Everyone is being affected in some manner by the outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus. During this time, buyers will have more questions than normal about the home buying process and their ability to buy a new home. While we can’t predict what the next few weeks and months will bring, the more we can educate ourselves, the better we can help buyers navigate the buying process smoothly during the pandemic. Here are a few common buyer questions as they related to the Coronavirus outbreak and real estate answered.
- Can we still go see home listings in person? – This is the hardest question to answer and it will depend on the home, the seller, the agent and any fast-changing governmental policies put in place. Agents should be able to offer a Skype or Face Time home tour virtually. Talk to your agent to find out what they have available for the buyers to prescreen the home virtually before setting up the visit; they might have virtual tours already available which can help rule out those that don’t suit their needs.
- How can I stay safe while visiting homes? – Everyone’s health has to be the priority; this includes the buyers, sellers, and agents. If you are going to see a home in person during this time, carry hand sanitizer and wipes to use before, during and after the tour. Drive separately from your agent meet at the homes. During the tour, designate one person to open doors, drawers, and closets and use disposable gloves during the showing.
- What happens if I lose my job? –Most real estate contracts include a contingency, or due diligence, period that protects the buyer in situations such as this. Typically during the process, this contingency is removed after a set time frame, or after receiving the loan approval. Be open and let your real estate agent know if this may be a concern.
- Will I still have access to the home during the due diligence period? – It’s very common for the buyer to have easy access to the home during the due diligence period; home inspections, appraisals and just measuring are all common reasons to visit the home. Consider grouping these activities whenever possible to limit necessary trips, especially if the home is occupied.