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Buying and Selling Your Home During COVID-19

The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted millions of people’s financial plans, including homebuying. While purchasing a house today may be more challenging due to the health and economic concerns, with the swift adaptation to technologies and properties going virtual, finding the right agent who is equipped with all the resources and knowledges will still make it possible for home buyers and sellers to stay safe and prepare the home for the real estate market during this time.

Home buying during COVID-19

For Buyers 


The real question is, is now a good time to buy a house? From a financial perspective, there are certainly some major advantages to buying a home right now. The most important factor for active buyers is mortgage interest rates are at a historically low rate right now, that means your monthly housing payments will be lower than ever before. Purchasing a property now at a low interest rate gives buyers more control than living in a rental where rents may go up.


Another consideration is that buyers face less competition during the pandemic, which means there is a greater opportunity for buyers to be in a stronger position to negotiate with sellers and get a better deal for the home. 


The next big question is, is it safe to buy a house now? While this isn’t a normal time to buy a house as most sellers won’t open their homes for private tours, you can still go through most aspects of the home-buying process remotely through virtual tours. Find a local real estate agent online, interview them virtually to understand their available services, and ask whether they post virtual tours of properties for sale. Here is an example of one of Melissa Huk’s many listings that you can easily tour with ease and convenience from the comfort of your own home. With the click of your mouse, you can get a realistic view of the property and see all the details before you decide to see the house in person under the correct measures. Touring homes virtually also helps you to skip visiting some homes to stay safe. 

Melissa Matterport View

If you decide to start your home hunt virtually and buy without seeing the home in person, here are some advice that may help you in the buying process: 


  1. Find an agent who can walk you through the property via video chat or be able to take a virtual tour of the home 
  2. Obtain listings and accurate and detailed information about the neighborhood and surroundings
  3. Be able to view high-quality listing photos that showcases the property’s interior and exterior 


If you do decide to attend an open house under your real estate agent’s guidance, here are some tips to stay safe while touring a home: 


  1. Wear a facemask and avoid touching anything in the home. Before the showing, ask the owners to open cabinets and closets  
  2. Wear protective booties and throw them away when you’ve finished touring 
  3. Be mindful and stay six feet away from your real estate agent. Ask your agent to open the door for you and wait elsewhere while you tour the house on your own 
  4. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap after you leave the property



Living Room View

For Sellers 


Is now a good time to sell your property? The short answer is yes, now that there’s low inventory and high buyer interest, especially when interest rates are low, there is a serious demand for homes. Many sellers are weary of Covid-19 and have taken homes off the market, which is causing a price war among buyers and is increasing the prices as a direct result of a low number of homes for sale. According to DQNews and PBMonthly, the medium home price in San Diego County has reached a new high of $600,250 in June 2020. 


Since open houses are not encouraged during the pandemic, sellers’ agents need to take extra precaution as to who they do let in to view the property. For one, find a real estate agent who can provide the services of staging your home virtually. The seller’s agent also must ensure the seller’s property disclosure statement is in place and that the potential buyer is pre-approved and has viewed the virtual home before being allowed in the home. 


Here are some tips to increase the appeal of selling your home:  


  1. Vacant homes have a better chance of selling because people feel safer and more secure to step into an empty house versus an occupied home. If this is not possible, allow your agent to secure the property and arrange for showing appointments 
  2. Stage your home digitally with computer-generated furnishings and props in key rooms to show visually where furnitures can go to help buyers create an emotional connection to the property 
  3. Use a pre-listing inspection to point out the necessary repairs beforehand to encourage buyers to overcome any general hesitancy to make an offer 


Before a home showing, here are some suggestions to take into measure to protect homeowners’ safety: 


  1. Declutter your home and reorganize both interior and exterior for a clean and spotless view
  2. Sellers should do a deep cleaning and disinfect high-touch areas such as countertops and doorknobs, leave lights on and doors, cosets, and cabinets open to limit what visitors can touch 
  3. Make hand sanitizer and soap available with signs encouraging hand-washing  
  4. Clean and disinfect your home thoroughly to lower your risk of exposure of what the potential buyers may bring in during the home viewing 


Even with coronavirus conditions limiting the movement of a majority of Americans to physically buy or sell their home, hiring a trustworthy agent who has an excellent track record of satisfaction and the right resources for virtual home tours will help your property stand out to make the transaction happen. As a seasoned buyers and sellers’ agent, Melissa Huk is equipped with all the necessary tools and knowledge about pricing your home and staging your property to ensure your real estate is ready to hit the market! 

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