Though there is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now (including in the real estate market), there are people who were planning on buying or selling a home and still need to do so regardless of what's going on with the global COVID-19 pandemic. Because of that, I wanted to take a minute and share with my followers some thoughts that may help people think rationally about the situation at hand.
First, while the financial market looks crazy right now, rest assured this is not a repeat of 2008. What happened then versus what is happening now is completely different, and an article recently posted on the Florida Association of Realtors website does a great job of clearly detailing the differences. (You can read that article by clicking here.)
Second, over the next few weeks or even months it’s likely you’re going to run into Realtors who are telling everyone it’s still a great time to buy or sell, regardless of whether that's actually true for the specific person they're talking to. Please know that I value my relationships with my clients above all else, and I will fully assess a specific person’s situation before giving them any real estate advice. Just today I told one seller that they should still go ahead and list their home as soon as possible, but told another seller they should absolutely wait a couple of months before listing. No two real estate transactions are alike and now more than ever I am making sure to personalize my advice to fit what each client needs.
With that being said, I would like to let all my current and future clients know that I actually already have many pandemic friendly processes in place to help sellers or buyers who may need to continue forward on their real estate journey at this point in time, but are concerned about exposure to the virus. I specialize in working with relocation and out-of-state clients and a lot of the processes I use for them can also be implemented to help those who live here in Tampa Bay. So if you have been thinking about buying or selling a home, now is a great time to give me a call! Here is how I can help you...
I know it doesn't seem like it, but now is a surprisingly good time to start getting serious about the home buying process! By scheduling a phone call or video call with me now, I can review the home buying process with you, answer any of your questions, and get you on the right track to home ownership now, so when the time comes for you to start actively looking at homes, you can hit the ground running!
I can also get you in touch with a mortgage lender who can get you pre-approved and give you an idea of what your monthly payment and cash-to-close would be. That way, you can start budgeting now so you’ll be financially ready and feel more comfortable buying a home when things get back to normal.
If you're absolutely ready to start looking at homes now - great! Until the government tells me otherwise, I am still actively out showing properties to my clients and offering the following precautions:
We will drive in separate cars to showings
I will touch all the light switches, door knobs, etc
I will confirm with the listing agent prior to visiting that we will be the only showing at that time and that the sellers will be out of the home (and also confirm no one who lives in the home has exhibited signs of illness).
I can preview properties for you (taking videos and photos) so you can decide if it’s a home you want to see in person. That way you cut down the number of homes you're visiting and hopefully reduce your exposure to the virus.
I also encourage you to drive by the property before requesting a showing (virtual or otherwise) to make sure it is a home you are really interested in.
I will also provide "Additional Terms" contract language to cover you in case of a COVID-19 related delay
Did you know it's actually better to reach out to a Realtor sooner rather than later when you're thinking of selling? By starting the home selling process now (even if you're not ready to list your home for sale yet), you can get ahead of the curve and be ready to take full advantage of the rebounding real estate market when things calm down.
Through a video call, I can preview your home without coming to it in person, and give you personalized suggestions on what upgrades/repairs will get you the best return on investment. Then, as it's likely a lot of people will have more down time than usual right now, you can spend the next few weeks making those updates/changes so you’re ready to list as soon as makes sense for you. I also have checklists that I can provide to help guide you on what to do to get your home ready for sale.
If your circumstances mean you have to list now, there are things we can do to help set your home apart and make sure interested buyers are still seeing your home! I can:
Provide a virtual 360-degree tour of your home, professional photography, and an exterior video that can be sent to prospective buyers before they come into your home (making sure only seriously interested buyers schedule an in-person showing)
Allow only pre-approved buyers to tour your home (so that we know those coming through are qualified to buy)
Ask that every buyer do a drive by first to confirm they are still interested in going inside
Call every agent prior to their showing to provide instructions on how to conduct a sanitary showing, and to confirm that neither they nor their clients are exhibiting any signs of illness
In the most extreme circumstances, make potential buyers submit an offer prior to viewing the property in person, but making the offer contingent upon their showing.
Provide "Additional Terms" contract language to cover you in case of a COVID-19 related delay
It is truly my hope that this pandemic passes quickly and that most buyers and sellers can postpone their plans 2 - 3 weeks, but for those who need to start the process of buying or selling now (or for those who will not be able to hold off longer if things are not resolved quickly), I am still open for business, even if not in the most traditional sense! I am here via phone, email, text, or Facebook messenger to learn more about your goals, listen to your concerns, offer suggestions, answer questions, and make sure you are fully prepared to achieve your real estate goals when the times comes - whenever that may be.
Philippa Main is a 5-star rated Tampa Realtor and in the top 3% of real estate agents in the Tampa Bay area. She is also a 2019 Homelight National Top Producer Award Winner, a 2018 Homelight Top Negotiator Local Award Winner, a Certified Client Protection Expert, and a New Construction Homes Expert. She has worked in the real estate industry since 2014 and has lived in the Tampa area since 1998. She works in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, and parts of Hernando county. While she can help all kinds of sellers and buyers, she specializes in estate/probate sales, relocations (buyers or sellers), first-time home buyers, new construction, and absentee/investor owner sales.
Future Home Realty