Whether you need to buy immediately or you want to start looking, I wanted to share some candid advice to help you successfully manage buying a home during these changing times.
Many buyers have no choice but to proceed with buying a home. Some no longer can afford their current home and must sell and move to something more affordable. Other buyers are transferring for work and must relocate. Some buyers have a mortgage pre-approval that will expire that they must take advantage of. While other buyers need a more accessible home or better community accessibility due to health and can’t wait. There are a number of reasons for some buyers to keep shopping even though a public health state of emergency is declared.
As REALTORS® have been declared an essential service, but it’s not quite business as usual. For protection of everyone involved there is some strict safety protocols in place, and in person contact will be limited to showings if at all possible. My clients are confident that I can help figure out what is necessary to do now in their home search, and what can wait until things are not as serious.
Whether you plan to move in 1 month or in 6 months, work closely with your REALTOR® to narrow down the homes you view to the ones that really match your needs. For my clients, I set up a private website that funnels all the properties that fit your criteria. Now while you are self-isolating is a great time to be doing some searching and researching your future home, condo or acreage choice.
If you are narrowing down some options that may meet your needs, ask your agent to request permission from the seller to do a Facetime or Duo tour with you. If you are staying in self isolation, your agent may be able to go and video a property walk through for you with the sellers permission. I have ideas to get creative to make sure you are safe, but not having to put your home purchase on hold.
Please know that the Real Estate Board of Alberta has prohibited open houses for during the public health state of emergency – so booked showings, virtual tours and virtual open houses may be the only way to view properties at this time.
Showings during the pandemic
When my clients have narrowed to the few homes that best fit their criteria, we’ll plan on doing some showings. Although Real Estate agents are deemed an essential service, there is a strict protocol in place to ensure the safety of both buyers and sellers. Be aware your agent, and the sellers agent, may ask many times about your recent travel history in last 2 weeks, do you have covid symptoms, have you been exposed to anyone with covid symptoms, etc. This is all to ensure everyone’s safety.
If you have travelled recently or are feeling unwell, please let your agent know. You may need to self-isolate, in which case we will do our best to provide you with “live” tours of your preferred properties via Facetime or Duo.
Travel in your own vehicle to all showings, and practice social distancing with your agent while touring homes.
I provide hand sanitizer for you to use before and after viewing a home. I can most certainly provide gloves if you feel more comfortable, that will be disposed of after exiting each home.
Avoid touching surfaces in the home when possible, and while it might be tempting, please do not use the washroom. Many sellers will leave all lights on in the home and ask we not touch light switches. Some home owners are leaving closets, doors, cupboards open so we do not have to touch these surfaces during a showing.
Should you decide to complete a purchase contract for a property – we can manage all that paperwork remotely through computers with electronic signatures, as long as I have verified your ID in person.
Your home purchase
If you have recently purchased a home and possession is in the near future, we suggest you reach out to your lawyer to make an appointment sooner rather than later to avoid any potential delays.
Title insurance companies are also working closely with the legal profession, to ensure closings can still take place. Your lawyer may be able to do video signings to help your property deal close without additional in-person visits.
Let’s get started
The important thing to know is that buying can still continue – with some stringent safeguards in place. Whether you are thinking about purchasing a property very soon, or after the public health rules lessen, let’s chat and figure out the best strategy for your situation.
If nothing else, setting up your free personalized search website is a fun time to pass some time – whether you buy in 2 months or 2 years – we can set it up with a phone call or video call and have you reviewing all the options. It is a fun way to pass time!
And if you must move during the public health warnings – I have all sorts of professionals who are taking safety to heart and able to help with all your needs – from financial institutions, building inspectors, movers, packing companies and so much more. We may have to do business a little differently, but my great team of colleagues are ready to help you get moving.