New Ways of Selling or Purchasing a Home Amid the Days of COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic has commanded change for many things, including the ways to purchase and sell a home safely. It is important to know that real estate is classified as an essential service, and that real estate firms, banks, and title companies will continue to operate, as they are considered essential businesses in Wisconsin. Fortunately, that means you will still likely be able to close on your home during this ambiguous period.

We are learning that there are still many people that need to purchase or sell a home in the Oconomowoc area. Here is an overview of how home buyers and sellers can adapt during this time of change.

Virtual Showings and Virtual Open Houses

With more people sheltering in place, many home buyers are relying on viewing houses online. With that said, virtual tours have grown in popularity to help showcase homes and boost buyer interest. Some realtors are even offering virtual open houses through Facebook Live.

Benefits of virtual tours can include:

  • Having a more in-depth view of the house compared to photos. This can help you boost buyer interest if you’re trying to sell. If you’re looking to purchase, it can help you better determine if the property satisfies your requirements without leaving your home.
  • Help limit the number of in-person showings to only serious buyers interested in your home.
  • Offers more convenience as you would not have to leave your home as often to allow for in-person showings of your home.

The newer technology for virtual showings is impressive. Check out an example, and tour a home by Franco-Swiss architect Daniel Grataloup HERE.

Extra Precautions for In-Person Showings

For the most part, open houses have come to a halt, however serious buyers often still want to view the house in person before making an offer. Some safety protocols you can implement include:

Seller Safety:

  • Restricting in-person showings to only prospective buyers who have a mortgage pre-approval letter or proof of funds.
  • Leaving out booties, hand sanitizer, and gloves by the front door with a sign requesting those touring the home to use them, and/or to take off their shoes.
  • Cleaning all commonly touched surfaces such as door knobs, countertops, faucets, and light switches before and after showings.
  • Turn all the lights on and open up doors, closets, and cabinets to reduce what is touched.

Buyer Safety:

  • If you are feeling sick, DO NOT attend the showing. Reschedule at a later date or consider asking your realtor to do a showing through Facetime if possible.
  • Thoroughly view the home, neighborhood, location and other details about the property online first to ensure there is high interest.
  • Wear a mask and gloves or have your realtor wear gloves to open doors and cabinets for you.
  • Leave your shoes at the door or wear booties if available.

Changes to Closing Real Estate Transactions.

As of today, houses are still closing but you need to be prepared for potential delays, which may trigger the need to extend the closing date. It’s important to understand that banks are struggling to keep up right now due to low interest rates provoking more people to refinance or obtain mortgages, along with adjusting to new procedures attributable to the spread of COVID-19.

Some changes to closings include:

  • Title companies limiting who can physically attend showings to comply with physical distancing.
  • Sellers are encouraged to pre-sign closing documents.
  • Remote online notarization will be effective soon, as a result of recent legislation in Wisconsin. This would allow for deeds and mortgage documents to be notarized remotely.

If you or someone you know needs to purchase or sell a home in the Oconomowoc area, please reach out to us. Our team is here for you, to help answer questions and customize an approach that you are comfortable with.

Thank you for putting your trust in us for your real estate needs. We value the opportunity to serve you during this time of persistent change.


Subscribe to automatically receive our latest blog posts by email.


Suggested for you:

7 Ways To Support Your Local Small Businesses During the Coronavirus Crisis