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, congratulations. You are in a very lucky position. The market is fantastic for sellers. 
If you have health and safety concerns, here are some of the examples of how the home selling process works since COVID-19 has impacted our lives:

1. We can meet in person and wear masks or we can talk on the phone whichever you prefer. 
2. If you decide to sell, all paperwork can be done online via email. NO printing, NO faxing. If you prefer we can also mail any relevant 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 ... a video walk through of your home where the viewer can watch a video and the camera guides them from room to room. 
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,you can ask the Buyer to supply a pre-approval letter & proof of funds to make sure they are serious. 
6. T
he Buyer(s) & Buyer's Agent wear a mask 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. 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, The listing agent will disinfect doorknobs, door handles, light switches. The seller is encouraged to clean surfaces as well.
10. 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. They will be in and out in 15-20 minutes.
11. For the rest of the escrow, there is limited entrance needed to the property, as a seller you sign most forms digitally.
12. 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 continue to go up? Will the market make adjustments? When is it 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. Post COVID-19, driving by properties is still the best education ever. All the investors do it, why shouldn't you?? View virtual tours, we now do open houses or make a private appointment to see a home. For the most part we still wear masks. (As of July 2021).
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.
8. You probably have been following the market. For the first half of 2021, the market has been EXTREMELY active. You may have some anxiety about jumping in. Talk to a professional, my "opinion" is regardless of what you hear in the news, having a home of your own and investing in yourself is one of the best decisions you can make. I
9. Happy house-hunting!