If you’re wondering if you can buy a home during COVID-19, the answer is yes. Will it be easy? Not necessarily, but it is doable. Will it be different than buying at any other time? Yes, but different doesn’t mean you can’t find the right property at the right price. In fact, you might find the right property at a better price during this time of “staying in place.”
Of course, you’ll need to develop a good strategy. You’ll also need a good Realtor – one who is watching the market closely and who understands your needs. You’ll want a good home inspector, loan officer, and escrow officer. Having the right team is important. Very important!
Be prepared to do all of your initial searching online. Actually, this isn’t anything new as buyers have been searching for homes online for years. The difference now is that you’ll need to really refine your search and vet properties very carefully prior to viewing. All viewings, and any subsequent inspections, have to be synchronized carefully with proper protocols in place to assure the health and safety of all involved.
Virtual Home Buying Process
Currently, I have active Buyers in the market. Just yesterday, I wrote an offer. My clients have participated in Zoom meetings, viewed properties featuring 3-D photography online, and have driven by properties of interest. Long before anyone steps foot on the property, we research the property and the comparable listings and sales, thoroughly. We go over features, benefits, tax office records, permits, and anything else of public record that pertains to the property.
Discussions with the listing agent are critical. We find out as much as possible about the property, the current activity, and Seller motivation. We discuss and establish proper showing procedures, which entail driving separate cars to the property, masking up, wiping down, and adhering to safe social distancing requirements.
Is Any of This Easy?
Believe it or not, in some cases it’s actually easier. Don’t get me wrong. It does require skill. Planning. Expertise. Not to mention masks, gloves and wipes. But, there are advantages. We can set our own schedule for viewing properties online and by appointment. No more competing with a flock of buyers during traditional Sunday open houses. Staying in place may also mean that you have the advantage of more negotiating power. After all, with fewer buyers out looking, now is a great time to pick up a property at a good price. We can negotiate, go over contracts, and navigate the transaction, all from the comfort of our own homes. Inspections still take place. Home inspectors, termite inspectors, and appraisers, have all been trained to do their jobs under today’s mandate. Most documents can be digitally signed and escrow is even offering drive-through signings.
It’s amazing how flexible we have all become during this season. We are learning a lot. And, we are serving clients well. It’s just a matter of adaption. With an open mind and skilled professionals on your team, you can buy a home in Hawaii now. Interestingly enough, while writing this blog, I just got an email that said, “Offer Accepted.” Yes indeed! There may be no time like now to buy a property in Hawaii.