The corona virus, and the various forms of lockdown initiated in response to the pandemic, have hit the economy in a number of ways. One area affected is the housing market, which has seen a huge drop off in new property listings since March.
But for those of you needing to sell your house (and perhaps sell your house fast if you’ve been hit by the economic contraction) there is still hope. Demand for housing remains fairly consistent, while supply has dropped. This means you could find a buyer willing to go above the market price.
According to realtors across the country, people are still buying and selling homes, however, selling a house is a very different endeavor compared to before the crisis. While no ‘standard’ practice has yet emerged, here are a few things you will likely encounter when trying to buy or sell a house during the age of the corona virus:
1. Virtual Viewings
Open houses are no longer possible in many places, so if you want to show your home to potential buyers you’ll need to create a virtual viewing experience. This will either require a real estate agent with a body camera attached walked around your property while on a conference call with the buyer, or you will need to film the property in minute detail and give the footage to interested parties.
Where in-person viewings are still possible, you will need to meet the basic safety requirements, such as providing hand sanitizer, wear a face mask, and clean surfaces, and especially faucets, after every visit.
2. Stricter Mortgage Requirements
Everyone’s feeling the pinch, from big banks to your local bakery. As such, lenders are becoming more risk averse. In the US, the availability of credit has dropped by around a quarter, making it harder to come by than before the corona crisis. It doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a mortgage lender, but you might find yourself having to jump through more hoops in order to qualify.
3. The Coronavirus Clause
Due to the unpredictable nature of the situation, many property purchasing contracts now include a coronavirus clause. This clause is designed to protect both buyers and sellers from incurring extra costs should the deal be delayed or broken due to circumstances brought about by the coronavirus situation. For example, these clauses include sections about parties being unable to travel or meet in order to sign documents, or if an appraisal cannot take place due to restrictions.
4. Appraisals From A Distance
Typically, when you want to sell your home, a detailed inspection will take place to determine the value of the property. It is becoming increasingly normal for appraisers to do their job from a distance. They will drive by your home and inspect the outside, then use all available data, and photographs you provide, to determine the value of the house.
It Is Still Possible to Sell Your House
As you can see, it is still possible to sell your house during the pandemic. The rules of the game have changed, it’s true, but if you’re in a hurry to sell your home then there is no need to despair.