Tips for working with buyers
1. Keep in close contact
Stay in touch with your buyers and their lender to keep tabs on industry reaction to the pandemic. Make sure they (and you) are following recommended COVID-19 protocols. Be honest with your clients about your comfort level of showing homes and the increased safety precautions you wish to take if you tour so they know what to expect. Prioritize decisions regarding your (and your family’s) health and welfare above all else.
2. Discuss pros and cons
Have discussions with your clients about the many pros and cons of visiting homes in person during this crucial time in our world’s history. Encourage them to consider screening homes by requesting online tours in lieu of in-person appointments.
If they find a home they’d like to see that doesn’t have a tour posted, ask the listing agent to inquire if the sellers can film a tour on their phones to pass along for your buyer’s initial screening. Also encourage drive-bys. If touring in person is necessary, follow the NAR guidelines.
3. Inform them about possible delays
Talk with your buyers about the pros and cons of making offers on properties seen virtually but not in person. Get familiar with contingencies that could protect them and amendments addressing the ramifications of purchasing during the COVID-19 crisis. Make sure they understand that delays in closing timelines may be inevitable. Ask them to read the COVID-19 addenda carefully so that there are no surprises if the delay timelines are enacted.
4. Engage with your buyers
Stay in close contact with buyers to keep their trust in you as their Realtor at a forefront. Send emails to help them keep tabs on sales statistics of homes in their price range, in their favorite neighborhoods and with their “wish-list” criteria.
Engage with them by encouraging them to start gathering information the lender will require for loan processing and suggest that they take some of their free time to further explore loan programs and compare lenders so that they are sure to choose the best loan officer and product when they are ready to offer.
Encourage them to have honest discussions with you and their lender about any situations they are facing that may impact their purchase (including any temporary layoffs or changes in financial situation). With so much negativity in the world, take every opportunity to point out silver linings, like historically low-interest rates and less buyer competition.