Hi, my name is Matt Buttner. I’m the broker and owner of List Now Realty. I know things are kind of crazy right now with the whole coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of people are quarantined in their houses, but a lot of people still need to sell their houses. We do flat fee MLS listings. A lot of the questions we get revolve around what’s going on with the real estate market right now. Is now a good time to list with a flat fee MLS listing? Is my house going to sell? Is anything selling right now? I thought I’d make a video, just kind of go over some of the questions we’ve been getting a lot of, and hopefully help you out as far as listing your house and selling your house right now.
The Real Estate Market In Florida During COVID-19
A lot of people want to know what’s going on with the real estate market. What we’re seeing is there are a lot fewer buyers on the market basically, so fewer showings. Last time I checked, showings were down about 40%. With the stay-at-home orders and stuff like that, Florida has a stay-at-home order right now, with the stay-at-home order and things of that nature, people self-quarantining and all of that, buyers are just not out like they were back in January out looking at houses. That’s reduced showings about 40%.
But at the same time, you have a reduced inventory because a lot of sellers, they don’t feel comfortable putting their houses on the market right now. The ones that had their houses on the market have now pulled their houses off the market just because they don’t want people coming through their house and coughing all over their stuff and that sort of thing.
We do have fewer buyers looking for houses, but we also have fewer houses on the market, so there’s less competition. There’s a good and a bad to that.
As far as deals still closing, things going under contract, yeah, we’re seeing houses are still going under contract, deals are still closing, people are still getting loans, mortgage rates are at an all-time low. That’s definitely helping with things. Houses that are priced right are still going under contract and ultimately closing. We’ve only seen, I think, two deals where they actually fell through directly related to the coronavirus. One of them was because the buyer, she lost her financing or lost her job about 30 minutes before the closing, which is kind of sad. But that was really that one and maybe one other one were the only cases that we’ve heard of where deals have actually fallen through. But for the most part, if it’s priced right, it’s getting showings, things are still going under contract. We’re putting listings pending every day under contract and we’re marking listings sold every day. Things are still selling.
You might’ve heard that the real estate market’s way down, nothing’s selling, everything’s dead. To a degree, that’s true. Like I said, showings are down about 40%. there’s less activity. But for the people who do have their houses on the market right now, as long as they’re priced correctly, things are definitely selling.
What You Can Do Now To Prepare To Sell Your Florida House With A Flat Fee MLS Listing
#1: Get Your Photography Done
As far as some things that you can do right now to kind of get ready to get your house sold and get your listing going, photography’s a big one. With everybody being in their house, photography, professional photography, we always recommend it for our listings, for people who list with us, with a flat fee MLS listing. But now it’s more important than ever because everybody’s stuck at home looking on their phones, looking on their iPads, on their computer, at real estate listings online. You really want your house to be represented as well as possible. Now’s a great time to get your professional photography done while all of the photographers have nothing to do.
We expect once this coronavirus thing is over, once COVID-19 is over, and the stay-at-home orders are lifted, we expect a lot of sellers who are kind of holding out right now to put their houses on the market. We expect a big pop in one to three months whenever this is finally over. You can kind of get out ahead of that right now, get your pictures done, get your listing ready to go, and even list your house now because the buyers that are on the market looking for houses, they’re going to have fewer options right now because there’s less competition. Your house may be the only house in your neighborhood that’s actually listed right now. That can work out to be a good thing for you. Get your photography done, professional photography. The photographers are… They don’t have a whole lot to do right now. Get them out there.
#2: Don’t Worry About Open Houses
Another question that we get is people worried about open houses, because we’re not allowed to do open houses right now. The Florida realtors have said, no open houses. We can’t even add an open house to the MLS right now. They won’t allow it. People are concerned that that’s going to affect their ability to sell a house. Our answer to that is open houses are not super important anyways. They haven’t been ever since the internet’s been around. Very rarely ever will you find someone who comes to an open house who actually ends up buying that house. You’re typically not going to find your buyer that way. Open houses are typically done by real estate agents still just because the real estate agents can actually find new clients that way, and partially because sellers demand that the real estate agent has an open house. They don’t realize that they’re not really effective. They’re still around for that reason, but they’re not tremendously effective at selling houses. They’re actually really not effective. We have more information on our website about that. Don’t worry about the open houses. Not a big deal.
#3: Add A COVID-19 Disclaimer To Your Flat Fee MLS Listing
Another thing you can do is, we’ve seen several sellers do this, they put a COVID-19, coronavirus disclaimer on their listing in the public description. It basically just says something to the effect of sellers are observing all precautionary procedures. All surfaces, door knobs, fixtures are being wiped down and sterilized before and after every showing. Every effort’s being made to make sure that people coming to see the property are as safe as possible. Something to that effect. Just to give buyers a little bit more peace of mind when they’re coming to actually see your house for a showing.
#4: Utilize ShowingTime
Another thing that you can do is utilize ShowingTime. We actually provide ShowingTime for free when you list with us. Basically ShowingTime is an automated showing scheduling service. You can actually set it up so that you can, if your house is occupied, you’ll get a text message and an email that proposes a time for a showing. You can confirm the time. Then when the agent shows up, ShowingTime will actually give them the lockbox code to your house. You can leave, put a lockbox code on, go out for a drive, go out and get some fresh air. The showing will happen and the agent can actually access the house while you’re not there. They get the code and all that. That way, you’re not there at the same time the buyers are there. It makes it a little bit safer because there’s fewer people, everybody’s kind of spread out, that sort of thing. Then, of course, if your house is vacant, ShowingTime will give the code to the buyer’s agent automatically so that they can go in and show. You don’t have to deal with the phone calls or trying to make sure that the person calling to get the code is actually a licensed agent. That’s another thing that you can do right now that that makes things a little bit easier.
Now Is A Good Time To List Your Florida House With A Flat Fee MLS Listing
If you have a house to list, like for sale by owner and you’re considering a flat fee MLS listing in Florida, definitely get your photography done. Now’s a good time to list. It’s as good of a time to list as any. Get out in front of all those listings that are going to come on the market as soon as this whole thing is over. Because, like I said, a lot of people are holding back, they’re not listening right now, but as soon as the stay-at-home orders are lifted and that sort of thing, we expect to see a lot more houses on the market and you kind of want to get out in front of those. Like I said, things are still selling. As long as they’re priced right, they’re going under contract and they’re closing.
If you have any questions about a flat fee MLS listing in Florida, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll help you in any way that we can. Again, my name is Matt Buttner. I’m the broker and owner of List Now Realty. We do flat fee MLS listings in Florida. If we can help you out, go on our website, ListNowRealty.com. Send us an email, submit your property information, give us a call, whatever you prefer, and we will help you get your house listed on the local MLS.
Have a great rest of your day. Stay safe, and I’ll see you on the next video.