Home Buying and Selling While Social Distancing

Businesses across the U.S. have been mandated to close their doors in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, and many people have been losing their jobs. Watching the unemployment reports since the first “shelter in place” orders seem more upsetting than we expected.

It will definitely influence the housing market too. Those who lost their jobs are less likely to buy a home anytime soon, and those who haven’t been laid off or lost work might be more inclined to hold off on a major purchase. In response we may see sellers postpone putting their properties on the market until the crisis passes.

However, experts say we shouldn’t expect home prices to plunge by double digits as they did during and after the Great Recession. In the last downturn, due to an overabundance of construction and mass foreclosures, there were many more properties for sale than there were qualified buyers.

This time, there has been a relentless shortage of housing for sale. Builders haven’t been able to add enough homes to meet demand for a while now. And there isn’t likely to be a huge wave of foreclosures because most borrowers are in better financial shape. Additionally, federal and state governments, along with some banks, are rolling out programs to help Americans who’ve lost their jobs stay in their homes.

While price growth will probably slow down and possibly even drop, declines such as the last recession are unlikely. And, they’re expected to bounce back once the crisis is under control.

This situation is constantly evolving, which means that agents are continuing to adapt to new procedures. One of the key challenges for those who need to move now is how to navigate the aspects of a transaction that require human interaction like showing homes, touring homes, meeting with agents and third-parties, and more.

Real estate companies are modifying their policies to provide options for buyers and sellers during this period of uncertainty. It’s important to note that these options are changing on an on-going basis as public health guidelines continue to change.

Due to social distancing, open houses have been cancelled, physical showing have strict limitations, meetings are head virtually, and we are finding new ways to perform appraisals and closings.

Plenty of people are still getting mortgages during this time, and it may be a good time to do it since rates are low. Most of the process for getting a mortgage can be done online and some types of loans are relaxing some loan standards in consideration of social distancing requirements. For example, some loans may allow for exterior appraisals and have property inspection waivers. Some are allowing borrowers to verify employment through an email from an employer or a year-to-date paystub instead of most recent pay stubs.

If you were planning to buy or sell a home now and are unsure of where you stand, you’re not alone.  It’s more important than ever to work with an experienced Realtor who can navigate the changes and variations happening during the pandemic.

Along with sharing their expertise, a great real estate agent will also provide support. With an abundance of emotion involved, having an advocate who is level-headed and able to look at a situation professionally and take the best steps for you, is highly valuable.

Real estate agents are especially beneficial for being the voice of reason in these uncertain times to guide their clients while staying focused on everyone’s safety and health as the highest priority.

The Platinum Group, Realtors delivers top Realtors with the best tools and resources to provide home buyers and sellers with platinum service and platinum results.  With over 80 percent of their business coming from referrals, The Platinum Group, Realtors deliver top quality customer service the utmost honesty, integrity and attention.

For a no-obligation consultation, call today: (719) 536-4478 or visit PlatinumHomesSales.com.

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