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Selling a House During a Pandemic

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Remember how we were considering selling our house and moving closer to our business? Well we had decided to do it this spring. We had originally thought to list our house in March, but during that first week of March we talked it over with our realtor and decided to shoot for the first week of April. The pandemic had no influence on that decision at all.

And now it has allll the influence.

We didn’t list it like we’d planned. We’re not getting an income and the world is too upside down. We just couldn’t wrap our heads around trying to sell in the midst of all this uncertainty and quarantining.

Now we’re curious what will happen to the housing market.

It’s been hot in our area for years. This crazy month has definitely changed things. I actually just heard from a realtor yesterday that there’s good news and bad news: Good news? Interest rates are super low. Bad news? Home sales are down and home prices are really starting to soften.

There’s hope that this won’t be the long-term trend, but of course nobody can say when this will all end or when things will improve. (COVID-19 is the gift that keeps on giving.)

So I just keep watching and wondering. Will our home’s value tank? But will that just mean the homes will be more affordable in the city we want to move to? Should we still sell? Or should we wait until next year?

I feel fortunate that we don’t have to move. We felt like it was the right thing to do back in January, but heck—January feels like 10 years ago.

So now what?

We’re just trying to be flexible and ready to call an audible. I know things could be a lot worse. I know people are currently experiencing a lot worse.

But I am mourning the loss of planning for the future. I hate not knowing when school will return, when we can open our business, when and if we’ll move.

Lately I’ve been working through the uncertainty by working in the yard. I love to garden. Our yard—like many yards in the Northwest—is at its best right now. The bulbs are blooming, the trees are blossoming, and the grass ain’t dead and patchy yet. There’s part of me that thought this would be perfect for buyers to see. It would have all the curb appeal HGTV says we need.

But no one on Zillow will see this lush lawn. Nobody will come to an open house and see the tulips in the window box, or the hyacinths and azaleas blooming.

So I’m just going to keep digging. Keep weeding. Keep waiting. I have no idea how much longer we’ll be in this home, so I’ll just keep focusing on controlling what I can control.

Would you consider selling a house during a pandemic? Have you already seen a change to the housing market in your area since COVID-19?


9 Comments

  • Reply miranda zetsen |

    I am the complete opposite. I take possession of a house today 🙂 Super exciting but nerve racking. The offer was agreed mid-feb. Its a court foreclosure so it had to go in front of a judge and they decided possession date

    • Reply Sara |

      That is exciting. I’m glad it all came together despite the insanity. Enjoy your new home!

  • Reply Emily N. |

    The pandemic has messed up my housing plans, too. My husband I paid off enough student loans at the beginning of March that we were finally in a position to move to our (much more expensive) dream town, and were planning on finding a new apartment by the first of May. Now everything is on hold. Luckily our current place is month-to-month, so we aren’t homeless. Our incomes are still intact, so we still want to move, but I’m not sure when that will happen. Even if housing prices come down I don’t think we can afford to buy, and I don’t know what will happen with the rental market. There are just a lot of unknowns.

  • Reply Angie |

    We made the hard decision to switch to month to month on our rental (15% increase!) after 8 years of living in the same place. We were hoping to either buy a house or go on a travel sabbatical. COVID has definietely nixed any immediate plans. Luckily we have our jobs, but it sucks living in uncertainty limbo. I feel like we can’t make any plans and we have no idea what the environment will be like when this calms down and is all over. It is definitely one of the higher stressors of the virus for me personally.

  • Reply Meg Rocke |

    Take exterior pictures of your house NOW while things are beautiful! We sold our last home in the dead of winter 2017 but took photos in September while everything looked lovely & neatly trimmed. I’m sure it helped draw some eyes to our ad! (Interior photos can always be taken later.)

  • Reply Kelly Gegg |

    Hey there! While I’m sorry you’re not able to do what you originally intended this spring, I’m glad you and yours are safe and are able to just keep plugging away at the gardening and hoping that this won’t disrupt your plans for too long! My hubby and I bought the home we’re in now in September of 2018 so we’re not anywhere close to selling…. but I totally get the fear, unknowns & frustrations! You’ve got this!

So, what do you think ?