April 24, 2020

What to expect when working with a REALTOR® today

Shelter needs don’t go away during a public health crisis. That’s why the provincial government named REALTORS® as an essential service during today’s COVID-19 pandemic.

But this designation doesn’t mean the process of buying or selling a home won’t change.

Realtors are committed to providing their services in strict compliance with the provincial health orders.

That means limiting in-person contact, using technology to market your home or view potential new homes, and more. Your Realtor may also ask you to sign a form that outlines how they’ll help you safely buy or sell a home.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home during this pandemic, here’s what you can expect.

What to expect when buying

If you’re looking for your new home during the pandemic, understand that this process may take longer than expected.

The number of homes being listed for sale is declining, and some home owners who would otherwise sell are holding off until the state of emergency is over.

Be patient.

Physical distancing means sellers won’t meet in person unless absolutely necessary. Talk with your Realtor about virtual alternatives to things like showings and open houses. You’ll also need to rely more on technology to find and view homes.

For example, Realtylink.org has the option to search for upcoming livestream open houses. A livestream open house provides a virtual opportunity to see a home and chat with the listing Realtor through a live video feed.

What to expect when selling

Your Realtor will go over what you’re comfortable with, and what you can do to ensure you’re following the latest provincial health orders.

These may include:

  • Meeting with you and potential buyers via meeting apps like Zoom.
  • Using livestreaming apps to hold open houses and showings.
  • Creating virtual tours using 3D renderings of your home.
  • Using digital signature platforms to review and sign contracts.
  • Using gloves and/or cloth masks when meeting in person.
  • Expanding cleaning procedures after any in-person interaction with a buyer.

Also keep in mind that if you have tenants, you may not be able to show your home. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can only show your home if your tenant consents. You also can’t give your tenants notice to end their tenancy until after the state of emergency is lifted.

It’s important to talk to your Realtor about your housing situation, and how they can help you through this crisis.

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