COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR SELLERS
We are living in unprecedented times. Efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19 have led to rapid changes in the way the real estate industry conducts business. Technologies like Zoom and Facetime have been around for some time, but seemingly overnight, they jumped to the mainstream. To keep everyone as safe as possible, guidelines have been mandated by the state of Louisiana as well as by individual parishes. Here’s what you should expect throughout the process.
Our typical process would be to set up an appointment in your home at which time we would ask you to give us a tour and then we would sit down at your kitchen table to get to know each other a bit, assess your wants and needs, review the home selling process, and review the comparable sales in your neighborhood. While in-person meetings are still possible as long as safety protocols are followed, we understand that you may not be comfortable with this. Alternatively, we can meet via Zoom to whatever extent makes you comfortable. If we could walk through the property first, that would be great, but if not, you can do a video walkthrough with your phone and send it to us before our Zoom meeting so we can be prepared to discuss comparables and strategy. The listing paperwork can be signed electronically and we can review it together before you sign.
At this point, we will need to access the property in person, but you can clear out and leave us a key if that is most comfortable for you. One or two people will first go in to assess any necessary repairs or staging recommendations. Then, once the house is photo-ready, we will come back again with a small team of professionals to take photos, create virtual and video marketing, and measure the house. Everyone there will be masked and will follow safety protocols based on what recovery phase we are in. We will sanitize door handles and surfaces as needed before we leave.
MARKETING & SHOWINGS
We understand that there is some anxiety involved when it comes to allowing strangers into your home right now. Obviously, you will need to provide access to your home to some degree, but you do have control over when and how. We can provide a virtual/video walkthrough online for people to view before scheduling an in-person showing. Since there is currently a state mandate that masks be worn in public, we will inform agents and buyers that they should wear a mask the entire time they are in your home. If you don’t want them to touch anything in the house, you should be prepared to leave all lights on and doors open before they arrive so they only need to open the lockbox and the front door. If you have other requests to be followed, we can discuss those as well before activating the listing.
Although agents are allowed to hold open houses at this time, we don’t necessarily encourage them. If you want us to hold open houses, we will according to our normal procedure, which is to host two events and then assess the value of continuing. If we do hold an open house, you can expect these safety guidelines to be followed. Masks must be worn the entire time. Hand sanitizer will be provided near the entrance. We will do our best to collect contact information from everyone who enters. We will limit the total number of people allowed in the house at one time to ensure that proper distancing is possible. Basically, we will follow state and local guidelines based on the current recovery phase.
OFFERS, INSPECTIONS & APPRAISAL
Even before Covid-19, most offers and other paperwork throughout the contract period were completed and signed electronically. This has become standard procedure now. Just like with the listing documents, we can review all documents either by phone or Zoom before you sign them. As far as vendors like home inspectors and appraisers go, many are currently asking that no one be present while they are in the home. You should be prepared for this to be the case and know that we will handle any questions or communication issues should they arise.
Procedures may vary between title companies, but they all have the same goal of providing a safe closing experience that makes all parties comfortable. If you do not want to attend a traditional closing with all parties sitting around a conference table, there are options. The parties can come in separately. You can opt to give power of attorney (if allowed by lender). You can even stay in your car.
Our network of agents and vendors want to keep you safe and comfortable. We want you to feel free to share any concerns you have throughout the entire process. Even if we need to get creative, we will find a way through any situation together.