Today, we're talking all about how buying a home has changed during COVID. You might be thinking how in the world can I buy a home during COVID if it's not even safe to go outside? Well, there are a couple things that have changed during COVID. First of all, all of the signatures in the process for buying a home are electronic, except for your very last signature, when you sign with escrow. That's the very last step to your purchase, and that is done in person. Now, typically that's done with a mobile notary or in an escrow office where you would be wearing a mask and take safety measures, like being six feet apart. Now, that's the only time you actually have to sign anything in person. And it's actually only one of the times that you actually have to be somewhere during this process. The entire process can actually be virtual if you'd like it to be.

So, when you get started, first, we do a buyer consultation. That's done over Zoom, so that's all virtual. Now, second is going out and looking at the houses. So, we can do that in person, we wear masks, and it's typically only three people at a time, but there can be up to five people, including your real estate broker, in the house at one time. Now, once you've seen the houses, it is important to take safety measures, be six feet apart, use hand sanitizer after each house and always have a mask on.

That said, you can do tours virtually. So we offer virtual tours where we can actually show you the home through FaceTime or Zoom or Google Meets, and you don't actually even have to go into the house. They are also 3D walkthrough tours that you can utilize on the internet.

Now, the other thing is for the transaction process. So you will have an inspection. Now, all inspectors typically provide a written report that you can review online, so you don't have to be at the inspection if you don't want to be. You can typically talk to the inspector on the phone as well, so you really don't have to be there. If you are there, we stay six feet apart from the inspector and we always wear a mask during that time as well.

Now there are also appointments made for showing. So there's no longer the ability to show a home at the same time another party is looking at the home. So you actually have the home all to yourself during COVID, which is really nice. The only downside is that you typically are on a time schedule for how long you can look at that home. So those things have changed.

Now, like I mentioned, the only time you have to be in person is for the final signing. And sometimes you don't even have to be in person for that because there is such a thing as remote online notary, which is a notary that is remote and online as the name describes. Now, that is typically only used in special circumstances, when a buyer is overseas are not really able to be there.

At the beginning of COVID, there was a safety precaution or contractual precaution that was put into place that allowed a closing to be extended if, for some reason, the pandemic made something change that no longer allowed for closing to happen at the time it was. That's no longer required in contracts, but if you did get sick or were in the hospital, I'm sure that the other party in the transaction, you would hope, would be okay with delaying closing a little bit, for that reason, to help you get over your sickness.

Now that said, there are no other requirements for being in person. So during COVID, not a lot in the transaction has changed, but we have shifted our thinking to virtual first and then in-person second. And so we do offer a full virtual process. If you're interested in learning more about our virtual process or booking your first consultation about buying a home, don't hesitate to reach out. You can call, text, direct message or email me, and don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. We'd love to have you follow along. That's it for this week. We hope you'll share this video with someone who you know is going to start buying a house during COVID so that they know what to expect. We'll see you next week.