COULD YOUR AGENT SELL YOUR HOME VIRTUALLY?
If you’re not sure about this, it might be time to look for a new realtor! Even though many cities are lifting their stay at home orders, rest assured NO ONE is jumping back into buying and selling homes the same way we did 90 days ago. As a realtor, I have had to learn the ins and outs of selling a home virtually–at lightning speed!
ARE PEOPLE REALLY BUYING & SELLING HOMES RIGHT NOW?
The most frequent question I get today is, “Are there really people out there buying and selling houses?” The answer is YES. And before the judgement looks commence, it is NOT a disregard or disrespect for the severity of the pandemic, there are just some families who HAVE to move. Maybe the job they are barely hanging on to is transferring them come hell or high water. Maybe Mom is in a nursing home and still needs to sell to help pay bills. Maybe their daughter has found herself in a bad relationship and needs a safe harbor pronto. So if you’re lucky enough to already be in your nice safe home and do NOT need to move, then for Goodness’ sake, stay hunkered down and call us when this whole thing is over! (because you will want to take advantage of the interest rate eventually.)
But if you are one of those unfortunate souls that HAS to move in all the craziness, how do you sell a home virtually? Realtors who are serious about staying in business and helping clients that still need help have adapted practices to keep buyers, sellers and themselves safe during the home buying process. Not to mention, we’ve gotten real good at technology real fast. Believe me when I say that completing a real estate transaction virtually is not for the faint of heart.
SO HOW DOES IT WORK NOW?
Let me give you an example of what a recent sale looked like for one of my clients:
Tues. at 9AM: Out of state parents call and need to find their daughter a home because she was in a seriously bad relationship. They live 2000 miles away and can’t get on a plane.
Tues. at 9:10AM: I sent her listings to view on-line, providing virtual tours and multiple photos where possible.
Tues. at 10AM: Buyer called with listings of choice and I masked up (armed with wipes and shoe covers) and facetimed our tours so she could see all of the details of the house live since we all know how much better the photos look than the real house most of the time. We only looked at vacant homes.
Tues. at 12PM: Buyer decided on a home and we wrote and signed a contract electronically.
Wed. at 10AM: My inspector masked up and went to the property alone, sent the report via email and then zoomed the buyer, her parents and me to review the inspection report & photos. All repairs were negotiated to be performed post-close.
During the next 2 weeks:
All loan approval was done via the phone and on-line.
The Appraiser completed the appraisal alone in proper gear.
The title company sent a remote closer to close the buyer and I was zoomed into the closing.
The keys were overnighted, my closing gift was left at the front door and my client is safe and sound in her new home and until moving day, she never left her house.
Is this a fun way to buy a house? HECK, NO. Did it get the job done for someone who desperately needed to move? ABSOLUTELY. Bottom Line? In today’s rapidly changing market, it’s more important than ever to make sure your realtor has a strong digital game plan and an effective online marketing strategy when selling your house including professional photography, virtual tours, floorplans and a way to conduct showings and all contract work virtually. They need a website that provides an IDX feed and detailed neighborhood information. If you don’t list with these tools, chances are your home is not selling anytime soon. Who you choose as your realtor matters more than ever.
AS A SELLER, HOW DO I SAFELY SHOW MY HOME?
After leveraging technology, if you have serious buyers who still want to see your house in person, keep in mind that according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there are ways to proceed safely. Here are a few of the guidelines, understanding that the top priority should always be to obey state and local restrictions first:
• Limit in-person activity
• Require guests to wash their hands or use sanitizer
• Remove shoes or cover with booties
• Follow CDC guidance on social distancing and face coverings
So like it or not, many of these new practices might be here to stay. Let’s connect so you have a trusted real estate professional to help you safely and effectively navigate through all that’s new. Our team stands ready to help whenever you need it. We are better together.
Amy Lemoine, Venture 1 Properties, 407.361.7122