Real Estate AdviceMay 01, 2020 05:58PM ● By Pete Sabine
Real Estate Advice
Buying or Selling a Home During the COVID Crisis
By Pete Sabine
Recently, the federal government and most of the states have confirmed that residential real estate is an “essential business.” The COVID crisis has created significant challenges and restrictions for residential Realtors and their clients to show and sell homes up for sale, especially if the home is occupied.
The concept of a home buyer relying exclusively on a “virtual tour” to compel one to submit an offer is both impractical and improbable. Most home buyers want to personally visit a home to truly experience its unique subtleties and nuances before being comfortable enough to make the decision to buy.
Realtors are now allowed to show vacant homes for sale only if specific guidelines that align with safe social distancing protocol are followed.
We discovered a unique lockbox solution by SentriLock, the maker of digital lockboxes, which allows individuals to tour vacant homes on their own. A prospective buyer can register online with a valid ID and credit card to get a one-time lockbox code to access the home.
Employing SentriLock access for vacant homes for sale allows Realtors to comply with guidelines for COVID showing restrictions and, equally as important, provides prospective home buyers with safe access to properties, with minimal exposure to others.
We are now using SentriLock boxes for our vacant listings with great success and receiving positive feedback from people who have used the lockboxes for “self-guided tour” access of our vacant homes for sale.
Self-guided vacant home tours are a significant way to keep the vital real estate market alive during the COVID crisis. Each residential real estate sale transaction employs an average of 15 to 20 different professional services and trades people, boosting our economy during a time of unprecedented high unemployment.
For the month of March 2020, self-touring data shows that SentriLock is expected to facilitate 197,964 self-tours, a 30% increase annually over March of 2019. SentriLock has seen a surge in demand for its devices, which nearly tripled in the second week of March with more than 1,500 devices sent to real estate operators. That’s really helping now with the COVID crisis because Realtors and property managers can still place people in homes even when a Realtor can’t meet them at the property.
With low mortgage interest rates and a limited supply of homes for sale, we’re likely to see another homebuying surge after shelter-in-place orders have been lifted. If social distancing restrictions are still in place, vacant homes can be purchased when potential buyers can see them on their own.
Pete Sabine. Call or Text 925.297.5335
Compass. License #00889760