While the economy of many countries is in distress to come back from the COVID-19 pandemic, housing is the one area that has proved to be remarkably strong. In fact, due to low mortgage rates, now is the best time to buy a house.
In many cities, real estate is selling as good as it was before the pandemic changed the social landscape. Properties are selling at high speed and for amounts that are usually over or at the asking prices.
Below are a few tips on how to purchase a home during the pandemic.
Take the time to research the market, the neighborhood you want to move in, the value of the home, and the average selling price for the kind of home you want, if you are just starting to look for a home.
Know and understand the listing abbreviations and real estate terms so that you can browse listings easily and focus your attention on the features you’re most interested in. Ask around for listing agent recommendations and see if their credentials are good enough.
Most of the properties that are priced well will surely sell in less than a week, so buyers will have to act fast. Inspect and examine properties as fast as you can once they arrive on the market. Check out our property search for potential properties.
If you make an offer, be open-minded to reject or accept counteroffers. Keep in mind that the listing agent will not wait for you. So, it is best to pick a lender who can do a closing within ten days.
A pre-inspection of the property can help with a quick closing if the buyer will accept the offer. That said; get an inspector before you begin looking at properties. Pre- COVID-19 the buyer would accompany the inspector during the home inspection, but in today’s new normal, some home inspectors are taking advantage of many online platforms like Zoom or Facetime to allow buyers to accompany them virtually.
You might need to make an offer on many different properties and your offer might only be one of the many offers. During this pandemic, multiple offers are becoming the norm, particularly in the spring market.
They are more common in properties priced at least $400,000 and in urban areas. Of course, you don’t need to make your best offer at first because you won’t know if there’ll be many offers.
For example, properties are listed on the market, and you hurry to make your offer. But if there are multiple offers, the real estate broker will usually do a second round of offers, asking for the best and highest offer to be in by a specific time and date.
And since you may need to make a higher offer, it is best not to look at properties that exceed your price range. The wise thing to do is to find out your maximum price and scour the properties listed for less than the amount because if a higher offer is required, you need room to make one.
In a multiple offer situation, you have a better likelihood of winning if you sell your own house first. Put your house on sale, then rent a temporary house just until you buy a new property. Also, you can make your property’s sale to your advantage in finding the house of your choice.
Have an underwriter look at your file early so you can have a strong loan pre-approval. With this, your financing is imposed only on an appraisal and clear title. Once it has been through underwriting, then you are given the green light.
The more money you put as a down payment, the stronger your offer will be, and it is also true with regard to the earnest money. You may offer to give the earnest money to the seller right away or even a signing bonus if you can.
All is not lost when an unforeseen disaster, like the COVID-19 pandemic, interrupts in your attempts at house hunting. Although touring homes for sale, meeting with a realtor, and chances to get pre-approved for a loan might be postponed, still, there are ways you can buy a property successfully.