The coronavirus has changed our lives in many ways. With businesses temporarily shutting down, people asked to stay at home and a virus that is easily passed from person to person, it has certainly changed the real estate industry and the business of buying and selling homes.
People still need to buy or sell properties even while COVID-19 is an issue. The reality is that the real estate market operates continuously because people start new jobs, welcome new additions to the family, or don’t renew their lease because they intend to buy a starter home.
Since mid-March, the local government has put in place a few guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is important to respect these guidelines during the home hunting and buying process.
These days, you can search for properties online first to see what properties are available on the market and even take a first tour of the property remotely when the 3D virtual tour is available.
The information in the online listing allows potential buyers to quickly determine whether the property meets their needs and budget, thus preventing needless visits.
Once the listing has been viewed carefully, it's time to contact the seller. Whether by phone, email, or video call, it’s important to double-check the information in the listing and to ask the owner as many questions as possible. So, the buying process begins from the comfort of your living room!
Planning a safe visit
Once questions have been answered and it’s clear that the property meets your needs, it’s a great idea to do the first tour via video call. This can complement the 3D virtual tour or compensate for it if it isn’t available in the listing. It also lets the owner show the potential buyer how rooms are set up or view aspects that aren’t as easily visible in photos.
After the initial steps above, it is possible to make an appointment for a visit. During that visit, certain hygiene measures issued by the public health department must be respected.
Once the buyer settles on a property, it’s possible to use technology to negotiate the terms of the offer to purchase remotely.
For many buyers, making an offer from virtual showings alone is a big concern. Some buyers are not comfortable unless the contract is subject to a second physical showing of the home before the deal is finalized. This is an important step in order to avoid buyer’s remorse.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that the COVID-19 impact will be felt in the economy for years to come. Assess both of your current risk areas as far as your ability to make the mortgage payments and stay in the current area without needing to leave to find a new job and see if you are okay with the commitment.