Buying a House Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Real Estate

May 21, 2020 By Joan Young

While the economy of many countries is in distress to come back from the COVID-19 pandemic, housing is the one area that has proved to be exceptionally strong. In fact, property buyers are informed now is the best time to purchase one, driven by low mortgage rates.

In many cities, real estate is selling as good as it was before the pandemic altered the social landscape. Properties are selling at high speed and for amounts that are usually over or at the asking prices.

Here is what you need to know if you are trying to purchase a home during the pandemic.

Research the Market

Take the time to research the market, the neighborhood you want to move in, the value of the home, and the average selling price for the kind of home you want, if you are just starting to look for a home.

Allow yourself to know and understand the listing abbreviations and real estate terms so that you can browse listings easily and aim your attention on the features you’re most interested in. Moreover, ask your family and friends for listing agent recommendations and see if their credentials are good enough.

Hot Real Estate Market

Most of the properties that are priced well and clean will surely sell in less than a week. Thus, buyers will have to expect speed. That said, inspect and examine properties as fast as you can once they arrive on the market. Look at different online sites like BMA for potential properties.

If you make an offer, be open-minded to reject or accept counteroffers. Keep in mind that the listing agent will not wait for you. So, it is best to pick a lender who can do a closing within ten days.

Moreover, a pre-inspection of the property can help do a quick closing if the buyer will accept the offer. That said, get an inspector before you begin looking at properties. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, property buyers usually go with their inspectors during the inspection.

However, in today’s new normal, some home inspectors are taking advantage of many online platforms like Zoom or Facetime to allow buyers to accompany them virtually.

Be Ready For the Competition

You might need to make an offer on many different properties to buy a home, and your offer might only be one of the many offers. During this pandemic, multiple offers are becoming the norm, particularly in the spring market.

They are more common in properties priced at least 400,000 dollars and in urban areas. Of course, you don’t need to make your best offer at first because you won’t know if there’ll be many offers.

For example, properties are listed on the market, and you hurry to make your offer. But if there are multiple offers, the real estate broker will usually do a second round of offers, asking for the best and highest offer to be in by a specific time and date.

And since you may need to make a higher offer, it is best not to look at properties that exceed your price range. The wise thing to do is to find out your maximum price and scour the properties listed for less than the amount because if a higher offer is required, you need room to make one.

Sell Your Old House

In a multiple offer situation, you have a better likelihood of winning if you sell your own house first. Put your house on sale, then rent a temporary house just until you buy a new property. Also, you can make your property’s sale to your advantage in finding the house of your choice.

Get a Pre-Approved Loan

Have an underwriter look at your file early so you can have a strong loan pre-approval. With this, your financing is imposed only on an appraisal and clear title. Once it has been through underwriting, then you are given the green light.

Put At Least 20% Down Payment

The more money you put as a down payment, the stronger your offer will be, and it is also true with regard to the earnest money. You may offer to give the earnest money to the seller right away or even a signing bonus if you can.

Takeaway

All is not lost when an unforeseen disaster, like the COVID-19 pandemic, cuts in your attempts to start house hunting. Although touring homes for sale, meeting with a realtor, and chances to get pre-approved for a loan might be postponed, still, there are ways you can do to buy a property successfully.

If you find a property you are interested in, you have a stable job, and you can get low rates for your loan, purchasing a home may be a wise and smart choice, and probably the right thing to do during this pandemic.