Selling Safely During COVID
Selling your home safely during COVID is a whole new experience. Despite all the negative and scary COVID stories and statistics you hear, real estate transactions have been moving forward. The industry is booming. Essential services have been allowed to remain open and real estate is one of them. This means brokers and agents have continued working to problem solve and create solutions. And with these new precautions in place sellers are still listing and buyers are still buying.
Living Houston is here to offer insight into how sellers and real estate agents have adapted to make selling your home as safe as possible. The new ways to sell your home during COVID are inventive and will leave you feeling good about your decision to move forward with the sale of your home.
Virtual Showings: The New Kid On The Block
Eye-catching, professional photos, and video have long been a must for a successful listing, but now they’re more important than ever. Many people are moving to the suburbs from the city for multiple reasons. Working remotely offers many people more freedom to live further from the city. With long, stressful commutes off the table, neighborhoods that would have been a “no” before are now up for consideration. Others are looking to get out of the city into wide-open spaces. And move away from what could be a problematic environment for their health.
These reasons and more give sellers the upper-hand and are bringing new buyers out of the woodwork. Our Realtors® are taking their listings up a notch to combat COVID’s limitations by offering virtual showings for the homes they’re listing. Virtual tours drive interest among buyers and provide a more in-depth glimpse of the property without requiring people to walk through the property in-person. This approach appeals to buyers who might be scared off from home-viewing due to safety concerns.
Sellers love these virtual tours because they eliminate what would typically be an inconvenience. Now, potential buyers can access the home and view it without the owners having to leave. Virtual tours also reduce the number of in-person visits to only those genuinely interested in the property. Virtual tours can act like a pre-qualifier. They ensure that potential buyers who schedule an in-person showing are already very interested in the home.
How Real Estate Agents Assist in Selling Safely During Covid
Realtors® are taking extra precautions with in-person showings. Open houses for example require masks and, if the seller prefers, footwear coverings. They offer hand sanitizer upon entering or gloves and routinely walk through the home throughout the open house, disinfecting handles and knobs.
Many buyers still want to view the home in person before making an offer, but face-to-face showings are still happening, and Realtors are taking extra steps to help protect homeowners.
One way Realtors® are narrowing down who views the home is by limiting showings only to buyers with loan pre-approval letters. This way, the only people viewing the home are those who are qualified to buy it. They can also make sure the buyer has viewed the virtual home tour and read through the seller’s disclosure before scheduling the showing, along with a pre-approval letter. Some realtors®, upon request, even deliver showing kits to their listings containing sanitizer, booties, and gloves for buyers to use during the showing.
After a showing, we advise sellers to clean and disinfect high-touch areas, like countertops, handles, and doorknobs. A homeowner can also make hand sanitizer and soap available with signs encouraging hand-washing.
Inspections And Appraisals
Inspections are also made safer. Home inspectors can do inspections with minimal contact. In some cases, they can also wear booties, masks, and gloves. If the lender allows it, appraisers can sometimes do their part by driving by the home or viewing the property’s photos. Just ask whether or not these options are available in your area.
A Remote Closing May Be Possible
Remote closings on homes have been an option in some states even before COVID. But there’s been a push to expand this practice nationwide. The ability to close remotely depends on the buyer’s lender. Most lenders and title companies limit contact during closings. By practicing safety measures, social distancing, and good cleanliness practices, they are keeping COVID-related concerns at bay. Some currently don’t have the technology to offer a full virtual closing or work with buyers in states that don’t allow them. Most lenders are working towards making this happen. They’re lobbying to have laws put in place to allow more remote closings and make mobile closings with notaries safer.
If a remote closing is possible for you, the title company will prepare the documents you need to sign and mail them and email or upload them to a portal. The title company will verify personal information and identification by video, and you will sign the papers electronically. You can also use a mobile notary, who travels to a buyer or seller’s home or workplace to complete the closing to limit in-person contact.
During COVID only the signing parties are often allowed at the closing office. Selling a home during the pandemic has been an adjustment for everyone, but with buyers, sellers, and agents working together, transactions run as smoothly as possible.
Living Houston Provides White-Glove Service While Selling Safely During COVID
Living Houston is doing everything in our power to keep all parties to every transaction as safe as possible. Our white-glove service requires our agents to operate with the highest safety standards in mind and with respect for all parties involved. Holding back the sale of your home during COVID is unnecessary and if you’re looking to buy or sell during this volatile time, Living Houston can assist in grounding the process. We’ll help alleviate stress and be there for you every step of the way.