What Selling Your Home Will Look Like Post COVID-19 – Predictions from Our Broker of Record
We’ve made it to the part of the COVID-19 crisis where many provinces are moving through the stages of reopening at a steady pace. While this is great news, we know industries across the board will be operating in a whole new way – real estate included. So, what will selling your home in a post-pandemic world look like? While no one can know for sure, our Broker of Record, Randall Weese, makes some educated predictions below based on what we’re already seeing happen and what health authorities are predicting for industries in the year to come.
Predictions from our Broker of Record
Finding the right REALTOR®
Pre-COVID-19, a seller would have invited multiple REALTORS® from competing brokerages to their home to a) have the REALTORS® evaluate and price their home and b) learn more about the agents’ experience and strategy for getting their home sold in order to decide which REALTOR® is the right fit for them.
Post-COVID-19, this process will likely become a lot more virtual. For starters, sellers who still prefer to invite REALTORS® to their homes will most likely spend more time researching various brokerages and agents first and select only a couple top contenders for a visit. Sellers might also take advantage of the now-popular video conference to meet with a larger number of agents before selecting the few REALTORS® they invite to their homes. Ahead of a widely available vaccine, sellers selecting their REALTORS® in this manner can lower their exposure risk by minimizing face-to-face interaction. Ultimately this means a REALTOR’S® experience will have more weight than their ability to woo a client once they’re in the same room; and a seller can gather everything they need to know in a quick call by asking the right questions about the REALTOR’S® track record.
Building a relationship with your REALTOR®
But what about all the lunch or coffee dates that help build a relationship between a seller and a REALTOR®?
Pre-COVID-19, these in-person interactions were a big part of selling your home because they not only helped build trust, but they also helped build the REALTOR’S® credibility in the seller’s eyes. When the pandemic hit, these in-person meetings were the first to be replaced with video calls, more frequent emailing and even texts.
Post-COVID-19, our Broker of Record predicts this virtual trend will continue even in a world where a vaccine exists. Before the pandemic, technology was already starting to replace these in-person interactions, like paperwork being signed electronically instead of meeting at a café or the REALTOR’S® office. COVID-19 has accelerated that process and people’s behaviour is inherently changing as a result. In a world where a vaccine exists, sellers will be settled into this virtual process and, for the most part, won’t want to revert to a lunch date to talk shop. Before the pandemic, REALTORS® would greet sellers with a smile and an excited handshake, now it’ll be a smile and an equally excited wave through the screen.
Hosting Showings and Open Houses
Pre-COVID-19, in-person showings were the way to go. Some people even made a hobby out of visiting open houses for fun, even if they weren’t in the market for a home. Physically touring a home was a prerequisite for submitting an offer. This drastically shifted as open houses were restricted entirely. Even with precautionary measures in place, sellers became nervous about potential buyers touring their home, and buyers were equally nervous about attending in-person showings. Brokerages were forced to make use of technology in the form of virtual, live and 3D tours to get listings sold.
Post-COVID-19, because of the increase in the use of technology to sell homes, it is likely that there’ll be a slight decrease in physical showings. Similar to how finding the right REALTOR® will likely involve more research and fewer agents coming through a seller’s home, buyers will likely spend more time using the technology that has been more widely implemented in real estate now to narrow down their search and only visit a handful of homes they’re most interested in. Which means for the seller, not only will they have less traffic through their home, but the buyers that do come to view the home will likely be more serious than visitors in the pre-pandemic world.
At the time of writing, open houses are still restricted in many provinces and those provinces that do allow them have strict guidelines. Once all restrictions are lifted, our Broker of Record predicts both sellers and buyers will be more reluctant to host or attend an open house. The fact is open houses do not make or break the sale of the home, between the less-than-serious buyers visiting for fun, as mentioned above, and listing agents primarily using open houses to source new clients, they are not as advantageous to the seller as one may think.
Offers, Negotiations and Paperwork
Pre-COVID-19, electronic signatures for required paperwork at any stage of the process was already a widely accepted practice. Here at Purplebricks, we have been leveraging technology and using some of the top tools in the industry for sending and receiving offers quickly and conveniently for years. For the most part, gone were the days of cars parked outside of a seller’s home in a multiple bid scenario with REALTORS® running to and from the car and the home to present offers.
Post-COVID-19, electronic signatures will reign supreme in most provinces. Some provinces still have restrictions on what documents electronic signatures are permitted for, but exceptions were made during the pandemic. For provinces where electronic signatures were already permitted at every stage, the pandemic will most likely be the nail in the coffin for any lingering in-person offer presentations. Good riddance to awkward curbside offers!
It is likely that health measures like screening questions, masks and keeping a safe distance during showings and in-person interactions will continue until a vaccine is created. The “new normal” for selling your home will likely have evolved from the pre-pandemic process to include more of the technology that has helped sellers and REALTORS® continue to list and sell homes safely and efficiently during the pandemic; a hybrid world that’ll help keep moving the industry forward.
Purplebricks is here to support Canadians by providing them full-service real estate while saving them thousands in commission when selling their home. As for homebuyers, we share the commission by giving buyers $2,000 in cash back* when they buy a home with us. Call 1-855-999-9740 for more information.
Randall Weese is a licensed REALTOR® with 14 years’ experience in Ontario who currently holds Broker licenses in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. Randall has worked in a variety of business models within the real estate industry. He has been a REALTOR® at one of the largest brokerages in Canada, managed a boutique brokerage, and founded and operated his own brokerage in the Greater Toronto Area; all in addition to acting as a listing agent on thousands of homes across the country during his career. Randall is currently working at Purplebricks where he is the Broker of Record for Ontario, Broker for Alberta and Associate Broker for Manitoba. Furthermore, he oversees Purplebricks’ Customer Service and Compliance departments.