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COVID-19: What to expect when buying or selling a house during a pandemic

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, many have decided to hold off on their moving plans — and understandably so. At the same time, others aren’t in a position to wait to buy or sell a home. How can you shelter in place without a home? That’s why under Minnesota’s Stay-at-Home Order, real estate and relocating businesses were deemed a necessity, allowing Realtors® and other location service processionals to continue operating.

That said, buying and selling a house looks and feels very different from what you’re used to and what you’d expect. Keep in mind our goal is to keep you safe, which is why we’re following guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health along with our professional organizations.

Here are some of the changes you can expect when you’re working with a Realtor®:

  • Like many Realtors®, we’re using virtual house tours to minimize contact so prospective buyers get a thorough inside look at the house.
  • With a few exceptions, video conferencing will take the place of in-person meetings.
  • Open houses have been halted until it is once again deemed safe to do so.

What about private home showings?

There’s no substitute for a private showing when it comes to deciding whether or not that house is “the one.” Which is why we’re doing everything possible to make that a reality, but in a way that is safe for everyone.

  • With few exceptions, we’ll drive in separate vehicles to private showings and other meetings.
  • During showings and in-person meetings, we ask that everyone do their part to protect each other. That means applying hand sanitizer, wearing face masks, disinfecting surfaces and maintaining that 6-foot distance.
  • Before and after showings, sellers are asked to sanitize all surfaces, light switches and door knobs. As people move through the house, they’ll be reminded to keep the tour as hands off as possible.
  • During showings, expect limits onthe number of people allowed in the house. Before you head out, check with your Realtor® so you know what to expect.

What’s next?

  • As for home inspections, don’t expect the usual in-person walk-through. However, after completing a solo inspection, they’ll present their report over a virtual meeting and send a digital copy. (Most will take ample time to make sure you understand what’s going on with the property, inside and out, before you make your final decision.)
  • Planning ahead is more critical than ever to executing a smooth move. Think of the services you would rely on in the so-called normal times, like house cleaning, painting, hauling away items donated to charity, finding a pet sitter and child care. During this pandemic, some of these services may be unavailable, while others may be difficult to come by. When creating a moving plan during a pandemic, working with a full-service Realtor® can be a tremendous resource, so you can get everything crossed off your list.

If buying a home or selling a property can’t wait until after the pandemic, we can help you. At the same time, we’re doing everything we can at to protect the health of everyone, through virtual meetings and safe practices.

Looking for trusted professionals to help you buy or sell a home? Reach out to Scott Haubrich at today by calling 612-298-5400.