After what seems to a lot of us as an interminable amount of time, Northern Virginia is slowly starting to “reopen” and return to some semblance of normal. We in the real estate industry are fortunate to have been designated as an essential business from the beginning of the Emergency Order, so we’ve been able to carry on serving our home sellers and buyers. Since the crisis has not yet passed, however, we have been extremely cautious to conduct ourselves in ways to best protect our colleagues, our clients, and all the ancillary service providers. We follow all common-sense infection–mitigating techniques such as masks, over-shoe booties, plastic gloves, disinfectants, sanitizers, and social distancing guidelines both mandated and self-imposed.
The real estate market in Annandale, Falls Church, and Fairfax County is NOT in limbo! In fact, we’ve had several deals with multiple offers and contracts that exceeded the original listing price. We have been able to continue many in person house showings with the above safety techniques in place, but some buyers and sellers may not be comfortable with these measures. For those, we are able to offer virtual showings!
So, how do we get your home sold using the “McIlvaine Corona System”? It’s a lot more fun and easier than you’d imagine. When a buyer sees one of our listings from a drive-by sign or an online platform such as our own MHTSells.com, KW.com, Zillow, Realtor.com, through social media, or if the buyer is working with an agent, they can simply contact us by phone to learn about the listing. We cover preliminaries, then explain the virtual option to tour the home. The System is simple. We connect our Team with the buyers through Zoom or a similar video conferencing platform. Having been in lockdown for a couple of months, most people know exactly how to work with these amazing services. If we have a Virtual Tour prepared on the day they call, we run it online and watch it with them to stop and start at appropriate times. In all modesty, our productions can be truly dazzling. We answer questions as we go through the home just as we normally do during an on-site tour.
If the Listing is new and we have not had enough time to produce the filmed Tour before the inquiry phone call, we shift into a pragmatic showing. The homeowner may connect with us and the buyers through Facetime or the like, and walk all of us through the home. One of us narrates the tour to point out salient features. We can get immediate clarification of some questions if it’s appropriate to ask the seller/tour guide on the spot. The other method is to arrange a showing time and then one of our team drives to the home and conducts the in-person tour through the same electronic media.
The next steps are very straightforward and use practices that we agents are accustomed to. Offers are presented by sending the paperwork through Secure File Servers among the parties. The agents confer over any details and then we discuss the offers with the home sellers. All parties agree to a contingency clause that states once the final documents are agreed to and fully executed, we arrange for an in-person tour with the buyers. There can be exceptions to this step, but virtual tours are so successful that we have not had one buyer exercise the right to withdraw after the in-person tour. The process to get to a virtual closing table is also according to safety and distancing guidelines. Home Inspections are done following strict guidelines. Some banks and mortgage lenders have even moved to drive-by appraisals. The whole application process is handled through secure emails as are the closings. We even had a recent closing that took place in the convenience of the client’s car!
You may not hear this again for a while, but NOW is the perfect time to list your home. Lots of buyers, mortgage rates at extreme lows, and lots of motivated people to get moving with their plans. We are able to be flexible with how we sell your home, to ensure your highest level of comfort while our nation continues to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.