I’ve talked previously about how buying and selling your home has changed during Covid – mostly for the better. From less open houses (a.k.a. fewer strangers in your home), to checking out detailed and elaborate virtual listings from the comfort of your couch, real estate has pivoted like so many industries, and revamped some slightly outdated practices, giving our clients the best experience when it comes to their home.
Next up on the list? Everyone’s favourite part of buying and selling a home: the paperwork!
Pre-Covid, paperwork was often a slog. During one of the most exciting (and possibly nerve wracking) times of your life, you were now tasked with signing page after page of legal forms, withdrawing RRSPs for your Home Buyer’s Plan (often requiring a trip to the bank – or even multiple banks, if you have employer0matched contributions from previous jobs), and dropping certified cheques off. Honestly, just typing that out start to give me a headache, thinking about taking time off from work (looking at you, 9 – 5 bank hours), finding parking, and trying to remember my lawyer’s address.
Real estate gets real
Now, everything has changed – and real estate along with it. Read on below for a few positive changes when it comes to the nitty-gritty of buying and selling:
Eliminate the travel. Don’t have access to a vehicle? Short lunch breaks? Lawyer on the other side of the city? Many offices are now accepting wire transfers, saving you having to travel to drop off cheques and payments in person. With closings being managed electronically, save time, the environment, and your sanity.
Choose based on skill, not location. Pre-Covid, we lived in a world where convenience often trumped our real preference. We’d leave our favourite childhood dentist behind (the one who still let you choose your toothbrush colour) for one just a few blocks from our new home, and with travel times only getting worse, we’d often forgo the best based on proximity. With meetings and transactions all online, now we have the freedom to work with professionals absolutely anywhere.
Move at your speed. Closings are now far more efficient – there’s no waiting for cheques to be mailed or processed. If you need a fast close, a more digital world means we can make it happen.
The world is your backyard. Moving to a new city is hard – moving to a new country can sometimes seem impossible. Because you’d have to see a notary or lawyer in that country to verify your identity, it was costly and time-consuming. Once again, video conferencing comes to the rescue! Especially helpful for relocating, deals can now be done across the world, helping you to move more quickly, and helping your carbon footprint.
One less thing on moving day. Moving day is stressful enough as it is, what with organizing movers (or whatever friends you’ve bribed with pizza), cleaning your previous home, and trying to find where you packed the plates when your takeout arrives. Now your keys can be left at your new home instead of your lawyers so there’s one less thing to worry about.
No more nocturnal offers. With a high demand for homes, and lots of competition, there are too many night’s sitting in your agent’s car for hours, waiting to hear if you won your dream home. Now, offers can be done via email, and more and more agents are moving towards daytime offers, which means less waiting, and more time keeping your personal hours for family (or let’s be honest, falling asleep while watching Netflix). No one needs to make the largest transaction of their life at 10 p.m. after a long day – just another positive change for the wellness of everyone involved.
As we talk about the “new normal” and look for things to return to in-person, let’s rejoice in some of the changes we’ve accomplished for our time, money, the environment – and our mental health.