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Moving During COVID-19? What to Expect & How to Navigate The “New” Normal

by APSense News Release Admin

What to Know About Moving During COVID-19

Are you planning on moving during the pandemic? We’ve had to change a lot of aspects of our daily lives because of COVID and for those moving during the pandemic, this is the “new normal” way for buying a house or selling one.

The combination of low-interest rates, low inventory, and the vaccine is three big causes for the seller’s market that 97% of real estate agents who took part in HomeLight’s 2021 first-quarter survey are seeing. Buyers are coming out of the woodwork to take advantage of the low-interest rates and sellers are raking in the dough because house prices are on the rise. 

If you’re thinking about entering the market, either to buy or sell your home, here are a few ways the real estate market is adapting to the “new normal” until things can truly get back to normal. It’s better to have a better understanding of what’s to come rather than going in blind.

1. Agents show homes virtually

Many aspects of our lives rely on some form of technology but for the real estate industry, COVID has made agents adapt and rethink how they do business.

Now, real estate agents are going through homes and taking a ton of photos to post on the property’s listing page. Agents have even done video conferencing with clients and take them on a virtual tour. During those calls, the client can ask questions and make requests like to turn on the lights, flush the toilets, open cabinets, and so on. 

Some agents have even begun using 3D software to give the client a more robust tour. A 3D tour gives the buyer a sense of the size of the room, the layout, and the overall flow of the house without physically being there.

What’s really cool is that some agents may offer clients the chance to view the home with virtual reality goggles which makes the experience really come to life.

2. Buying houses sight unseen

As spring comes to a close and summer begins, 73% of real estate agents believe buyers are going to snatch up houses quicker than sellers are listing them.

The National Association of Realtors reports that 50% of buyers have used virtual tours to buy a house. Some buyers are even submitting offers on houses without even walking through them - which is great for sellers who are selling the house as-is, the home has code violations, or there are some aspects of the home that are less than ideal, like an awkward floor plan or carpeting in the bathroom.

We don’t really recommend buying a house sight unseen because you don’t know what you’re getting. This option is only really practical for those who plan on gutting the entire house and doing a complete renovation or if they bought the property just for the land and they’re going to demolish the house and build anew. 

3. Digitally signing documents

Signing documents is a huge part of a real estate transaction - both on the seller’s side and the buyers. Instead of doing it face to face as was done pre-COVID, real estate agents are giving their clients the ability to sign documents digitally.

Programs like DocuSign make it easy to sign documents, but also keep all documents associated with the transaction together. For the real estate agent, this eliminates the need for paper files and since it’s digital, they can access documents anywhere.

To have the ability to sign documents digitally, not only saves time for all parties involved but it keeps documents together in one place, as the documents are usually sent through a program like DotLoop or something similar.

4. New approach to appraisals and home inspections

In the past, home appraisals and home inspections were done in person. However, appraisers have taken to relying heavily on market data, photographs taken by the agent, nearby comparable homes, and driving by the property to come up with a roundabout market value for the property. 

Home inspections are done a little differently too. Instead of the buyer being able to go to the inspection and ask questions in person, now the inspector would go solo.

Sometimes the inspector would conference call the client and take them on a virtual tour of sorts. Other times the inspector will do the inspection, take photos and/or photographs, and then contact the client to go over their findings. 

Although these particular changes may not continue in the future (drive-by appraisals and solo home inspections), it is predicted that the virtual tours and conference calls could be the new normal.

Both of these can be beneficial for the long term because the inspectors and appraisers can do their job without someone looking over their shoulder.

They can pay attention to details, take note of problem areas, and so forth. Then when they’re finished, they can go back to their office, create a detailed report and send it to the client. If the client has any questions, they can send an email or ask for a video conference call so the inspector can go over the report in further detail. 

Ushering the “new normal” post-COVID-19

A lot of our lives have had to be adjusted to keep ourselves and others safe from getting infected with the coronavirus. Industries have also had to change how they do business and it’s very likely these changes will become the new normal once we get this pandemic under control.

Although safety guidelines are coming more relaxed due to the rollout of the COVID vaccine, it’s still hard to say when we’ll return to the pre-pandemic days.

With that said, life must go on and that includes buying and selling houses. For those who have had dealings with a real estate transaction in the past, this new normal may feel awkward and impersonal. However, just know that these precautions are in place for the agent’s safety, as well as the buyer and the seller.

If you’re new to the real estate scene, these practices may not seem like a big deal, which is fine. Just know that real estate agents work hard to give you the best experience one can get either buying or selling during the best of times. But with a virus running rampant, they’re doing what they can to give you that top-notch experience while keeping everyone safe.


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Created on May 12th 2021 19:05. Viewed 420 times.

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