Consider Seller Concessions
Concessions Make Your Home More Marketable
Sellers offer concessions as an incentive to encourage buyers to purchase their home. The concessions, paid for by the seller, benefit the buyer in ways that may be more appealing than possibly, being able to purchase the home for a lower price.
In some situations, buyers have good income, credit, and even the down payment to purchase a home but not necessarily enough cash reserves to pay their closing costs. Another possibility is that there could be a feature in the home that the buyer wants replaced but can’t afford to do it themselves. If the seller agrees to make that improvement, it could cause the buyer to act favorably.
Concessions could include paying the buyer’s closing costs, buying down the interest rate, or any possible combination of physical improvements or upgrades to the property.
Sellers, occasionally, question why they should provide concessions to a buyer. It should be obvious; it improves the marketability of the home. With less than the normal number of homes on the market, it may appear that the seller has the advantage and may not need to offer concessions.
Today’s market is different. The decreasing number of sales and increased days on the market are resulting from a smaller than normal pool of buyers. Interest rates have more than doubled in 2022 which has made houses less affordable. Buyers who qualified last year but couldn’t find a home to buy, may be able to find a home today but their debt-to-income ratio has increased significantly, causing them to qualify for smaller mortgages.
Most buyers, especially in lower priced range homes, can’t afford to put more money down and human nature tends to discourage them from considering a smaller home. For that reason, they are forced out of the market until rates come down.
To counteract this dilemma, sellers are willing to consider making concessions, something that builders have successfully used for years to sell their inventory without lowering their prices that will have a direct impact on comparable sales which affects appraisals.
Concessions can take on different forms. A seller could offer to pay the buyer’s closing costs or pay points for the buyer to get an FHA or VA loan. Another option would be to pay for a 2/1 buydown that would lower the buyer’s payments in the first two years of the mortgage.
Any number of improvements could be offered to the buyer like appliances, floor covering, countertops, roof, fence, etc.
Typically, these would be included in the listing agreement and promoted in the listing description through MLS and other public media. When a sales contract is written, it needs to be included so that there is no misunderstanding between the parties and that the lender is completely aware of the concessions.
To avoid possible disputes, it is also recommended that a dollar limit is attached to the concession. For instance, “Seller to pay up to 3% of the sales price in buyer’s financing concessions” or “Seller to escrow up to $5,000 for appliances at buyer’s discretion.”
Concessions have not been used much in the past fifteen years, but changing times requires us to use different methods to be successful. Sellers can offer concessions and buyers can ask sellers to make concessions in the purchase agreement. If your agent is not familiar with concessions, it may be that they have never used them before. They are commonplace and legal, within limits, if they are disclosed. The benefit is that concessions can improve marketability of a home and put a transaction together between parties that would not be possible otherwise.
Buydowns: Another Tool In The Toolbelt
Another Tool to Improve Affordability
The rapid rise in mortgage rates during 2022 coupled with continued appreciation of home prices have limited the number of buyers in the market which is reflected by the lower number of home sales currently. “It’s a fact that many households are impacted by higher mortgage rates as they no longer earn the qualifying income for the median-priced home.” Nadia Evangelou, NAR Economist
One of the things that agents are doing to help buyers lower their house payments is to suggest an adjustable-rate mortgage. The rates on these types of loans are tied to indexes that reflect the current market rates and produce less risk for the lender. The payments adjust on the anniversary date based on the index plus margin named in the note.
While many people think that they only adjust upward, they also adjust downward when the index indicates it. For the week of September 29, 2022, the Freddie Mac 5/1 ARM was 5.03% compared to the 30-year fixed-rate of 6.70%.
Another tool that experienced agents are using to address affordability issues are interest rate buydowns. In recent years, there have not been many buydowns used because interest rates were already very low, but now, more people are considering them again.
A buydown is prepaying the interest on a mortgage at the time of closing to lower the payment for a specific period or for the term of the mortgage. Obviously, it would be more expensive to buydown the rate for the whole term of the mortgage.
Either the seller or the buyer can buydown the rate and it would be specified in the sales contract. From a practical perspective, sellers in the recent past haven’t had to consider this option because of the high demand and multiple offers that were commonplace. Now that sales have slowed, and both inventory and market time is increasing, some sellers want to make their homes more marketable and are seeking a competitive advantage.
A common temporary buydown is called a 2/1 which reduces the payment in the first two years of the loan by calculating the borrower’s payment at 2% less than the note rate for the first year and 1% less than the note rate for the second year. Years three through thirty, the payment would be the normal payment at the note rate.
