This is new territory for all of us, so we thought it would be a good idea to address some common questions about our real estate market all in one spot for you guys. If you have some other questions you’d like us to address, shoot us an email or leave a comment below and we will get you an answer!
Here we go:
Are people still buying and selling houses with all of this going on?
Yes. In fact, certain houses in ‘affordable’ price points are still moving quickly. Buyers who have been losing in multiple offer situations who still wish to buy may have an opportunity to get into a house they’ll love with a bit less competition right now. While we have seen decreased showing activity in all price ranges, the lowest and highest (think ‘rehabber special’ and ‘luxury’) price points seem to have the biggest decreases.
We are seeing new listings coming on the market every day, just not as many as we would expect for this time of year. None of us planned on a pandemic, so even though we are all making adjustments to our daily lives, many people are still moving forward with their relocation needs. Things are changing quickly, so we are keeping ourselves informed by watching showing data here and keeping tabs on listing activity in the MLS.
What if I have an accepted purchase agreement, am I still going to close?
Yes! You will still close. Since a purchase agreement is a fully binding contract, things need to move forward on schedule. Our State Realtor Association has given us a new addendum/amendment to add to our contracts that will allow for extensions and/or cancellations as needed if buyers or sellers are affected by Covid-19. We are adding these to all of our previously written contracts and including them in any new offers we put together on behalf of our clients to offer this extra protection during the transaction.
If you’re making a purchase and your employment status changes, make sure you speak with your lender right away to discuss your options.
Additionally, title companies are getting creative with how they perform the actual closings: separating buyers and sellers to different rooms, using personal shields, offering gloves and sanitizer, and changing closing locations to allow for more distance between parties. Everyone is doing their part to keep each other safe, while still making sure your move happens. Check out what our friends at Title Smart have come up with to increase your safety during closings.
I was planning to sell in April, should I wait?
This is COMPLETELY up to you! As we stated above, if you NEED to move, we are here for you. We will do what we can to keep everyone safe during the Stay Home period.
We can do all of our listing consultations via Zoom or other video platforms, complete your listing paperwork online, have a photographer come out when you’re outside or away, shoot a virtual tour and offer video walkthrus to limit showings, only allow one party to show the house at a time, and limit showing activity to preapproved buyers only. We won’t be hosting any open houses during this time.
The fact of the matter is, if you need to sell your house, you’re going to have to allow people to see it, and even with these limitations in place, you’re opening yourself up to increased exposure to other people and their germs. If you have the option to wait, or move into your new house or temporary housing while your house is on the market, you can completely limit your exposure. If this isn’t an option for you, and you still need to sell, we will do our best to keep everyone as safe as possible. Talk to us about your situation and we can share any relevant information we have to help you make the right choice for you and your family.
My landlord has approved a month-to-month lease so I don’t HAVE to move right now, but I’d still like to buy, is that a bad idea?
Again, this is TOTALLY up to YOU! You are the buyer, you get to decide. While some people feel like the market volatility makes this a risky time to buy, others are loving the super low interest rates and reduced buyer competition.
If you’d still like to buy, we will reduce your exposure by offering video walkthroughs for most showings. We can bring you through for an in-person showing when we find a place or few places you love! We will offer sanitizer and recommend you avoid touching anything in houses while we are on showings. We’ll do all of your paperwork online and any follow up appointments on video. You’ll still get an in-person final walkthrough before closing!
You will have the opportunity for a home inspection and an appraisal, although availability for inspections will be at the discretion of individual home inspection companies. As of now, we haven’t had an issue getting inspections scheduled. Your inspector may have special instructions for you to help protect them and you! Appraisals will still be done, but drive-by appraisals are now accepted by some lenders.
Overall, the buying process hasn’t changed much, and if your employment situation hasn’t either, it can be a good time to find a great house at the right price. If all of this feels too risky for you, no worries, we get it! We’ll be here for you when you feel ready to make a move.
The biggest point we want to make here is this: it’s a scary time, things are unknown and unpredictable. The media is stressful and everyone has an opinion. Buying and selling a house was a big deal before the Coronavirus, it can feel even bigger now. We are doing our best to keep up with our clients’ needs and keep everyone safe. We are spending and enjoying a little extra downtime with our families, getting some projects done around the house, and worrying about this just like you. We’re here to help, to listen, and to share any information we have that will help make your decision easier. We will be flexible, honest and work hard for you, no matter what you decide, even if you have to change your mind a few times or ask us a million questions. Give us a call, we are here to connect with you!
Stay safe! Stay home! Stay healthy! We <3 you!
Brick & Banister Agents!