Social distancing is affecting businesses all across the country in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus. For real estate agents and sellers, hosting open houses and walk-throughs have come to a halt. However, with the help of new technology, it’s easier than ever to give future homebuyers a similar experience with virtual open houses.
Here are some tips for working with your real estate agent to host virtual home tours and keep the selling/buying process moving.
Communication is Key
First, be sure to keep lines of communication open with your agent to schedule a time for your virtual walk-through. Discuss how this will be conducted, ask questions and come up with a gameplan. Will you be using your smartphone for video? What platform will you use to conduct this process? Which specific details of your home should you showcase? Will you be part of the conversation? Understanding how you and your agent will work together to make this an informative and quality virtual open house starts with great communication.
Tidy Up Your Home
Just as you would for a live open house, be sure your home is clean and clutter free. If you are working from home, be sure to tidy up your desk or work station. Remove any personal items, such as family pictures or eclectic artwork that may skew a buyer’s perception. Stage each room as best as you can, with guidance from your agent. If you have children who are home from school or you have a pet, ask another family member to keep them occupied or keep them in an area of the home separate from the tour. When it comes time to show that area, simply have them move to another room to avoid any potential distractions.
Let Your Agent Take Charge
Once you have a plan ready for the open house and your agent confirms the time and date with potential homebuyers, you can start your tour. During the walk-through, mute yourself and let your agent do the talking. Remember, this is a process usually conducted with you, your family and your pets out of the home. Minimize any distractions on your end and let the agent lead this tour. You want to provide the buyers with a genuine open house experience—so be sure to trust your agent through this process.
Allow Live Q&A With Potential Buyers
If the potential buyers have questions, talk with your agent about a live Q&A session at the end of the tour. Again, let your agent take control when it comes to the questions. Unless you’ve previously discussed your involvement in this part of the process, you want to allow your agent to properly do their job as if it was in person. If questions come up regarding a specific space, be ready to showcase that area of the home. Remember to remove your personal feelings when a buyer asks a question, no matter how uncomfortable it may make you.
As this virus continues to keep human contact at a minimum, agents and sellers will need to work together to keep the homebuying and home selling process run smoothly. Discuss these options with your real estate agent today.