Buying Advice

What to Expect When Buying or Selling Real Estate on Maui During Coronavirus

While showing property via an open house is not currently permitted, it’s important to remember that you can still buy or sell a home, using the latest online technologies and with proper health and safety precautions in place. Here’s what to expect if you are looking at buying or selling real estate on Maui at this time.

Hawai’i Life Realtor, Dave Futch, and his fellow real estate service professionals are taking the proper and necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in a real estate transaction.

While showing property via open house is not currently permitted due to social distancing restrictions, all of the services associated with the real estate transaction process — including home inspection, appraisal and escrow services — are included as “essential services.”

So, if you are a home buyer or seller right now, you can still go ahead, and it is still possible to close a real estate transaction on your home, within social distancing guidelines. Here’s what to expect:

For Home Showings

Actual Live Showings

As conscientious Realtors, we prefer to show a property virtually, avoiding the risk of transmitting the virus. Although in certain circumstances, we can still show a property to Buyers living on-island on an appointment basis only, making sure the following guidelines are met:

  • The prospective Buyers and the Sellers must confirm that they are not sick or showing the COVID-19 symptoms and have not been in contact with anyone that has.
  • Practice social distancing and avoid touching things.
  • Conduct the showing with the fewest number of people possible.
  • Masks and gloves are required to be worn.
  • The house must have a sanitary wipe-down both before and after showings. Sellers should wipe all doorknobs and leave closet and cabinet doors open.

Online and Virtual Showings

Technology is an integral part of buying a house from a distance. If a buyer wants to see a house and a seller is not comfortable with buyers coming into their house, or the Buyer is located on the mainland or overseas, we can also use online technology to show you the house:

  • You can view the listing online
  • You can watch a narrated, walk-through video.
  • We can conduct a Face-Time, Zoom or Facebook Messenger video call for you to see the house or condominium in real-time.
  • We can use Zoom and other video conferencing platforms to communicate.

In The Transaction Process

Overall, the basic fundamentals of the real estate transaction process still remains the same, albeit with some slight changes and delays due to social distancing measures. To ensure we all stay safe and healthy, we can use the following digital methods:

Electronic Signatures For any paperwork related needs during the real estate transaction, electronic signatures are allowed in real estate deals in Hawaii so you won’t have to touch paper or personally go into an office. The real estate purchase contract specifically states that an electronic signature is the same as a “wet” pen-based signature.

Home Inspection reports are generally sent via email or hard copy in the mail with detailed photos. If you are not able to attend the home inspection in-person, you can communicate directly with Dave Futch, and he can set up a Facetime call or create a narrated video walk-through with you of any pertinent issues, with the inspector, after the inspection.

Association and Title documents are all ordered electronically, and they are generally delivered to buyers within 7 business days of opening escrow. Escrow companies are also offering drive-up signings, where you can have your documents notarized without getting out of your car. State Offices critical to real estate, such as the Bureau of Conveyances and Land Court, remain open for business and are accepting electronic and paper filings.

COVID-19 addendum You may be required to sign a COVID-19 addendum to the purchase contract, which makes it automatic that if there are any contingencies or obligations under the contract which are unable to be fulfilled in the stipulated time frame because of COVID-19 restrictions, those contingency periods are automatically extended, and the count begins once the affecting restrictions are lifted.

Be Patient and Communicate

So if you are a home buyer or seller right now, you can still go ahead, and it is still possible to close a real estate transaction on your home – yet remember to be patient, expect some delays and communicate closely with Dave Futch. But most of all, it’s important that we stay safe and healthy! For Local Maui Realty.

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