If selling a home wasn’t already complex enough, doing so during a pandemic adds a few extra critical steps and considerations to make it a success. As provinces across the country discuss and begin the slow loosening of stay at home isolation measures, understanding the appropriate steps in the selling process requires the help of a professional real estate agent now more than ever.
In the spirit of lending a helping hand, we reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers – a panel of RE/MAX Sales Associates throughout Canada – to get their expert advice for sellers, as well as to share what RE/MAX agents are doing to ensure the safety of clients during the home selling process. According to our panel of RE/MAX Influencers, the following best practice measures are being taken by RE/MAX agents to help sellers.
While some potential buyers may prefer not to view homes in person at this time, it means that they will be viewing properties online. REALTORS® continue to ensure photos of the property show the actual interior and features, and many have been asking sellers to take short videos of their homes to respect social distancing measures, helping to pique the interest of potential buyers – particularly given that the real estate market pushes ahead as reopening begins.
In addition, many agents are continuing to offer virtual tours of prospective properties, enabling buyers to maintain social distancing if they so choose. While these tools have been around for a number of years, leveraging them now as the industry starts to move towards a ‘return to normal’ can put sellers at ease. Both photos and virtual tours can be of a huge help to buyers envisioning their future home and for sellers who may not want strangers in their homes for the time being.
RE/MAX agents can do more than just showcase homes online – current technology also enables agents to proceed with additional next steps during the transaction, including digital signing, and referrals for those who require financing, home inspections, staging recommendations, and legal needs.
“We have the tools necessary to go forward with virtual showings or deals if that makes the seller more comfortable. Given that many buyers are interested in viewing properties online right now, this is a great time for the seller to take advantage of that and incorporate online videos of their home,” says a RE/MAX agent from Winnipeg, MB.
Consideration for Live Showings
Considering that live showings have slowly began to start again, a professional agent will take precautions to ensure that both the seller and prospective buyer feel comfortable.
Sanitizing your home before and after viewings, asking the agent hosting the showing to encourage minimal touching of surfaces, having all lights already turned on to prevent touching light switches, or leaving hand sanitizer at the front door to offer to prospective buyers are some of the ways to ensure a safer showing for both guests and current residents.
“We encourage our sellers to provide disinfecting towelettes or gloves for buyers. Opening all doors, leaving the lights on for showings, and asking the agent to leave them as such when moving on to the next room are ways that live showings can be made safer for both the potential buyer and the current homeowner,” says an experienced RE/MAX agent from Surrey, BC.
Be Patient and Lean on Your Real Estate Professional
As hard as it can be, being patient is the biggest piece of advice our RE/MAX Influencers have for sellers. Navigating real estate as it moves back towards a ‘new normal’ is going to be a learning curve for everyone. RE/MAX agents are determined to do everything they can to make the process as seamless and efficient as possible.
While some sellers may be wary of meeting face-to-face, even as social distancing guidelines gradually ease, that doesn’t mean that lines of communication with their REALTORS® are closed. Reaching out to your real estate professional for any questions regarding the shifting selling process or next steps in the sale are always available options. Also keeping in mind that even though the process may feel different than what sellers have been used to in the past, people will always need homes.
“Sellers may find that they have to be a little bit more flexible than they would have been a month ago, but this will pass! People will always need a home,” says a top agent from RE/MAX in Whistler, BC.
For more articles from our expert Influencers, click here!
We also asked our Influencer panel for their insights and tips for buyers, so click here to check out that article!