Buying and Selling Homes in the Midst of Pandemic…What Now?!

We are suddenly living in very different times due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is having a ripple effect throughout every facet of our lives.

In the midst of this situation some families will put their home buying or selling plans on hold and take a wait and see approach as they shelter in place. Others may be in a situation that creates a need to act now. No matter what is going on in the world or what the economy is doing people always need homes. For that reason, we have to find ways to safely move forward to accommodate the needs of families.

Here are a few practices I am putting into place as we move forward together and find our new normal…

For My Listings:

  • In addition to professional photos, all occupied listings will receive a professional walk through video of the home. This will allow potential buyers to get a better feel for the layout and flow of the home before visiting in person. It should also reduce the number of visits to the home by potential buyers as they can revisit it anytime by watching the video or sharing it with family and friends.
  • Only decision makers will be allowed at showings. I am requesting that the buyer’s agent not bring anyone into your home that isn’t a party to a potential purchase. Limiting the number of people in your home will help keep your family safe.
  • If possible, you should make sure all lights are on and closet doors open in advance of a showing so that the showing can be completely “hands off” other than opening exterior doors.
  • Place hand sanitizer at the front door and require anyone entering the home to use it prior to moving forward. (We may have to work together on providing this due to shortages of hand sanitizer in stores.)
  • As the homeowner, it would be a good practice for you to sanitize door knobs, etc once you return home after a showing. We can provide sanitizing wipes for the showing agent to use as supply in stores allow us to get them.

For My Buyer Clients:

  • We will practice social distancing during all showings and interactions. No hand shakes…only “air high fives”.
  • No riding together. I’ll drive my vehicle and you drive yours.
  • Please don’t bring extra people with you. I know this one can be hard as you sometimes want input from friends or family members. We can shoot video or extra photos if you’d like to share with others to get their input. It’s also a good idea not to bring children with you as they have a hard time not touching things. Sellers are on edge about letting people into their homes. Let’s be smart and courteous during this unprecedented situation.
  • I’ll be packing hand sanitizer and we will all use it before and after viewing each home.
  • After entering a home I will be the designated door opener and light switcher. I will sanitize any surfaces I need to touch. Everyone else keep your hands in your pockets please…no touching.

What about paperwork?

That one is easy! I’ve been running a paperless business for years. With electronic signature platforms and video conferencing options there’s no need to sit across the table from each other and touch the same pages and breathe on each other.

What will closing look like?

Closing attorneys and title companies have been quick to adapt to our new world. They are having buyers and sellers sign separately to keep down the numbers of people in one place together. Many are also offering “drive thru closings” where they will bring the documents to your car for you to sign.

Everyone connected with the real estate industry is modifying their practices to try and keep you safe. Photographers, home inspectors, appraisers, closing attorneys, etc are all taking extra measures to ensure the safety of your family. Some changes will be temporary and some will be permanent as we move forward and start to come out of this.

Please know that I will work with you to accommodate and special circumstances and listen to any ideas you have to enhance these practices. This is new to all of us and we are all learning and working together.

Contact me to discuss your unique situation and concerns and let’s formulate a plan that allows you to move forward and stay safe at the same time.

About the Author
Chad Beasley
Chad & Jen Beasley are Realtors with eXp Realty in Alabama. Chad has been serving Shelby County Alabama and the surrounding areas since 1997. Chad & Jen are consistently ranked among the top performing Realtors in Alabama.