Welcome to your real estate reality! Yep real estate is online devoid of strange smells, vibes or sensations. Can a house be sold like this? Can a house be bought like this? It is a whole new world in real estate. Buyers are online as usual or more so because they cannot view the houses, wondering when they can get in a home. Sellers are wondering will a buyer, buy in such a closed environment if their home is harder to see with Covid showing procedures. There is a huge shift in how houses will be sold. This could be a good thing yet I do see a few pitfalls with the gains. Real estate agents will not become obsolete if anything they will be an important resource as they are the eyes and ears on the ground for the virtual buyer and seller. One large change is open houses will more likely be virtual home tours, a buyer will log into a Zoom room and request a showing. An agent will stand by and then the buyer will be shown the home and allowed to ask questions, ask for reports and or discuss the home and condition. After this brief tour the buyer can then request an in person showing with the listing agent or their agent. The open house itself will at most be two hours or less.
For buyers this will be an opportunity to preview a home before they drive from their location, saving time, energy and preserving their weekend. This also gives buyers a chance to preview a home one on one with the listing agent and ask questions privately without others wondering around. The downside is buyers will have to be quick and make sure to get in that open house on the virtual tour another opportunity may not be as easy to schedule. Serious buyers will make the time, buyers in the earlier stages of looking may miss a tour or two. Choosing your real estate agent sooner will make this process much smoother as they will know when the tours are or may preview it for you.
For sellers this maybe the best of all worlds. Great for the seller who does not want open houses. No neighbors tromping through their house or looky-loos snooping around, they will not have to suffer the anxiety of who is coming in their house. This will maximize the open house and virtual showings to only interested parties as bored or curious parties will most likely not take the time to log on, register and be questioned on their motives for looking at the home. The downside here would be interested buyers may make offers, tie the property up and upon full physical inspection back out. The other downside I see here is buyers and sellers with realtors that are tech challenged may not get the full online exposure necessary to make sure the home was marketed to the fullest. In that instance I would recommend asking about the skills of selling virtually and if you like the agent but not sure just ask them to partner with someone who is better acquainted with virtual open houses.
So here we are in this new era and while a lot has changed, so much will still be the same. Buyers will still be searching for the perfect home and sellers will be looking to get the highest possible price.