During regular days, selling a home can be truly tiring and costly. What more now that we are in the middle of a pandemic? New challenges are in the way, but regardless, the real estate industry moves on.
Real estate is classified as an essential service in the U.S. and so it goes on with its operations, although local implementations of preventive measures against COVID-19 have affected the way things are done. Still, sellers are selling and buyers are buying.
However, selling a house during a pandemic is something new to all of us. So we compiled the ways to safely sell a house during these difficult times.
- Virtual Home Viewings
Using the internet as a tool to gather information is not new. But since we are now in the age when the generation of millennials are the major home buyers, it is significant to note that people in this generation are tech savvy and take many things to the internet. Whenever they want to check on something, they search the internet and rely on reviews.
Posting of enticing photos and videos on the different social media platforms and marketplace when selling a home has been around for quite a while, but it is most important now more than ever. Stay-at-home order confines people inside the comforts of their homes and the internet has become very handy when house hunting.
With that said, sellers have to level-up their listings online and one way to do that is offering virtual tours. Buyers love virtual tours because it is very convenient during this time of pandemic. Doing virtual tours not only reduces the risk of going outside and contracting the virus, but it also screens potential house buyers so that only those who are really interested can do in-person visits when necessary.
- in-Person Viewings
Extra precautions are in place in home viewings at this time. Large groups of people doing house viewings are not allowed but since many buyers still want to view a home personally before buying, sellers have set new rules to ensure safety.
After the pre-approval of potential buyers through virtual tours, clients have to disinfect themselves before entering a home one person at a time. So are the sellers, they should have disinfected the whole house before allowing strangers to come in the house.
Also, there are other websites now that generate one time pass for home viewers so they could tour the house by themselves without an agent. This way, the risks are lessened and still, the goal of doing in-person viewings is achieved.
- Minimal Contact for Inspectors and Appraisers
While it is necessary to do inspections and appraisals before the real estate deal can move forward, minimal in-person contact is encouraged.
In some instances, sellers are asked to stay secluded in another part of the home while the inspection is going on. Home buyer’s inspectors also have to strictly follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines—wearing masks, gloves, booties, and frequently disinfecting before and after the inspection.
Also, if the lending company permits it, appraisals can be done like a drive-thru service without the appraiser getting out and stepping into the property. Photos can be used as well for the appraiser to review the property and its value. Make sure to ask the lender if this option is available.
- Possible Remote Closing
Remote closings have already existed in some states even before the novel coronavirus pandemic happened. But right now, it is getting more attention and is being adapted in more areas.
As of this time, 23 states have implemented online notarization policies which allow the notary and signer to do transactions using electronic documents. Most lenders now are also working toward making virtual closings possible. Many realtors are encouraging the congress to make laws to allow this nationwide for a much safer conduct of business.
In conclusion, there are a lot of adjustments needed to be done that sellers and buyers alike have to adapt to. Even if the market activities have slowed down during these difficult times, one thing is certain, the real estate industry is going to continue. Whether you are selling or buying, and the movement is limited, there is always a way to do business, people just have to be creative and innovative.