Today’s everyday reality is pretty different than it looked just a few short months ago. We are learning how to do a lot of things in new ways, from how we work remotely to how we engage with our friends and neighbors.
Almost everything right now is shifting to a hybrid model and a virtual reality format. One of the big changes we are adapting to is the revisions to the common real estate transaction, which all vary by state and locality. Technology, however, is making it possible for many of us to continue on the quest for homeownership, an essential need for all.
Here is a look at some of the elements of the process that are changing (at least in the near-term), due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing, and what you will want to know about each one if you are thinking of buying or selling a home sooner rather than later, and if you are thinking about having us represent you.
Virtual Consultations – Instead of heading into an office, you can meet with us and lending professionals through video chat. Whether it is your first initial needs analysis as a buyer or your listing appointment as a Seller, you can still get the process started remotely and we can create a plan together. As your trusted real estate advisors, we are still on your side and available to assist you.
Home Searches & Virtual Showings – According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Internet is one of the three most popular information sources Buyers use when searching for homes. As your real estate agents, we can send you listing information and help you request a virtual showing when you are ready to start looking. This means you can virtually walk through the homes on your wish list while keeping your family safe. As a seller, we can help you have virtual open houses and virtual tours too, so as not to miss those Buyers looking to find a home right now.
Document Signing – Although this is another area that varies by state, today more portions of the transaction are being done digitally. In our local area, we can utilize DocuSign for electronic review of all required documents and you and the other party can sign electronically right from your computers and/or smartphones.
Sending Money – Whether you need to pay for an appraisal or submit closing costs, there are options available. Depending on the transaction and local regulations, you may be able to pay by credit card, and most banks will also allow you to wire funds from your account. Sometimes you can send a check by mail, and in some states, a mobile escrow agent will pick up a check from your home.
Closing Process – Again, depending on your area, a mobile notary may be able to bring the required documents to your home before the closing. If your state requires an attorney to be present, check with your legal counsel to see what options are available. Also, depending on the title company, some are allowing drive-thru closings, which is similar to doing a transaction at a bank window.
Although these virtual processes are starting to become more widely accepted, it does not mean that this is the way things are going to get done from now on. Under the current circumstances, however, technology is making it possible to continue much of the real estate transaction today.
If you need to move today, technology can help make it happen; there are options available and we can help you decide the right ones for your specific situation. Let’s touch base today to discuss your situation and our local regulations, so you don’t have to put your real estate plans on hold.
We would be honored to assist you!