Real Estate is deemed an essential service, therefore the business of buying, selling and investing in real estate continues throughout the pandemic and restrictions set due to COVID. Business is not exactly business as usual however, and the real estate industry has been implementing tools and specific measures to keep the journey of buying a home as safe as possible. The industry is undertaking these enhancements and modifications to the home buying and selling process to keep everyone as safe as possible:
Over the past year, the use of digital tools and information to highlight homes for sale has been significantly enhanced. Many listings have increased the number of digital photos of homes featured, added 3D video tours to further explore the home online, and the addition of detailed floor plans to listings online. The way Open Houses have been hosted has also changed, with use of technology to host Virtual Open Houses instead.
As many homes are selling in a matter of days, to maximize safe showings, these showings are often limited to 15 minutes per session, and often recommended a maximum of 2 buyers attend the showing appointment. All persons are to wear masks and use gloves or hand sanitizer, which is often available at the entry of the home. Sellers are encouraged to leave the lights on and closet doors open to minimize the touching of any surfaces.
Once a buyer decides to put forward an offer on a home, their REALTOR ® will prepare all of the necessary documents electronically and forward to their buyer for signature . Through the use of a document signing tool, the buyer can easily authorize their offer quickly and safely in the comfort of their own home.
From there the REALTOR ® will present the buyers offer to the listing agent electronically, and any negotiation and the final acceptance can all be done over the phone, zoom and then signed electronically.
Once an offer is accepted, a deposit is required, generally within 24 hours to finalize the deal. Many brokerages are accepting e-transfers of these funds, so buyers no longer have to attend the bank then the brokerage to provide the deposits.
The past year has brought about many changes to many industries, and the real estate industry has rose to the challenge and is going strong and keeping everyone as safe as possible during these unprecedented times.
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