If you have school-aged children and were planning to move over the summer, the time to search for a home is now! Buying a home during the Coronavirus pandemic is still possible. Homes are still coming on the market (although in less volume than normal), real estate agents are showing homes, lenders are processing loans, and attorneys are performing closings. Everyone is simply taking some added precautions. Here are some changes you can expect on the home buying process due to this pandemic.
1 – Screenings for Showings
The first thing you may find is that sellers (or their agents) are asking more questions before scheduling showings. They’ll want to limit appointments to buyers who are already pre-approved for a mortgage. They may also confirm that you are aware of certain features of the home and that it indeed fits your needs.
2 – Showing Precautions
During showings, you’ll be asked to wear a mask and/or gloves. This reduces the risk to sellers who may end up having quite a few people walk through their home over the coming weeks. To minimize your own exposure, put on a new pair of gloves at each home, and take them off as soon as you leave. Alternatively, you can use hand sanitizer before and after each property.
3 – Virtual Paperwork
In the past, you may have been asked to sign certain paper forms for property disclosures, purchase contracts, etc. To minimize the exchange of paperwork, these are going virtual. You will receive an email allowing you to digitally sign contracts. This will likely apply to everything except the final closing paperwork.
4 – Separate Closings
Closing documents still require physical signatures, but in-person closings are no longer taking place. You and the seller will sign documents separately. Additionally, you may even sign documents while on the phone with the closing attorney instead of sitting in front of him/her.
Summary of Buying a Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic
With so much focus on Coronavirus, everyone in the industry is taking the necessary precautions to keep you safe as a buyer. Thus, you need not delay your home purchase. With the pandemic reducing competition for listings and interest rates remaining low, it’s actually a great time to buy a home. Finding a home now also allows you to close and move before school starts up in the fall, minimizing disruption to your school-aged children. If you’re looking for an agent in Massachusetts, feel free to contact us for a referral.