House searching during COVID-19 is a little different from your typical day-to-day house hunting. It includes a lot more technology, the inclusion of PPE and it certainly requires you to have a great real estate agent you know and trust. While this may seem like an unnatural time to buy and sell a house, the real estate market is holding strong. With Whistler and Pemberton being a desirable place to live, work and play, the low-interest rates and real estate being deemed an essential service, there is still people actively looking in creative ways!
Here are a few changes and ideas that can help you be prepared when it comes to looking for a house during COVID-19.
Start Your Search Online
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock lately, you have noticed there are lots of places you can go online to start your search for a new house. With many apps, websites (such as ours!), social media channels like Instagram, and individual realtor websites, there is no shortage of information. Narrow down your search here, and see what is out there in terms of finding a home – all while staying in touch with your realtor. You never know what information they may have, like a house that isn’t on the market yet but they know would suit your needs and budget!
Watch a Virtual Tour with your Realtor
Just because you may be in quarantine doesn’t mean you can’t get a great feel of what the house is like, virtually speaking. Many Whistler and Pemberton properties will include this virtual tour, or virtual video walkthrough link on their web listing. However, to get a true feel of what the house is like, why not FaceTime or Zoom with your realtor while doing the virtual tour? Perhaps your realtor has already been inside this house, and can tell you what’s behind that closed door, or what condition they remember the house being in. They will also know the area and be able to provide insider information on if it is a good fit for what you’re looking for.
FaceTime House Showing
Alternatively, if you are still interested in a property after the Virtual Tour you took while chatting to your realtor, why not ask them to go view it for you and take you on a more personal tour via FaceTime? That way they can FaceTime you themselves and help answer and describe anything you may want to know while eliminating the number of people in the house, and staying within the physical distancing perimeters. During these unprecedented times, realtors are being flexible in this area so don’t be afraid to ask what your options are if you really do want to see a house in person.
Changes During a Physical Showing
During the pandemic, there has been an update to the showing protocols to ensure that both buyers and sellers feel safe. This means that if physical showings are allowed, agents and buyers may have to travel in separate vehicles to the property, wear personal protection equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves, and use hand sanitizer, wipes and cleaning products before and after each showing. Touching of anything during the walkthrough will be limited, if not politely asked for you to refrain. You may also be asked to fill out a form that asks you health questions and is signed by all parties of the showing before you enter the property.
Allow More Time for Communication
As with any other business sector, the real estate world is experiencing a lot of changes in the way business is being conducted since the start of COVID-19. That means everyone is working from home, and relying a lot more on technology – not only between agents and clients but between the buying and selling realtors as well. This goes hand in hand with any other aspect of purchasing a house, such as lawyers, banks and home inspectors. Allow yourself lots of time, and stay in communication with your realtor so you are on the same page.