The COVID-19 pandemic has put much of the world on hold. While real estate in Ontario is considered an essential service, there are severe restrictions for how sales can proceed. While many agents recommend their clients hold off on selling until the lockdown passes, there are always circumstances where individuals need to sell.
If you need to sell your home right now, there’s no doubt that things will be different from normal, but sales are possible. To help you through these changing times, here are some things to be aware of when selling your home during COVID-19.
Make Friends With Technology
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Real Estate sector was slow to adopt online technology such as virtual showings and virtual meetings. Now, with in-person viewings severely limited and open houses banned, we’ve jumped on board the technology train.
Virtual Viewings make it possible for prospective buyers to view a home remotely and go way beyond traditional professional photos. Right now, virtual viewings are taking the place of open houses. Your agent will help organize a professional photographer to record a virtual viewing of your home along with your professional photos.
There are many advantages to these online tools – you can reach more potential buyers than ever, and distance is no longer a barrier. Anyone from anywhere can view your home online, and you may be able to find buyers that were previously out of touch.
If you are hosting in-person viewings in your home, your agent will talk you through the restrictions and the recommended guidelines. Be ready to have an honest conversation about your comfort level for having people into your home.
If you, as a seller, decide to go through with in-person showings, expect to have your home in the usual clean and staged condition along with some other safety precautions. You should thoroughly sanitize your home before and after in-person showings, including lockboxes, light switches, door handles and countertops.
Ensure that all the lights are on and all your doors, including your closet doors, are open, so potential buyers don’t have to touch them to take a look. It is also recommended that you open a window or door to clear the air and improve the ventilation after a showing.
In-person showings are by appointment only and very limited with a maximum of two visitors plus an agent at one time for social distancing. Anyone entering your home must wear a mask at all times and sanitize their hands and all high touch surfaces before and afterward the viewing. Showings should be spaced out to allow for cleaning and disinfecting in between viewings.
Have a conversation with your agent about if you want them to be present during in-person viewings and how they can protect your home. For safety and to minimize potential contact, homeowners should not be present during a showing. Agents should limit the length of viewings to minimize the time in a home, and no agents or buyers are permitted to use the bathroom.
Digital Signing Tools
Transferring papers back and forth can be a health hazard, so paper items, including brochures and listing information, should all be digital. Many transactions have moved online with digital signing tools replacing in-person signing as much as possible. You can even meet with your agent virtually. If in-person paperwork is necessary, your agent should take precautions for sanitizing and transferring all documents.
In the end, all of these precautions are about keeping each other safe. If you have questions about selling your home in these changing times, get in touch with our expert agents at the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team. There’s no doubt that selling a home during COVID-19 is a different experience, but our team can help you navigate the process.