As we enter flu season and COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S., the news that Moderna and Pfizer are on the cusp of delivering a vaccine feels like a light at the end of the tunnel. With some hurdles still to be overcome around distribution, it seems we’ll need to wait just a teensy bit longer before an antidote is delivered. While patience isn’t quite in our DNA, agents can actually offer their clients a way to buy and sell a home contact-free during the pandemic right now.
The impact of COVID-19 on residential real estate has been exceptionally palpable this year. Since the spring, employment has been unstable, fewer and fewer sellers have been willing to list their house on the market (no one likes a potentially sick stranger in your home), and digital everything is the norm. While these trends are not expected to wane come winter, agents have a tremendous opportunity to ease clients’ fears and address their needs around COVID when they partner with a company like Knock.
Agents certified with Knock can offer their clients the Knock Home Swap™, a program that helps them buy their new home before selling their existing one. It may sound like a foreign concept, but the company has helped buyers make non-contingent offers since 2016.
As the clients’ lender, Knock gets them fully-underwritten for a new mortgage based on their current equity, so they can buy the home they want, move in and get settled, and then take care of any repairs and showings on their old place—and all while paying only one mortgage. It’s come to be a source of comfort for agents’ clients during the pandemic. Now, clients who were nervous about having asymptomatic people in their homes, either for showings or home renovations, no longer have to stress about that.
Plus, agents can help manage the entire process digitally for their clients via Knock’s easy-to-use technology: Backyard.
Earlier this year, Inman covered Knock’s Backyard system, writing, “If for any reason sellers are in quarantine, the Knock app can help them get started submitting pictures and room details without having to leave or have anyone visit.” As part of the underwriting process, qualifying clients snap a couple of photos of each room in their house, along with a few of the exterior, and submit it to Knock, which allows them to issue the new mortgage. “It’s COVID-friendly in every way,” says Patrick Clark, a Knock Certified Agent and Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties.
In addition to being the first way to buy and sell a home contact-free, agents’ clients can get up to $25,000 for home preparations, so they can sell their house for top dollar on the market. It’s a win-win for everyone, agents included. They get double the commission from both the buy and sell sides of the deal, and the program is free to sign up. As Brad Inman mentioned, “Sounds like a no-brainer.”