The Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic has wreaked havoc in our lives in many ways.  This unprecedented event has forever impacted the way we would have otherwise normally approached any task, including the process of buying and selling homes.  For instance, the spring season, typically the most popular time for home owners to list their properties, has seen that many home owners are remaining in their current homes due to the uncertain futures of employment opportunities and stricter credit requirements, and as a result, home sales have been at a record low.  Rest assured that the Sandi Meisse Team has continued to prevail in continuing to mentor prospective home buyers in the process of obtaining their dream homes, and guiding sellers through achieving a sale despite the virus.  To assist with the new housing market protocols, we have put together this list of helpful tips to make home hunting and selling a safe and healthy experience.

Online Presentation

Due to social distancing requirements, many businesses, including the real estate world, are increasing their presence online.  Although home listings have traditionally been online and included photos of the home, the quality and content of the photos is now more important than ever.  Many home buyers are forgoing physically visiting prospective purchases, and instead rely heavily on the listing content to make their decision to make an offer.  It is recommended to utilize high quality photos taken professionally, in conjunction with having your home staged to look its best online.  For more information about staging your home and preparing for a home sale, click here.

Virtual Home Tours and Live Streamed Open Houses

In addition to the photos contained on a home listing being a main determining factor to make an offer on a home, many home buyers are attending virtual tours and live streamed open houses in place of physically touring a listed property.  Because the in-person connection is then removed from the tour, it is important to make sure your home is represented well through the lens of a camera, and appeals to a multitude of potential buyers.  The Sandi Meisse Team has created a house hunting checklist that you can check out here to  be sure your virtual presence covers each of the most important areas of your home.  

Home Inspections

The purpose of having a home inspection is to determine any current or potential major problems with the property.  Your home inspector should examine things such as the roof, foundation and all structural components in between.  They should also inspect the plumbing and electrical systems, in addition to a multitude of other items.  As a home buyer, you are traditionally allowed to be present at the time of the inspection to ask questions or discuss any issues that may come up.  However, due to Corona Virus social distancing requirements, home buyers have been granted the ability to virtually attend the inspection.  Be sure to request the written report after the inspection has been completed.

E-Closings

Along with virtual home tours, open houses and inspections, some mortgage lenders are allowing home buyers and sellers to conclude their sales with E-Closings.  The closing process, traditionally done in person with both the buyer and seller, both of their real estate agents and their attorneys.  However, in accordance with social distancing protocols, hosting this event virtually has been beneficial in protecting the health of all involved.  All final paperwork is signed with an E-Signature, and the closing is completed.  You can discuss the availability of an E-Closing with your Mortgage Broker.  

 Corona Virus Clauses

This is a new closing disclosure used to protect both the buyer and seller in the closing process.  Because of the recent closures of many businesses and the delay in inspections, appraisals and traveling for the closing meeting being hindered due to travel restrictions and other prohibitions of the performance of these procedures, the Corona Virus Clause allows an extended grace period to have all of these appointments completed without penalty.  

Stay Safe

Most importantly, we want to be sure our home buyers and sellers remain healthy during the sale of their home.  We recommend wearing a mask when touring a home or meeting with your agent, inspector or appraiser.  If you are selling your home and are allowing potential buyers to physically tour your home, you can decrease the risk of Corona Virus by leaving all of the doors open and light switches on to eliminate the need for guests to have to touch them.  Lastly, remember the importance of social distancing. 

If you would like to start the process of listing your home, or are on the hunt for a beautiful home in the majestic Pocono Mountain area, give the Sandi Meisse Team a call at 570-402-8536 to schedule an appointment with one of our dedicated agents today.