The process of searching for a home has been a virtual experience for some time, but what about selling your home?
The world has officially gone virtual, but that doesn’t mean your plans to list your home have to be put on hold. People still need to move, and most buyers are well versed in using technology to evaluate homes. If you are wondering how buyers can complete the home buying process without visiting your home, check out our Virtual Home Buying Guide.
For sellers, different challenges exist, so we went back to the drawing board to develop a process a virtual home selling guide to help our clients sell their home in the safest manner possible.
Looking to skip the listing process entirely? Call us at 972-608-0777 and ask about our Instant Offer Program.
Let’s start by taking a look at our Virtual Home Selling Process as a whole:
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s break down each individual step in our Virtual Home Selling Guide:
Step 1: Virtual Consultation
Typically we would come to your house for a listing consultation in order to see your property. In this case, we will meet over video conference, and let you be our virtual tour guide! The goal of this initial meeting will be to get to know one another and decide if we are a good fit to work together.
Your listing agent will start by learning about you — your motivation to sell, your real estate goals, and the timeline for your future plans. Similar to our buying process, our intent is to deliver a personalized experience that you cannot imagine being better.
Next, your listing agent will ask for a video tour of your home. They will have already conducted background research and run a comparative market analysis, but seeing the home is an important step in understanding the condition of the property and what opportunities exist to get it in “sell-ready” condition.
The final step of your consultation will be to talk through pricing for your home and how we plan to market your listing.
Once your listing agent has answered any additional questions you might have about the virtual listing process and how we will help you achieve your goals, they’ll walk you through our listing agreement and associated business disclosures, then send them via DocuSign for you to easily review and complete.
Step 2: Virtual Staging
Homebuyers decide whether or not they are going to buy your home within the first 30-90 seconds of seeing it. Making a great first impression is key.
Our stager will schedule a time to connect with you over video chat to conduct a tour of your home. Prior to your appointment, they will request that you send over pictures of your home so that they can prepare to deliver a great experience.
During your call, they will go through each room with you and provide advice on how to prepare your home to sell. You’ll leave the call with clear staging recommendations using the existing furniture in your home!
Step 3: Photography
Once your home is staged, we will schedule a time for our photographer to visit your home. This is an important step in which we will be sure to prioritize your safety. The photographer will be well versed in social distancing and prepared to photograph your home in a non-invasive way.
In the interest of safety, we recommend sanitizing your home before and after your appointment. We also ask that you practice social distancing while they are in your home — this may be a great time to go for a drive or go outside to get some fresh air!
Step 4: Hit the Market
In a virtual world, how your home is marketed is more important than ever. While many agents will simply list your home on MLS and hope for the best, we take a much more proactive approach. Once your home hits the market, it will be promoted on social media to our thousands of followers on a variety of networks. Posts and ads are created for every milestone of the listing process, and your home is also featured on our website.
Another perk of working with the Van Poole team is our expansive network of agents, investors, and clients. Our agents make proactive calls on your behalf to these networks, ensuring your home has maximum visibility on the market.
Step 5: Virtual Showings
Showings are a part of the buying and selling process where we have had to get particularly creative. Your comfort and safety are our priority, so we have a few different options in place to help buyers evaluate your home.
For those that wish to view your home in person, we are providing shoe covers and instructions for buyers to not touch anything in the home or use bathrooms. We are also asking buyers that have been exposed to COVID-19 to request a virtual showing. We’ve even had some buyers that are content with scheduling an appointment to walk the outside of the home and view the interior through open drapes!
If you would like to go fully virtual, we can respond to showing requests by sending the 3D tour of your home. Buyers are growing more familiar every day with the idea of evaluating homes using this method. This is also where great photography pays off!
Step 6: Electronically Sign
Fortunately, we have been using digital contracts for some time, so this step is nothing new to us. Once we have an offer come through, the first thing we will do is reach out to anyone that has shown interest in the property to see if we can generate multiple offers.
In the event that you receive multiple offers, your listing agent will set a deadline for all buyers to submit their highest and best offers, and then prepare an estimated net sheet from the offers to make the process of evaluating each one as easy as possible.
They will then email over any offers, and call to discuss them with you. Your listing agent will be there to go over the offers, explain key terms, and provide recommendations. Once you have fully evaluated any offers, you can choose to accept, decline, or counter. All communication is done via phone, email, or video conference.
Once a suitable offer is chosen and negotiations are complete, you will be able to sign the contract using DocuSign.
Step 7: Inspection
Once your contract is executed, the buyer’s agent will use the same service used for showings to schedule time for the inspection. Similar to when our photographer visits, we recommend that you disinfect your home before and after the inspection, and maintain proper social distancing while your home is being inspected.
After the inspection, we will stay in close communication, informing you of any repair requests that come from the buyer and advising you in your negotiations.
Step 8: Closing
Whereas you would normally go in person to complete your closing paperwork, we are working with title companies that are taking innovative approaches to make closing day safer for you.
For example, Fair Texas Title has created a process for “Curbside Closings.” Simply call when you pull up to their office, and they will bring out your paperwork, then return to their office where they will connect over video chat to walk you through each specific document. A remote virtual notary will join to verify your identity and signatures, ensuring that the process is completed in an efficient and safe manner.
If you have any questions about our Virtual Home Selling Guide or would like to talk in greater detail about how our listing process is changing to accommodate your needs in this virtual world, please call us at 972-608-0777 or fill out our seller’s form HERE. We understand that every situation presents its own unique challenges, and we’re prepared to guide you through them.