In-person home showings are a fundamental step in the real estate transaction process. For buyers, it gives you a chance to finally visit your potential new home that you’ve otherwise only seen online before.
For us Realtors®, showings also help gain a better understanding of a home in order to give you better, more accurate insight into it. However, over the course of the past year or so, in-person home showings haven’t been as smooth a system as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, our industry and team have adapted to new guidelines and safety standards that have allowed us to more safely and regularly host and attend showings with our clients. While we’ve had lots of time to get used to them, we appreciate that our clients aren’t quite as familiar with the new way of doing things as we are just yet.
To help get yourself up to speed on what you can expect from the home showing process as a homebuyer in 2021, we’ve set up this informative guide to help you navigate your next in-person showing.
Why We’re Ditching Digital
Even at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when lockdown restrictions were at their strictest, the real estate industry was still considered an essential service, which meant that we Realtors® were still actually able to work with our clients in person. However, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, most clients didn’t really want to exercise that freedom.
Instead, many preferred the digital approach that our team at Sidorova Inwood pivoted to in response to the lockdowns. We held more video consultations, virtual home tours, and live video walkthroughs than ever before — and while it worked well for when we needed it to, we’re all much happier we can get back to helping our clients in person.
Why? It’s an enormous part of a Realtor’s® job to establish and develop genuine personal relationships with their clients, and maintaining those connections just isn’t the same through a video screen. Additionally, it’s also a Realtor’s® job to help their clients establish and develop real connections with a physical home too.
Selling or buying a home is as much about emotional connections as it is anything else. At the end of the day, it’s simply too difficult to fall in love with a physical space without being able to see, touch, and experience it in person. That’s why we’re extremely excited to be hosting in-person home showings much more frequently again this year.
Sometimes the hardest part about buying a home is knowing when to pull the trigger. If you’re still not sure whether it’s time to make your next move, let our Four Signs It’s Time To Buy A New Home help guide your decision.
The New Format
While in-person home showings might be back on the menu, we haven’t given up on some of our more digitally-driven processes just yet — after all, not every change due to COVID was negative.
We’ll still start things off with buyers by booking a digital home buying consultation with you where we discuss who you are, what type of property you’re looking for, and all of the budget and logistical details we need to cover first. This way, we’re able to kickstart our home search process for you without compromising anyone’s health or safety.
Once we’ve identified a selection of listings that meet your personal criteria, we’ll send them over to you. If you want to learn more about one or several of the listings, we can then either meet in person or book another call to thoroughly review and analyze them together.
Should you want to take things further, we can then get in contact with the selling party and request an in-person home showing at the listing or listings you want to continue to learn more about.
Are you currently on the house hunt? Make sure your search criteria cover all the essential bases before heading out to any showings. Get our advice on Creating A House-Hunting Checklist: A How-To Guide here.
Booking Home Showings
Now that you’re ready to finally see a home in person, you can rely on our team to help you book a home showing with the listing’s sales representative. In 2021, essentially everything event requires you to make a booking, and a home showing is no different.
Although the timeslot booking system for home showings is nothing new to the real estate industry, following the rules at this stage is much more important. These days, visiting buyers have to abide by all of the requests of the selling party when visiting their home, and this starts with showing up to your scheduled showing timeslot prompt and on time.
Whether you’re ready to buy a new home now or you’re still waiting for the perfect opportunity to arise, there’s nothing quite as fun as flipping through our constantly updated Featured Listings page.
For health and safety purposes, there can be no overlap between visiting buyers, which is why it’s so important to follow the scheduled showing system with the utmost respect. As Realtors®, we make it our responsibility to show up at a listing before our buying clients arrive, taking care to ensure the site is safe and that the previous party has left the premises and returned the home key to the designated lockbox.
From there, we’ll wait for our buyer clients to arrive and then guide them through the home personally. We’ll also ensure that the flow of the in-person showing allots enough time for our buyers to see each area of the home for an appropriate amount of time before the timeslot comes to an end.
Our job in this scenario is to give our buyer clients substantial time and information to pass a judgement while inside while ensuring everything is safe and up to standard before exiting the home on schedule.
Despite a number of pandemic-induced rules and regulations, Toronto’s real estate industry has continued to not just stay active, but flourish in 2021. Learn more about the biggest changes our industry and clients have had to adapt to by reading our two informative guides below.
Our Increased Safety Standards
In terms of health and safety precautions during home showings, we’ve ramped things up in that department this year too. While the standard of safety precautions largely comes down to the outlines and requests of the selling party during home showings, there are some standard industry practices that you can expect to have to follow as a buyer.
To begin with, there’s a good chance as a visiting buyer that you’ll have to present proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test before booking in your home showing. Going forward, it also wouldn’t surprise us if regulations changed to support the new government-induced vaccine passport ruling, which potentially could require you to also present proof of vaccination. However, the jury is still out on that for the time being.
While inside a home, you should also expect to be required to wear an appropriate mask or face covering at all times. Upon entry, you might also be required to sanitize your hands with a gel or cream provided by the sellers.
There’s also a good chance there’ll be a few signs requesting you to follow certain actions or rules as well — signs like ‘Do Not Enter’ or ‘Do Not Touch’ on particular areas, for example. However, as long as you’re willing to take proper precautions and ensure you don’t overstep the seller’s boundaries, an in-person home showing in 2021 should be as easy and stress-free as possible.
As Realtors® we’re thrilled to be able to continue to work with you personally again and whatever new rules we’re required to follow, you can have full confidence we’ll be able to inform and guide you through them while keeping you safe at all times.
At Sidorova Inwood, we help our clients through the home buying process every day. To learn more about what makes our home buying process unique, read the related pages for more information about our team.
Are you ready to officially begin the search for your next home? Make sure you’re prepared for every stage of today’s home buying process by working with our knowledgeable team. Learn how to Book A Buyer’s Consultation here.