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Home Showings in the New World

Times are changing quickly. We’ve all seen the scary statistics on how easily the Corona Virus can spread and want to be part of the solution, not the problem.

Read more on why listing your home for sale now makes sense.

Buying and selling real estate is an essential business in New Jersey, so transactions are still happening.  Home shoppers and sellers can make adjustments to keep everyone healthy. Limiting the number of people you are in contact with helps society stay healthy.  Staying home sounds like a good plan. But you need to either buy or sell or maybe both, so where do you go from here?

Welcome to Video Calling!

Whether you have an iPhone, Android, any smartphone or computer, many free video calling platforms are available.

The options are vast including Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Viber, and more! Talk with your real estate agent to see which platform will be the best fit for you.

How it works:

These platforms allow the home to be shown without anyone leaving their house. The real estate agents involved in the showing will collaborate to bring their clients together via video calling.

The virtual showing should include the seller (camera person), seller’s agent, the buyer(s) and the buyer’s agent. Limiting the attendees to the decision-makers will help the call go smoothly. The agents can add any amount of people necessary to the call.

The buyer’s agent will lead the tour.  This agent can customize the showing to best fit the needs of the buyer.  They can point out the features of the home important to their buyer.  The buyer’s agent will ask the seller to use their camera to show the different areas of the home and to zoom in on certain points in the home.

As a seller, listen to your agent when they tell you, in the nicest way possible, to keep your trap shut! You’ll have good intentions when injecting your thoughts during the tour, but you may end up with unintended results. The last thing the buyer’s agent wants is an awkward encounter.

The listing agent knows all the highlights of your home and will discuss them with the buyer’s agent. Let the buyer’s agent decide on what to highlight during the tour.  If you feel that you need to explain some things before the showing begins, jump on a video chat with your agent ahead.  Everyone should be up to date and on the same page.

But the home is vacant!

Maybe the owners moved out previously, or maybe the property is bank-owned. Either way, you may not get the seller or seller’s agent to video call you for a showing.

Ask your agent to direct the listing agent to have all the doors open for an in-person showing.  The fewer things you touch, the better. If you wear gloves, keep in mind they only help if you do not touch your face while wearing them. I’ll say it again. If you touch your face while wearing gloves, they do not protect you. They also do not protect other people.

Be mindful of your agent.  Even though agents can show houses, it might not mean they want to for various reasons.  Be respectful of their choice.

If you are asking your agent to go to a home, be sure it fits your criteria to the best of your ability. Also, you must be ready to buy now, including being pre-approved for your mortgage.

During showings, keep your distance (minimum of 6 feet) at all times from your agent.  The lockbox can take a bit of time to open. Stand back and wait for the agent to open the front door for you. Touch nothing and leave extra people at home.  It may sound extreme, but these are extreme circumstances.

You’re immune-compromised!

Stay at home. Please. No one wants the guilt of getting another person sick!

The best scenario is that the home-owner or listing agent will video call for a showing. If that’s not possible, your agent may be willing to video call you while they tour the house. They can even record the video for you to show family and friends.  Ask your agent what your options are.

Inspection reports.

There is not a single house that is perfect. Even new construction isn’t perfect. As a seller, it may be a good idea to get a home inspection (around $350).  Put the mind of your future buyer at ease. This is the perfect pairing to give for the video tour.  The buyer can easily understand the true picture of the house.   You want to buyer to feel comfortable and confident so they can put an offer in. The goal is to sell your home so do everything you can to help facilitate the process.

Realtors are resilient.

We, at Sail Lake Realty, have come up with quick solutions to help our clients. None of these solutions are truly “new,” though. We already have out-of-state buyers who video call us for showings in Hammonton and the surrounding areas. Even locals will video call us for properties down the shore, including Atlantic City, Longport, Margate. We’ve merely adjusted what we do to fit the current situation.

Things change often and quickly, much like in the real estate transaction.  Our job is to prevent problems before they occur and come up with solutions if they do!


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