A buydown is a fixed rate, conforming mortgage that the borrower must qualify at the note rate to indicate that borrowers will be able to afford the mortgage after the first two years of lower payments.
As an example, on a $4000,000 sales price with a 90% mortgage at 5.54% interest for 30-years, the normal principal and interest payment would be $2,053.08. By using a 2/1 buydown, the payment for the first year would be at 3.54% interest, 2% lower than the note rate, making the payment $1,624.61. The second year, it would be at 4.54% interest, 1% lower than the note rate, making the payment $1,823.63.
The buyers’ payment would be $428.47 lower each month for the first year and $220.45 a month lower for the second year. The total savings would be $7,787.04 which becomes the cost of the 2/1 buydown. This amount must be paid at the time of closing by either the seller or the buyer.
|2/1 Buydown Example||1st Year||2nd Year||3rd … 30th Years|
|Principal & Interest Payment||$1,867.10||$2,089.44||$2,323.00|
|Annual Savings/Total Savings||$5,470.80||$2,802.72||$,8,273.52|
The most prevalent providers of buydowns in the past have been builders. It is a concession like paying closing costs or upgrades for the buyer. As sales have started to slow, some builders in particular price ranges and areas are currently considering this benefit to close more sales.
To summarize: a buydown is a fixed-rate mortgage where the interest is pre-paid for a period to help the borrower with lower payments for a time. A 2/1 buydown allows the buyer to have significantly lower payments in the first two years which will give them time to settle into the house while they can be confident of what the payment will be in years three through thirty.
The pre-paid interest is deductible for the buyer, even if the seller pays for it. This is something that the buyer will want to talk about with their tax advisor when they are doing their income tax for that year.
If you are selling a home, talk to your listing agent about this option to increase marketability. If you are a buyer, discuss this as an affordability option. If your agent isn’t familiar with buydowns, ask them to research it with a trusted mortgage officer. Buydowns are legal and have been available for decades. The determining factor may be whether the market has softened enough that sellers are willing to consider them.
Rising Rates Cause Shock
Cause to Pause
Rising mortgage rates are causing some would-be buyers to pause their decisions until they determine whether rates are going to come back down. While it may be possible, the probability is that prices are going to continue to increase.
On December 23, 2021, the 30-year fixed-rate, according to Freddie Mac, was 3.05% and is at 6.29% as of September 22, 2022, a 106% increase. On a $360,000 mortgage, the principal and interest payment went from $1,528 to $2,226. The $698 difference represents a 46% increase in the payment.
It seems understandable to pause and see if rates will come down again, especially since they went up so fast, but it probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon based on the Fed’s position on controlling inflation.
The fact that inventories are growing slightly, and market times are increasing doesn’t negate that supply cannot keep up with demand and homes are continuing to appreciate, albeit, not as much as they did in 2021.
If a person waited a year to see if the rates come down but, in the meantime, the prices increased 10% and the rates stayed the same, the home in the example above, would have a $226 larger P&I payment.
As an alternative strategy, the buyer could purchase the home on a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage with a 4.64% rate for five-years. Instead of $2,226 for the P&I payment for the fixed rate at 6.29%, the payment on the ARM would be $1,926, a $300 savings.
They would have purchased the home at today’s prices, avoiding appreciated prices and would have five years to refinance at a lower fixed rate should they come down. Assuming the rate adjusted upward the maximum amount at each period, it would take over seven years to exhaust the savings on the lower payments for the first five years.
It is unfortunate that some buyers missed a window of opportunity to purchase last fall when mortgage rates were near an all-time low. That window has closed, and it may not open again. People who can still afford to buy, even though rates are significantly higher, are taking a risk waiting for rates to come down. Even if they are correct, the prices will be higher, offsetting any possible savings.
If they are wrong, both prices and rates will be higher, and they may be priced out of the market.
In the 1980s, when mortgage rates topped 18%, the best real estate agents in the country presented alternative financing choices to buyers. If your agent hasn’t had conversations with you about alternatives to fixed rate financing, there could be options available that you need to consider.
Depending on your price range and individual situation, investigate local and state financial assistance programs, ARM Comparison, 2/1 Buydown, and Cost of Waiting to Buy and download our Buyers Guide.
Down Payment Gifts
Gift Amount Increased for 2022
The limit for tax free gifts for 2022 is $16,000 and no tax is due to the donor or the donee. There are provisions that would allow gifts higher than this amount providing the total lifetime gifts above the annual exclusion of $12.06 million for 2022 has not be met.
