With COVID-19 still on the rise, home showings is a current challenge to both realtors and real estate consumers. A showing is one of the major activities within the home buying process that mainly gives a buyer the opportunity to visit the property and see it up close. But how can realtors provide protection for their consumers during a home showing?
More than ever, realtors all over the US are now recognizing the importance of using technology to their advantage. Here’s how most realtors do business these days:
- Video Call Conferencing. Set up appointments through the many free downloadable apps that can be installed on mobile phones or personal computers, for either IOS or Android devices. Some of the popular ones are Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, FB Messenger, and many more! Pick your choice!
- Recorded Videos. Some listing agents/ sellers realized earlier than the rest the convenience of having recorded videos of the properties they put up on the market, and so are a bit ahead of the curve today. Today, recorded videos are in big demand.
- Live Virtual Tours. Some buyers prefer to see the property in its current condition. If the seller allows at least his agent to come in and go around, a live tour would be a good choice to see the property it in its most recent state. Some sellers are even doing their own tours and sending it to the agent for marketing.
- Online Access to a collection of photos. This has been available all along to attract real estate consumers to post an ‘album of the properties’ known to many online or through their local MLS (Multiple Listing Service).
- Use of Drone. According to The National Association of Realtors “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) small drone rule became effective August 29, 2016. Technological advances have made it efficient and cost-effective to take pictures and videos from drones, aka Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Real estate professionals working with residential, commercial and land parcels can all benefit from the images and information obtained from using UAS technology. This imagery is an incredible tool for potential homeowners moving to a different city, buying a second home, or trying to streamline the research process necessary to buy a new home.”
COVID-19 Safety Reminders During and After an Appointment
If buying a property cannot be postponed for later and you are permitted to visit the property, be sure to follow safety precautionary measures that are being mandated in most parts of the country:
- Avoid close contact. Maintain a safe distance of 6 feet from people around you. And adopt a no-contact gesture or greeting such as the “namaste”!
- Wear a mask. You might also want to wear it with protective glass and caps if you seriously want to lower the risk of exposure. Some realtors said they hand out gloves and booties too!
- Cover coughs and sneezes. If you don’t have tissue or napkins, use your upper arm or elbow to cough or sneeze in- not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect. Remove and bag used clothes upon arrival at home, get the dirty clothes straight to the washer and take a full bath. Also, sanitize gadgets and other personal accessories that were used while outside the house.
- Clean your hands often. Wash with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Singing the happy birthday song twice will let you know it’s been 20 seconds. it does not hurt to alternatively spray them with alcohol or hand sanitizers.
What’s In It For You in A Home Showing?
Just like any other item you buy at a grocery store or a mall, you want to see the condition of the item prior to buying it. A home showing is equivalent to that. It gives you an up-close look at what the property offers and can help you determine its high and low points much easier compared to reading its description and seeing just the pictures or even seeing a video. Be sure to maximize your time and prepare a checklist of questions, such as:
- Did the homeowner ever have to deal with mold or pests?
- Were there additions or recent major renovations done by the seller/ homeowner?
- Does the property have a plumbing or electrical problems?
- How long have the homeowners been living in the property?
- Find out what the seller’s motivation for selling. Although the motivation for the sale is usually hidden by the seller’s agent to not disadvantage his/her seller, it is surprising how many times a careless seller agent will disclose this.
Most of the items above will be part of the seller disclosure form, a pre-inspection, or a standard inspections report.
Also, seeing the property can help identify problem areas that may need fixing or renegotiating. As a buyer, you want to protect yourself from a money-pit type of property. A great agent will proactively determine this for you but it’s a good practice to also be able to answer the following while on a home tour:
- Is the property situated in the right location?
- Do you like what you see in the neighborhood?
- What is the property’s potential?
- Is the house overall layout what you are looking for?
- How do you feel in general?
It’s important to address these questions while viewing the property. This is why, to reveal the true condition of a property, buyers must not easily forego home inspections and appraisals. The details on these reports are important in the home buying negotiation.
When you’re about to attend a home showing, virtual or not, remember to:
- Be mindful of time. Timing is crucial in all aspects. A delay in one activity may cause a domino effect on the rest of the home buying process.
- Be mentally and physically present. Have someone look over the kids so you can focus on the tour. On virtual tours, isolate yourself and choose an area free of distraction from noise.
- Make important notes and discuss them with your hired agent after the home tour.
Who Does the Home Showing?
A home showing is a listing agent’s responsibility to make available, but typically the buyer’s agent to conduct. It’s very rare for the actual homeowners to directly communicate with buyers and give them a tour of the property. unless it is a for sale by owner property. Over 80% of sellers typically hire a listing agent to take care of getting the properties listed on the market to attract the buyers.
“A listing agent does what the name implies—she lists a property for sale. She works for the seller and is sometimes also referred to as the seller’s agent. It’s her job to properly market the property and to get it sold.” –-The Balance
A listing agent is also responsible for the following:
- Broker tours of newly listed properties and caravans
- Arranging Home showing appointments
- Open houses
- Negotiating for their seller client
Here at Buyer Agent Search, we are careful to recommend agents especially if a buyer already has a specific property in mind. We research the property to note the listing agent information and warn buyers about not engaging them or their company to be their buyer’s agent.
Where can you start your Free Consultation?
You don’t need to leave the house to find the best agents. For top-rate fiduciary agent recommendation, contact Buyer Agent Search by Skyfor. It’s been in the business for over 20 years and has a network of top buyers agents in all 50 US states. Take advantage of this free service anywhere in the United States, Canada, and Costa Rica. Simply communicate your needs by filling out the online form and the team will contact you back in no time. Get access to top buyer agents whose expertise can protect your best interests in the process of home buying. Or you can call 800-383-7188, Mondays through Sundays and talk with any of the staff or Kathleen Chiras herself. Also, don’t forget to check out the many home-buying videos that are available on their YouTube channel. See you there!