Covid-19 and Residential Real Estate
by Deb Staley
Deb Dot House
I’m a full-time Realtor working in Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas. What can I say about Covid-19 that you have not already heard a “jillion” times?
Actually, I can share some ideas regarding residential real estate.
If you are a potential home buyer, extra people (children, parents, friends) are no longer allowed at home viewings. Only people who will sign the contracts are permitted to be inside. We are only allowed to show homes to buyers who are prequalified (or cash buyers) and who are genuinely interested in that home. When you enter a home, you know within minutes if that home is for you. If it isn’t what you are looking for, let’s just turn around and leave. If the home has possibilities for you, do look around as long as you need to, but please do not touch anything. Our local board of Realtors has asked agents to wear gloves, so we can switch on lights and open closets or cabinets for you. Most sellers have cameras in their homes, so these new rules are definitely enforced!
If you are a home seller, we can remind buyers’ agents to leave children at home and not to touch things unnecessarily. Open houses are now a thing of the past; they are prohibited now anyway. Shoe covers should always be worn. Sellers can help with this by providing a chair near the door. Sellers can also turn all lights on and open closet doors. Agents are wearing gloves and masks.
Home sellers: nearly all home buyers start their home search online. Make sure that the agent you choose to list your home has professional photos taken and a true, walkthrough video done. By “true video,” I mean one shot by a videographer and not a so-called “virtual tour” that is nothing more than still photos strung together. Your listing agent needs to be a master at internet marketing. Agents are encouraging buyers to thoroughly review a home online before requesting a showing.
If you have an e-mail account, all contract documents can be signed online, thereby eliminating the need to touch pens or paper. At closing time though, real signatures are required, but we are carefully sanitizing tables and pens.
About the inspection process: my best inspector has thought this through and planned for it well. At this time, it is best that you do not attend the inspection. At the conclusion of the inspection, the inspector will do your verbal report via video chat and you’ll receive your inspection report through e-mail.
That’s my 2 cents worth and I wish you all safety and good health. --Deb Staley