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Tips for Buying a Home During a Pandemic

While I never planned content like this, I’ve certainly been asked this question a lot: “how is the Coronavirus impacting the real estate market?” From clients to discussions I’ve had with my colleagues, there’s so much uncertainty around these last couple of months and what it could mean over the course of the next year, that it’s important to open this discussion up. I am planning another post here in the coming weeks regarding the virus’ impact on the financial side of things, but let’s take a look at how this impacts myself and my clients who are in the midst of trying to purchase a home.

What it’s like to buy a home and move during one of the most unprecedented times of our lives:

Showings:
Virtual Tours – As your agent, I would encourage masks, sanitizers, and removing shoes upon entering the property.
However, if you’re more comfortable with a virtual appointment, I am more than happy to go on the showing for you, video-calling via FaceTime or other video tool. I will take as much time as you need in the home for you to feel comfortable and explore just as you would have in person.

Online Research – Chances are you’re doing this anyway, but now is still an excellent time to get to the internet and review neighborhoods from Google. Also, as your agent, I am happy to pull previous listing reports, show you all of the photos or video walk-throughs, and of course I always pull comparative analysis reports showing how the home stacks up amongst other similar properties

Drive (and Walk) the Neighborhood – Now’s a great time to get in your vehicle and take a little drive. Scout the neighborhood from your car and see the amenities for yourself. When safely done, taking a walk around the block will give you a great sense of the community and atmosphere that sometimes during traditional showings, you may not have done before.

Escrow:
During the busiest time of the buying process, the time from contract to close is often filled with coordination of inspections and repairs. Whenever possible, we work with all parties virtually and obtain signatures via secure tools such as DotLoop.
It’s important to note that inspections and appraisals are still happening per usual. However, property repairs may see some delays dependent on the type of contractor required. I will work with the listing agent to ensure these are done in a timely matter.

Closings:
Many closing companies (including our own, Ambassador Title Services) are switching to a virtual and safer closing “table.” The title officer may conduct the paperwork and read through over a video conference or phone call. All in person, required signatures are in the garage of our office as a drive-through closing.

One of my recent closings, Nikki of Omaha gave her take on the process.
“While it was a decidedly different experience from our last home purchase, Megan made sure that we still felt comfortable with the closing paperwork.” Nikki also shared with me that the drive-thru closing was one of the more surreal aspects — closings conducted in the parking garage of our offices!

Moving and Moving In:

Moving Movers and moving companies are considered an essential business. And many of the reputable moving companies are adapting their procedures to ensure the healthy and safety of their movers and customers. (Take a look at my list of recommended movers here.)

However, this time may just mean you aren’t relying on friends and family quite the same. Start packing earlier to account for the fewer helping hands. PODS are also a great moving and storage resource that may allow you to take your time and load your furniture accordingly.

Moving In — While many sellers are encouraged to do a deep clean prior to the final walk-through, it’s still a wise decision for my buyers to do another pass. Whether hiring a professional cleaning company, or taking a day to sanitize, ensuring all surfaces and fixtures are thoroughly cleaned.

Housewarming — This is the hardest part for some folks – having your friends and family come check out your new home! However, during this time of social distancing, it’s important to keep in touch other ways. Be sure to send a ‘Just Moved’ postcard to your contacts or even host a virtual video housewarming party, complete with a tour of course!

Regardless of world circumstances, sometimes the right property comes on the market and the decision to buy must be done quickly. I’m here to not only ensure it’s the right move for you but to make sure you get it done safely. Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out and I’d be happy to chat more!

Well wishes,

Megan

Megan Owens, Realtor
“Delivering extraordinary care for extraordinary clients.”
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate
Phone | 402-689- 4984 Email | MeganOwensRE@gmail.com
©Copyright. May 2020. Megan Owens.
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