Can you safely buy a house during the pandemic? While moving during the pandemic might sound like a bad idea, there are safe ways to buy a home right now while interest rates are low. With the use of digital tools and by taking a few safety measures into consideration, you can take advantage of this opportunity. Before buying a house, it is always a good idea to have an agent who can assist you with what’s allowed and what’s not allowed. The Raleigh real estate agency at AK Premier Real Estate Services offered us some helpful suggestions that can help you find the house you want no matter what restrictions are in place. Here is a quick guide to staying safe through every stage of the home buying process.
The Home Search
You can’t drive around to look for a house in a neighborhood if your area is under the order of shelter-in-place. The seller will not even allow anyone to come and see the house. Thus, it is better to have a virtual tour on the high-end real estate listing as this is now a necessity for the sellers and buyers during the pandemic. If the agent of the seller does not have a virtual tour available, or you can’t enter the home due to local restrictions, then ask your agent for help. The agent or the seller can give you a tour of the house through a guided video call such as Facetime, Skype, Zoom, or Facebook Messenger.
Looking at Homes In-Person
If looking at homes in-person is still allowed in your area, then you should take all precautionary measures to stay safe. Your health should be the foremost priority and you should ask the agent if the seller has traveled outside of the country recently. If yes, then ask where the person has been and check out if the area was a coronavirus hotspot or not. It’s also advisable to ask if anyone has been within the home recently that was diagnosed with coronavirus since germs can linger for days on objects within the home. Ask whoever is taking you through the house if they are practicing social distancing, or if they are in direct contact with healthcare workers. Take hand sanitizer along and use it frequently if home tours are allowed in your state. Avoid touching your face and anything inside the house, also wash your hands as frequently as you can.
It is becoming common to use the Covid-19 addendum while making the purchase agreements. The realtor association of the state you live in is likely to distribute a boilerplate addendum to all the agents in the area. The clause can address the delays in closing if the recorder’s office in the country has shut down and records aren’t available for the company to search online.
Closing the Deal during the Pandemic
Once you have made the decision and have done the inspection, appraisal, and title research, the closing will be different. You might have around eight people in the room while closing, which can be risky amid the pandemic. Look for title companies that are taking every possible step to maintain social distancing and disinfect rooms between appointments. However, it is better to choose companies which are fully online or are performing remote closing.
They’ve handed you the keys to the new house and you are eager to move in, but can you? This will depend on where you live and the prevailing situation in your area. Ask the moving company about the precautions they are taking and make sure they take every possible precaution at their disposal. Leave the non-critical items packed and stored in the basement. Clean the house thoroughly before moving in and hire a cleaning company that specializes in coronavirus cleaning to help you.
In a nutshell, health risks can’t be ignored and those who are highly susceptible to getting the virus or have underlying health issues should be extra careful. Maintain social distancing, proceed with communicating remotely where possible, and disinfect as thoroughly as possible.