The coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to take a close look at their current living situation. Between the growing need for home offices and the desire for spaces with greater access to fresh air, the evolving needs of people around the country has created new opportunities for buyers and sellers alike.
Purchasing a home, however, is a high-touch process that often requires an in-person visit to a property to determine its fit and finish. The era of social distancing complicates this essential arrangement, requiring agents and interested parties to find new arrangements and take new precautions in order to safely showcase a property.
Here are a few steps real estate professionals should take to safely sell and show homes during a pandemic:
Establish a strong online presence
Real estate professionals have long taken advantage of online listings to market and sell properties online. COVID-19 has thrust the need for top-notch production values into the spotlight, making high-quality photos and videos necessary for any property to have a serious chance of being sold. Homeowners should be encouraged to follow best staging practices to get a home camera-ready, such as clearing out excess clutter and adding pops of color wherever possible, and to work with agents to determine which shots present the property in an ideal light.
Throw a virtual open house
When in-person home showings aren’t possible, virtual open houses can provide a powerful alternative. Streamed over Facebook Watch like any other live event, a virtual open house allows interest buyers to interact with real estate agents in a comfortable, convenient online setting. With the ability to be limited to a small group of interested buyers, prospective purchasers can ask questions and get a better feel for the space from an on-site agent, affording the opportunity to take a real-time tour of the space without setting foot in the building.
Safely conduct in-person showings
In states that have permitted real estate agents to resume in-person showings, maintaining a clean and safe environment is of paramount importance for homeowners, agents, and potential buyers alike. High-contact areas, such as countertops and doorknobs, should be cleaned and disinfected before and after any showing, and ample amounts of hand sanitizer and soap should be made available. Live appointments should also be made on a case-by-case basis to reduce contact with unnecessary guests who might not be seriously interested in the property.