The Blog ofSarah Marrinan

Buying and Selling During the COVID-19 Pandemic

How is Corona Virus affecting MN Real Estate

We know that there are many people worried about COVID-19 and so I want to offer some insight.

First, don’t panic. The current crisis is a health crisis, not a housing crisis. Yes, it will affect the economy but housing is strong and not a cause of recession as it was in the previous recession. (Watch the video: http://www.callsarahfirst.com/2020/02/07/2020-mn-real-estate-recession-update/)

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES ISSUED BY THE CDC.

cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention 2020-03-18

This is NOT business as usual but real estate is not shut down. There are still sellers that NEED to sell and buyers that NEED to buy. Read more on my blog: http://www.callsarahfirst.com/blog

 

Sellers:

Buyers are still looking for homes to purchase. It is very important that we get in front of them. But we also want to keep everyone safe.

Here’s what we can do:

  • Choose how you want to handle showings. Virtually, in person or both.

  • Provide all disclosures to buyers BEFORE they visit your home.

  • Clearly define showing guidelines. 

    • We can reduce approved showing duration to limit the buyer’s time in the home and require all buyers to include lender approval letters or proof of funds prior to showing.

    • We can change the system decline overlapping showings.
  • If you’re allowing in person showings, provide hand sanitizer as well as leaving lights ON and closet doors and storage rooms open to prevent additional contamination.

  • Video cameras in occupied homes may give you peace of mind about what was touched or if a buyer appears sick.

  • Open houses are your call (might be more desirable at vacant houses than occupied homes).

  • Sanitize the home after showings. Open windows, wipe handles, railings, switches, etc.

  • If members of your household are sick, suspend showings.

 

Buyers:

Many sellers are nervous and holding out. A lot of homes will have limited showings and we need to respect that.

  • Skip the open houses but go for a drive to scope out neighborhoods and commute times.

  • Choose the homes you want to see carefully. Please study the listing and the photos to ensure it will meet your criteria and request all disclosures to review before booking a visit.

  • Drive separately from your agent to showings and do NOT shake hands (or any other contact) and stay 6 feet apart.

  • When viewing homes, sanitize your hands on the way in AND on the way out.

  • Don’t touch anything unless you must.

  • Spend the shortest amount of time possible in the house to get a good feel for things.

  • Do not bring kids on showings unless you can enforce the rules above with them.

  • Do NOT go on showings if you are sick.

  • I can do video/virtual tours for buyers that are sick or don’t want to go out.

  • Always include an inspection contingency is offers from short visits or sight unseen offers.

  • Discuss your closing schedule with your lender. Some are getting behind with shortages of underwriters and appraisers.

  • Practice social distancing with your  home inspector.

     

 

All parties
  • Review offers virtually. Have them up on screen to discuss with your agent and review as thoroughly as you would in person.
  • Terms need to be as carefully considered as price to ensure things don’t fall apart over things you could have prevented.
  • Check with your title company about processes for signing closing paperwork.
  • I hate to have to say it but… do not discriminate. Every human received the same rules and the same respectful treatment during this time.
  • If you have traveled out of the country, or gone on a cruise, please hold off on your plans and self quarantine per the CDC’s recommendation .

The housing market can survive this… but the humans need to survive too!

Let’s be safe and respectful.

 

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