The donor and donee can be separate persons so that the aggregate tax-free gift for one-year amounts to more money. For instance, a father and mother can gift $16,000 each to their married son in 2022 and an additional $16,000 each to the daughter-in-law for a total $64,000.
If the son and daughter-in-law used the money as a down payment to purchase a home, depending on how recent the gift occurred, the mortgage company might require a gift letter from the parents stating the amount was a gift and is not expected to be repaid. Lenders may ask the exact amount of the gift, where it came from and the relationship involved.
Family members and friends with financial resources can become the catalyst that allows buyers with good credit and income but without a down payment to purchase a home. Sometimes, the gift is looked at as an early inheritance that allows the recipient to show their gratitude and the donor to see the enjoyment and benefit of the gift.
In some situations, the buyers have saved enough money for a minimal down payment, but the gift allows them to put more money down that may help them get a lower interest rate or eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance.
The important thing involving gift funds is to have complete disclosure with the lender. It is best discussed during the pre-approval process. Your real estate professional should also know about it so they can guide you through the process.
Consider an Adjustable Rate Mortgage
Housing Affordability – Call to ARMs
Housing Affordability is negatively affected by both rising home prices and mortgage rates. A 20% increase in nominal home prices and a 2% increase in the 30-year fixed rate mortgage since January have contributed to a 46 point drop in the NAR Housing Affordability Index.
The Index was 143 in June 2021 and is 98.5 in June of 2022. The Housing Affordability Index indicates whether a median income family can qualify for a mortgage loan with a 20% down payment and 25% qualifying ratio for monthly housing expenses to gross monthly income.
100 points is considered the tipping point. As the Index rises above that point, housing is considered more affordable and as it declines, it is considered less affordable.
With affordability threatening to limit buyer’s ability to purchase, more borrowers are considering an adjustable-rate mortgage. For the last ten years, fixed-rate mortgages have been so low, only about 3% of borrowers used adjustable-rate mortgages.
There is a lot of misinformation about ARMs that keeps some would-be buyers from even considering them. Even before the housing crisis of 2007, many safeguards were put into place to protect borrowers.
“As long as the ‘spread’ between ARMs and fixed-rate mortgages continues, more first-time home buyers may choose ARMs because the lower mortgage rate gives them a purchasing power ‘boost’ over the 30-year fixed mortgage rate.” Mark Fleming, First American Chief Economist
The potential ARM candidate is probably not a first-time homebuyer. They should be tolerant to risk and more financially savvy with predictably increasing income. These buyers may recognize that they do not intend to stay in the home for a long time.
Adjustable-rate mortgages, generally start out at a lower-rate than a fixed-rate but can adjust, up or down, based on an independent index plus a specified margin and anniversary date that are referenced in the note. Most ARMs have stated interest rate caps that limit the amount of adjustment of the rate both on a periodic basis and a lifetime. FHA ARMs have a limit of 1% per adjustment period and a 5% lifetime cap over the original note rate. Conventional loans, more commonly, have a 2% per adjustment period and a 6% lifetime cap.
A particularly popular type of adjustable-rate mortgage is referred to as a 5/1 which means the rate for the first period lasts five years and then, each adjustment period after that is for one year. This allows a buyer to have stability in the rate during the first five years. If they plan to sell in less time than that, they will not have to deal with the adjustment.
A 5/1 ARM will have a lower payment for five years because of the lower initial rate and assuming a worst case scenario, a conventional ARM could increase a maximum of 2% at the end of the first period which would put the rate at higher than the fixed rate at the time they started. However, that is not where the breakeven point occurs. It is not until all the savings from the initial period have been exhausted, that the ARM will become more expensive than the fixed-rate alternative.
An ARM Comparison can help buyers to determine breakeven point. Let’s compare a 5.66% FRM with a 4.51% 5/1 ARM with 2 and 6 caps. A $450,000 30-year term loan amount will have a P&I payment of $2,600.41 for the fixed compared to $2,286.76 for the ARM. The $317.65 monthly savings will accumulate for 60 months plus a $6,673 lower unpaid balance on the ARM due to a lower interest rate.
The total savings in the first period would be $25,732. If you assume that the payment would increase to the maximum at each adjustment period, the breakeven point will occur at 7 years and 4 months. If you were to sell the property prior to the breakeven, the ARM would produce a lower cost of housing.
