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Realtors adapting to pandemic with curbside closings, limited showings

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The process of buying and selling homes looks a lot different right now due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Real estate is considered an essential business, but trying to see a home, making an offer, and selling a home all while practicing social distancing and remaining safe is not necessarily an easy task.

Conner and Halee Clinkenbeard purchased their new home before the coronavirus hit Indiana, when homes were flying off the market. They didn’t list their current home until a few weeks later.

“I mean we put in an offer in early March and then by the time we listed our house everything had completely changed,” said homeowner Halee Clinkenbeard.

Home showings have taken a dramatic drop. Where a seller used to have multiple showings in a day, now there are only a few a week.

“Folks had more time to really mole it over and to think. Which in reality is more of a traditional real estate market,” said realtor Conner Clinkenbeard.

Since the coronavirus, sellers have had to take more precautions during showings. The Clinkenbeards decided to set up a sanitizing station for people coming into their home.

“We had plastic gloves for everyone to use and then Lysol, Clorox wipes, and also hand sanitizer,” said Halee. “We also left all of out, lights on before the showings so that people didn’t have to touch anything and they could just walk through and take a look.”

Conner, who is also a real estate agent, took an additional route to allow people to see the home without ever coming inside.

“We also did a virtual tour. So I started at the front of the house and took a video of me walking through and explaining what each room was and kind of the layout of the house,” said Conner.

He posted the video on social media, Youtube and real estate listing sites.

“I think the unknown about everything was what was the most scary,” said Halee.

Things got even more unconventional when it was time to close on their home.

“Our closing was done curbside. So we were able to sit in our car and they came out with a clipboard and they sanitized the pens and everything for us,” said Halee.

Additionally, interest rates on mortgages are some of the lowest in decades prompting many people to refinance their homes.