How to Navigate Through COVID-19 As A Home Buyer: Virtual Showings, Low-Interest Rates, & Much More

Dated: 07/10/2020

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How to Navigate Through COVID-19 As A Home Buyer: Virtual Showings, Low-Interest Rates, & Much More

 

Up until a few weeks ago, the housing market was buzzing with activity. The economy was going strong and the thought of a recession wasn’t a concern for many. Then COVID-19 spread rapidly, and the real estate market came to a halt. Although many real estate agents are softening their housing market sale projections, that doesn’t mean you need to postpone purchasing a home. 

 

Here are a few things to keep in mind, regardless of if you’ve begun looking for a home, or are thinking of exploring the market soon.

 

Is it still possible to purchase a home right now?

There’s no denying the fact that coronavirus’ effects on the spring housing market are devastating. The percentage of real estate agents referring to local conditions as a “sellers’ market” dropped from 77% to 64%. Additionally, while 62% of top agents said bidding wars were on the rise in February, that figure declined to 40% in March.

 

Those figures in mind, buyers have a great opportunity to enter the housing market as home prices are going to level out or decrease in the coming months. 

 

How does coronavirus affect the homebuying process?

Given that having a residence is an essential part of life, many governments across the U.S. view real estate agents as providing an essential service, making them exempt from shelter in place orders. You can find out if real estate agents can operate in your area by visiting the National Notary Association’s website.

 

When buying a home during the coronavirus crisis, you should avoid in-person showings if possible, to minimize your potential exposure to the virus. If you must visit a home ensure that you remain six feet apart from other people, refrain from touching your face, and frequently wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. 

 

Many real estate agents are offering virtual tours, so buyers can get walk throughs of homes and attend virtual open houses without worrying about coronavirus exposure.  


Is it safe to conduct home inspections?

In many regions, home inspections are still permitted, however, there are precautions professionals and homebuyers can take to prevent cross-contamination of the property. Inspectors should conduct their inspections alone, without the company of the buyer, realtor, or seller. 

 

The inspector should also wear gloves and a mask when in the house. In some cases, a hazmat suit or full body covering can be requested to provide an additional layer of security.

 

Should I lock in a mortgage right now?

Given that the U.S. government recently lowered interest rates to stabilize the economy, mortgage rates are likely to remain at low levels for the foreseeable future. As every home buyer’s financial situation is unique however, you should speak with a loan officer, mortgage broker, and real estate agent about the best approach to finance your home.

 

For more help with house hunting contact me, one of yourtop realtors in Chicago at 773-505-2132!

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Carolyn Barnes

After over 20 years of working to get first-time home buyers approved for the mortgage they deserve, Carolyn Barnes used her unique background to quickly become one of the most trusted real estate bro....

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