What does the home buying process look like During COVID-19
Covid-19 has forced the home buying process into uncharted territory this year and while the process remains the same, how we conduct consults, showings and closings has changed. Our clients have always been our top priority, so we take the extra steps to ensure that they will always be protected during this process.
So until things go back to “normal”, here is how our processes have changed due to Covid19:
If you’re just starting to work with us, we can meet with you in person at our office or over the phone. We prefer to meet with you in our office since we can control the space around us. This means that all areas are sanitized prior to your arrival and face masks are worn per CDC recommendations. As extra precaution, our hours have been set to “by appointment only” to limit the amount of traffic in and out of our office.
Once you arrive, we can discuss your needs and wants while answering any questions you may have. Discuss our game plan to help you find your next home as well as set up a MLS account for you. We believe it is important to protect as many people as possible with social distancing as long as it is recommended by the CDC and government officials. Video chat is a great tool and we are happy to have it!
Showings and Open Houses
Since showings are vital to finding your next home, sellers of occupied homes need to know that you are a serious buyer, this means that having a preapproval letter is important. We can walk you through this process of obtaining a preapproval letter and connect you to lenders that are best suited for your needs.
On the day of the showing, we’ll be asked to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer. Some listing agents are asking that we do “touchless” showings meaning that the sellers are leaving on all lights and opening all doors and we are asked to not touch anything in the home other than the front and back door handles. We ask that showings stay limited to a maximum of 4 people right now including the buyer’s agent so that would mean you and max of two other people are allowed to attend. We suggest keeping children at home, if possible, to limit their exposure. If that isn’t possible, if you’re part of a couple, we suggest having one person wait in the car with the child/children while the other person does the showing then switch.
As of right now in person open houses have been limited so the best way to see a property in person is with a licensed Realtor. That said, many listings are doing virtual open houses via Zoom or Facebook Live.
If you decide to put in an offer, we can do that completely virtually via DocuSign for electronic signatures.
Home Prices and Covid
In general, we do not anticipate that home prices are going to drop significantly, however that doesn’t mean there are not good deals to be found because of Covid. We will set up searches and make sure new listings are hitting your inbox so we can capitalize on these deals as they come on the market.
Once Under Contract
After getting the home under contract, there are still several steps before the home is clear to close and before you sign for your keys.
The first major step is the inspection. Typically inspectors are asking that you do not attend the inspection right now and instead are allowing you come for the last 30 minutes to go over the results in person and are requiring you wear a mask. Typically children are asked not to attend.
Next step is the appraisal, which you wouldn’t have attended pre-Covid anyway.
Last step before closing is the final walk through. We do an in-person final walk through with gloves, booties and masks.
The last step is the closing. When you attend closing, plan for it to take about 30 minutes to an hour. Some Title Companies are doing touchless closings, so this is something that you can request prior to closing.
Our goal is to make this a seamless as possible in the safest way we can – most everything can be done digitally or with little to no contact with others.
Let’s go find your new home!
As your real estate agent in Victoria, TX, we are dedicated to finding you the home you want and need – sure, there are some modifications based on the current climate of the world, but we are confident that our process will be thorough and safe for everyone.