Throughout most of the country, indeed, much of the world, we are all having to learn to do business differently during COVID-19. While we are seeing record numbers of home sales, that doesn’t mean that selling your house during these historic times is easy. Many businesses and governments have restrictions that we have never seen before. Offers come quickly, or they can. However, actually closing on your house may be more work than you expected. Arming yourself with more knowledge in what to expect can help you prepare for selling or buying a house.
Showing Your House
Public health experts tell us to maintain our distance. That makes showing your house more difficult. Realtors may require buyers to be pre-approved. They do this to avoid someone who is just looking to see what is out there. They want serious buyers right now. More buyers are relying on virtual showings. They may rely on videos or someone doing a walkthrough with phone cameras. You might want to think about investing in good videos for your listings. These can help reduce the showings and might even get you an offer without a showing.
Getting Funded During COVID
Normally, an appraiser would come by the house to evaluate its price. Inspectors would walk through your house to ensure everything is up to standards for the buyers and the banks. These do happen but, in some places, you may see some of this happen virtually. An appraiser my be permitted to drive by the house. They may require you to be absent from the house, limiting the number of people. Of course, inspections can’t be done remotely, but different rules can make them more difficult.
Part of this process is often the title search, permit search, and similar records checks. Often, some of this can already be done on-line. Sometimes, though, actual records and permits need to be reviewed. The inspectors, attorneys, and title companies want to ensure that permits are closed and accurate. They need to ensure a chain of ownership. Sometimes, this can’t be done online. This is where challenges are common. Many town halls and other departments are working remotely. They may only permit the representatives to come in with an appointment. Those appointments are likely to be limited. This extends the time for these searches.
Many companies, including the banks, are moving their operations so that workers can work from home. Of course, when you have strict recordkeeping requirements and less access to technology from home, this has challenges. They are making it work, but it’s another area that you may see additional time injected into the process.
Closing During COVID
Remote closings have been available in some states for a while. This is good news for home sellers and buyers because many of the kinks are worked out. Everyone is familiar with the process. Unfortunately, remote notarization is only available in 29 states, as of this writing. More are being added every day. There has been a push in Congress and states to make this more widely available. Thankfully, North Carolina is one of those states. The state provides a directory of available notaries here.
This is a process that can actually take time out of closings because there isn’t a need to get everyone together. It’s different for many of us, though, and is becoming more common.
Selling Your House in Historic Times
We’ve all heard it. It’s the 2020 catchphrase of “historic times.” Just because it’s a catchphrase, doesn’t make it any easier. Despite fears of a crash, the housing market is actually going strong. In fact, it’s widely considered in many areas to be a seller’s market. That’s great news for sellers.
That doesn’t mean that selling your house right now is without its challenges. As infection rates rise around the country, we may see more restrictions and lockdowns. You may need a bit more patience, or look for alternatives like cash buyers if you are in a bind. You may see buyers ask for more time to close because it takes more time for funding, inspections, and records searches. If you can be a bit patient, it can be a great time to sell your house.