How the current pandemic is affecting the real estate market in Brooks.
I can only speak for myself and my experience, and so far I feel the market has been doing ok. At first I thought it would stop completely, not being able to leave the house unless necessary kind of makes it hard to meet with clients and show houses etc. However, real estate is an essential service. There are people right now who HAVE to sell or HAVE to buy. So agents have to come up with creative ways to be safe and keep our clients safe. Here are some examples of how my job has changed.
1. Protecting Buyers
- I request health and recent travel information from sellers before any showing to give the buyer an indication of any risk .
- I travel in a separate vehicle to viewings to limit the amount of time spent in close proximity to each other.
- I ask the seller or their agent to make sure to clean doorknobs, cupboard hardware, light switches, as well as surfaces in areas like bathrooms and kitchens before and after each showing.
- I ask that the seller leave the property at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled viewing appointment.
- I take precautions during viewings, including wearing gloves and use alcohol based sanitizer, and try not to touch doorknobs, cupboard hardware, light switches or other surfaces unless necessary (this also protects sellers).
2. Protecting Sellers
- I request health and recent travel information from buyers before any showing to give the seller an indication of any risk .
- Take precautions during viewings, including wearing gloves or using alcohol based sanitizer, and try not to touch, doorknobs, cupboard hardware, light switches or other surfaces unless necessary (this also protects buyers).
- Only show properties to buyers that genuinely are considering purchasing.
3. Providing virtual tours on listings (if seller approves). Virtually walking through a house can tell you if you are serious about the property. If the property does not have a virtual tour available, I am more than happy to take a tour myself and have a video call with buyer clients. Spending the extra time sometimes needed, and looking in areas sometimes missed by virtual tours.
4. Signing documents via email. ALL documents that are needed in a real estate transaction CAN be signed electronically.
Is right now a good time to buy or sell? That is a question I cannot answer for you... I would be lying if I said there aren't any risks involved. But I can be diligent and minimize them. If you do decide to buy or sell right now, I would love to be your agent. However if you do decide to go with someone else, MAKE sure they are also taking extra precautions. No two agents are the same, so do your homework!
Until next time! Stay safe and WASH YOUR HANDS!