Buying a house should be a very exciting time in your life but it often includes a certain degree of stress. Buying a house during the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing about an entirely new dimension to a buyer's emotions and stress levels. As many buyers hold off buying a house until the pandemic is over, some find themselves in a situation where they cannot wait. If you find yourself in this situation, be assured the entire real estate industry has your back.
Real Estate Professionals Guiding your Way
First and foremost, you should find out if real estate is deemed essential in your state. In several states it is not and therefore some services may not be offered during the pandemic. For the states where real estate is deemed essential, the National Association of Realtors®, the states' boards of Realtors® and the local Realtor® associations are all educating their real estate brokers and agents on how to conduct business safely and effectively during this pandemic. They are providing Realtors® with the education and knowledge necessary for successful purchase transactions.
Be sure to speak with your real estate professional in regards to your comfort and safety levels when working together. Don't hesitate to ask for details on their social distancing practices. Some Realtors® are choosing to not physically show homes at this time. Be sure to ask about the options they are offering for visiting a home.
Buyers and their Realtors® should be communicating primarily via phone or email. If a face to face conversation is requested by either party, use a video conferencing platform such as FaceTime, Zoom or Webex.
There are advantages to purchasing a house right now as home values are stabilized and not going up. In the current market, it is safer to purchase a house that is vacant. Realtors® can send listings to their buyers via the multiple listing service's listing email system. Buyers are able to virtually preview the home by viewing photos, virtual tours and videos online.
When it's time for agents and their buyers to physically see the homes, they should all be wearing face-masks and not shaking hands. Only the main decision-makers should attend the showings. The agent should conduct a "no-touch showing" which is where the buyers will not touch anything. Only the agent will open doors, cabinets, closets and turn on lights. They should practice safe social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from each other.
Many home sellers who have their houses listed and are currently residing in them, have placed their listings on a "temporarily no showings" mode in the multiple listing service. This means they are not physically allowing buyers into their homes for safety reasons. However, buyers can often virtually tour the home. Some are purchasing houses "sight unseen" which means they have never set foot in them.
For sellers who are allowing showings and buyers that need to purchase a house during the pandemic, safety is of the utmost importance. The inventory is low, but it is possible to find the right home.