Home Buying & Selling – The New Virtual Reality

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By Staci Caplan
2020 President
Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS®

In the world of COVID-19 everything is constantly changing. In real estate, REALTORS® are adapting to serve the needs of their clients. We have adapted to new ways of doing things – how we learn, how we advertise, and how we conduct meetings, while incorporating technology which has been available for years – such as digital signing and virtual staging.

Consumers are used to shopping online for just about anything. Are you ready to buy or sell a home virtually?

A real estate transaction can be done virtually from start to finish, with only a few minor exceptions – the need for sellers to sign a grant deed, and buyers getting a loan will need a notary (California isn’t there yet with online notary services). Everything else – from listing, advertising, virtual walk-throughs and open houses, and all document signing – are being done virtually.

If you are a seller needing to sell during the stay in place order, be prepared for additional COVID-19 disclosures – to be signed by buyers as well – and for possible requests from your agent for you to participate in a Zoom showing, or to provide your wifi and password for a Facetime showing.

If you are a buyer, you will likely start your search online and have your first, and perhaps all, visits virtually. If any visits to the property are absolutely necessary, be prepared to follow the guidelines your agent provides, such as limiting the number of people allowed at a time to two, and additional sanitary measures.

Call your REALTOR® today for all the best ways to virtually buy or sell property. Contact the Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS® at sbaor.com for the virtual open house directory.

Staci Caplan is a California Real Estate Broker and the owner of Pacific Crest Realty. She was born and raised in Santa Barbara and her passion for this special region translates into successful real estate transactions and thrilled clients. At our local Santa Barbara Associations of REALTORS ® , Staci has served on the Board of Directors, the Government Relations Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, the Multiple Listing Committee, and the REALTOR ® Action Fund Committee. She can be reached at (805) 886-3970 or stacicaplan@gmail.com.

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