The COVID-19 crisis has dramatically changed the way society works but staying safe and healthy does not have to mean living with a less-than-perfect house. Like most sectors of the economy, the real estate sector has made some changes to facilitate virtual, no contact buying.
Aspiring homebuyers may already have noticed an increase in listings for homes with virtual walk-throughs, virtual open houses, and even live-stream property tours. Read on to find out what future buyers need to know about no contact house hunting and how it has changed the real estate market.
There Are Still Plenty of Reasons to Buy a New Home
Consumers’ reasons for purchasing a home during this crisis vary, but all of them are valid. Some families need more space to accommodate relatives who have moved in due to illness or economic hardship. Others are choosing to downsize in response to economic uncertainty, while yet more have found essential jobs in different cities. These are all valid reasons for purchasing a home and none of them can be put off indefinitely, so don’t be afraid to look into no contact buying options.
Now Is a Great Time to Buy
With interest rates at a historic low and many buyers afraid to make the move during these uncertain times, the market favors house hunters. Buying a home may require a little more reliance on technology than it would under normal circumstances, but real estate agents are going out of their way to be accommodating.
It Will Be All but Impossible to Tour the Home in Person
In some places that haven’t been hit hard by the coronavirus, real estate agents showing vacant houses are still scheduling in-person tours and just sanitizing everything between visits. In most cases, though, it will be all but impossible for potential buyers to view the properties in person. Similarly, buyers shouldn’t expect to be able to attend home inspections if they find properties that catch their eyes. Instead, inspectors are visiting the properties alone and sending photos and videos to their clients.
When viewing homes virtually using 3-D tour options, potential buyers should note that this technology is not perfect. It may create odd distortions that make the house look less appealing than it does in real life. Most real estate agents are also providing high-resolution photos to interested buyers, which tend to offer a more true-to-life representation. Those who can request live virtual walk-throughs with their real estate agents may want to go this route, as it allows them not just to get a clearer picture of what the home looks like but also to ask questions about the property.
Closing the Deal May Pose a Challenge
If buyers can find the perfect house, they should still be able to close the deal. However, the process may look a little different. In some places, filling out paperwork and closing on the new home still requires an in-person meeting, but real estate agents will not be present and those who must be there to sign the documents will be brought into the room separately instead of meeting together to close the deal. In others, the entire process is now taking place online.
Before making plans to close the deal, investigate local COVID-19 regulations and recommendations. If the state has a mandatory shelter-in-place order, it may be worthwhile to ask if the sale can be closed entirely via online transactions.
Those moving from out-of-state may have to self-quarantine when they reach their new homes. This can make move-in day feel a little less exciting, but the silver lining is that it will give new homeowners plenty of time to unpack, redecorate, and tackle any minor home improvement projects they may want to get under their belts. Of course, those working in essential industries should be exempted from statewide self-quarantine orders unless they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
The Bottom Line
No contact house hunting can be frustrating. It may feel like adding a million unnecessary extra steps to an otherwise simple process, but for the moment, it’s necessary. The only way to put a stop to the spread of the novel coronavirus is to respect social distancing and self-quarantine orders, but that doesn’t mean interested buyers have to wait until the crisis blows over to investigate options or even move to a new home. Having a technologically savvy real estate agent willing to go the extra mile to provide relevant information and help clients find the perfect properties will make no contact house hunting a breeze.
We at Fellowship Home Loans are here to help in your quest for a new home. We are OPEN and looking forward to your call! Give us a call today at 1-800-804-SAVE (7283) or by emailing us at [email protected]