Here in Greater Baton Rouge, we are under stay at home orders until May 15, 2020. However, real estate has been deemed an essential business, so we are still able to help you sell your home. BUT… you knew there was going to be a but. Things will look a bit different to you as a seller. Read more to learn about selling a home during COVID-19.
What is different about selling a home during COVID-19
Traditionally, you would call an agent, and we would come out to your house to have you show us around, and then we would go over how we market your home and discuss pricing. If you were ready to start the process, we would then review the paperwork with you and get your signatures.
That process is still available to you if you are comfortable. If you are not comfortable with an agent in your home, there are things we can do to accommodate you. One being a face-time walkthrough. We will ask you walk through your home with us and we can advise you on what things need to be done before listing.
After the virtual walkthrough, we will then share with you our marketing plan for your home and share pricing with you. This presentation may be done via another virtual meeting portal so that we can share our screens with you.
When you are ready to list, we will send all documents to you already completed for your e-signatures. Technology is fantastic.
When selling your home during COVID-19, professional photography is a must. We will schedule the photographer and ask you to leave all the lights on, ceiling fans off, and blinds/window coverings open. This will help the photographer keep her social distance by not having to touch any of your surfaces.
A video walkthrough or virtual tour will be done as well. Our goal here is to give the buyers as much information about your home upfront, so there will be limited in-person showings. We will do our best to schedule these services back to back so that you are not inconvenienced as much as possible.
Home showings are where you will see the most significant difference in the process. Our goal used to be to get as many people as possible in your home for in-person showings. During the COVID-19 crisis, we will be using the power of the internet heavily for the bulk of your showings and sharing the photos, virtual tours, and recorded walkthroughs to potential buyers.
After a buyer has learned all they can about your house online, and they want to see it in person, we will contact you to discuss your feelings about people in your home.
When an in-person showing occurs while selling your home during COVID-19, we will ask you to leave all the lights on, ceiling fans on, closet doors open, and some drawers and/or cabinets if there are unique features you would like the buyer to see. Again, we are attempting to keep the contact of surfaces to a minimum. We will also provide you with hand sanitizer to leave on the counters as a parting gift. We will also ask the showing agent only to have themselves and the actual purchasers enter the home. This is not the time for everybody’s mama and dem to be looking at your home
Inspections will follow the inspector’s guidelines as long as they are in line with yours. Most inspectors are asking the buyer to keep the number of people at the home to a minimum; agents are asking them to come during the last 30 minutes. Keeping people to a minimum and asking them to arrive near the end of the inspection allows the inspector to get his work done quickly and minimizes people in your house for more extended periods of time.
Closings will look a bit different during this time as well. We have seen closings happen in people’s cars. The attorney will come around and have you sign your docs either on a clipboard or on the hood of your vehicle. We have seen some title companies have a tent set up outside, and each party comes to the table separately to sign. When the weather is nice, this is a wonderful way to close! Some title companies still have in-person closings at their closing table. They are having each party come in separately or sit in separate rooms.
Every title company is doing their very best to accommodate each closing party. Sanitization is happening like crazy! The one thing that we have seen across the board is that all title companies have asked that the lender and real estate agents not attend the closing. This is sad to us, but don’t fret. We will have reviewed the closing disclosure with you, and you will understand everything that you will be signing. Closing day is so exciting, and we love to share that moment with you! Hopefully, one day soon, we will get back to our Louisiana closing parties!
Things are different during COVID-19 but not so tricky that real estate has shut down. If you need to sell your home, don’t be afraid. We will be there to safely guide you every step of the way.
If you are in the beginning stages of starting to think about selling and would like to see some of our marketing, visit our website to see some of the other homes we are currently marketing and have marketed in the past.