Seasoned real-estate moguls don’t get panicked by a pandemic such as COVID-19.
It’s certainly true that the coronavirus pandemic is killing people and bringing many businesses to a standstill. All this means that people are now wondering — is it still possible to buy and sell a house during these tough times? Fortunately, the answer is yes, but with some terms and conditions attached.
So, you still want to get your real estate business done amidst the pandemic? First, observe the social distancing protocols, the coronavirus fatality rate, as well as the case counts in your country.
Buying and Selling a Home in the Pandemic: The Challenges
Here is how the COVID-19 Pandemic is affecting the buying and selling of houses.
· Virtual Tours
Following the scourge of the coronavirus crisis, entire cities remain locked down. Now, buyers and sellers are resorting to virtual platforms to keep their businesses going.
Through the internet, video footage allows potential buyers to have a look at the interior of a building.
Some buyers even take the risk of making offers though they’re yet to actually visit the premises of the building.
In some cases, a physical inspection of the property may be allowed to take place under certain conditions.
For example, buyers may be required to wear safety gear such as face masks and gloves. However, you’ll be advised not to touch anything in the house, due to fears about possible infection.
In some cases, the seller will open all doors in the building to create room for buyers to have close-up views of the amenities in the house.
· Change in Mortgage Credit
The economic impact of the pandemic has affected the credit requirements for mortgages. If you’re a borrower who is not of good credit standing, you may find it hard to get credits from lenders.
March 2020 saw a massive drop in mortgage credit of about 16%. This means that lenders are now placing stricter requirements for mortgages.
In real estate, an appraisal is a process of assessing the value of the house. Normally, this demands that the appraiser must visit the property to evaluate its conditions.
However, pandemics change how appraisals are conducted.
Due to stay-at-home orders being invoked in many places; appraisers are forced to rely on scant data (such as photos and exterior views) to evaluate the values of properties.
The lack of physical access to the building means that appraisers may end up underestimating or overestimating the value of a house.
· Unaccompanied Inspections
Under normal circumstances, agents and buyers follow building inspectors to the site to ask questions when necessary.
Now that has changed. Many inspectors now visit sites unaccompanied to take pictures or videos of the building and then share them with their clients.
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· Online Closings
Unlike the pre-pandemic days when families of the parties would gather to witness the signing of agreement documents, closings are now going digital.
In places where electronic deed filings are unavailable, only the key people involved in the house buying or selling process are allowed to meet and close the deal. That said, all parties must adhere to protective measures such as wearing masks and gloves.
How to Buy or Sell a House Safely During a Pandemic
If you don’t want a pandemic to limit your real estate market options, here are some tips for buying or selling a home amidst COVID-19.
· Consider how urgently you need to buy or sell the house.
If you don’t think you can wait for the pandemic to die down, that’s fine. But be sure about your financial and emotional readiness to take the risks.
· Try different lenders
As explained earlier, pandemics also affect the finances of lenders.
Before you start searching for homes, you need to contact at least 3 lenders to compare their rates, pick the best rates, and then get pre-approval for mortgages.
· Understand the market
Knowing whether there are fewer buyers or sellers will help you to beat the market.
· Prepare for Unexpected Events
No one really knows what the dynamics of the pandemic will be in the coming days and weeks. Follow regional updates on the virus and be ready to go through different business processes.
· Observe Safety Measures
Last but not least, you should prioritize your health and that of others. A deadly pandemic such as COVID-19 shows no favorites.
Joke with a pandemic, and it sends you to your maker.
Within the past few months, the world has lost hundreds of thousands of precious lives to COVID-19.
If you don’t want to be a victim, wear your mask, sanitize your hands, and stay safe.
We are not in normal times. The coronavirus pandemic is still raging on. Nevertheless, life and real estate businesses must go on.
Some industry gurus believe that global crises such as the novel coronavirus are the best time to test your resilience and investment skills.
After all, if you emerge successfully, you know that you’ve won a battle for life.
Do not panic!
As the saying goes “Cowards die many times before their deaths, but the valiant never taste death but once.”
If you’re stuck in a dilemma about buying and selling a home during the pandemic, let this article be your best guide.