One of the benefits for lenders making adjustable-rate mortgages is that they have less risk because the yield can change to reflect the current market. Most ARMs must adjust down as well as up which means if rates do come down, the buyer can continue with the ARM at a lower rate or convert it to a fixed-rate at the, then, current rate.
Are prices and rates going to continue to rise?
One of the most talked about questions in the real estate market has to do with “Will prices continue to rise now that interest rates have increased dramatically this year?”
It is understandable to think that if the Federal Reserve is using interest rate increases to slow consumer demand, that it would also slow homebuyer demand to moderate prices. Unfortunately for would-be homebuyers, it isn’t the case. High inflation, strong economic growth, low unemployment, and increased wage growth have been associated with high home price appreciation.
In a recent newsletter from First American, Chief Economist, Mark Fleming stated that historically, 90% of total inventory is from existing homes and homeowners are not moving as often as in the past. Prior to 2007, the average tenure was five years. After the housing crisis, between 2008 and 2016, the length of time spent in a home went to eight years.
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist with the National Association of REALTORS� when talking about the May 2022 statistics: “Nonetheless, homes priced appropriately are selling quickly and inventory levels still need to rise substantially … almost doubling … to cool home price appreciation and provide more options for home buyers.” Median sales price rose to a new high of $403,800, up 10.8% from July 2021, while sales are down 20% year over year and inventory increased slightly to 3.3 months from 2.6 months in July of 2021.
In the beginning of 2022, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and NAR predicted home price appreciation would be 7.6%, 6.2%, and 5.1% for the year. Their revised forecast has been increased to 16%, 12.8%, and 11.5%. Buyer demand still exceeds inventory levels which is driving prices higher.
While the Fed does not set mortgage rates, it does determine the Fed Funds Rate which is charged by banks to each other for overnight funds. The increases often affect the U.S. Treasury rates to increase and there is generally a reaction when the 10-year U.S. Treasury Note yields increase for the 30-year mortgage rates to increase also.
The National Association of REALTORS�, on their website, states “The Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent price and income data.” The Index uses the 30-year fixed rate mortgage as provided by Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS).
Mortgage rates have gone up over 2% in the first half of 2022. That dramatically affects the affordability of the home even if the price didn’t increase, which it did. A $360,000 mortgage at 3.05% in December 2021 would have a principal and interest payment of $1,528 for 30-years. At 5.22% as of August 11, 2022, the P&I payment is $1,981 or a difference of $453 dollars or a 30% increase.
As of May 2022, homeowners are now staying in their homes 10.6 years. Part of the reasons can be contributed to the pandemic, but a large degree is attributed to the lack of inventory. Existing homeowners can sell their home for premium prices and in unusually short time frames, but the problem is finding a home to replace it.
The demand for housing still exceeds the supply and price are continuing to rise, although, maybe not as the same pace as 2021. Many economists predicted that price appreciation would slow but CoreLogic reported “Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year-over-year by 20.9% in April 2022 compared with April 2021. In the same report, CoreLogic predicted “…home prices are forecast to increase on a year-over-year basis by 5.6% from April 2022 to April 2023.”
Another frequent question homeowners have is whether to wait to see if prices moderate and interest rates decline. The probability is more likely for prices to continue to increase along with mortgage rates. The consequences of waiting, in hopes of lower prices and rates, could totally price a person out of the market for the home they want.
Using a $400,000 home that could be purchased today at 5.22% on a 90%, 30-year mortgage, the P&I payments would be $1,981. If the price appreciated only 5% in the next year and the mortgage rates were to go up by 1%, the payment would increase by $339 a month. If a person stayed in the home for 7 years, the increased cost would be $28,458 and if they stayed for full term, it would cost them $121,965 more by waiting.
Increases in rates and prices have forced some people out of the market, at least temporarily. For the fortunate ones, who can still afford to buy, even with the increases, acting now could save them tens of thousands and maybe hundreds of thousands depending on the price of the home.
Make an appointment with your real estate professional to get the facts on what you home is worth, the mortgages available, and the logistics to put it together for your best advantage.
Optimize Your Sales Price
Optimize Your Sales Price
Doing a lot of work to a car before you trade or sell it to a dealer is not generally a good idea. In most cases, you won’t recapture the cost of the repairs. They can do the repairs for a less than you can. Not to mention, you are selling to a wholesaler who needs to sell it again to the end user and still make a profit.
