With real estate agents getting creative using video tours and other digital tools, homebuying during COVID-19 is starting to feel a little bit like a long distance relationship. There are still some hurdles in the digital homebuying process such as obtaining employment verification for a mortgage and getting an appraisal, but realtors are also finding digital workarounds for those seemingly in-person processes. But even with the difficulties of going virtual, some buyers are not afraid of commitment: They see the home online, fall in love, and buy the house without ever having stepped foot inside.
Jennifer and Justin Lerma, Alexandria residents for five years, had been searching for a house in that community for themselves and their three dogs for about six weeks when the coronavirus pandemic hit the Washington region.
Their determination to move by this summer — and stay safe — led them to make an offer on a property without setting foot inside.
“Justin found a ‘Coming Soon’ listing on a Thursday evening and when I checked it out online, I couldn’t sleep all night,” says Jennifer Lerma. “First thing in the morning, we saw that the listing was live, so we drove by to see the outside and check out the yard, which is our priority because of the dogs. I had our agent [Steve Gaich with Compass] do a tour with me over Facetime and then Justin talked to him on the phone and we made an offer.”