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Buying and Selling a House During a Pandemic

Posted by dfwfirstrealty on November 30, 2020

Coronavirus is commonly spread through person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets. As a result of this danger, the tried-and-true act of showing and viewing a home for sale has been suddenly altered. Now, the old tradition of house hunting has new criteria: social distancing, virtual viewing and lots of disinfectant.

The type of house homeowners prefer is changing too. The recent trend of moving to a gentrified urban area (exurbia) has slowed due to these new circumstances. Thanks to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown/quarantine, the current favorite property among homebuyers: a roomier home with backyards in the suburbs.

Despite this new normal, the U.S. housing market remains strong, due partly to historically low mortgage rates and the growing perceived need of home buyers wanting to move to less dense, less urban areas. Being able to work from anywhere (thanks to technology) is helping to grow this trend.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when showing or viewing a house for sale in the age of COVID-19:

When showing your home:

  • Consider staying elsewhere while an agent shows your home.
  • Have you checked everyone in the household for COVID-19 symptoms before any in-person showings? If so, who have they been in contact with?
  • Limit the number of people who are inside at one time (not more than three or four, and respect six-feet of social distance at all times).
  • Wear protective masks/face coverings.
  • Wipe down surfaces, doorknobs, handles before and after prospects are on the property.
  • Don’t serve food or drink.

When going to view a home:

  • Do not touch surfaces throughout the home (countertops, door handles, cabinets).
  • Wear protective masks/face coverings.
  • Respect the six-foot social-distancing rule.

The benefits of virtual tours

A growing number of home selles are opting to show their houses through a virtual tour. The increasingly dependence on virtual tours and video conferencing is considered a safer alternative to the risk of in-person house hunting.

Just as modern technology — smart lighting and thermostats, outdoor movie projection — increases the value of your home, an interactive virtual tour online could keep you in front of prospective buyers while showing off the best assets of your property.

A virtual open house could enhance the personal experience of what it’s like to live on the property without putting lives at risk.

Here are some of the specific benefits of offering an interactive tour of your home:

Buyers are online anyway.

These days, buyers spend a good part of their time online when searching for a property, even before they start their actual house hunting on the road. Offering a virtual tour gives them more information about your property up front, allowing them to make more informed decisions.

A virtual tour may be more appealing than simple photographs of the property.

An online tour — with 360-degree views — is more engaging than flat, one-dimensional photographs. Also, with platforms like Zoom and Facetime, you are able to interact with prospective buyers, answering questions and addressing concerns.

Bottom line

The unexpected changes of lifestyle and living due to the COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped the housing market from surging. However, the need for social distancing and quarantining has changed the long-standing traditions of house hunting and showing. Following a few simple tweaks to the house tour experience — including an embrace of technology — may help and even improve success for both buyers and sellers.

Guest Post Written by: Karl Kennedy

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