Navigating A Home Purchase During The Coronavirus Epidemic

Dated: 04/27/2020

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If you’re one of the many prospective homebuyers who found themselves house hunting when coronavirus changed the housing market, you’re not alone. The great news is that 2020 is still a great time to buy; you just have to navigate the waters a little differently. Let’s take a look at how you can proactively conduct your house hunt in the time of COVID-19.

Do your homework

While you may want to jump right into finding your dream home, it’s especially helpful to have a buyer’s agent to help you through the process. With more than two million real estate agents practicing in the United States, you’ll want to do a little digging to find the right agent for you.

Hiring a buyer’s agent during coronavirus isn’t all that different from how you’d go about it usually, as people don’t typically walk in the door of an agent office without doing some research first. Get word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and head online to discover top area agents. Most will typically have online reviews and recommendations readily available, especially if they’ve been in business for a while. 

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of agents, reach out via telephone or email and set up an introductory call. If you’re more comfortable having a face-to-face conversation, ask to schedule a video call via FaceTime or Skype.

When you’re on your agent call, make sure you ask about local regulations regarding coronavirus and how it’s impacting the home buying process. Ask about the safety precautions the agent is exercising, in addition to how you will go about viewing homes. Based on your impressions from the agent conversations, you should be able to narrow down your choice and choose the agent you feel will best meet your preferences and needs. Now the fun begins!

Go online

Now, more than ever, the internet is one of the greatest tools in your home search. Peruse MLS listings and drill down deep when something catches your eye. Almost all listings now offer virtual tour options, which are usually photo slideshows, set to music or narration, that walk you through the home. If you like what you see, your next step should be attending a virtual open house if one is listed. If not, your next option will be to request a video tour of the home.

Do the prep work

Before attending an open house or taking a video tour, it’s essential to learn everything you can about the home. If the home is nearby, take a drive to check out the exterior and peruse the neighborhood to get a feel for the setting. If time allows, drive by the house during the day and at night to gauge both foot and vehicular traffic in the neighborhood.

Study the listing and draft questions in advance of your tour. Don’t be afraid to ask for a floor plan to help guide you along the tour. Study as many of the available photos and videos you can, and take note of areas you’d like a better view or would like to spend additional time perusing.

Lastly, if you’re attending a virtual open house, make sure you’re familiar with the hosting agent’s format. Can you ask questions as they go, or do you need to wait until the end of the tour? Also, be aware that virtual open houses are structured differently, and are more like a house tour for multiple people, rather than a drop-in event. The more prepared you are going into the virtual open house, the better equipped you are to ask the right questions and feel like you’re in a position to make an offer.

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Justin Johnson

When you call Justin Johnson you will reach him almost every time. Justin specializes in listing homes for sale often (equity) traditional sales, short sales, foreclosures, probate and divorce sales h....

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