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Going on a Virtual House Hunt

Your plan had been to buy a house this year. You saved and planned, and maybe even started your search. Then everything changed in the blink of an eye. Now in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, you are wondering if you should put your plans on hold or continue your search.

Realtor.com has come through again with some great information to help buyers. Their new series, “Home Buying in the Age of Coronavirus,” provides insight for potential buyers and discusses how to stay safe while searching.

While inventory remains low right now, buyers may have two things on their side: low interest rates and less competition. So, if you are comfortable moving forward with your search, now might be a great time. However, you will have to consider that your search may be different. One article in the Realtor.com series focuses on the online search process and highlights tips for “virtual house hunting,” including:

  • Squeeze the most out of virtual tours: Does the listing agent have a video tour or could your agent do a FaceTime tour as a first look at the property?
  • Dig into disclosures: Ask your agent for the seller’s disclosure, which provides more in-depth details regarding the property. And, remember, it can’t hurt to ask any follow up questions that come from this document.
  • Take precautions if you visit a home: Follow CDC guidelines if you are able to enter a home for a showing.
  • Accept that you may not be able to visit a home: With showing protocols and peoples’ comfort levels changing daily, or at least it seems; definitely consult a real estate attorney before moving on a property that you can’t go in to.
  • Don’t forget to check out the neighborhood: Use Google Earth or if you can, do a drive by. Often you can get a feel for a property after seeing the exterior in person, or driving through the neighborhood.

Weigh the pros and cons, and then decide what is best for you. If you are interested in buying a home or if you have questions about the process of buying, or selling, during this time, we are here and happy to help.