This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Lisa Groover of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Lisa at 703-919-4426 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.
Question: Other than less activity in the marketplace, how else has COVID-19 changed the way real estate is being conducted in Alexandria?
Answer: Do you remember Spencer Johnson’s book, “Who Moved My Cheese?”
I re-read it for about the 20th time again recently, and it never fails to inspire me to look at my business from a different perspective. Having been in some form of sales for my entire professional career, this is far from the first time I have had to reinvent my normal way of going about my business. Luckily this time I have a terrific company in McEnearney Associates Realtors that is providing the support to make the evolution less difficult.
To highlight a few modifications and validations that have resulted over the past few months:
Professional Photography: This has always been a must at McEnearney — now more than ever. Over 95% of buyers start their home search online, therefore, high quality photos are essential in having your listing stand out. Not only still photos, but interactive 3-D Virtual Tours where you can move through the home with a click of your mouse, to narrated videos set to music, and my personal favorite, live Facebook and Instagram virtual open houses.
I love the feedback that I received from a neighbor recently on a listing in Old Town Village…
“I watched your live Facebook Open House last Sunday and really enjoyed it! Frankly, I liked it better than an in-person tour because you went into so much detail about each room, the upgrades and improvements, and the exterior of the home and the community.”
Believe it or not… as I was finishing up the live tour and locking up the house, the doorbell rang… it was someone that had watched the live open house and wanted to check it out. She ended up buying it!
Advertising: Since I am not holding the traditional public open houses with groups of people in and out over a three-hour period, advertising has become even more important. Between mailings, print media, email marketing, online advertising, networking agent-to-agent and agent-to-potential buyers, and social media — the goal is to encourage agents and buyers to check out the various methods of viewing a home and to set up a private tour.
Private Showings: These are being conducted by appointment only — one group at a time — with a maximum of three people per party – and are scheduled to avoid overlap. Masks and gloves are required by all parties, and we are asking potential buyers and agents to stay in their cars until their appointment time to avoid contact with neighbors or other parties leaving the home.
Paperwork Signing: Electronic signing has become the norm.
Closings: Settlements are done virtually with all parties in separate locations and include a notary. As of now, the time from contract to closing has been extended a bit to at least 30 days.
Whether you are buying or selling, feel free to contact me to discuss the market, and how I can safely help you achieve your real estate goals.
Lisa Groover is a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Old Town Alexandria, VA. Having had seven golden retrievers since moving to Alexandria in 1989, she is dedicated to helping other dog owners through the challenges of renting, buying and selling their home.
If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.
McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria