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Virtual Open Houses & Tours: Questions to Ask Your Realtor

COVID-19 practical advice for continuing your home search
By Sam Kamra, mortgagecalculator.ca - REW Market Pro customer May 5, 2020

Spring usually kicks off the busiest home buying/selling season in Canada, especially in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The real estate industry was fully ready to embrace a hot and happening spring market, but no one ever imagined the global COVID-19 pandemic could impact our work, business, and life so intensely.

Where health and well-being are the top priority during these unprecedented times, a virtually connected world is a stark reality. The same holds for the real estate market! As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our lives, realtors across the country are adapting strongly to this unusual scenario.

So, let's understand the nitty-gritty of the online real estate tours. May it be photos, video tours, live streaming, virtual open houses, all are very much on the task list of a real estate agent these days.

 

What to Ask Your Realtor during COVID-19?

Whether you have a physical or a virtual home visit, you must gather the most out of it to clarify your pile of doubts.  It is also important to know whether you are qualified for a mortgage before you start your virtual house haunting.

 

Cash in the Opportunity to View More Homes

A chance to save you valuable time! You can potentially visit a higher number of properties in a short period while staying safe. Thanks to dozens of digitally advanced tools like YouTube, Facebook Live, Zoom, and Instagram Live, etc.

Request your real estate broker to fit in the maximum and the best home showings, as per your tastes and preferences.

 

Squeeze out Additional Information

You may not get it all in one go! Few listing pictures and short videos may not present in-depth views and complete features. Ask your agent to provide some extra footage, maybe a thorough interior and exterior live view? If that isn't enough, choose to have a FaceTime call (audio and visual) to virtually walk through the home. 

If the right property comes along, you won't like missing an incredible opportunity. So, a virtual deep dive into the house of your dreams, its neighbourhood, bus routes, nearby grocery stores, school catchment areas can help you.

Above all, the market stats, a similar sold inventory in that area, and a complete discussion with your realtor can give you a clear picture of the exact situation and the real value of the deal.  

 

Look for Seller's Disclosure

Don't forget to note down the disclosures made by the seller and his agent. Be wary of any essential repairs, urgent replacements that need to be tackled immediately.

 

Accept the Reality for Now: Virtual Real Estate World

Long-distance deals are being carried for decades, but not under such exceptional conditions. Home showing protocols have changed quickly since the beginning of Coronavirus. Buyers and sellers are fearful and extremely cautious, thereby avoiding in-person home tours. 

With social distancing measures in effect and prevailing stay at home orders across provinces, you may not be able to visit properties for quite some time in these fast-evolving circumstances. 

That means no one-to-one client meetings, no traditional style crowded open houses, with no definitive end in sight. The sooner you prepare yourself for this new real estate atmosphere, the better you can indulge yourself virtually in those spaces.

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