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How to Practice Social Distancing When Buying or Selling a Home

In some places, the housing market has dropped its price. There are also locations where the demand is high and the prices are high as well. Whether you are a buyer or seller, don’t let the pandemic stop you from securing a good deal or earning good profits.

Here are tips for both home buyers and sellers to use while ensuring safety from the pandemic!

For buyers:

1.   Ask for a video tour

If possible, suggest the home seller to give you a tour of the house via Skype or FaceTime. This method is very helpful especially when asking questions about the house and getting them answered in real-time.

You can also ask the home seller for a virtual tour if it’s available. Note that virtual tours are different from video tours. You can move virtually around the house with audio descriptions but you can’t ask questions.

2.   Drive your own car to home tours

It might be tempting to ride with the home seller or their agent to save gas while touring the neighborhood or going to the listed house. We would highly discourage it. Instead, suggest to convoy while maintaining a phone call with an earphone.

It is important for both you and to wear only one earphone to follow proper safety driving measures.

3.   Hire an agent

Another way to avoid touring a home physically altogether is to hire a real estate agent. Make sure to hire a competent agent who will agree to a fair commission. Better yet, suggest to the home seller to get their own agent as well.

Since buyers pay for the agents’ commission, both agents will do their best to make the sale happen and all parties happy. With this, you’re most likely to get a good deal in both cost and house quality.

4.   Limit the tour party to two

When touring physically, don’t take too many family members with you especially if you have kids. Instead, bring one key decision-maker with you like your significant other or your agent. And when you’re both touring, avoid touching any objects especially high-touch areas like doorknobs or light switches.

For sellers:

1.   Accept tours by appointment only

Impromptu tours are too risky for sellers. One major reason is you don’t have time to sanitize your home for the safety of you and your prospective buyer. Stick to a rule of scheduling a home tour first for 3-7 days in advance.

2.   Declutter in advance

The more spacious your home interior is, the easier you can keep distance with the prospective buyer in the event of a physical home tour. This will also make your home much more appealing to the buyer if it looks tidier.

This is because you’re giving them room to imagine what furniture or personal style they can decorate in some clear spaces.

3.   Host a video or shoot a virtual tour

Skype can cater up to 50 people in a video call on any device such as a phone, tablet, laptop, or computer. Invite 5 prospective buyers altogether in one video call conference. This technique will help you save time while allowing yourself to answer the simultaneous questioning of 5 individuals.

You can also use a go pro and attach it to your helmet. Use this method to record a video and tour the house yourself while providing some audio description.

4.   Maintain distance with a prospective buyer

During the physical tour with a buyer, maintain distance with them for at least a meter. Avoid contact greetings or gestures. If they want to get a closer look at something, stand back and let them approach the query themselves.

Then, if you want to take a closer look at the said problem, wait for them to back off and switch places with them.

For both home buyer and seller safety, the seller must provide a virtual tour system or they must ready themselves for a video call at business hours. If those options are unavailable, it is best to tour the house with only two people inside - the buyer and seller. When finalizing the purchase and signing papers, the seller and buyer should exchange signatures and documents via letter or email.