Even as the world picks back up again, COVID-19 is still causing anxiety for many people – especially when it comes to sellin ghomes. Right now the idea of having strangers in your home isn’t exactly appealing. Nevertheless, it’s still possible to safely sell your house during COVID-19. Here’s how.
Virtual, Virtual, Virtual
While “location, location, location” was the mantra for real estate, it’s now “virtual, virtual, virtual.” From initial meetings, to paperwork signing, to showings and reviewing offers, if it can be done virtually, it is. The industry was already headed in that direction, but COVID-19 put it on a fast-track. Understanding the process of what can be handled virtually and what will need to be in person is important. There are also new disclosures and new addendum that add information about best practice protocols. This includes what happens if there is a force majeure, an unforeseeable event that prevents someone from fulfilling a contract.
Virtual Viewings & Open Houses
Make sure you choose a real estate agent who utilizes every possible avenue to create the best online representation of your home. That includes not only high quality professional photos and video, but also a 3D virtual tour. This allows potential buyers to initially “see” your home without setting foot in it.
Virtual open houses are another great tool. A live-streamed walk-through of your home on Facebook Live or YouTube can be viewed during the event and after. Make sure you choose an agent with a successful online marketing strategy that creates engagement. This will expose your home to as many potential buyers as possible.
Although you may see some agents still holding and advertising them, open houses for the general public or held on a walk-in basis are currently prohibited. This is mandated by the best practice standards of both the California Association of Realtors and the local real estate boards. In-person showings are reserved only for serious buyers who have already viewed the home online. Potential buyers need to provide documentation showing they have a loan in place or the funds to purchase the home. These buyers need to sign a PEAD-V, a property entry advisory disclosure which spells out a prevention plan. It also indicates that they’ll comply with the rules of the showing, among other things. Most importantly, it attests they are not, to the best of their knowledge, afflicted with COVID-19, nor have they been exposed to it recently.
Rules for showings must be posted at the entrance to the home and clearly visible. The home must be equipped with hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and face masks. The property must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. This includes cleaning and disinfecting commonly used surfaces such as counters, door and cabinet handles, light switches, etc. before and after every showing. Ideally, all windows and doors will be open in the home to provide a flow of fresh air and minimize touching of surfaces. Prior to entry, all visitors must use hand sanitizer, and after showing the home, disposable masks and gloves must be properly discarded.
How Can You Help?
These guidelines will reduce the number of people viewing your home in person. Plus, only two buyers and one agent are allowed in the house at any one time. However, with adequate virtual representations and marketing, those who do view your home will be serious, motivated, and qualified buyers. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for showings:
- Put away as many items as possible. Cleaning in between showings is mandatory right now in the state of California. Decluttering limits the number of things that can be touched and need to be sanitized after potential buyers leave.
- Leave the lights on so people don’t have to flip the switch.
- Your agent should have hand sanitizer and disposable wipes at the entrance, but you should consider adding a hand sanitizer station in another spot in the house.
The selling process can be frustrating at times, but it’s important than ever to stay patient. In uncertain times, people take longer to make decisions and some traditional methods of selling a home are no longer on the table. People are still buying homes though, so with the right real estate team, selling your home is still possible! The Shannon Jones Team is committed to ensuring all of our clients feel comfortable and safe throughout the selling process.
For full guidelines on how to safely sell your house right now from the California Association of Realtors click here.