Adapting Real Estate to the Pandemic of Covid-19
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on our lives these past weeks. In British Columbia we have been very fortunate in that we have managed to flatten the curve through Social Distancing, Quarantine & Safety Protocols. All of us are having to adapt to the changes both personally and professionally. These changes can feel overwhelming, stressful, lonely and scary as we are navigating uncharted waters in this state of Emergency. The Canadian Government has deemed Real estate an "essential service" and has set protocols to ensure the safety of the public and the spread of the virus.
In adapting to these changing times and to accommodate my valued Clients wishing to list or purchase real estate in the Comox Valley I have implemented additional services. I encourage you to contact me to discuss your particular situation so that we may derive a plan to accommodate your specific needs.
What you can expect in Listing Your Home:
1. Schedule a virtual consult with me to discuss your current situation and goals.Through the use of Zoom or Facetime we can safely meet to review the current market conditions, the advantages to listing now or waiting, understanding your level of comfort to having qualified buyers view your home once they have reviewed the floorplan, photographs, virtual tour and listing documents. Reviewing the most current safety protocols to protect you and your family, buyers and Realtors. If you decide at that point you would like to proceed with a Market Evaluation to determine pricing we will schedule a second consult.
2. Comparative Market Analysis whereby I will be gathering as much information on your property in advance of having to view it. Depending on your comfort level I can walk through respecting social distancing, wearing gloves and proper sanitizing. The walk through will allow me to provide the most accurate assessment of market value along with suggestions you may wish to consider to increase salability and market value. I will provide you with a full report outlining your property features, potential negative selling features and how we might address them, comparable sales, current inventory and a review of current market conditions. I will email you this report once viewing your home. If you decide at that time you wish to proceed with listing I will review my comprehensive marketing program that will provide maximum exposure and showcase your property in the best light to maximize your profit.
3. Listing Contract- the listing contract can be e-mailed to you through a program called Authentisign whereby you can sign all documents electronically. It is easy and can be done on your laptop or even your phone.
4. Marketing for all it is worth. We can discuss in further detail but rest assured that I am continuing to hire a Professional who is able to take Photos, create floor plans and to create a virtual tour- using IGUIDE. I will be there to prepare your property so that there is minimal contact and to wipe down anything touched once finished. All aspects of Marketing are top notch and your safety and mine of key concern. Open Houses are no longer allowed however there is the option available for me to host a VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE. This will allow for further market exposure while only exposing your home to me doing a walk through safely.
5. Viewings are now handled very differently. Some Buyers are not wanting to view in person and will rely upon the marketing material, others will wish their Realtor to walk through on their behalf while utilizing facetime to "virtually" walk through the property. Before any Realtor or Buyer is present in your home I will review a questionnaire with them to ensure they are pre-qualified, have not been out of Province in the last 14 days and are not having any symptoms. Once confirming the viewing appointment with you I will ask that you have all lights turned on, all interior doors and blinds open. I will open the house to provide access and to request that no one touch anything. Buyers must stay with their Realtor, no kids and respect Social Distancing. Once the viewing is complete I will wipe down the door knobs, turn off the lights and sanitize the light switches.
6. Feedback from showings and handling offers... Feedback will be provided as usual in the form of text, e-mail and call. Offers will be submitted electronically by the Selling Realtor to me and I will be forwarding to you for review. We will be discussing the merits of the offer over the phone and the paperwork can be signed electronically.
6. Due Diligence. Once an offer is in place a Building inspection may be a term of the offer. Inspectors are following safety precautions and following protocol. Buyers and Sellers are not allowed to be present for any part of the inspection. Reports will be emailed to the Buyers for review.
7. Completion- all documents will be sent electronically to your chosen Notary or Lawyer. Recent policy changes now allow for electronic signing of documents while using video conferencing.
8. Move Out Day- a term of the contract may be that the home is professionally cleaned. I am happy to provide some contacts for you. A buyer will want to feel assured that the home is safe for them to move in and to obtain the keys.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT IN BUYING A HOME
Our first step will be to schedule an initial consult with me over the phone or virtually so we can meet face to face. The purpose of this consult will be for me to understand your specific needs pertaining to time frame, price point, location and property features on your list. I will update you on the current market conditions and what you can expect as far as new policies in place as a Home Buyer.
New Policies for Home Buyers;
1. Ensuring you are pre-qualified to purchase through your lender or Mortgage Broker. Confirmation of this prior to viewings will be expected by myself and Selling Realtors. I am happy to provide you with reputable contacts.
2. Full review of marketing material of a property - to include floor plans, photographs, virtual tours, surveys and any other pertinent information prior to any viewings either done by myself or with you if the Seller agrees. If you are satisfied with the floor plan and feel the photos and virtual tour showcase a property you would consider writing an offer on we will take the next steps...
3. Disclosure by you saying that you have not been out of Province for the last 14 days and do not have any symptoms. Some Sellers will request this in writing prior to a viewing. I will be asking this of the Seller as well should the property not be vacant.
4. Schedule a viewing myself in which I take you on a live virtual tour of the property while you remain in the safety of your own home. This will give you the option to stay home and ask questions... Alternatively, if you are comfortable viewing a property in person and the Seller agrees we can walk through together. Please note that you will be required to meet me at the property and social distancing will be respected. No kids please. I will have hand sanitizer for you and I will be the only one to touch any surfaces. Once we are finished I will then wipe down any surfaces I have touched and be sure to follow any special Seller requests.
5. Offer time- we will be meeting virtually to discuss the details of an offer. I will then be preparing the contract for you to sign electronically through Authentisign. You can legally sign documents easily from your computer or phone. The offer will then be emailed to the listing Realtor to present virtually to the Seller. All negotiations will be done electronically for everyone’s protection.
7. Deposit will now be handled through e-transfer.
8. Due Diligence.
Building Inspectors that have chosen to continue working will be conducting inspections following safety protocol. NO Buyers or Sellers are allowed to be present. Your inspection report will be e-mailed to you for your review and followed up with a phone call to answer your questions.
Property Appraisals- Your lender may likely require an appraisal of the property. Depending upon the Appraiser it may be conducted as a drive by and review of the marketing material and market information.
Mortgage Broker/ Lender- In person meetings have been replaced with phone calls and virtual meetings with electronic signing of documents.
Notary or Lawyer- New regulations have allowed for documents to be signed electronically via video conferencing.
Move In- I will have encouraged that we include in the contract that the Seller have the home professionally cleaned. This will help to minimize exposure. I will have your keys wiped down and provide to you while respecting social distancing. Once COVID-19 is further behind us we will get together to celebrate.
We are receiving new information daily and some of the above may change. I will be certain to inform you of any changes. I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to call me on my cel at 250-897-2032 or send me an e-mail to Philippa@PhilippaBerg.ca