Needless to say the coronavirus has had devastating effects on individuals and families across the country, the stories and images are heartbreaking. All of us have been personally affected in one way or another – as I write this article my Uncle Bruce is receiving hospice care in Denver, CO after contracting Covid-19 at his memory care facility.
As the White House came out yesterday with a recommended path forward for the states around the country, I thought it would be appropriate to share what I believe will be the path forward for home buyers across the country. I don’t speak for the real estate industry – as a 35 year real estate veteran I’m trying to ease your concerns around my particular area of expertise.
Here’s a rough snapshot of how things will look;
- Buyers will apply for and receive loan pre-qualification virtually – there was never a need for in-person meetings with a lender. This should actually be a permanent solution.
- Buyers will no longer have to meet with a real estate professional prior to previewing homes. As a potential home buyer vast resources are available on-line to find and communicate with an excellent real estate agent right from the comfort of your home, places like GayRealEstate.com. Additionally, buyer agency agreements and any new documentation required around Covid-19 (there will be some) will be provided for your review – you’ll sign and virtually.
- Buyers will no longer ride with their agent from house to house – separate vehicles will be a requirement. Buyers and their real estate agent will meet at each individual property. The agent will email in advance a numerical list of properties/addresses to be shown.
- Buyers will remain in their car at the property until the real estate agent (with mask and disposable gloves) unlocks the home, and prepares it for a showing (turning on lights, opening blinds, etc.). The agent will place a box of disposable gloves at the home’s entrance for each person entering – gloves must be worn by anyone entering the property.
- Real estate agent will exit the property. As the buyers exit their vehicle (with masks on), the agent will greet them (keeping social distancing), answer any initial questions they may have, tell them any details about the property they may not be aware of, and finally reminding them to put gloves on prior to entering the home – keeping the gloves and masks on at all times while in the property.
- Buyers will exit the property, and the real estate agent will answer any questions they may have (keeping social distancing), after which time the buyers will return to their vehicle and wait for the agent to secure the home.
- Real estate agent will enter the home (still wearing a mask and gloves) returning all lights, blinds, etc. to their original position. Agent will NOT leave a business card to prevent any unintended contamination.
- Upon exiting, the real estate agent will grab his/her box of gloves, return to their vehicle and all parties will proceed to the next scheduled property.
At the conclusion of the showing your real estate agent may return to their office and send you an electronic invitation to join him/her on a zoom video call – you don’t need any special equipment or program downloaded, this can be done from your desktop, laptop or cell phone.
I have great faith in the thousands of scientists working around the clock and around the world to develop a vaccine and treatment for Covid-19, I believe a number of these recommendations will be temporary.
Until then, real estate agents will continue to keep your best interests in mind, not just with representing your best interests while buying a home, but also ensuring the process will be as safe and seamless as possible.
Jeff Hammerberg is the Founding CEO of GayRealEstate.com, the nation’s largest and oldest free database of LGBTQ/LGBTQ friendly real estate agents – from the nation’s top real estate companies. www.GayRealEstate.com or 1-888-420-MOVE (6683)