There is no discussion when it comes to how weird things are right now so I am not going down that path with this article.
What I want to make perfectly clear is that your real estate needs can still be met in these trying times. I have been a professional real estate agent for over thirteen years and with every year we have had technological advances. Back when I first started, in order to know where you were going you had to have a KEYMAP for the county you were doing business in. I started my business on the northern border of Harris County and the Southern border of Montgomery County in Texas. So two Keymaps, which was a binder full of maps, and away I went to literally help my clients find their next home. Shortly after I started working as a real estate agent my family bought me my first GPS device and I haven’t looked back since. I haven’t used that device in years because, you guessed it… I now get that information on my phone. Apple maps, google maps, waze and other phone apps have all made my GPS devise obsolete for the way I do business. You can still buy a GPS, but you can also still buy a KEYMAP.
Technology has also advanced in how I write and present offers to and for my clients in real estate. Through the years my ability to digitally send and have clients sign a contract has gotten better and better. My clients and I no longer have to meet one on one to go over the contract. We can use Zoom or Skype or a ton of other digital methods to communicate. These bits of technology do not take the place of human interaction, but instead, help me to maximize the real estate experience by being able to work with my clients when they need me. Clients no longer need to drive across town in order to sign documents, this can be done easily on their time table in the comfort of their home.
Time is of the essence and if you haven’t seen that phrase in real estate it is there, trust me. Digitally signing documents does not mean that another offer will not be accepted over yours. Digitally signing documents has the potential of getting your offer to the other party faster, but you still have to do your due diligence and most of all “MAKE A DECISION”.
Viewing a home online has also seen advances, but it has also given the sellers the ability to misrepresent their homes. Beware of all the visual tricks that sellers use when selling their homes. Painting their front lawn green when there has been no rain and a lawn watering ban, making rooms look bigger than they really are, adding wispy clouds or artificially sharpening the photos. Then there is what I call the basics, reporting the square footage wrong. Doing any of these things is deceptive and needs to be stopped. If you as the buyer finds a home that you know has taken part in these type of deceptive practices, what else are they hiding from you? Did they falsify their seller’s disclosures, WHERE DOES IT END?
If you are a buyer you will need to visit the property that you are buying, it is in your best interest. Do as much due diligence before you visit the property. View all the photos, view the maps, confirm the schools, review the route to work, read the sellers disclosures, review the FEMA flood maps, drive the neighborhood anything else you need to review PRIOR TO VISITING THE HOME. Your home visit now becomes a quick yes or no proposition. Now in these trying times, you may have to wait a little longer due to self-quarantine and that is understandable. I have had homes in the past that canceled showings due to illness and I respect them being upfront. I would hope that all sellers would be honest about their health and the same goes for buyers.
The internet, apps and fancy websites can not and no attempts should be made to replace the human nature of real estate. People need people especially during times like these. I have embraced the technology available to help my clients with their real estate transactions. I have worked with clients while they were in Mexico and even in Dubi. We even have the ability through the title company to have a remote or mail out closing and this also is getting better with time. Many title companies are also working on receiving the earnest money funds by wire transfer which also gives more flexibility to the process. Real estate should not be slowed during these times, the technology is available to help you to…
Live Life to the Fullest…and I can help.