Home Improvements During COVID

One key role of a REALTOR® is to serve as a trusted advisor to sellers. In a normal (i.e., non-pandemic) world, a REALTOR® would be quick to point up updates and home improvements that would raise the desirability of the home for potential buyers. But how can YOU best advise your buyers amid the pandemic, when prices are high, wait times are long, and materials are often scarce? Here are a few key tips to keep in mind.

  • Get estimates on costs and timelines immediately. While your sellers may think they know what projects they’d like completed, getting actual quotes will help narrow down which projects are feasible within their desired timeline and budget. Remind them that “typical” timelines don’t apply amid the pandemic. While installers/repairmen may be available, it might be weeks—or even months—before the materials they need will be.
  • DIY… selectively. When selecting projects to enhance a home’s attractiveness, consider selecting ones that don’t require a professional or costly materials. Instead of updating a kitchen’s countertops and flooring, consider installing a DIY backsplash or adding a more appealing paint color. One word of caution: Leave the technical tasks (e.g., plumbing, electrical, roofing) to the professionals! A botched DIY project can be a major setback to your timeline AND budget.
  • Consider whether the improvement projects are necessary. Inform your clients that in the April 2021 Flash Survey by Virginia REALTORS® revealed that more than 75% of respondents said that buyers are willing to consider homes that need major upgrades or updating. Amid the current sellers’ market, your clients may have the opportunity to be more selective with their home improvement projects.

No matter what projects your sellers take on, remind them to keep safety and precaution at the forefront. They should feel empowered to ask home improvement professionals to adhere to the CDC’s safety guidelines to ensure the safety of their family and loved ones.