We’ve made significant changes to how we conduct business because of the coronavirus — changes that are all about making our clients’ health and safety the team’s #1 priority.
Things are changing every day, most recently on March 27 when Governor Inslee declared real estate an “essential” business activity under the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” quarantine. But there are significant limitations on how we can conduct our business, and the Cari McGee Team promises to abide by those guidelines in the name of safety and health.
The bottom line is this: Homes are being bought and sold every day in the Tri-Cities. Real estate continues and our team is still working, but in different ways. And that means we’re still here and available to help you whether you’re thinking about buying or selling this year. Here’s what you need to know about how we’re doing business.
Your health & safety is our #1 priority.
We’re doing as much of our business virtually/remotely as is possible, and conducting business in a way that aligns with the CDC and state recommendations and guidelines. Here’s what that means to our current and future clients:
- Our team is all working from home, but we’re still available by phone, text, and email every day of the week.
- If you need a consultation about buying or selling a home, we can only do that via phone. If you prefer a face-to-face conversation, we’ll use FaceTime or another video conferencing service.
- Per state rules, we can only meet with clients to view a home or sign documents. And even then, only two people can meet and they must use social distancing.
- For both sellers and buyers, we’ll be signing all documents electronically.
- We’re working with our industry partners (lenders, title/escrow partners, etc.) to make those parts of every transaction virtual/remote as much as possible. For example, buyers can use wire transfer to pay their earnest money rather than writing a check and delivering it.
- Governor Inslee has signed a proclamation allowing remote notarizations for at least the next 30 days. That’s great news and will help us close transactions without having to conduct face-to-face signings.
For our current and future sellers:
- When it’s time to sell your home, we can probably get enough information to list your home without even having to visit! We’ll ask you to give us a brief tour of the home via your phone, tablet, or laptop — that should show us what we need to see and get us the answers and info we need.
- Our professional stager is not considered “essential.” In lieu of her services, we’ll offer advice for you to get the home ready prior to photography.
- Our professional photographer is also not considered “essential.” In lieu of his services, we’ll share some guidance for you to shoot a couple dozen photos yourself. You’ll be surprised what we can do with a smartphone and Photoshop these days!
- Open Houses are not allowed under state guidelines. Instead, we’ll put greater emphasis on representing your home to buyers via video and photos.
- If you’re comfortable showing your home to interested buyers, we’ll put extra precautionary measures in place to protect you, your family, and your home when they visit, including…
- We’ll only allow pre-approved buyers to see the home in person. No “lookie-loos.”
- We’ll ask potential buyers about any symptoms they may be currently or previously experiencing.
- Potential buyers stating or showing any potential symptoms will be asked to postpone their viewing.
- Per the governor’s guidance, all showings must be done by appointment. Only two people at a time are allowed to view a home, one of whom must be a licensed agent, and they must exercise social distancing.
- You and your family will need to vacate the home during all showings. You can go for a walk or sit in your car(s), but you can’t be inside the home.
- If you’re not comfortable showing your home to interested buyers, we’ll make sure that’s clearly stated in advance to all local Realtors and their clients.
For our current and future buyers:
- We won’t take you on any showings without being pre-approved for a mortgage.
- Be aware that many homeowners do not want strangers visiting their homes right now. In those cases, we’ll work to get a detailed video tour of any home(s) you want to see.
- We may be able to arrange private showings if the seller is allowing them — but you should expect to be asked about your health and possibly about any recent travel.
- Per the governor’s guidance, a home showing is limited to a total of two people — that means one of our agents and one person from your family. Plan on leaving spouses, children and other family members at home. We’re required to practice social distancing while viewing the home.
- If we’re looking at homes with you, we’ll drive in separate cars to each home and maintain the recommended social distancing for everyone’s safety.
- We recommend that our buyers wear protective gloves during any home showings for your and the homeowners’ health and safety, and plan on seeing the home without touching anything.
The above plans and precautions are subject to change as conditions change. We are here to serve as your guide whether you’re buying or selling. Our goal is to help you make fact-based decisions about your real estate needs.