Buying and selling houses has certainly NOT been put on hold. However, there are a few steps in the process that have changed recently:
- Virtual home tours are quickly becoming the new normal. Realtors can use a number of video chat apps via smart phone and show potential buyers everything they need to see either live or recorded.
- 3D home models are also becoming increasingly popular. Touring a home digitally enables buyers to understand things like the floorplan and scale of the home.
- More and more sellers are considering financing options that allow them to move out of their home before it is sold.
- Virtual meetings with realtors, e-signatures and remote closings are being utilized where possible to keep the home-buying process moving along as smoothly as possible. Even appraisals and inspections are mostly being completed without in-person contact.
- Clean, clean, clean! Most new buyers are having their new home cleaned professionally to allow maximum sanitization and safety before they move into their new homes. Clauses are being added to contracts that require sellers to have the house professionally cleaned before closing.
- Realtors are taking safety precautions prior to in-person showings. Many realtors are limiting in-person showings to interested parties with loan pre-approval letters only. Kits with sanitizer, booties and gloves are being delivered to sellers prior to showings and sellers are being advised that they must sanitize and clean just prior to an in-person showing.
While we see so much change in many industries, some of these new trends in the home-buying process may become standard practice. It will be interesting to see what else may evolve over the coming months!