A home sale is totally different. The owner is selling the home to an end user. Since the buyer, in many cases, is using their available funds for the down payment and purchase costs, they don’t have money to spend on repairs or decorating the home. They would need to live in it “as is” for a while which may not be as appealing as finding a home that is refurbished, up-to-date, and ready to move into.
Even if the buyer would be willing to get a home improvement loan after the sale, it would be a separate loan at a higher interest rate making their payment higher than financing it all in one mortgage at the lower first mortgage rates.
The seller may experience some inconvenience going through the remodeling process, but it will, most likely, result in a higher sales price in less time. Occasionally, sellers say they’ll let the buyer choose their own colors but not all people have the imagination to know what something will look like after it is finished. It is better to go ahead and get the work done before putting it on the market.
The bathrooms and kitchen are the most important rooms to update. If the finish on the cabinets is bad, have them painted. New countertops and appliances can make a world of difference. Paint, countertops, and fixtures in the bath give the home a great feel.
In addition to the repairs, a major cleaning and decluttering can make a home look and feel better than the competition.
The first step is to go through the home and pack up or get rid of things you don’t need or things that detract from the home like excess furniture, exercise equipment, personal artwork, etc. Now, do the same with the closets and cabinets. By getting rid of things, there will be more room and they’ll look larger.
Next, walk across the street from your house and give it a critical look. How is the drive-up appeal? Would you want to go inside to see the rest if you were a buyer? Are the trees and shrubs trimmed? Yard cleaned up? Do you have blooming flowers in the beds? Does the front door and mailbox need a new coat of paint? Do you need to power wash the outside of the home and the sidewalks and driveway? Do the windows need washing?
Buyers are visual people and beauty is always rewarded. Restaurants know that people eat with their eyes first and they go to a lot of effort to plate the food so it is visually appealing. The same approach works for selling a home. Ask your agent if they have ever taken a buyer to a home that refused to go inside because they didn’t like the looks from the street.
Your real estate professional can make specific recommendations and assist you in finding someone to do the work. This is what we do. TRUST US.
If you would like any professional residential Real Estate advice, contact us at Paramount Real Estate Services. 1008 12th St. SE Salem, OR 97302 503-851-1645
Also, to mobilize us right away to help you move, visit us here:
Don’t Sell it Yourself! It Will Cost You!
Say “NO” to FSBO
To understand the reasoning behind why a homeowner should not sell their home by themselves, we need to identify the motivation. Probably, more times than not, the homeowner wants to “save” the cost of the commission. It certainly represents a significant amount of money.
In 1981, homes sold For Sale by Owner represented 15% of the homes closed while 85% were agent-assisted. The percentage of sellers handling their own homes alone has declined over the decades to only 8% of homes sales in 2020. Interestingly, half of the sellers knew the buyers and the other half did not.
The FSBO sellers who knew the buyers, who were predominantly a friend, relative or neighbor, had a market time of less than a week and received 100% of the asking price, less expenses of course.
According to the NAR 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 50% of FSBO sellers determined the asking price of their home by recent home sales in the area while slightly more than 1/3 used an appraisal. 41% of sellers stated they did not want to pay a fee or commission as the reason they sold it FSBO. Another 30% did so because they had a relative, friend or neighbor who wanted to buy their home.
A significant problem encountered by For Sale by Owners was exposing their home to the marketplace. They run the risk of selling the home for a lower price because it is not marketed to the highest pool of available buyers.
Negotiating on their own behalf is another concern many for sale by owners share. There are so many different things as well as people with whom to negotiate. For instance, besides the sales price in the contracts, other negotiable terms include financing concessions, closing and possession dates, inspections and earnest money. However, the negotiations could continue well up to the moment of closing with repairs, appraisals and other unforeseen things.
While the seller might feel uncomfortable negotiating directly with a buyer, there could also be negotiations with the appraiser, inspectors, mortgage company or escrow company. The layer of separation that exists between the seller and other parties is the real estate professional. They are trained to de-escalate sensitive areas so that feelings are not hurt as well as acting as a go between so the way something is said can be minimized.
Difficulties experienced by FSBOs include negotiations with the buyer, not familiar with the process and standards that are involved in the 92% of the transactions that are agent assisted. 89% of Sellers say they were satisfied with the service their agents gave and would use them again and recommend them to others.
A seller should realize the motivation of a buyer wanting to deal directly with a seller without an agent. They are trying to save the commission but both buyer and seller cannot save the commission. The more knowledgeable and possibly, the better negotiator will usually benefit the most.
