Buying or Selling a House During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things for a lot of people.  We all know reducing contact with other people is a necessity to slow the spread of the virus, but sometimes buying or selling a house is not optional.  In order to keep my clients (both buyers and sellers) as safe as possible, I am sharing some information to assist you in buying or selling your home in Kelowna during these challenging times.

  • Do Your Due Diligence

Open Houses used to be the primary way to attract attention in a house for sale.  With physical distancing restrictions and our new normal involving limited contact with those outside our bubbles, Open Houses are falling to the wayside.  This means that anyone wanting to view a home for sale in person should already be quite interested in the home.  Be pragmatic in narrowing down your search to homes and properties that truly meet your needs.  Get preapproved for a mortgage so you can confidently shop within your price range.  As your Realtor, I can help buyers find options that will be worth the time and effort should you decide to view them.  I also represent sellers in a manner that protects them as best I can by thoroughly vetting interested parties to ensure they are serious about potentially making an offer on a home before showing it.

  • Use Technology

The number of people searching for homes online has increased exponentially.  As a buyer, it allows you to shop without exposing you or your family to any risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.  As a seller, it maximises the number of people who can see your home online and explore if it’s right for them before scheduling a visit in person.  It is vital to have lots of photographs and information about the property for sale online so potential buyers can get all the information they need.  My clients selling homes are assured to have high quality pictures, floorplans and a thorough, accurate description to help those shopping for homes online make an informed decision about whether your home might be right for them.

Technology also comes into play when listing, making offers and signing any kind of documentation, which can considerably reduce the need to come into contact with others.  Speak to your Realtor about the option for electronic signatures throughout the listing, negation and closing phases of buying or selling your Kelowna home.

  • Safer Showings

If a potential buyer decides they are serious enough to want to see a home in person, there are a number of things all parties involved can do to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.  The seller should do their best to sanitize the home before and after the viewing.  Having hand sanitizer available throughout the home is a great way to mitigate risk of cross contamination.  Leaving interior room doors open and lights on minimizes the need for those viewing the home to come in contact with frequently touched surfaces.   Buyers should wear masks, use hand sanitizer, take off shoes and touch as little as possible while viewing a home for sale.  It is also wise to ask your Realtor to conduct a COVID-19 check on interested parties before taking people through your property to ensure they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms, have not been exposed to COVID-19 or have not travelled outside of the province or country within the last 14 days.  Keep in mind the number of people attending the in-person showing should be kept to a minimum for the safety of everyone involved.  Social distancing should always be observed throughout the showing and the number of people should be limited to 6 or less (including Realtors and occupants), dependant on the size of the home.

  • Plan Ahead

One of the challenges of buying or selling a home in Kelowna during the COVID-19 Pandemic is the necessity to plan ahead.  Gone are the days of driving around a neighbourhood and asking to view a home for sale on a whim.  Interested parties should give their Realtor plenty of notice if they wish to explore a certain property.  This means gathering all the available information about  a home for sale, ensuring it truly meets your needs and, if applicable, providing plenty of notice when requesting to view a property in person.  This gives everyone involved time to make the appropriate arrangements to keep themselves and others safe such as sanitizing the home and making childcare arrangements, if necessary.

  • Be Patient

It’s important to remember that things in Real Estate generally take longer as a result of the Pandemic.  It will benefit both buyers and sellers to be patient and flexible during these times.  Safety must be a priority for everyone involved to reduce the risk of transmitting or contracting the COVID-19 virus.  As your Realtor, you can trust me to keep your safety top of mind and do everything I can to make buying or selling your home in Kelowna as risk-free as possible.

If you or a loved one need to buy or sell a property in Kelowna, please get in touch with me to discuss how I can be “Your Key to Real Estate Success in Kelowna”.

Karen Borring-Olsen

Your Key to Real Estate Success in Kelowna