Tuesday, April 14, 2020 / by Anne Rose
Healthy Strategies for Your Home Search
For many prospective home buyers, the need to move is essential, whether it is work-related, or an important decision involving family or health reasons. Your real estate agent will be able to educate you on implementing social distancing restrictions, leveraging digital home search solutions, and understanding all your options as you work through searching, viewing, and purchasing your new home.
The first step in your home search is an in-depth consultation with your agent. This conversation, which has traditionally been in at the Realtor's office or other place convenient for the home buyer, can take place over the phone. Realtor's can also conduct FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom meetings for a face-to-face type experience.
A comprehensive online search is the first step in presenting properties to a prospective buyer. Even more online listings than ever before include video tours, narrated virtual tours, and 3D home tours. The real estate industry is leveraging every digital option to make online home searching as exciting and informative as possible.
Online home search also has the advantage of immediacy. With a personal login for the MLS or an agent's website, home buyers can receive email or text notifications the moment a listing matching their criteria goes on the market.
Touring a home while social distancing can be a challenge. Brokers are often asking client to drive themselves to a showing, instead of car pooling. Agents are wearing masks and gloves, and often request that clients do so as well. Shoe covers may be provided, or everyone may be asked to remove shoes at the door.
While touring homes in person, only the agent will touch any surfaces, which includes turning lights on and off, opening cupboards and closets, and running water.
Before you visit a property in person for your final decision, though, your agent can help you get a lot done virtually. The agent can go to homes on their own, and walk through while chatting with you on FaceTime or another video chat service. They can hold their smartphone or tablet so that you get a great up-close view of a home, and allow you to take your time "seeing" the property, and asking questions all while in the safety and comfort of your own home.
When you get to the business of making an offer, requesting inspection reports, and closing on your home, your agent will advise you on working with professionals who can leverage digital processes as much as possible. In North Carolina, a full e-close is not permitted, but there are only a few final documents that need to be signed in person in your attorneys office, and most of these can be completed in less than ten minutes, often times as a "drive-thru" while you stay in your vehicle.
Monies can be wired. Mobile notaries can deliver documents to you. And, when you have purchased your next home, your KBT agent can deliver your new keys to you - safely sanitized.
Ready to sell your home, but worried about COVID-19 and your health safety? Read our guidelines for home sellers in the time of COVID-19.