How Can Home Buyers and Sellers Stay Proactive During COVID-19? Here’s How:

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How Can Home Buyers and Sellers Stay Proactive During COVID-19? Here’s How:

If you have been following the news recently, you are likely aware of the fact that COVID-19 has disrupted the daily activities of virtually everyone across the globe. The real estate industry stands out from other sectors due to the fact transactions often require in-person meetings.

Although many sectors have come to a complete halt, it’s worth noting that the effects of coronavirus on the fall housing market aren’t dire. Homes are still being bought and sold, and many experts believe today’s housing market is in better shape than during the housing crisis of 2008 since lenders have tightened their loan criteria.

Although it is true coronavirus is causing some slowdowns, homebuyers are still browsing the market because of more attractive prices and the fact there’s still plenty of active listings. That in mind, sellers should not postpone listing their home because they feel they will not have a successful sale.

Below are a few proactive steps that buyers and sellers can take to successfully navigate the current housing market.

How buyers can successfully find the right home for themselves

One of the biggest challenges to buying a home is touring the space. To reduce the number of in-person visits required to buy and sell homes, many realtors are putting more information about listings on the web and are even offering virtual tours. In fact, there are plenty of articles about how to tour a house during the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to showings, home inspections are changing significantly during the pandemic. While lenders used to require in-person inspections and appraisals, many banks are accepting alternative appraisals. These often involve a licensed appraiser reviewing tax and MLS records, and having the homeowner conduct a walkthrough via web conferencing software. 

How sellers can reduce their property sales cycle

Before discussing selling tips during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to address what’s currently going on with all things COVID-19. 

Technically there is no single answer as every municipality sets their own rules, however, many consider real estate transactions to be essential, meaning buyers, and sellers can continue to hold in-person meetings as required.

While virtual showings are reducing the need for in-person meetings, most prospective buyers are going to request an in-person showing before making an offer. Below are a few tips to help protect your home, health, and safety when hosting such events:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water. If that is not available, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Practice social distancing with anyone that does not live in your home. This means ensuring everyone is six feet apart from each other.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces (light switches, doorknobs, counters, handles, etc.) after each showing.
  • Require guests to wear masks, booties, or gloves when indoors.

Sellers also can use the above tips if a buyer requires an in-person home inspection. 

For more on COVID-19 and the real estate comeback, check out HomeLight’s Top Agent Insight Survey from Q2.