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The Real Estate Market’s Response to COVID-19: More Efficiency and Easier Processes!
First and foremost, we hope that everyone is healthy and safe during this trying and scary time. The well-being of our friends, families, and neighbors is of utmost importance to us. While we all navigate the impacts of the pandemic, we want to do our part to support our customers that may still have the need for our services, whether it be a new job/relocation that you still must carry out, or perhaps you find yourself faced with a new financial reason now to sell. No matter what your situation is, we are here to help guide you in this new market during this time. In case you are hesitating to buy or sell during this time, keep reading because the market has responded with some big changes to make the process easier.
The following are some of the things we and our partners are doing to adjust to the changing needs in this new market. We can offer any of these services to you and are also happy to cater to whatever your personal needs may be as well.
Virtual Tours: We have the ability to perform virtual tours for buyers. This would involve one of our agents visiting a home to record a live tour for a buyer using their smartphone. We can be your eyes to point anything out that may need attention, while you can also ask questions along the way from the safety of your home. Our agents are very experienced and knowledgeable so you will feel at ease that we will have your best interest in mind while we guide you through your potential new home.
Enhanced Services for Sellers: In addition to our regular and beautiful professional photography, we are providing 3D Matterport tours now for all sellers in an effort to help their potential buyers get a feel of the home on a different level than the still photos can provide.
Click here to see an example of a 3D virtual tour: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=MKfP5CpYB1Q
We can also hold Facebook Live and/or YouTube virtual open houses and showings as needed to promote your home.
Coming Soon Status in MLS: In addition to offering enhanced services for sellers, we can also test the market in your area with the coming soon feature in the MLS. The MLS allows us to be in the coming soon status for 21 days without your “days on market” adding up. During this period, we can get a feel for how busy your home showings might be by the number of inquiries we receive. You can decide from there how you would like to proceed. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out how many buyers are still looking in your area. If not, it is ok to go off the market for any length of time you see fit based on our coming soon results. This is called a “Temp-Off” status in the MLS - and while you are in it, your “days on market” do not add up, which is a huge bonus when you are ready to go back to the market. Please contact us further to discuss all of the options that are available to you as a seller. We are still seeing multiple offers on homes due to a lack of inventory. This could change as we are watching this day by day.
New Transaction Procedures: Our local Associations have quickly and timely drafted new COVID-19 addendums to protect both sides in the case that there is a delay due to the pandemic. In addition, there are new “loosening” transaction procedures that are taking place now that are very efficient. Some lenders are allowing appraisals to be performed without an appraiser physically visiting a home. Title companies have been doing “drive-through” closings where you can stay in your car while signing your final docs. While there were already electronic ways to sign sales contracts, there were not ways to do this for the final documents at the title company, but we are now hearing that soon there may be virtual notary public services that are acceptable for the final sale documentation. This is a very exciting process that could optimize the closing process forever. Imagine not having to sit through hours of a long, in-person closing.
Redwood Offers: We are very excited to tell you about our cutting edge program called “Redwood Offers”. Century 21 Redwood is working with an investor that allows homeowners to pull up to 80% of their home’s equity and remain in their homes for up to 18 months while waiting through the pandemic or searching for a new home. You can pay off your mortgage, access your capital now and sell later. This can also have a positive impact on your credit score. Additionally, if you are also buying a home, this will enable you to put in your offer without a home contingency which makes your offer more competitive than competing offers with that sale contingency. Please call, text or email to set up a virtual or phone consultation to learn more. We can provide you with an offer on your home within 3 business days of your inquiry.
We are following federal and local recommendations to protect the safety of our personnel, including equipping our team members to work remotely, and ensuring they are able to fully support our customers as usual. We found that we fall under the “financial services” realm when looking at the guidelines for essential operations so we will remain open as long as we are not asked to close by the local or federal governments. Our phones are still on and we continue to work daily to close homes that were already in our pipeline, as well as to list new homes that will be coming to market soon. We had five closings this week that have not been delayed by COVID-19 and expect the others we have in our pipeline during the next few weeks and months to stay on track. The market is still moving, houses are still being listed and interest rates are low for buyers.
We are all in uncharted territory, but our team at Fed City, Century 21 Redwood is equipped to handle moments like this. Both our infrastructure and staffing are designed to be flexible and support our operations even in the face of widespread global challenges. Because we have already been working with the cutting-edge technology that is going to withstand the changes that this market demands, we are prepared to take the leap into this new normal with you.
Be safe, do the right thing, practice physical distancing and take care of yourself and your fellow neighbors.
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