8 Easy Steps to Virtual Home Buying
Times are changing, and so is the real estate market. Every industry has had to adapt to social distancing and shelter-in-place orders throughout our nation. Restaurants are strictly pick-up or delivery only, while retailers are mainly an e-commerce venture now. Even stores like Walmart are adapting, with some stores only permitting a finite amount of customers to shop at one time. REALTORS® across the country, including Tyre Realty Group, have also adapted to the times.
Tyre Realty Group has adjusted to new social norms by implementing virtual home buying. While this has been an option for our clients before the Coronavirus pandemic, virtual home buying has become more popular. Since virtual home buying is a relatively new concept, many are unsure as to how it works. Allow us to explain the eight easy steps for you.
Traditionally, prospective home buyers will meet TRG agents for a consultation at our office, then go visit properties together. Of course, with social distancing, this is not recommended. The first step we take with virtual home buying is a virtual consultation with one of our experienced agents. Our agents are able to use Zoom, Google Duo, FaceTime, and other platforms to meet with customers. The first consultation is important for both buyer and agent. A primary meeting allows everyone to be on the same page and helps the agent provide the results the buyer is expecting.
Once a game plan is established during the initial consultation, our agents move to the second step of the virtual home buying process and are now able to suggest properties to the buyer(s). This process has not changed much since the widespread use of email. Agents email properties to purchasers to create a list of homes to view. TRG agents use their knowledge of the real estate market and the needs of the buyer to suggest homes to view. This process is a collaborative effort between the buyer(s) and their agent.
Next, TRG agents will set-up virtual showings for the properties that make the cut. Homes listed by TRG all have virtual tours online that the agent can send to their buyer(s). For homes without virtual tours, or for homes that need a closer look, TRG agents can hop on a video call through Zoom, Google Duo or FaceTime to give their buyer(s) a better look at the home. Some buyers need a better visualization of space that an online tour does not provide. With these video calls, agents can take accurate dimensions of rooms and are able to see latent aspects of the home that the virtual tour might have not showcased.
When our agent's buyer(s) have found their next home to purchase, our agents progress to the fourth step of the virtual home buying process and use digital signature software to prepare an offer. TRG agents have a litany of experience in e-signature software and were one of the first offices in Pitt County to embrace digital signature software and have been using e-signatures for more than five years. E-signature software not only saves unnecessary paper waste but allows the buyer(s) to sign offers while still helping slow the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus). Once signed, agents then email the offer over to the listing agent.
Now under contract, the fifth part of virtual home buying is to deliver Due Diligence Fee and Earnest Money Deposit checks. The buyer(s) have two options to provide these checks. Checks can either be delivered and dropped off in our dropbox at our office on Red Banks or can be mailed. Whichever option the purchaser(s) choose, it is still void of contact to adhere to social distancing.
The sixth step for purchasing a home virtually is to get the home inspected. Homes do not have to get inspected, but TRG highly recommends getting all properties inspected. We recommend an HVAC (heating and air), wood-destroying insects (such as termites) and a general home inspection. TRG has participating, trusted inspectors that provide detailed reports, including photos and descriptions for our clients to investigate every inch of their new home. Our agents then talk with the client(s) to create a list of repairs to negotiate with the seller(s).
Finally, we get to steps seven and eight. Step seven is closing on the home. The buyer(s) have two options for closing: 1) mail-away closing, where the closing attorney will mail the documents needed to close and the buyer(s) sign, notarize and mail the documents back, or 2) curbside closing with the closing attorney. After the attorney digitally records the deed with the Pitt County Register of Deeds office, the buyer(s) can pick-up keys or TRG will drop off keys.
Yes, it is that easy to buy a home virtually during this time. Our office has already put homes under contract with these easy steps to accommodate the changing times. For more information, please contact one of our agents through our website, www.TyreRealtyGroup.com.