Buying or selling a home can be stressful in the best of times.
Did you know that moving and buying or selling a home are considered to be some of the most stressful life events people deal with? And, that was before the coronavirus pandemic.
Like almost everything else in life, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way that we buy and sell homes in the United States. But, if you’re in the market — or about to be — you’ll be glad to know that it’s alive and well.
Although it’s too soon to really know how much of an impact COVID-19 will have on the real estate market, for now, historically low interest rates have led a lot of buyers into the market, many for the first time. While a lot of industries have pushed paused, the real estate industry remains strong.
The real estate market is still kicking, but that doesn’t mean that coronavirus hasn’t had an effect or that there aren’t any precautions you need to take in order to keep yourself safe during the process.
Staying Safe While Buying or Selling a Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic
#1. Find the right real estate agent.
Whether you’re buying or selling a home in the midst of a booming economy or during a pandemic, you always want to do so with the right real estate agent on your side. One of the most important aspects of staying safe during the coronavirus crisis is social distancing, which means limiting your contact as much as possible with others during the buying or selling process. That also means that working with a REALTOR® you can trust is absolutely essential.
Flexibility is another valuable quality in any real estate, but as things change rapidly with the coronavirus outbreak, it’s even more valuable. You need your real estate agent to be nimble and agile enough to cope with the changing market in order to get you through the process.
Find a real estate agent near you with Top Rated Local®. You’ll be able to read a REALTOR’s reviews from across a variety of verified review sites. And, with the Rating Score™, you can get a quick snapshot of how each real estate agent is ranking overall online, allowing you to quickly compare.
#2. Take advantage of virtual tours.
In the age of coronavirus, fewer buyers are opting to attend home showings in person, and even fewer sellers are hosting open houses. This is a good thing for the safety of everyone involved — the buyer, the seller, and the real estate agent — but it can be difficult for buyers to truly get a feel for a home with pictures alone.
The fact of the matter is that pictures can be misleading. Just because a home looks great in photos doesn’t mean it will look just as good in person, and most buyers need more information in order to commit to buying a home. This is where virtual tours come in.
Many real estate brokers and sellers have opted to provide buyers with digital house tours through FaceTime and other programs. In fact, Zillow has seen a 215 percent increase in the number of tours created using its software since the pandemic hit. Some brokers have even started video taping themselves touring homes.
#3. Prepare carefully for showings.
If someone is really serious about wanting to buy a home, chances are, they’re going to want to see it in person. Virtual tours are great, but they can’t replace in-person showings completely. And, luckily, by taking several precautions, buyers and sellers can stay safe during in-person showings.
Here are a few precautions sellers can take for in-person showings:
- Limit showings to only people who are truly interested.
- Limit the need for anyone to touch anything by keeping lights on and doors open.
- Sanitize your home before and after showings.
- Require that anyone coming into your home wears gloves and booties.
Here are a few precautions buyers can take for in-person showings:
- Only request in-person showings for homes you’re seriously considering.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after seeing a home.
- If you’re sick, do not attend a showing.
- Refrain from touching anything while touring a home.
What to expect at closing.
Many parts of the buying or selling process can be done remotely, with about half of the states allowing notaries to do their jobs virtually. However, as of right now, in-person closings are still happening in states where notaries cannot operate digitally, but, of course, there are a few differences.
These days, in accordance with CDC guidelines, there can be a maximum of five people at a closing. Closings are often done around larger tables, as well, which allows everyone to maintain a six-foot distance from each other, and everyone has their own pen so no sharing is required.
Find the right real estate broker near you with Top Rated Local.
Whether you’re buying a home, selling a home, or both, there’s a lot on the line, especially right now. Make the situation a little less stressful by ensuring that you have the right real estate broker on your side.
Don’t settle for just any real estate agent. Ensure you’ve found the right one by doing your research with Top Rated Local. Get started today!