Buying a Home During Covid-19: 6 Steps to Make it Happen

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With the pandemic situation and the social distancing precautions put in place, people are wondering how they can buy homes during such a time. In this situation, you need to have more resources and be more patient. Real estate agents have upgraded their technology to offer 3-D tours, photos, video tours, and live-chat tours to help buyers view properties virtually.

How Has Social Distancing Affected Buying A House?

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The purpose of creating social distancing is to create space between you and others to help fight the illness. Since acquiring a house requires face-to-face interactions, including visiting the house, social distancing has brought about many challenges in the process.

In real estate, social distancing involves canceling open walkthroughs and houses, depending on virtual meetings, and looking for new ways to carry out closings and appraisals or even carry them out with care.

The social distancing measures have made it hard for home buyers to see the houses they are buying in person. However, sellers who live in the house may not allow strangers to see the home. Homebuyers may also not wish to enter spaces they are not familiar with.

However, buying a house during the coronavirus situation comes with its pros and cons. Buyers can get better terms when it comes to mortgage due to the federal rate cut. There is less competitiveness because few people are looking for homes. One of the disadvantages the situation has brought about is that some buyers have lost their jobs, affecting them in qualifying for loans.

How Can You Buy A House During The Pandemic Situation?

Source: Freedom Federal Credit Union

Since buying and selling a house is still ongoing, there are ways you can do it safely. First and foremost, you need to follow all the guidelines provided by the CDC to combat the spread of the virus. Buyers should also follow the further orders recommended by local governments and their states; after all, your own area may be facing different challenges with the disease than what’s assumed from a national perspective. During such a situation, relying on technology is the safest option. If you must meet with the seller, make sure you take all the precautions to keep you safe.

How To Negotiate

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Buying a house during the pandemic has been affected despite the technological advancements. Site visits have been replaced by virtual tours, and home loan approvals are now taking place over phone calls.

However, sellers are offering discounts to clear stocks and get money to help them survive the lockdown. As a buyer, you need to use this opportunity by following the following steps.

  1. Before you negotiate for your house, take time to talk to other agents and sellers about the current market rates. This will give you an idea of the return you should expect.
  2. Compare with other projects. View other homes in similar neighborhoods or the same one to check if you will get a better offer at a lower price or the same price range. Ensure the broker or the project you wish to invest in is licensed by the right real estate regulatory body.
  3. Don’t rush to sign the agreement. Be confident with your quoted price first and be prepared to walk out if demands are not met. You should not assure the seller you like their property, and you are interested in buying it at any price. However, if you are negotiating with the builder, request free upgrades instead of a discount.
  4. Ask for discounts through miscellaneous costs. If the seller does not mind negotiating, bargain the base price. Since most of the builders are providing refundable booking amounts, request for customized payment plans.
  5. Make sure you are pre-approved. Sellers prefer the investors and homebuyers who are pre-approved by financial lenders and banks.

Steps For Buying A House Successfully

1. Take a look at your credit report

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You need to have all the details in hand before you contact your seller so you will have time to settle any errors in your report. If you have a higher credit score, you will get a lower interest rate. Make sure your payment history is good.

2. Determine how much you wish to pay

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Qualifying for a larger mortgage does not mean you want that kind of payment every month. You need to figure out the amount of money you can afford.

3. Look for a real estate agent

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A real estate agent will lead you through the process. Your agent will be your advocate, hand-holder, and confidante in the process, so you need to find one who will be helpful.

4. Be pre-approved

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Before you start looking for a home to buy, you should look for an approved lender within your locality who will pre approve you.

5. Make an offer

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Most buyers get butterflies at this point. Once you have found the house you want, you will want your real estate agent to work with you in crafting the offer. Your agent understands the market, and they will guide you in making a good offer, whether the offer is above the listing price or below.

Once the offer is accepted, you need to inspect the house. Due to social distancing and the pandemic situation, a home inspection is done by inspectors. The results of the inspection will be shared to you electronically.

6. Move out

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The actual moving experience has changed a lot during the pandemic. The first thing you ought to do when looking for a moving company is to look at their service pages like the one you see here. A licensed company that offers a wider variety of options are going to be better staffed and better prepared to help you move safely.

In general, you want to find a moving company that can handle the move without help and let them do their jobs. Keep your family socially distanced from the workers and provide soap/disinfectants for the movers to use in a pinch.

Storage agencies are also following hygiene practices such as sanitization. However, you can also rent a moving truck online or via the phone.

Most moving companies have also put up their operating practices during the pandemic. If you wish to know more about the moving policy of the moving company you want to choose, contact the service providers on their site to see more about their coronavirus policy.

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