In the world of COVID-19 everything is constantly changing. In real estate, Realtors are adapting to serve the needs of their clients. We have adapted to new ways of doing things — how we learn, how we advertise, and how we conduct meetings, while incorporating technology which has been available for years — such as digital signing and virtual staging.

Consumers are used to shopping online for just about anything. Are you ready to buy or sell a home virtually?

A real estate transaction can be done virtually from start to finish, with only a few minor exceptions — the need for sellers to sign a grant deed, and buyers getting a loan will need a notary (California isn’t there yet with online notary services).

Everything else — from listing, advertising, virtual walk-throughs and open houses, and all document signing — are being done virtually.
If you are a seller needing to sell during the stay-in-place order, be prepared for additional COVID-19 disclosures (to be signed by buyers as well), and for possible requests from your agent for you participate in a Zoom showing, or to provide your wifi and password for a FaceTime showing.

If you are a buyer, you will likely start your search online and have your first (and perhaps all) visits virtually. If any visits to the property are absolutely necessary, be prepared to follow the guidelines your agent provides, such as limiting the number of people allowed at a time (two) and additional sanitary measures.

Call your Realtor today for the best ways to virtually buy or sell property. Contact the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors at for the virtual open house directory.

— Staci Caplan is the president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact her at