To socially distance, homeowners and realtors turn to technology when selling houses


Jason Altobelli with Altobelli Real Estate said some agents are giving virtual tours of houses through FaceTime

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – The state of Ohio is still allowing home sales during the stay-at-home order. On Monday, we spoke to a homeowner who’s trying to sell and a realtor embracing technology.

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In the midst of this pandemic, homes remain up for sale, which means businesses like Altobelli Real Estate are still working.

“We’re kind of learning as we go, taking precautions though, for everyone’s safety, that’s first and foremost. We are deemed an essential business in Ohio so we’re using that to our advantage to keep things moving for the consumer and for our agents,” said Jason Altobelli.

Realtors have turned to video for some clients.

“A part of navigating these waters right now are virtual tours. Agents will go in with FaceTime and tour the home for the buyer. This helps limit the number of people in a space,” Altobelli said.

He said they’re treating each client differently.

Some people like Jim Hock of Niles don’t want to put their families at risk by allowing potential buyers in.

“We’ve even instructed our agents that we really aren’t interested in showings or open houses right now. Who knows what people might bring in. Just can’t be too careful,” Hock said.

Hock said because of this pandemic, they haven’t had much success in selling their home.

“We actually had an interested buyer right before the stay-at-home order came into play. They got a little nervous so they pulled their offer,” Hock said.

Homeowners and realtors are all working to navigate this unusual time.

“It’s a unique timeframe where you’re trying to still grab some transactions to get people where they need to be because it’s always forward-looking and then backward-looking as far as sales and closed transactions,” Altobelli said.

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