GUEST COLUMN: Opening doors with keys of success

GUEST COLUMN: Opening doors with keys of success

By Andrea Salomon, asalomon@cbtulsa.com

It’s May 1 and Phase I has begun. During the time that you were staying home did you say, “Help! We need more space!” or “I don’t want to keep up with this much house!” or “I just want something different!” Did you think, “How can I do this with the coronavirus?” “Is it even possible to look at houses during this time?” “Is it really different out there?”

Yes! It is possible with all these things. During this pandemic, people really are listing their houses. People really are looking for another one. Some were already in the process of being transferred with their companies when this quarantine began. Real Estate did not stop. Realtors were deemed essential workers, thankfully, so that these transactions did not have to be put on hold. Some of the process had to change, but we, along with lenders, inspectors and title companies, adjusted along the way and kept going.

Let me tell you, there is no better time than now to list your house for sale. There are fewer houses on the market than there have been in years. There are buyers out there just waiting for something to come up on the market and they are ready to pounce. 

What do you need to do if you are ready to sell? First, hire a full-time realtor to help you through the process. Why would you not trust a professional to handle the most expensive purchase you have ever made? A good realtor will guide you through the steps to get it ready to list. Decluttering is a big step (which you may have started doing during the “safer-at-home” order) and get it presentable, inside and out.

Second, a trustworthy realtor should know the market price for the neighborhood or area you live. Case in point. I was getting ready to list a property last year and asked the seller what he thought would be a good listing price. He gave me a figure and my jaw dropped. Why? Not because it was too high, but because it was too low. I said, “Your home is worth so much more!” At my suggested price, it went under contract in 24 hours (I know, not always typical). And yes, there are those sellers who think their houses are worth 20 times the market price. A knowledgeable realtor should never guess but give you comparable and actual “sold” prices in your area. 

Third, do not sign up for “forbearance” with your mortgage company.  In other words, do not stop paying your mortgage if they offer that during this pandemic time. Pay your bills on time. You do not want anything to hinder the sale of your house at closing. 

Fourth, work with your professional realtor as to how you want your house to be shown during this time.  What types of precautions do you want them to take? 

Fifth, talk to your lender before you sell.  Make sure you have enough equity in the house, so you do not have to bring money to the closing table. Make sure you can afford to buy another house when yours sells.

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. This should be a time of excitement, not fear. It is my desire this will add value and provide you an experience for the keys of success. 

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