The truth is that the home buying process has been due for a big change long before anyone even heard of COVID-19. Many of the steps involved with buying a home had barely advanced at all in the last two decades. Sure, online property searches were a huge innovation 15 years ago. But, just about everything else has remained the same.
It has taken a pandemic to force real estate professionals to implement streamlining technologies that have been standard in other industries for many years now. The good news is that many of these changes seem to be sticking and will most likely continue even after COVID-19 is a distant memory. So, let’s explore some of the ways that COVID-19 may have changed home buying for good.
Virtual and digital technology is playing a huge part in the transformation of the home-buying process. The buyer advantage is guaranteed to be a mainstay in the real estate business moving forward. Why would buyers drive to an office to meet an agent when they can virtual conference from the comfort of their living room?
Smart buyers always interview more than one agent before choosing which one to work with. In the past, this meant buyers would have to drive to several different offices before making their decision. From now on buyers will be able to schedule three to four prospective agent appointments in one day, cutting down the hiring process and jumping straight into home shopping.
This category ties in well with time-saving. If buyers don’t have to drive all over town to interview agents, they’re saving a ton of money in gas. The other big advantage in money-saving that buyers now have is the ability to learn far more about a particular market before making an offer on a home.
With new virtual showings and open houses, buyers can compare many more properties than before and are able to make a far more educated conclusion regarding the offer price. This advantage could save buyers tens of thousands of dollars, and it wouldn’t be so readily available without COVID-19.
Even before COVID-19, there were other germs, viruses, and diseases the public needed to protect themselves against. Unfortunately, home shoppers of years past were one of the most susceptible groups. Before COVID-19 home shoppers might visit 15-20 properties before making an offer on one. At the same time, each out of those properties had 20-30 people visiting every day. Home shoppers could easily come in contact with hundreds of other people’s germs every time they went shopping with their agents.
From now on the protocol will be to have each property sanitized before and after viewings and all parties know to wear PPE when entering the property. This is more than a trend and is certain to change the way buyers shop for homes. For the most part, the changes taking place in home buying were inevitable. The industry really just needed a push toward this smarter and safer way of conducting business. Many of these implementations are here for the long haul because, quite frankly, they just make sense.