Home Buying and Selling During a Pandemic
March 18th 2021
What a difference a year can make! In March 2020, we first heard the term “lockdown” and wondered what it would mean for the process of home buying and selling during a pandemic. And how would our role as a Realtor be affected?
We started off slow and eventually as an industry, we were able to adapt and perform in a way to keep both Buyers and Sellers safe during the home buying/selling experience. Real Estate was deemed an essential service, but it was not business as usual. As we now emerge from our second lockdown with things opening again, I wanted to comment on how the Buying and Selling process has shifted so you can rest assured that it is worry free and safe to go house shopping or finally get your home on the market while COVID-19 is still a concern.
Preparing to Sell:
Sellers can have a pre-inspection conducted on their home and offer that to serious buyers; this eliminates or helps reduce the time that buyers may spend in the home for a walk through. It also allows the seller to make any recommended repairs or maintenance that may come up during a pre-inspection, providing comfort and peace of mind for potential buyers. Some buyers have chosen to have a pre-inspection completed prior to offering on a home. While we are seeing this more often, it can be difficult to schedule an hour’s time to have this done. Experienced Realtors can walk through the home with you, pointing out the negatives and positives, providing suggestions for how to take care of any issues. It’s important to note, however, that a Realtor is not a home inspector and buyers should consult a professional when seeking advice on this topic.
Touring homes has gotten a technology boost! Many Realtors are including virtual tours now as part of their listings and using Matterport technology to conduct a 3D walk through of a home. This helps buyers fully visualize a space to see if it fits their needs before scheduling an in-person tour. We have also conducted many FaceTime or Skype home tours over the last year. These tools help limit in-person visits to serious buyers only and allow potential buyers to see a space in real-time and have any questions answered.
Thank goodness for e-signatures! There are several ways to obtain e-signatures
and we have been using DocuSign over the last couple of years. With the high
demand and fast-paced nature of the real estate industry, the ability to send documents directly to a client’s phone or computer has allowed us to keep up with these limitations. The pandemic has only amplified the need for using e-signature software, as Realtors are not always able to sit down with a client in person. The process flows quickly and smoothly, allowing changes to be made in mere moments.
Good or Bad Time to Sell?
As we mentioned, real estate has been deemed an essential service. Complementing businesses and services have followed suit, with lawyers, appraisers, home inspectors, mortgage brokers, home stagers, etc. being available for the process. Business has adapted to the new rules and regulations and is carrying on — perhaps even more efficiently than before. The market has changed, and buyers and sellers are following suit. We have a very strong sellers’ market and with low inventory, we don’t anticipate this will change. Buyers are prepared to make strong offers and inventory is moving quickly.
Good or Bad Time to Buy?
London has been a great place to invest in for many years. While no one could have predicted the market would react as it did to the pandemic and the values continue to increase, low mortgage rates have helped home buying become more affordable. With rental rates increasing due to short supply, purchasing becomes a more desirable option.
Working with knowledgeable and experienced Realtors will ensure your home buying and selling experience is safe, smooth, and enjoyable. Having been born and raised in London, we can assure you that we have insight and knowledge that gives us a leg up on the competition — and there is a lot of competition in the market today!
If you are considering buying or selling, reach out to us and we will guide you through the process, keeping you safe and successful.
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