Be ready to hit the ground running once the lockdown ends
As all Californians wait for word of when we can begin Phase 1 of the re-opening of our state, and shortly thereafter return to some form of normal, be ready to hit the ground running.
Your home search or home sale may be on pause now as we have all been staying safe at home. But things are likely to start moving quickly once we can get back outside and visit strangers’ homes in person, taking all the necessary precautions to protect each other from the spread of the virus.
So the better prepared you are when that day comes, the better success you are likely to have.
Do the research: Study the online photos of all the homes that meet your basic criteria.
Watch the video tours, over and over again, and take the time to pause and genuinely evaluate the optics.
How does the kitchen attach to the family room? How much natural light is there? Are there any window treatments? What sort of appliances do they have? Where have recent upgrades been made or where will they need to be made?
Look to see if there is a floor plan available, or scour the internet for info on the builder or neighborhood, so you can study the layout and even calculate where your furniture will go and determine if it will fit.
Shop online: If you find a home you really, really like, but you will need to replace appliances, counters, faucets, door handles, windows, window treatments, flooring, cabinets, sinks, or install recessed lighting and ceiling fans, how much is that likely to cost?
Get online. Go to all the websites you can to compare products and pricing. Settle into a style, theme and color palette, and start loading up your virtual shopping carts.
Use this down time to your advantage so you can get the products you like at the best possible price. Then figure out how much it will cost to install all of these new finshings.
Call some contractors: There are so many businesses on pause right now, contractors will most likely be happy to talk to you about your potential home improvement project. If you don’t have a general contractor, cabinet installer, flooring specialist, handyman, or electrician, ask your agent.
Get a bunch of referrals and call around. Ask some specific questions about how they provide estimates, how long projects take, and how much things cost.
Also ask how payments are made – a portion upfront and the rest upon completion might be most reasonable, but you need to ask.
Share the photos and videos of the houses you are most interested in pursuing. These folks will most likely be grateful for something useful to focus on as they stay safer at home down the street or around the corner from you.
They may even be willing to drive by the houses to take a look from a safe distance to give you some more specific quotes.
Use this time to your advantage and move quickly when we are back in business.
Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with Realty One Group. She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.