Unprecedented times are upon us, the future is uncertain. With open houses and public meetings banned, keeping 6 feet away a must, new listings all but vanished, and cabin fever brewing in each and every one of us, one would expect a major shutdown in our market, and shutdown it has. But a shutdown is not forever, and a shutdown does not mean things have tanked. In fact, homes have continued to sell and new homes have continued to hit the market. So how do we accept the pause while we list, market, show, and sell a property all while limiting human contact? Let’s take a look at how that’s possible.
How to (virtually) sell your home during COVID-19
- Assess Your Property Value – We can do a virtual walk thru of your home to assess its value. All you need is a smartphone with FaceTime, Skype or Zoom.
- Listing Agreement and Documentation – The listing agreement and ALL seller documentation is done electronically using a program called Docusign. All you need is a remotely decent smartphone, or computer and an email address and you can sign everything from your own personal devices. This is nothing new to us and many clients have preferred to handle the bulk of the paperwork this way for several years.
- Staging – You can take photos of your property and send them to us. If the property is occupied, we can virtually stage your home if necessary. If you’re somehow managing to keep a spotless and clutter free environment during lockdown, then staging probably won’t be needed. If you’re not occupying the property, you can leave a key at the property, one of our team members can show up with gloves, and protective gear, take photos, and do it ourselves.
- Photography – We can do any number of virtual tours, including 3D and drone videos, but really buyers just want to see photos.
- Inspections – Ideally, we would have your property inspected by a certified home/pest inspector, assuming we can find one willing to do so during our shelter in place and following all of the CDC guidelines.
- Marketing – Once we have your listing agreement signed, your photos taken and your property virtually polished, we can market your property as “coming soon” on the MLS, which then allows us to place it on alternative platforms for getting property sold “off market”, simply meaning “not on MLS”. We’ve done this countless times, and are pros. We will also promote your property on social media platforms, print mail and send an email blast to all agents in the Bay Area.
- Showing Property – When we find an interested buyer, we can give them a tour of the property via FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or a pre-recorded, detailed tour.
- Offers – Offers, contracts, addenda, everything associated with an offer is done electronically, and explained to you via phone or video chat.
- Escrow – If your buyer is getting a loan, the entire process may fluctuate tremendously, because lenders are changing their signing and lending policies daily. Fear not, we are keeping our eyes on all of the moving parts, and we will certainly keep you hyper updated. If you’re fortunate enough to find a cash buyer (they are still out there), the only person(s) that would need to be in closer proximity to a human would be you, the seller, when the mobile notary arrives to notarize your Grant Deed, and you can/should take all necessary CDC precautions around that. There is a possibility, depending on how long this lasts, that electronic notary services may be legalized in California, but at the moment it is not allowed. We are in touch with our Title and Escrow team daily, so we’ll be the first to know if/when this changes.
- Closing – Once your transaction closes, we will pick up keys from you (of course taking all precautions) and arrange delivery of the keys to the buyer. Seller proceeds will be wired to your account, and you are on your way.
Obviously, we simplified some of the elements of this process, and obviously we’re working with a very mobile and quick moving target, but with some creativity we’re confident we can support you and your real estate needs during this time of unprecedented uncertainty, and we’re confident we can navigate your situation accordingly. Just be flexible, understanding, and open-minded, and we can get through this all together.
If you’re wanting to sell when this passes, and not needing to sell now, with everything we mentioned above we can get you to a point now where we’d only need a week or two later to get your property polished and on the market. A little preparation now could pay dividends later. Buyer demand is still out there, so be ready to strike when this blows over, because it will.
Bottom line, we have your back, and are here to help. Even if it means just talking about your options, we are in this together!