I took time over the last couple of weeks to shoot and add virtual tours to my property listings that were without them; apparently, an effort not in vain. According to the National Association of Realtors, 25% of Realtors with buyers who wrote contracts on homes this week had at least one out of three buyers do so without physically seeing the property. Instead, they relied on virtual tours, floor plans, and photographs to help them take the plunge toward homeownership. And the process is not one without precedent. Most buyers who purchase income property (duplexes, 4-plexes, and on up in unit count) do so without “seeing” all of a property’s “interiors”—until a seller has accepted their offer and notified the tenants of what’s to come. Then, they have what is called a “visual inspection” (usually done prior to making a deposit) to make sure they want to move forward with inspections, appraisals, and other contingencies.
So it is not a stretch—especially under today’s unprecedented conditions—to adopt the same process in residential purchases. You look online, tour online, I do the math, we negotiate with a seller, and, hopefully, come to an agreement—without you leaving your home. Then, the on-site process begins with masks, gloves, booties, antiseptic wipes, and sprays, as we socially-distance our way through the steps (all of which are legal and defined by the State of California as “essential” activities). To that point, Realtors have been deemed “essential” by the State, along with escrow companies, title companies, and inspectors. We, as a group of professionals, can potentially “unlock” money for our clients through our actions—which, these days, can be “essential” like never before.
What do you get for jumping through all these hoops and ducking under any number of arches? Perhaps a better deal than 30 days ago, possibly avoiding a crowded multiple offering, and your pick of the current crop of inventory (new properties are listed every day in Los Angeles).
You’ll see me and my team close escrows in our next update (contracts were inked post-COVID and contingencies have been removed), so the process of buying and selling is alive. We are patiently waiting for statistics to pass along to you, too, about what the health and economic crises will do to home values locally, and to people’s ability to buy and sell. It will be—a word I can’t stop using—unprecedented. But I have been up the down staircase before and have the experience to navigate the waters ahead—however unfamiliar they may seem.
Hoping you are safe and sound. Take care of yourself and your loved ones (with and without fur).