of photos—including those from a drone on the outside. “By offering these marketing items to prospective buyers, the showings you do get will be fewer thus safer and more qualified,” says Dunseath.
For her third tip Dunseath says, “Insist on a fresh pre-approval letter from the buyer’s lender. With changing regulations, a buyer who qualified 30-days ago may not qualify today.” There are many cash buyers entering the market and buyers who finance their purchase must demonstrate their financial strength up front to enter a contract. A deal can fall apart quickly with a marginal buyer.
Dunseath’s fourth tip for selling a home during a pandemic is, “Do not wait.” There are home sellers who put off listing their home because they are waiting for the highest point in the market. No one knows or understands what the future holds and holding off on selling a home, banking on a higher return later is dangerous—just as the folks discovered in 2006. The right time to sell is when you are ready to move on with your life.
Tammy Dunseath’s final tip is, “Be a little flexible.” Do not forget that America is in the middle of a pandemic and everything is slower or delayed. Outbreaks of COVID-19 are slowing down lawyers, title offices, appraisers, and home inspectors. The home selling process can become frustrating. During these difficult times, expect delays and be flexible when it comes to scheduling a closing, executing contracts, and closing the deal.
The most important aspect of the real estate market in Lake and Sumter Counties is that it is active. Unlike other areas of the country, values have remained very good. If you are contemplating selling your home, now is a good time because inventory is low. Hopefully, these five tips will help you maximize your price.
Don Magruder is the CEO of RoMac Building Supply and host of Around the House, which can be seen at AroundtheHouse.TV.