Buying a home in the age of COVID-198/15/2020
While the U.S. wrestles with social distancing and a disrupted economy, you may not feel it’s the best time to buy a home, but you may be missing a great opportunity. Many buyers prefer to wait and sit on the bench, giving you more access to homes with less competition.
The real estate industry is still very much in business, but there have been many changes in how homes are being bought and sold. Here’s what you can expect.
Higher credit scores/down payments are required. News outlets are reporting that some banks, such as JP Morgan-Chase, are requiring higher credit scores as well as larger down payments to limit risk as people lose jobs and the economy wobbles. If you are in an essential business, that’s good, but you may need to sign a statement to that effect.
Virtual showings are the new normal. Virtual tours have been around for decades, but how they’re different is that your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional may hold the “camera” themselves, helping you zoom in details, features and concerns as you request them to. They can also conduct open houses, thanks to Zoom or other conference software. You can still see homes in person, but this is a great elimination and selection tool.
Inspections, final walk-throughs and closings are social distanced. To protect appraisers, inspectors, real estate personnel, etc., you may have to stay firmly six feet or more away, wear a medical-grade mask, and use sanitizer or wear gloves.