April 03, 2020 at 3:10pm | Jennifer MacLeod

Imagine that you’re planning to move. Maybe you’re perusing listings online, going full Marie Kondo on your closets, or even starting to pack up rooms in your house. Maybe you have to move right now, for a new job, or to take care of a family member. Maybe you’re already under contract on your house, and must move out soon. 

And then the unthinkable happens. 

A global pandemic. An unprecedented state-wide lockdown. A screeching halt to so many things that we take for granted.

Buying or selling a house can be overwhelming, even in the best of times. Figuring out how to accomplish everyday tasks during a global pandemic is overwhelming for everyone. But buying or selling a house during a global pandemic? That reaches new heights of overwhelming. 

But it doesn’t have to be.

Pause.

Take a deep breath.

The truth is that this doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, many of the tools we can use to complete real estate transactions right now actually simplify things.

You CAN Complete a Real Estate Transaction Right Now

A man and a woman jump triumphantly into the air against a blue sky with wispy white clouds.

You may be asking yourself “Is it even possible to buy or sell a house right now?” And the answer is: Yes! 

It might not look like a typical listing, with open houses and scheduled showings. And for buyers, there won't be afternoons driving around and touring multiple homes. But it is still possible, just with a few tweaks. So, what do those tweaks look like? And what tools do we have to make these transactions possible?

Video Tours

Video tours are already a very common marketing tool for sellers. But now, they are almost a necessity. Sellers can make these video tours themselves with smartphone cameras. If you’re not comfortable editing or adding music, there are many video editors who work remotely and  can make your video look as professional as possible. You can find a video editor on Fiverr or Upwork, or just reach out to your own network. Your realtor might also be able to recommend someone.

And not only are these a great marketing tool for sellers, but they are the best way for buyers to see homes when they cannot actually go in person to see the inside of a home. Buyers can get a better sense of the layout of the home than they can with pictures. But close-up, well-lit photos can offer more detailed views of each room. So video tours should be used in conjunction with photos, not instead of photos.

Virtual Open Houses

A girl wearing headphones holds up a phone and waves to someone on e video call. She sits on a brown couch and a grey table and a white travel coffee cup sits on the table.


Obviously, traditional open houses are off the table. But a seller can host a virtual open house on Facebook Live or other live video platforms. You can create an event at a particular time, and be available to answer questions for prospective buyers live on video. You can take them through different rooms of the house, and respond to questions and concerns as they arise. Plus, the video can remain up for anyone who wasn’t available at the scheduled time to view on their own time.

Home Inspections

Home inspectors are considered critical infrastructure workers, and are permitted to continue performing home inspections. During normal times, a buyer would want to attend a home inspection. But, since that’s not possible, you may consider asking your inspector if they are able to video conference with you during the inspection, or if they would be willing to take a short video when they notice areas of concern.

Neighborhood ToursA man and woman walk down a wooded pathway, looking off to the side, at a house or something just off their path to the right.

Since going for a walk is still allowed, buyers can still walk through, or drive through, the neighborhood they are looking to move to. They can even look at the exterior of the home, as long as it’s visible from a public walkway or road. However, sellers can also offer neighborhood tours, by taking videos as they take a walk through their neighborhood, and highlighting the features of the neighborhood that they have come to know and love.

Virtual Closings and Digital Signings

You do not need to meet in person to close on a real estate transaction anymore. Papers can be signed digitally and all the necessary arrangements can be made over the internet. There are several different platforms for digitally signing documents and your realtor is likely familiar with several (and may even have a favorite), so if you are unfamiliar with these programs, your realtor can help you navigate these new waters.

More Questions?

You probably still have lots of questions about what it's like to buy or sell a home under these very unusual circumstances. If you find yourself in this boat, reach out via the form on the right, or email me at JenniferMacLeod@123soldteam.com.
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