The coronavirus pandemic has altered almost every aspect of our society. That’s especially true of the way we conduct real estate business nowadays. Agents are having to adapt to these new conditions, and that also means it’s a different situation for both real estate buyers and sellers. Showings and closings have changed dramatically, and much of it has gone digital. People are planning ahead, conducting lots of their initial shopping online before heading to Open Houses or Private Tours. To help you understand this new environment, here are 4 ways Boston real estate agents are adapting during coronavirus.
1. Virtual, Virtual, Virtual
People still need to buy and sell houses – that has not changed. But they all have to do it safely, so Boston real estate agents are adapting during coronavirus by going digital and remote. To limit close contact with other people and to reduce exposure to the coronavirus, agents have found ways to make parts of real estate transactions virtual.
The traditional open house still exists (although at the start of the pandemic, everything shifted immediately to virtual tours). Now, in addition to personal tours and open houses with many precautions, an agent will take a detailed video tour of the house and send it to their clients afterward. Moreover, and depending on the agent in question, the agent may also FaceTime or video call clients as they are walking through the house, therefore making them available to answer questions in real-time. These virtual open houses serve as a way of showcasing properties to interested individuals while eliminating the close contact that would usually occur during an in-person showing.
2. Open Houses and Showings
As we mentioned, one way Boston real estate agents are adapting during coronavirus is by using virtual tools and strategies. The most used and most effective of these are virtual open houses and virtual showings.
Open houses are an effective tool to pull in interested potential buyers. But under current conditions, the traditional in-person open house is different from what we have grown accustomed to seeing. Gone are the cookies and refreshments, in are face masks, gloves, shoe booties, and metered time slots often scheduled in advance, even for an Open House.
Although not really new, virtual showings are now becoming the norm. Buyers can tour a home virtually while still having digital access, through something like FaceTime or Zoom, to agents in order to ask questions.
Matterport cameras provide excellent 3-D, 360-degree tours of homes that offer immersive visualizations in high resolution. It may not fully replace an in-person tour, but it’s pretty close. You might have seen these virtual tours without even realizing it, because they are becoming more and more common with online listings.
While this may sound difficult or expensive, it’s not as tricky as it seems. Many companies already exist in this space to help real estate agents and their clients produce great 3D virtual home hours. When you list your home with NextHome Titletown Real Estate, we offer 3-D tours technology as a standard feature of our listings.
3. Inspections and Appraisals
The ways Boston real estate agents are adapting during coronavirus can also be seen in how inspections and appraisals are conducted now. Formerly, the principals in the transaction would be present together for an appraisal or inspection, but that’s changing.
Now, for example, the seller and agent may be sequestered in one room of the house while the inspector, wearing proper protective gear, conducts the inspection. Some lenders are also allowing drive-by appraisals and photos submitted by the homeowner in order to qualify the buyer for the home’s purchase price. This removes the need for yet another person to enter the home and potentially contaminate the owners and their living area.
Because you might not be able to tag along in such cases, your agent will have to follow up later with your questions and concerns. To find out more about these new developments, contact us at NextHome Titletown Real Estate at (617) 657-9811.
4. Supplemental Materials
Another way Boston real estate agents are adapting during coronavirus involves providing buyers and sellers with supplemental materials to complement virtual showings an altered inspections and appraisals.
Some savvy real estate agents have begun providing clients with floor plans, detailed descriptions and panoramic pictures to supplement their video tours, with some even working to set up a live stream link through which multiple clients interested in a particular property can view it concurrently. Some companies and agents have even begun to work with photographers that specialize in piecing together 360-degree home video tours.
Lean on Your Agent
Although Boston real estate agents are adapting during coronavirus, and the rules of engagement continue to evolve as COVID-19 infection rates increase and decrease depending upon the location, many buyers and sellers are having a harder time adjusting. It’s no easy thing to lose human contact and do everything remotely, virtually, and online. That’s why it’s so critical at this time that you have and lean on the qualified local agents at NextHome Titletown Real Estate. Find out how our agents can help you buy or sell under these new conditions. Give us a call today at (617) 657-9811 or send us a message.
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