Real Estate Practices during COVID-19

New Practices in place for your safety & some thoughts on the home buying & selling process:

Sellers...

If you are planning on selling, here are some of the examples of how the home selling process works during COVID-19:

1. If you are apprehensive about meeting in person, we can do a "Virtual" Meeting either via a Zoom video online meeting or a FaceTime phone call. If you are not familiar with "Zoom Video Conferencing" I can walk you through how to download the application onto your phone. We can also talk on the phone if that is easiest.

2. If you decide to sell, all paperwork can be done online via email, you would "Docusign" (meaning digitally sign legal contractual documents online). NO printing, faxing or mailing of documents. I would talk you through all the paperwork and make sure you feel informed and you understand what you are signing.

3. Marketing the home includes the following: 

A) a Professional Still Photographer will come to your home. They will wear a mask at all times.

B) a Floorplan drawer will make a diagram of your home. They will wear a mask at all times.

C) a Virtual Tour will be done ... which would be EITHER a video walk through of your home where the viewer can watch a video and the camera guides them from room to room. OR a "3D Matterport" Tour where the viewer can click and drag on the image and guide themselves visually through a home.

4. A Buyer views the property online, looks at the virtual tour, does a drive by of the property to make sure they like the street. 

5. In order to view the interior of the home in person, the Buyer supplies:

A) a California Association of Realtors form called a PEAD, releasing all parties from liabilities in the event they subsequently become infected with COVID-19.

B) Supply a pre-approval letter, proof of funds and answers a simple questionnaire on whether they have traveled recently, or been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

6. Seller reviews all the info provided and a tour is scheduled. Seller leaves the property during the showing, the Buyers & Buyer's Agent wear a mask and gloves at all times. The listing agent will provide booties, so that street shoes do not enter into the house. 

7. The Listing Agent, opens all the doors, turns on all the lights so that buyers don't have to touch anything. Buyers view the home.
8. Agent (prior to locking up), disinfects all the door handles, doorknobs, & light switches in the house, then locks up.

9. No Brochures, no flyers, no sign in sheets. 

10. Currently NO open houses.

11. If a Buyer writes an offer, everything is done via email. Once the offer is accepted, the Buyer can schedule home inspections. Social distancing will be practiced at all times. Buyers and inspectors can come visit the property, do inspections, but they do not 'hang out' in the house, they come in and refresh their memory, only touch items wearing gloves, a mask and booties. The listing agent will ask that people wash their hands and/or limit what they touch. The listing agent will disinfect doorknobs, door handles, light switches. The seller is encouraged to clean surfaces as well.

12. If the buyer is obtaining a loan an appraisal may be required by the lender. The appraiser will come to the house, they will be wearing a mask and gloves. They will be in and out in 15-20 minutes, limited contact is made. In some instances, during COVID-19 only an outside drive by appraisal is done. No interior access needed in certain instances.

13. For the rest of the escrow, there is limited entrance needed to the property, as a seller you sign most forms digitally.

14. Your safety and comfort are very important. Please let us know if you have any concerns.

Buyers...

1. Your safety and comfort are very important.

2. You probably have concerns like... Will prices drop? Will we go into a recession? Whether it is a good time to buy? Should you wait in case prices drop?

3. No one can predict what the market will do. Every buyer will have different feelings.

4. First step in the home buying process is to get pre-approved. Find out what your financial picture is. I can refer you to lenders based on your needs.

5. The goals is for you to have a good experience, we DON'T want you to feel pressured, we want you to feel informed throughout every step of the process. The goal is to have as pleasant an experience as possible. Also very important to prepare you for what are the types of snafus that happen and how to avoid them.

7. During COVID-19, drive by properties, it's the best education ever. View virtual tours and we make appointments and adhere to strict social distancing. We wear masks, gloves and booties. It's a bit impersonal but it's for everyone's benefit.

8. Please don't hesitate to bring up concerns you may have. Buying a home can feel like a very stressful process. Here are some of the things we try to be mindful of and address:
a) You want to find a great place
b) You want to make sure you are not overpaying and that you are making a smart financial decision
c) You want to make sure you don’t make a poor decision or have any issues come up in the future (repairs you should have instinctively been aware of, etc)
d) You want to learn about the home buying process but don't always know what questions to even ask.. for example... how it works: what to be aware of, what pitfalls to avoid, how do offers work? how to determine the right offer price? what sort of repairs the house may need in advance so you don’t feel blindsided and in an escrow where you have spent money on inspections and then decide to cancel? how do counter offers work and the negotiation process? how does the loan process work? how do appraisals work? how do sellers choose a buyer? what’s a contingency? Can you back out? How do you back out? If you put a 3% deposit into escrow, can you get it back? etc.
e) You want to make sure you work with someone who you feel understands you
f) You probably are still thinking about what criteria is important to you in a home (view, garage, woodsy, walkable etc)
g) You may feel like you don’t know yet how to articulate what it is you want
h) You don’t know what sort of inventory is out there and whether what you want is feasible/doable.

We will get through this. Hoping that positive changes occur.

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© 2020 by Hills of LA Real Estate. Contact: Margaret Cashion | 310-795-2200 |
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties | CalDRE#01376586