Selling a Home in the Time of COVID

If you think you can’t sell a home right now because of COVID-19, you should reconsider your thinking. Real estate is deemed an essential service. That means that people are still buying and selling real property in California. The reality is that transactions are still occurring. But the way the real estate business is conducted has radically changed, at least for the foreseeable future. Those familiar open house signs on the weekend are gone. A buyer can’t just go to a listed property. There are specific rules in place which must be adhered to. But, viewing and buying a home can still happen, and there are agents out there to help you with that process.

Realtors have adjusted to the new market by utilizing drones more often for photographs, holding virtual open houses, and making full use of virtual tours. Listing presentations can be emailed and viewed by the potential client in their own home at their leisure. This provides the client more time to consider the services that the realtor can provide. Realtors can get together with other Realtors for virtual caravans to showcase their listings and buyer needs. It is more likely you will get more people at an 8:00 am virtual meeting than you will an 8:00 am meeting in a public space. This might mean greater exposure of a property for the seller.

There are safeguards in place to protect buyers and sellers in this new environment.

1. Disclosures should be completed regarding anyone in the house or coming to the house who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

2. There will be assurances that the property has been cleaned and/or disinfected before and after any showings.

3. Persons entering a property should wear masks, gloves, and booties to assure that the property remains as clean as possible and dispose of them immediately.

4. Before a showing the seller or listing agent should open up interior doors so as to minimize the amount of contact that a potential buyer will have with the property.

Once you’ve received that perfect offer, you can open escrow virtually, use electronic signatures for most of the documents and mobile notaries for any other documents. Escrow and title companies are working to assure that you have a smooth and safe transaction while maintaining social distance.

While it may seem odd to sell a house without a lot of personal contact, it is possible. Further, it can actually be an enjoyable process because you are working within your own relaxing environment. Your realtor is only an email, text, or phone call away at any time to answer your questions.

San Diego is a strong real estate market. It may be even stronger when the economy bounces back. Think about exploring the opportunities now, while others may be too afraid or preoccupied to look for a home.

Written by Victoria Boynton

Search Larson & Solecki LLP