We’re adapting to the new (virtual) reality in the world of real estate……
Every industry, in every country, is adapting to a very new way of working. In the blink of an eye archaic processes, which probably should have been discontinued years ago, are finally a thing of the past.
In the Real Estate industry, we’re learning how to do a lot of things in new ways, from how we market and show homes virtually to how we close deals. The shift to virtual in an industry that is so tangible in its very nature seems very, unnatural, but it’s not, we’re embracing it and with tremendous thanks to the Cayman Islands Government, we’re thriving in it. The real estate transaction, something that previously had us physically touring homes and then physically closing deals with signs and stamps and notaries has shifted completely. Technology and new processes are allowing us to continue to assist our valued clients in their home ownership journeys, here’s how…
1. Virtual Consultations – One day we’d love to meet you in person at our office, and maybe even shake your hand, but for the time being we’re happy to host you by video chat. We have all of the platforms, whether your preference is FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom or a host of others, we have subscriptions and will see you there, virtually! Whether you’re buying, selling, renting, or just thinking about any of those things, let’s get the process started, virtually, so that we can create a plan to help you achieve your needs. Any one of our agents would be delighted to meet with you digitally and you can find all of their contact details here.
2. Web Searches & Virtual Tours – The Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokerage Association (CIREBA), multi-listing system website is the best site out there when it comes to searching for homes. After a virtual consultation with one of our 1503 real estate agents they will send you listing information and, where available, provide you with virtual tours and video walk through. For sellers that are still living in their homes and can use the cameras on their cell phones, we’re dialling in while you do the walking and we do the talking to show those houses virtually to buyers, we will not let you miss those buyers looking to find a home right now!
3. Document Signing – At 1503 we were pretty lucky in this regard and had already moved 90% of our offers to DocuSign, if you have a phone or a computer, we can send you all of your documents electronically for execution, all fully date stamped and auditable.
4. Moving Money – While moving cheques back and forth is pretty standard fare in this industry, at 1503 we have full access to our escrow and operating account online. The local attorneys who assist us do as well and, most importantly, the Government have stepped up yet again and now allow an additional 45 days within which to submit documents executed during this period for the payment of stamp duty and registration fees, with no penalties and interest for a total of 90 days for documents
5. Closing – In yet another fantastic assist from the CI Government, Section 107 of the Registered Land Law which requires an individual executing an instrument to appear before a prescribed witness has been amended to maintain social distance and to reduce the risk of transmission. In these circumstances, the Registrar of Lands will accept instruments that are executed and witnessed contemporaneously in counterpart, where the transferors signature is on a different page from that of the officer. We can now verify a client’s identification using video conference technology as long as it is possible to demonstrate that we: are reasonably satisfied that the Government-issued identification is valid and current; were able to compare the image in the Government-issued identification with the client to be reasonably satisfied that it is the same person; record (with the applicable date) the method used to verify the client’s identification; and otherwise comply with our obligations under applicable laws relating to client identification.
The 1503 Bottom Line:
If you need to buy, sell or rent there are options available. Let’s set up a virtual consultation today to assess your needs and understand how we can assist you in this new virtual world, so you don’t have to put your real estate plans on hold.