In one of our very first blog posts, we talked about Covid-19 and how it had shifted the property management and real estate industry. Within that, we also touched upon new technology and how the pandemic had forced us to innovate and change gears. A lot of this has to do with open houses. Because of the pandemic or not, open houses have changed quite a bit over the years, making it easier for both the seller and potential buyer, and here’s how.

Companies are now upping hygiene protocols, asking potential buyers who feel unwell to reschedule a tour, and having a Covid-19 disclosure form signed. Unlike other events that had been canceled or postponed, open houses are considered an efficient way for sellers to get more eyes on a home which must be done. Looking at open houses last year, 59% of home buyers attended an open house during their shopping process, and 43% of buyers said attending the open house was very or extremely important to determining if the home was right for them. On average, home buyers attend 2.6 open houses before buying.

Because they’re so important, some sellers have even allocated a small cleaning budget to cover a cleaning crew to come in the house before the tour and disinfect to ensure the spreading of germs is minimized. They will also make sure there are wipes, hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, and other cleaning supplies available. Potential sellers are also asking guests to remove shoes or wear booties before entering a house and filling out a guest list in case infection tracking is needed. It is also a good idea for sellers to require potential buyers to make appointments for an open house. This allows them to keep the indoor limit low. Some sellers are going as far as only doing showings for pre qualified buyers. Whereas open houses were once a weekend pastime, it is now being very selective, weeding out people who are not really serious about buying a house.

And while it is common for potential buyers to visit a house before making any decisions, it would be easier and safer for them to purchase without having to see a house. While this is a long shot, some agents have been able to create a purchase without the buyer visiting the house that seems to be here for the long run Especially with the tech-savvy generations to come, studies have shown that over 90% of buyers use the Internet as part of their home search.

Listings on the internet are very convenient because you can trust that they are being updated in real time, including the company’s website and social media channels. Also, with a click of the button or tap on your phone screen, you can get a full-on house tour and high-definition images of the property right from your bedroom. This is safer and more convenient. Now, there is even technology that enables a 3D walkthrough tour of a house. Sellers can also add virtual furniture in a room for potential buyers, instead of seeing a blank space. 

Some sellers are able to show possible buyers a house without having to be with them with a self-guided tour. Self-guided tour properties have smart door locks that can be controlled from a device. This way, the real estate agent does not need to be at the property to let guests in. Virtual tours were not only beneficial in the time of the coronavirus pandemic, but it also has made the house hunting experience more flexible for out-of-town buyers.

Still, many professionals do not believe that physical home showings will fully disappear. While modern technology may be convenient for most of the house hunting process, it is simply human nature for a buyer to want to visit their potential new house in person.

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Located in Wood-Ridge, Bergen County, NJ, Young and Associates has over 30 years’ experience successfully managing residential and commercial properties in Northern and Central New Jersey.

Maintaining the highest standards of reliability and accountability, Young and Associates gives property owners peace of mind that comes from knowing their property is in trusting hands. Servicing properties primarily in Bergen, Passaic and Essex Counties, Young and Associates manages residential HOA communities, condos, co-ops and apartment complexes, golf courses and commercial properties.

Young and Associates now offers realty services through Young Realtors. Our licensed real estate brokers and associates can help you buy or sell your home. For more information about our services at Young & Associates, click here.

Young & Associates can be reached at (201) 939-8200.

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