Even in the midst of uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, our local real estate market is experiencing one of the best seller’s markets in decades. People are still moving, whether it be across town or across the country. Handling the buying or selling process isn’t especially easy in the midst of a pandemic. Your best bet is having someone there to answer your questions, and that’s where a REALTOR® comes in. While she won’t be able to tell you which box your favorite set of bowls is in, a REALTOR® will have the contacts and experience needed to help make your move smoother and safer.
The real estate industry is adapting its processes for buying and selling homes, allowing you to social distance in light of COVID-19 while still providing excellent customer service. Below are no-contact or low-contact ways agents are adapting to meet clients’ needs during their home buying or selling journeys.
The safest way to initially view homes is online through videos walk-throughs, virtual tours or virtual agent meetings via Zoom, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, Google Duo, etc. That’s right. Your agent can walk you through a home from the comfort of your couch. Virtual tours offer you the same ability to watch from your couch but are often pre-recorded by the listing agent to highlight the home and its features. Either option gives you the opportunity to tour homes without leaving yours, helping you narrow down your options to the couple of homes you want to see in person.
For in-person home tours, driving separately from your agent to your appointment, wearing a mask while social distancing at all times, and washing or sanitizing your hands before and after the showing are recommended. Don’t touch doorknobs or handles, turn on any lights or open any cabinets while in the house.
If you find a home you like, inspections and other meetings can be done virtually or with limited in-person contact.
Just as it’s the best way for buyers to initially view a home, the best way to initially show a home is through video walk-throughs and virtual tours. It limits the flow of traffic through your home to those most serious about your property.
Your REALTOR® will arrange a time to record a virtual tour with you out of the house, asking you to turn on lights and open cabinets before leaving. Your agent will touch as little as possible and clean behind himself after filming the video. If you decide to allow in-person showings or agent walk-throughs for their clients, the process will likely be similar to your agent filming a virtual tour: open all interior doors prior to showing, leave cabinets and other spaces open that buyers may want to see, and sanitize your home before and after the showing.
While you may be spending more time at home, it’s also a good idea to do some simple touch-ups so your home earns top dollar, including touching up paint, updating light fixtures, decluttering and upgrading curb appeal.
Contact a Bellator agent if you have any questions about adapting the home buying or selling process to adhere to social distancing guidelines.