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  • Writer's pictureBija Satterlee

How COVID-19 Is Impacting Real Estate

If you’ve been thinking about buying or selling a home in the near future, the unprecedented events of the last few weeks might have left you feeling a bit uncertain.

Our way of life has changed dramatically within the course of just a few weeks, and the real estate market has shifted, too.

Although we’ll likely see a reduced number of sales in the coming weeks and months, record-low interest rates and a continuously low supply of homes might help to prevent any drastic price drops. Many economists also believe that another housing market crash is unlikely due to new regulations and stricter mortgage qualifications.

Our company Leading Edge has been meeting virtually on Zoom every day with hundreds of agents to strategize ways to accomplish our clients goals while keeping everyone at a safe distance, some strategies which might last even after life returns to normal. Virtual is becoming the new normal. We can also accommodate showings and viewings, with some social distance in place.

As a Seller, First Sanitize your home

As a seller, your main priority should be ensuring that your home is germ-free, especially before a showing. We recommend wiping down all surfaces with disinfectant wipes and sprays and offering hand sanitizer to potential buyers. Reduce unnecessary touching by pre-opening any doors, cabinets, or drawers and turning on all lights before a showing.

Also - it’s crucial to ensure that every member of your household is healthy before and during the selling process. Alert your agent right away if you’re feeling sick so they can halt in-person showings.

Capitalize on digital marketing

If you plan on selling soon, have your agent use the latest digital marketing techniques to really showcase your listing. We have photographers and videographers who can do 3D interactive floor plans and video tours, which make it possible to "feel like you're in the house" as you click-walk around the house. Open houses and showings might be out for now, but virtual tours and showings via video sharing platforms are in—and it’s important to capitalize on these techniques to draw in potential buyers.

Essential Tips for Buyers

Believe it or not, it’s still possible to buy a home during these uncertain times—and modern technology is making everything easier than you might expect. Here’s how to stay safe and healthy throughout the entire buying process.

First of all, if you’re feeling ill, it’s important that you stay home, practice social distancing, and avoid any showings. However, you can still continue to tour homes virtually and chat with your agent via online meetings using platforms like Zoom or FaceTime.

It’s also possible to complete the entire closing process remotely. Most documents can be signed electronically, which adds another layer of convenience and safety. Electronic deposits mean no checks to write, and inspectors can go through the house and FaceTime you or send you a report, without you having to go into the property.

Take extra precautions during in-person showings

Want to see a home in person before making an offer? If your agent still offers normal showings, there are a few extra steps you should take to keep yourself (and the sellers) safe. Carry hand sanitizer with you, try to refrain from touching any surfaces, and ideally wear a mask (to protect yourself as well as others). This might be difficult, but it’s the easiest way to mitigate the spread of germs. If your community has a shelter-in-place order, you may have to postpone any in-person showings until restrictions are lifted.

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