FaceTime is no longer just for long distance relationships or calling your Nonna. Now, it’s more likely than ever that it is your client on the other end of the smart phone. In Twin Cities, Minn., the locals have seen a marked shift toward digital tools that reflects the nationwide trend amid the coronavirus. From video chats and 3D tours to drive-by appraisals, housing professionals are set to keep business moving along even while open houses are banned in the city. And according to them, it is working for at least a few buyers: Some are signing contracts without ever stepping foot in the home.
Josh Peterson and Brittany Tiegen are no strangers to online shopping, but they never imagined they'd buy their first house that way.
"It's the largest purchase of our life and we never even set foot in it," said Peterson, who will close in early May.
The spring housing market in the Twin Cities has been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Buyers are making offers on houses they've only seen on smartphones and laptops, sellers are readying their houses for sale with the help of virtual stagers and appraisers and mortgage lenders are putting together deals via FaceTime meetings and drive-through house closings.