Home buyers face a unique challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic: how do you make the biggest purchase of your life without being able to see it in person due to rules and regulations from public health authorities?
Fortunately, with REALTORS® using live streaming platforms there are still options available for buyers to continue searching for their dream home. While this new way of viewing properties can be a great alternative, it’s important to keep in mind the details you may miss on-screen and what questions your clients can ask to fill the gap.
- Are there any other houses for sale in this neighbourhood?
Without walking through the neighbourhood yourself, it can be hard for your clients to know whether it’s a right fit. Knowing if there are other houses for sale can give them an indication of whether the current residents are happy with the area. REALTOR.ca also highlights important neighbourhood features such as the proximity to grocery stores, access to public transit, and nearby schools and daycares.
- How strong is the internet connection?
Slow internet speed may be a deal breaker for many buyers. Unfortunately, it’s hard to test remotely. Ask your host to confirm the speed of their connection or judge the speed yourself through the quality of their live stream.
- Can you show the exterior of the home?
Ask your host to tour the perimeter of the home, showing the landscaping, backyard, windows and doors as well as property line. Keep an eye out for any cracks in the foundation, the amount of privacy from neighbours, and the overall cleanliness of the property (as this may hint to how well the home was looked after).
- Can you take pictures of specific areas or features?
As you watch the live stream, there may be areas of the property or home your clients want to remember or take a closer look at. Ask your host if they can take pictures of these areas to send after the live stream has ended.
- Where are the electrical outlets located?
With technology so engrained in our everyday life, having enough outlets in your home is crucial. Ask where each outlet is located and make sure there’s enough to suit for your clients’ needs. Some important rooms to keep in mind are the kitchen, bedrooms and home office.
- Which direction are the windows facing?
Knowing the layout and the direction the windows face can give your clients a good idea of the amount of natural light and airflow they can expect throughout the home. Not only can this freshen up the space, it can also help clients save on utility bills during the summer months if they can open windows instead of running the air conditioner.
- Are there any issues with the water pressure?
Since you can’t turn the faucets on and test the pressure yourself, ask the live stream host to do it for you. Confirm whether the water pressure is within a normal range and there are no issues with dripping sinks or poor drainage.
- Are the sellers offering any incentives?
Buying during a global pandemic comes with a new set of stress and challenges. Having an incentive might make your clients’ decision a little easier and give them some much needed comfort. Some examples include reduced closing costs, interest rate buy-down, credit towards repairs, etc.
- What is the seller’s timeline?
This may be an important question to ask, depending on your clients’ own personal situation and ability to move during the pandemic. Knowing how strict the seller’s timeline is may help them determine whether that specific property is a realistic option.
- Is there anything else I should know about the house?
Every property is unique and comes with its own set of quirks. It can be hard to know the right questions to ask for each. Ending with an open-ended question like, “is there anything else I should know?” gives the host an opportunity to go over anything you may have missed.
As a REALTOR®, you pride yourself on providing exceptional customer service. You want to make sure your clients have all the information they need to make a decision. Arm them with these questions to help them get the most out of their live stream experience.
Think we missed any important questions to ask? Leave them in the Comments.