Virtual Home Buying Guide
Beech Woolger Team Blog Post April 16 2020
How to Buy or Sell a Property While still Physically Distancing!
There have been many changes to the the Edmonton and Area Real Estate Market since the onset of Covid-19. Social and Physical distancing are the norm for the foreseeable future. With the Real Estate Industry deemed an essential service, the show will go on but in a different way. Virtual Real Estate Transactions are becoming more prevelent.
Typically a Home Buyer, would find a home the following way. Find a Realtor, likely interviewing them in person. Identify the properties they have interest in, view the properties in person, write an offer in person, etc etc. With government authorities suggesting that people stay distanced when possible, we have found a new way to process Real Estate transactions.
1. Virtual Consultation:
Most people choose their Realtor via referral from a trusted friend or relative, or a basic google search. They then interview the Realtor in a face to face visit at home, office or coffee shop to decide if it is a good fit. Now we typically do this with a phone call, Zoom meeting, or any other video platform. The Beech Woolger Team can take you through the process step by step from the comfort of your own home!
2. Online Home Search:
Once you have chosen your Realtor, you can access one of the most useful tools. The custom MLS real estate search. Realtors can set a search so specific, that you can target right down to details like “max condo fee” or “lot widths”. You can specify ravine backing yards, pie lots, anything! Once you have sent your criteria to your Realtor, you will start to see new listings and price reductions, sent right to your inbox, hours before the public see’s it.
3. Virtual Showings:
Regular in person showings are still going on, just less frequent. Vacant homes are very easy to show, as well as new homes. Often times people are uncomfortable with others being in their house, so there is now protocal in place to protect them. Before each showing, both the occupant, and the buyers entourage are to sign hold harmless paperwork to ensure all parties have not been exposed to the virus. As well, sellers can request all parties wear PPE while in the home. But to avoid all this, we can also do virtual showings. Most listings now have comprehensive video tours. There are also Virtual Open Houses, and 3d tours. And in some cases, the buyer can send their Realtor through the home while doing a live video call to view the home in first person. Afterward, if it is deemed to be a property that is worthy of an in person viewing, arrangements can be made to do this safely!
TIP: Dont be fooled by fancy photography, listing agents definately know how to make a home look much better than it does in real life.
4. Document Signing
The process of document signing has been going virtual for many years now. When it comes to writing offers, signing listing agreements, this can all be done online now. There are advantages to doing it in person, but a video call and a step by step tutorial of the listing contract can be done online from your home!
TIP: Ensure your agent helps you be familiar with all sections of the purchase contract. You do not want and suprises at closing time.
5. Deposit Cheques
Deposits have become much more streamlined in Alberta. Rather than providing a chq or bank draft, there are easier options. You can now e-transfer funds, or wire transfer as well, from home!
6. Closing Day
So you have bought a home virtually. Now how do you take possession of the home physically? Simple! On closing day, your buyer agent can arrange the keys to be sanitized and dropped at a specific location for you. They can be left in a keysafe for you at the home, or we can provide you with door codes for entry. In this case, we can leave the keys within the home.
TIP: Dont forget to find the garage door openers!
With all these tools at hand, you can comfortably buy or sell a home, while keeping respectful physical distancing measures in place. The Beech Woolger Team is here to help you through the Real Estate acquisition process, even when we arent face to face. We are available 24/7, check out our contact page to get in touch!
TIP: Buying in spring 2020, might be an opportunity like no other!
Dave Woolger and Dustin Beech
The Beech Woolger Team