The good news is: YES, it is still possible for everyone to find a house that suits them. People still need to move for various reasons, and we can’t abandon our client’s needs. However, the process of getting that dream house has changed somewhat during the Covid-19 time.Here are a few practices that I have implement to aid in your safety during the home buying process:
1.For now, the first meeting with myself and the client is virtual. We discuss, by phone or video, the wish list and the must-haves for the future home. Once we come up with the list, I search the web and talk to other agents about their inventory. The buyer then receives a list of homes and can perform a virtual walk through. Most homes have the virtual walk through option, which is a great tool where you can tour home without leaving your living room. We also offer to go to the property alone and connect with buyers through video chat.
Once the buyer decides on a home that they want to view in person, we follow strict health standards. We require everyone to wash hands or to use an alcohol-based sanitizer immediately upon entry, wear gloves and remove shoes/covering with booties, and follow CDC guidance on wearing face coverings to avoid exposure. The buyer and agent must sign a Covid-19 Certification for property access. All documents including offer documents will be sent electronically to e-sign.
2. Most of the lender’s have electronic applications and manage the entire loan proceeding online. Overall, it is business as usual for our lenders, which is great news!
3. Most of the home inspections are done now with only the inspector in the house without the agents and buyers following them. The inspection findings will be video recorded and/or live video so that the buyer and agent can view and discuss everything with the inspector still in the house.
4. The closing at the title office is now done without the lender or realtor present. The seller and buyer are separated and the closing can even be outside in the parking lot from the title office. I have seen very creative closings now, where the escrow officer met the buyer at their pool outside or on the driveway.
Another obstacle in the wake of the pandemic is the fear agreements could potentially fall through in the event a potential buyer loses a job and can’t secure a loan. A COVID-19 addendum by Texas Association of Realtors could help potentially extend the timeline for a closing .
Since reading this, you may be the next buyer. I use the utmost care in this time of uncertainty, and will do everything to make the home-buying process even smoother. I am happy to shoot video tours for those who do not want to be near others, and will go the extra mile to get it done. Contact me for more information on how to get you the house you love.
Anja Drewes 713-298-9177