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  • Writer's pictureTerrence O'Neil

8 Ways COVID-19 Has Changed the Home Buying Process

You absolutely can, and still should buy or sell a house during COVID-19. There is no

need to wait it out. But there are some things you should know about before you

begin the process as there have been many recent changes due to the pandemic to

help buyers and sellers safely buy and sell houses.

1. No Open Houses

As part of the tightening of restrictions regarding the Real Estate industry

we have been unable to host Open Houses for the majority of 2020. Gone are

the days of just casually stopping into an Open House on a sunny weekend

afternoon. While the majority of Open House visitors are often just nosy

neighbors, the packed Open House created an atmosphere of excitement

amongst buyers and sellers which we don’t see now. However, most listings

now offer a virtual open house option hosted by the listing agent, as well as 3D

virtual tours and videos.

2. No overlapping showings

Prior to COVID-19 there were no rules about showings overlapping. In

fact it was quite common to have as many as 4-5 agents and sets of buyers

walking through a home at the same time. Now, overlapping showings are not

allowed so buyer agents must find an available time slot that works. This

greatly reduces the amount of showings available on certain days when you

also consider homes are not available 24/7.

3. Showing Time limits

Some listings are in such high demand that listing agents are limiting the

amount of time you are allowed to spend in the home on a showing. Many

homes are currently only allowing a maximum of 15 minutes, and they can’t

overlap. That is not a lot of time to decide if youre so in love with a home that is

is “the one”

4. Limited Availability

It’s no secret that inventory of available homes are at record low levels.

While many people are looking to move, listings levels are nowhere sufficient

enough to meet the demand.

5. Scheduling conflicts

With no overlapping showings, and time limited availability that makes it

even harder to schedule viewing multiple homes in one day. Finding available

time slots that line up according to drive time between showings can be tricky!

6. Offer deadlines

With inventory levels being so low, sellers are frequently setting offer

deadlines of 48-72 hours after hitting the market. This puts a premium

on being able to see a home, and write an offer within a brief timetable.

As a buyer you must act quick, and your agent must be accessible and a

great communicator!

7. Low Interest rates

The government has kept mortgage interest rates at near record low

levels throughout most of 2020. There are tons of qualified buyers out

there that are eager to improve their quality of lifestyle and purchase a

new home. Couple low interest rates with limited inventory and you

begin to see why we are in such a hot sellers market.

8. Multiple offer situations and bidding wars

While multiple offer situations and bidding wars are not a new result of

COVID-19, they have become even more commonplace. How do you

make your offer stand out in a pile of 20+ offers? You need to have an

agent that knows how to put together a complete offer package that

really shines! There are many factors other than just an offer price that

can help a seller pick your offer over all the rest.

This may sound like buying a home right now could be tricky, and I'll be honest it can

be. But, with the right agent working for you it is going to be a lot easier to get into a

new home in 2021 and start building long term wealth with Real Estate.

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