5 Questions Buyers Have During the Coronavirus Outbreak: ANSWERED5/18/2020
Everyone is being affected in some manner by the outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus. During this time, you may have more questions than normal about the home buying process and your ability to buy a new home. While we can’t predict what the next few weeks and months will bring, the more you can educate yourselves, the better you can navigate the buying process smoothly during the pandemic. Here are a few common buyer questions as they relate to the Coronavirus outbreak and real estate - answered.
1. Can we still go see home listings in person? This is the hardest question to answer and it will depend on the home, the seller, the agent, and any fast-changing governmental policies put in place. Agents should be able to offer a Face Time or a home tour virtually. Talk to your agent to find out what they have available for buyers to pre-screen the home virtually before setting up the visit; they might have virtual tours already available which can help rule out those that don’t suit your needs.
2. How can I stay safe while visiting homes? Everyone’s health has to be the priority; this includes buyers, sellers, and agents. If you are going to see a home in person during this time, carry hand sanitizer and wipes to use before, during, and after the tour. Drive separately from your agent and meet at the homes. During the tour, designate one person, such as your agent, to open doors, drawers, and closets and use disposable gloves during the showing.
3. What happens if I lose my job during the escrow period? Most real estate contracts include a contingency that protects the buyer in the event they can’t get final loan approval and close the loan. Typically during the process, this contingency is removed after a set time frame, or after receiving the loan approval. Since every aspect of real estate is negotiable, speak to your agent to consider asking for the contingency deadline to be extended and in place until the close; your agent will talk through this aspect with the seller's agent in advance to set the right expectation.
4. Will I still have access to the home during the escrow period? It’s very common for the buyer to have easy access to the home during the escrow period - home inspections, appraisals, and measuring - are all common reasons to visit the home during escrow. Consider grouping these activities whenever possible.
5. Will I get a better deal if I wait to buy a new home? We all know there’s no crystal ball, but with everything that’s going on, sellers on the market should be very motivated to sell. There are also historically low-interest rates on home loans. There is no way to predict the future, so if the right home comes along, it makes sense to consider it.
The Covid-19 outbreak is causing some uncertainty among home buyers, sellers, and even agents. However, with the use of technology and following best practices, you can still find the home you’ve been waiting for during this time. Contact me today to learn more about the current outlook and opportunities in your local market.