Dining out and traveling aren’t the only major activities that have come to a halt as the reality of the COVID-19 outbreak sinks in—house hunting has also experienced a dip. Google searches for “homes for sale” have declined an average of 32 percent, according to a new study from LendingTree that analyzed the nation’s 50 largest metro areas. Some cities have seen a faster drop than others.
The real-estate markets that have been impacted the most are Tucson; Columbus, Ohio; and San Diego, where interest has dwindled nearly 50 percent. In Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, and Austin, though, buyers don’t seem to be too phased (in these areas, the term has fallen only 19 percent from its peak value).
Whether sitting tight isn’t an option for you financially or you’re eager for a fresh start post-pandemic, there are steps you can take to make your listing stronger, no matter where you live. For starters, you can go virtual. Zillow recently reported a significant spike in the creation of 3-D listings, and data before the spread of the virus in the U.S. shows those houses sold on average 10 percent faster. The company also suggests asking your broker about filming a 30-minute video tour.
Also, it helps to think of the listing as your property’s résumé—you should spotlight the features that make it stand out. If your home happens to be a farmhouse, you’ll definitely want to highlight that as this style goes for 10 percent more. Likewise, homes with a solar energy system sell for an average of 4 percent more than regular spaces. Mention details like granite countertops, hardwood floors, and stainless steel appliances, and you’ll have a line of interested buyers knocking at your door down the road.