by Kent Braaten
on Tuesday, April 28th, 2020 at 12:00pm.
With the Re-Open Saskatchewan initiative now officially underway and businesses and services beginning to reopen slowly over the coming weeks, many of you may be wondering whether it is safe to buy or sell your home. And couldn’t be happier to tell you that it certainly is...with the right precautions, of course.
Real Estate During COVID-19
Here in Saskatoon, real estate services earned the designation as an essential service early on, and has continued to maintain that status throughout the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reality is, as long as people need a place to live, they will need the help of a REALTOR®. However, real estate as it stands today looks much different than it did before the coronavirus hit.
In order to continue serving the housing needs of our community, the real estate industry has had to make significant changes to the way we operate in order to keep you and your families safe as you shop for a new home or sell your existing one. Unfortunately, though, not all real estate professionals have pivoted quite as much as they have needed to.
As a knowledgeable, experienced local REALTOR® who cares about the safety of my clients, I have made strides to adapt to the new climate to keep your experience as comfortable and safe as possible. Here are some of the ways I am making that possible:
Virtual Consultations & Offers
While I would love to take you out for a coffee while we chat about your buying or selling needs, now is not the time—social distancing is still just as important as ever. That’s why I am offering virtual real estate consultations in whatever way works best for you, whether it be video or telephone.
Using video conferencing software, I can still present your custom marketing plan, including your personalized home valuation, and you will still be able to ask all the questions you might have about selling your home. And if you’re buying, we can talk through all your wants and needs, and we can even start your home search virtually together, too. Even offers can be presented remotely using these platforms, as well—all from the comfort of your couch!
When buying a house, it can feel impossible to find one that matches all your wants and needs. And by the time you do, often they’ve already sold! Well, not anymore.
Using the advanced search features on my real estate website, I will set you up with custom search that automatically emails you every listing that matches your criteria as soon as it hits the market, so you’ll never miss a perfect opportunity again!
Virtual Tours & Open Houses
Want to give potential buyers the opportunity to view your house without having to step foot inside? Say hello to virtual showings! Video and 3D tours can be added to any MLS listing and give you the chance to open your home to every buyer while keeping the doors shut.
Even open houses can be entirely moved online for now, with the potential to be broadcasted live on almost every social media platform possible! This way, buyers can see the property from as many angles as possible online to determine how serious they are about the home before requesting an in-person viewing, restricting the number of people walking through your space.
Strict Safety Precautions for Viewings
If a buyer is serious about a property and requests to view it in person, we will first start with a waiver. This will is a screening process done by both the buyer and the seller to evaluate their health, as well as to acknowledge the serious precautions that will be in-place throughout the viewing. And, of course, either party is allowed to refuse if they do not feel comfortable.
Before showing, I ask that all sellers take the time to clean their homes well with antibacterial cleaners. I also ask that they leave as many doors open as possible, to eliminate as many opportunities for buyers to touch anything in the home. Of course, as usual, sellers will also be asked to vacate the property during the showing.
During the showing, buyers will be encouraged to wear face coverings and disposable gloves, if possible, and they will be asked to hand sanitizer before entering the home for sale. I will also ask that the buyers touch as little as possible while on-site, and again use hand sanitizer after leaving the home. Sellers are also encouraged to clean again after buyers have left.
Electronic Signatures & Contracts
When the time comes for signatures on contracts, such as listing agreements or offers, we will use the power of technology to allow you to both read and sign these essential documents all from the comfort of your own home! They will be delivered to you through email and you can open them from your desktop, laptop, smart phone, or tablet device—whichever you prefer. I will walk you through it each step of the way.
Whether you just have a question or need to have a serious discussion about your needs, I am always just a phone call, text, or email away!
No matter if you’d like to buy a new house or sell the one you have, with my assistance, you can feel safe doing so, even in the midst of COVID-19. Your health is my number one concern and I promise to go above and beyond in helping you meet your needs while staying home and staying safe.