Even in ideal times, looking for a farm or home can be an involved process to be sure you’re 100% sure you’ve picked the right place, at the right price. But obviously these are not the best of times.
The coronavirus pandemic has people across the country home bound and even the most determined home buyer might be wondering how to safely shop for a property now. I am here to help you navigate this time of uncertainty as best I know.
For real estate agents, that means determining what business we can do right now — and how we can meet the needs of clients and leads while adhering to orders and state and local rules for essential businesses. And it is also important to think ahead to the end of the lockdown and consider how the real estate market may look and what unexpected changes may be coming up.
I have been running my business from a home office since I took out my real estate license in 2003. Or from the back of a horse for many of the years! Having the right technology with an understanding how to use it advantageously is not my biggest challenge. And working with clients I have never met in person is not something new to me. No one could have predicted the place we are in now, but I am fortunate that many aspects of my “normal” life continue.
The buying and selling landscape have changed. Some sellers or occupants of a home may not be comfortable with buyers in their home. During showings, shorter viewing times, booties, gloves and hand sanitizer are employed. Agents normally meet clients at the property rather than driving together.
The power of video and high resolution photographs stand out in times like this. Many of my listings as well as other agents have 360 degree virtual tours which allow users to simulate being inside the house and moving from room to room. FaceTime showings, previewing properties for clients to offer firsthand input and taking additional videos are part of the process for an agent now.
Now it is even more imperative to rely on technology. The use of e-signature has been part of my transaction process for some time. And lenders are willing to provide pre-approval for loans online. Closings can be done by mail or with separate areas for buyers and sellers without the presence of the realtor. There could be delays with all facets of the transaction process as human interaction is compromised over the next few weeks or months but as of now, I have not seen this occurring in Aiken.
No matter what, it’s important to remember that everyone must live somewhere. Our homes have never been more important to us than right now. They are a place of solace, respite, work and the ultimate shelter from the storm — no matter what the storm.
If you are not familiar with Aiken, we send out a wonderful package on the area and the latest Aiken Horse magazine. Just reach out to me with your mailing address.
If you’re considering relocating to the area, contact Suzy Haslup today. Suzy has been buying, renovating and selling homes in Aiken for twenty six years. She is also active in the community as a member of two fox hunts, Chairperson of the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Committee for the City of Aiken and a board member of the Racing Hall of Fame Museum in Hopelands Gardens. Between her experience as a Realtor® and horsewoman, Suzy will ensure that you find the equestrian property of your dreams, whether that’s an idyllic farm out in the country, land, or a home in Aiken’s Historic Horse District.
Have any questions?