Buying and selling a home isn’t what it used to be, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still happening. Like everything else during COVID-19, the real estate industry has developed many new – and better – ways of doing things.
From less strangers in your home, to only serious offers, check out just some of the ways things have changed and improved in the real estate world during the last few months, or, jump to the bottom for a quick overview:
Listing Your Home
Pre-COVID: You have an in-person listing presentation with your agent to talk about your needs and wants, walk through the home, and discuss the process.
New and Improved: The same experience, just digital. This makes scheduling more flexible, whether that means after the kids are in bed, or a Zoom meeting during your lunch hour. Conduct a virtual tour with your agent, and still receive the same attention and personal touch you’d get with a good agent. Prefer in-person? As long as it’s within your comfort level, it’s always an option.
Pre-Covid: Buyers at all different stages of their search visit your home, from curious neighbours, to people unsure of their price range, to serious buyers. If you’re a homeowner, this means tons of people traipsing through your home, while if you’re the buyer looking, it can result in crowded visits running into the same rival couple again and again as you all wait for your turn to view the powder room.
New and improved: With the best listings all presenting thorough digital tours, only the really serious buyers are viewing homes, meaning less time a seller needs to leave the property for viewings, and you as a buyer get the home all to yourself with your agent. It’s good advice to book a showing quickly if you’re serious, as there may be a limited number of slots available. Before deciding, check and see if there’s a virtual tour, and prepare your list of questions your agent can pose to the seller ahead of time. This saves you time viewing homes that don’t fit your needs, and ensures less time spent traveling viewing to viewing. Make sure that your agent helps you understand this process and is able to guide you in deciding which homes to view in person.
The future of real estate is here
Ever wanted to buy or sell your home from your couch? While it might not be the best way to do it (if you’re really serious about a home, you can still check it out safely in person with safety protocols), it’s possible. From virtual staging, to online meetings with agents, to heavily detailed websites for properties, it’s entirely possible to get a good feel for what homes you’re really interested in without leaving your home. As a seller, a great agent will also provide important protocols like mandatory sign-ins, contact tracing, offer emails, and virtual offer nights (note for buyers: no more sitting in your car wondering if you got the home!). Safety is always our number one concern.
While not everything has changed for selling or purchasing your home, one thing has become even more clear: it’s critical to have a great, tech-savvy agent to help you navigate the new way of doing things. From capturing impressive virtual tours, to safeguarding your home, a good relationship with an experienced agent is more important than ever. When you’re making your choice, ask how your agent has changed their protocols during Covid, or how can they help make you feel safe during this exciting process. Agents that are experienced in digital buying and selling can market your home more effectively, which means a higher purchase price as a seller, and seeing the right properties with less competition as a buyer.
As always, the most important part of the process is a great relationship with your agent. Talk to them and be open about your safety concerns and ask what they’re doing for showings. And don’t forget – wear your mask!
Real Estate Safety Protocols 101
All agents and buyers visiting a home should sign a Covid declaration and provide accurate info for contact tracing
Ensure masks are worn at all times by anyone in the home
Offer digital offerings, like virtual stagings, 3D tours, in-depth website listings, and digital feature sheets
No need for extra interactions: host virtual offer nights to avoid agents in and out of the home
Efficient and safe: online listing and buyer meetings can be through Zoom, offers can be emailed or couriered, and tous can be virtual
Ensure homes are vacant for any showing, and stagger viewings with enough time to sanitize surfaces
If you have any other questions – Please reach out – I’m always happy to discuss real estate