We can all acknowledge that COVID-19 initiated changes in not only our everyday lives but also in the way we conduct real estate transactions. Safety is of the utmost priority, and virtual buying and selling is the safest way to go. As the industry continues to adjust, things are tweaked here and there, but these tips will give you an excellent starting point.
Thorough agent selection
Of all the tips for selling your home virtually, finding the right agent is the most important. Start by reaching out to your local network of friends and family for word-of-mouth referrals; this should provide you with a handful of agents to contact. To ensure the perfect agent fit, interview potential agents before signing on. Book virtual interviews to get a feel for each agent and their handle on technology. Tech is vital in the virtual selling world.
Don’t be afraid to ask agents to describe their processes and what safety measures they have in place. If the response appears to lack thoroughness, move on to an agent with an ironclad plan. For example, we’ve established the Safe Seller Program. Our Safe Seller Program provides an outline of virtual options and thought-out procedures to minimize person-to-person contact throughout the listing, showing, and selling process.
Insights from top agents across the country indicate that the increased tech integration in the real estate market is here to stay. And this is a good thing. Selling your home doesn’t have to be a time-consuming and arduous task with tech innovation.
Virtual listing and tours
Products like FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom allow you to virtually conduct everything from your initial listing appointment to agent-lead tours. Again, the name of the game is reducing contact with others, so the fewer in-person meetings you have, the better.
Your listing appointment and the initial home tour can efficiently be conducted via video conferencing, as can open houses. Make sure your agent includes a virtual tour with your listing—the more visual information you include with your listing, the better. This helps potential buyers narrow down their home choices and help cut down on excess traffic in your house.
Electronic document signing
Perhaps one of the most positive impacts the necessity of reduced social contact has had on the real estate industry is increased adaptation and acceptance of electronic signatures. Everyone’s heard the jokes about the reams of paper that get signed when buying and selling a home, and COVID-19 helped increase the number of documents that are signed electronically.
Ditch the table
Pre-coronavirus, agent meetings often took place at a table. From the listing appointment to reviewing offers. Offers would be spread out on the table and discussed in-person. Now, these meetings are happening with the help of video conferencing, with documents being sent electronically for review. And once you accept the best offer on your home, you no longer have to sit at a table full of people.
Many areas offer mobile closings, where you drive up in your car, sign papers with the notary, and relinquish keys. Other closings incorporate electronic signatures, allowing you to forego a seat at the table. The table still exists, however, if you choose. Title agencies are offering staggered closings, where sellers come in to sign paperwork at one time, and the buyers come at another time. The best part about the closing changes is that there is an option for every comfort level.
While COVID-19 created a challenge at the beginning of the year, the real estate market responded quickly. Whether you choose to go completely virtual with your home sale or integrate a few virtual options, the technology is here to stay and we’re here, ready to help you navigate it!