13% of the sellers were contacted directly by the buyer. It is conceivable that these buyers may have been trying to take advantage of an unknowledgeable seller to eliminate competition and purchase a home at a lower than market value.
In a seller’s market, a FSBO can sell their home. The question will be whether they received the highest price with the best terms and the fewest problems. Protecting a large financial asset is important and sellers deserve the peace of mind that a real estate professional provides along with the fiduciary duties that accompany them.
The median price achieved by For Sale by Owners is considerably less than the median price sold by agents. While there may be other factors involved, it certainly introduces the question “is the FSBO is selling below fair market value?”
Before embarking on the sale of your home by yourself, talk to a real estate professional or possibly two, to get as much information as possible to make an informed decision. Your objective should be to maximize the proceeds from the sale. For more information, download the Sellers Guide.
Is it Time to Refinance?
One More Reason to Refinance
Taking cash out of the equity of your home could be a legitimate way to fund a temporary cash crisis now or to have it on-hand if the need arises. Most homeowners can pull out the difference in 80% of the fair market value of their home and what they currently owe.
The most frequently cited reasons for refinancing are to lower the payment, eliminate the private mortgage insurance, combine mortgages, consolidate debt, convert an ARM to a fixed rate mortgage, remove a person from the loan or to take cash out for another reason.
The option of using your equity to deal with unexpected living expenses or potential lost wages in the future could be a good reason for doing a cash-out refinance. It is important to consider that it could increase your monthly payment instead of lowering it which would result in higher expenses during uncertain economic times.
Some lenders have recently raised the minimum credit score requirement but borrowers with good credit and the ability to repay should be able to refinance. Lenders are reporting that during the Covid-19 crisis their processing time is taking longer but they have implemented procedures to safely facilitate the application as well as the appraisals.
While homeowners with an FHA loan are available for a streamline process because FHA is already insuring the mortgage to be refinanced, the cash-out is limited to $500. Even though the owner may not be able to pull funds out of their FHA equity, refinancing may lower their payment and therefore, lower their expenses.
Unlike conventional loans that require income through a job or other sources, refinancing an existing FHA loan does not require income verification or an appraisal. The borrower cannot be delinquent on their current FHA loan and it must be at least six months old. The refinance must reduce the current interest rate or term or both.
Another alternative for homeowners is a HELOC, home equity line of credit, where you do not incur interest expense unless you actually draw on the line of credit. It will be a variable rate home equity loan similar to a credit card letting you borrow up to a specific limit when you want and repay it slowly over time.
Refinancing a home incurs closing costs which can be paid in cash or added to the financed amount. The breakeven point to recapture the cost of refinancing is determined by dividing the monthly savings into the cost of refinancing. If you stay in the home less than that time, refinancing could be an unnecessary expense.
If you would like any professional residential Real Estate advice, contact us at Paramount Real Estate Services. 1008 12th St. SE Salem, OR 97302 503-851-1645
Also, to mobilize us right away to help you move, visit us here:
At Paramount Real Estate Services, we are taking drastic measures to protect our clients and the public during this time while still working hard to service our community. Here are our policies that we have put in place to ensure minimizing the risk of infection or transmitting any virus.
1) Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds thoroughly throughout each day.
2) Don’t touch your face.
3) Cough & Sneeze into your elbow.
4) Always stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
5) If you feel sick or show any symptoms, do not meet with people or show property. Stay home.
6) Wear masks when meeting with people.
7) Don’t come into the office unless you need to.
8) Follow other CDC and OHA guidelines.
Meetings & Consultations:
1) Video, phone and social media are acceptable and only meet when absolutely necessary.
2) Ensure privacy and confidentiality.
1) Ask if Face Time, Zoom, Skype, other apps, or video conferencing & pictures will suffice for your clients to give them enough information to view properties without being present. With permission from the seller and the listing agent, visit the property by taking precautionary steps to protect the premises. Preview properties beforehand, if possible, to make sure it is a good candidate for your buyers.
2) Only show property to people who really are qualified and ready to purchase a property.
3) Always make sure the listing agent/company and sellers give permission to show their property & follow their showing procedures.
4) Wash hands before entering someone’s home. Bring hand sanitizer for you and your clients.
5) Clients are not to touch anything without first sanitizing hands and wearing nitrile or latex protective gloves.
6) Qualify buyers for your listings and make sure your sellers feel comfortable with buyers showing their homes. Follow showing procedures.
7) Provide hand sanitizer and post guidelines on your listings for agents and their buyers.
8) Move quickly and don’t linger inside any property.