It is no secret that the real estate market showed no signs of slowing down, as we have seen record breaking sales and continuous growth over the past few months. Vendors took in consideration the current market conditions and have opted to put their homes for sale as the sellers’ market continued throughout the year. But with a world-wide pandemic and several lockdowns, how does one embark on a real estate journey? As this global crisis showed no signs of stopping, we as professionals and buyers/sellers had to adjust to make the most out of the process.
As a real estate professional, we have procedures and rules to adhere to in order to provide a safe environment for our clients to come to or for our buyers to feel safe while entering a home that is not their own. Wearing a mask is obligatory, minimal number of visitors are allowed and the amount of visits in a duration is also a factor. Having everyone “pre-screened” via a form indicating recent travel and symptoms, also helps in understanding who is entering a space. Hand sanitizer is a must and most doors are opened to ensure less contact. Extra precautions that have helped some feel safer is having alcohol wipes in hand in case anything is touched unintentionally, shoe/sock covers and also advising to wear clothes that can be repeatedly brought in the wash.
Virtual visits or virtual open houses are replacing the generic form of visiting homes and allows viewers the opportunity to get a better sense when “window shopping” online. This also helps steer the more serious buyer than the one who would like to test out the waters first.
Third parties such as photographers/videographers, even home stagers have the same protocols that are in effect and should anyone feel ill, things will be reschedule or another option will be proposed.
In this digital age, we can simplify the procedure by sending documents virtually and having them signed off through programs offering verified electronic signatures. This eliminates contact but if needed, with programs such as Zoom, screens can be shared and the information can be reviewed together. Knowing this may be harder for those who may not be technologically inclined, it also depends on how safe the buyer or seller feels to have this process “face to face” – at a distant of course. Most notary signings are also done this way via other platforms, which ensures less handling in one common office area.
Being a representative to our clientele means making the process known and as efficient as possible. As we enter 2021 and into the unknown, one thing still remains the same: a home is always a need and we are here to provide the best possible solution to supply the product in question.