Whether you’ve been planning on selling your home or if you are thinking of buying a house, home selling or buying during the coronavirus restrictions has been daunting for many. Though the restrictions in place for California, which affects the Bay Area market, might seem complicated, they’re actually manageable. Realtors have been working diligently with buyers and sellers and reading up on the state guidelines to make sure that the process does not only go smoothly but is safe for everyone involved. With a little guidance, here’s how you can painlessly manage a house hunt during coronavirus.
How to Manage a House Hunt Safely
Safety is a priority for all agents, especially for Compass. Registered Compass agents make sure to integrate all their expertise to bring you safely to your perfect home. Virtual Agent Services help Compass agents conduct business with safe and virtual options so we can continue to provide impeccable service in a seamless fashion.
The open house, which is arguably one of the most fun (or perhaps in your opinion, time-consuming) experiences of any house search, is unfortunately not possible for the time being. However, it is possible to previews homes virtually. This means that any potential buyer can preview the listing from the comfort of their own home via an interactive virtual tour or viewing the property on technologies such as the prerecorded video or virtual walkthrough to explore the home’s unique features.
Alternatively, potential buyers can also schedule a private virtual tour with a real estate agent. The agent will enter the home and conduct a virtual tour that interested parties can look at. Once there are more serious inquiries, an in-person showing can commence.
Check Out the Neighborhood
Before you head out to that in-person showing, it's highly recommended you check out the neighborhood. Many buyers see a house online but don’t realize that it is in an area that does not fit with their lifestyle or needs. If you’re looking for a place near the park and in a good school district for the kids, that’s important! Make sure the neighborhood is right before you see a house in person, as you can rule out some options before taking that next step
Dig into those Disclosures
Reviewing disclosures will give you more information about the house. This is a great way for you to rule out houses that you don’t want to view and will help you painlessly manage a house hunt much easier.
It’s also important to note that some agents are requiring a pre-view of disclosures, or a pre-qualify letter (or proof of funds) before an in-person showing, so make sure you have all of your documents together before looking at a property.
Preparing for the In-Person Showing
After pre-viewing virtually, if you are interested in seeing a property in person, a real estate agent can help arrange for a private in-person showing. You will be asked to sign a Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory and Declaration. This document is signed by all parties and states:
- There might be some risk involved in an in-person viewing.
- Asks that the viewer do everything they can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks, washing hands, and practicing social distancing during the visit.
- Avoid touching high-touch surfaces, like doorknobs and light switches while viewing the property.
- Asking the viewer to attest that they do not have symptoms, have not been around a known case, and do not have, to the best of their knowledge, COVID-19.
Once that is taken care of, you’re ready to view the property!
Taking the Virtual into Reality
If you’ve ever been to an in-person showing, you might expect that there might be printed flyers of the property, or maybe run into other potential buyers while you are in the home. In this new normal, that’s not the case!
The following rules must be followed:
- In the Bay Area, only one listing agent and one buying party limited to one buyer’s agent and two potential buyers from the same household in the property at a time.
- Any residents (Seller or tenants) may not be present during the showing.
- Agents must meet potential buyers at the property, not take them in personal cars.
- The physical distance must be maintained, masks must be worn, and all parties should refrain from touching high-touch surfaces.
- All visitors must wash their hands or use sanitizer upon entry.
The home buying and selling process is a stressful endeavor at any stage, and especially during this time. But with a little guidance, painlessly managing the sale of your home or purchasing a special property is possible during the pandemic!