Buying a home during the pandemic

Most homeowners don’t want to put their homes on the market in the midst of a pandemic, but some do need to move, and it’s not the worst time to sell. 

Demand for housing is still strong, despite the hit to the economy, and supply is at a record low. In other words, it’s a seller’s market!

So how do you do it? Real estate expert John Adams is here with the answers:

Question: John, we’ve got social-distancing, we’ve got face masks, and we’re all swimming in hand sanitizer. How can you buy a house now?

Adams: The answer is... VERY CAREFULLY! 

Q:  So what are we talking about here?

A:  Georgia real estate agents have become very creative in finding ways to sell and close real estate transactions during this difficult period.

Q:  So how do agents pull off this miracle?

A: The first thing to remember is that some folks simply have to sell. Maybe they’ve already bought a home in another city and now they have two house payments. Or maybe they can’t start work in another city until their house here gets sold. Maybe they started building a house 4 months ago before all of this got revved up, and their new house is nearing completion.

People have lots of reasons, but there are always some folks who are highly motivated to sell their real property, whether new or resale, and real estate brokers are finding ways to make it happen.

Q:  So how does this work?

A:  Let’s take it in four steps:

1. Preparation for Selling

  • Inspection/Appraisal ahead of time
  • Staging is More Important today
  • “Coming Soon” Status & Lowering Expectations

2. Hitting the Market with a BANG & Showing Options

  • Internet, Instant Communication, Website
  • Virtual Tours & Dollhouse Views (Matterport) 
  • In-Person Showings (CDC Disinfection Procedures?)

3. Negotiations & Contract Formalities

  • Paperless Transaction Management Software
  • Digital Signature (or NOT) via email
  • Confirmed: Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

4. Loan Closing & Transaction Settlement

  • Loan Application & Underwriting
  • The Closing Package from Lender to Attorney
  • Signing the Settlement Documents at CLOSING Physical signatures when required (new loans) Curbside signatures from sellers  Video Signing with Attorney Witness - Gov. Kemp
  • Physical signatures when required (new loans)
  • Curbside signatures from sellers 
  • Video Signing with Attorney Witness - Gov. Kemp

THE BOTTOM LINE: The real estate sales, lending, and settlement industries have been slow to adopt digital technologies that allow buyers & sellers to get more accomplished in less time.  But all that has changed now, and I don’t believe things will ever be the same going forward.