Home Buying & Home Selling During COVID-19

The Real Estate community and homeowners have many questions about home buying and home selling during COVID-19 or Coronavirus. We wanted to take a moment to share practices on Home buying and selling during the Coronavirus Pandemic. What we can and cannot do to help you with your real estate needs at this time.

Social Distancing

The Modern Living Home Team is following social distancing and shelter in place policies. We are leaving home office for essential activities only. We value our family, clients, and friends lives and are focused on doing everything to limit exposure to any person.  Currently counties in North Carolina are making independent decisions to determine if Real Estate is considered essential activity. We can only assist clients in counties allowing home showing activities. As this is changing daily, please contact us to determine if your county is eligible.

For home buyers or home sellers that have an immediate need to move or sell that cannot be postponed, we will offer our real estate services in counties that include real estate as an essential business.  We have excellent technology resources that we will use to limit exposure to both home buyers and sellers.

The TMLS had 1097 homes go under contract the 4th week of February and this week alone 1259 went under contract. This tells us there are home buyers actively looking and buying right now.

Home Buying During Cornavirus Pandemic – COVID-19

Each person must make a decision of the risk associated with looking for a home during the Coronavirus Pandemic. We all hope a vaccine or cure will be available soon. If your circumstances require you to find a home immediately, below are a few procedures that can reduce exposure we will use.

  • New Home Questionnaire:  We have a custom new home questionnaire that will allow us to ask you questions and narrow down your MUST HAVES in a home.  Using this information, we will send you listings electronically that meet your criteria.  After, you have reviewed and marked some your favorites, we can discuss over the phone over video chat more about the home.  As Relocation Specialist, we have used this technique with many clients.  Having years of real estate experience, we can look at pictures and point out items that might be on your NOT HAVE list.  For instance, we have a Florida client who did not want a small pantry. We easily eliminated many homes after careful review of kitchen. 
  • MLS Review of Homes:  During our phone or video call, we will also analyze room measurements and agent only notes that would impact your desire to see a home.  Prior to viewing the home, we will also research additional information that might impact if the home should be put on your view list.  The NC Property Disclosure Forms, GIS data,  and Restrictive Covenants can be viewed to see if there are known issues, confirm that the home is not in a flood zone or if there are limitations in the restrictive covenants that are not a fit for you. 
  • Review of Legal Documents: The MLTeam can conduct a buyer’s consultation via phone call or video chat.  We will send you all sample forms via email and discuss in detail all legal documents including but not limited to the Working with Realtors, Buyer’s Agency Agreement, and Offer to Purchase.  This will ensure that you are have the knowledge to make an offer when you find a home. Most importantly, the North Carolina Association of Realtors has created a COVID-19 ADDENDUM that may be attached to any Offer to Purchase to ensure Buyer or Sellers understand their rights during this time.
  • Preapproval Letters:  All buyers must have a preapproval prior to view any home. During this time and typically, it is important that only people who are ready to buy walk through the home. The seller will most likely have to wait in their car or outside while the home is being shown to home buyers.  Our lenders are telling us the rates and criteria are changing weekly, so it will be vital to maintain constant communication with your lender to see if anything may impact your ability to purchase a home. Buyers who might potentially be laid off for a short period should discuss this with their lender up front.
  • Viewing Homes:  If allowed in the county, we will take all precautionary steps in viewing homes. To reduce your exposure, we may perform a video walk through a home first. Unoccupied homes are best to view during COVID19, but even then, home buyers should use gloves or sanitize clothes to touch anything in the home.  New home builders are asking home buyers not to touch surfaces when touring a home and asking the home buyers limit the number of people viewing the homes.  We will discuss additional steps for everyone’s safety prior to showing any homes including asking about travel.  Maintaining 6 feet distance should still be a priority.
  • Buying a Home:  While things are changing daily, the MLTeam will assist with coordinating with attorneys, lenders, inspectors, and appraiser to ensure that real estate activities can be completed. Closing dates may have to extended to accommodate delays that we are experiencing in the market with stay at home orders.  Fortunately, documents related to offers can be signed online.

There are many decisions that are impacting the home buying process during COVID-19 and the MLTeam will be making decisions and advising clients based on decisions made by the NC Real Estate Commission and our Government.

Home Selling During the Cornavirus COVID-19

If you are currently living in your home, we advise only putting your home on the market if you have an immediate need to move.  We understand that there are sellers who are relocating to other states due to work and may not an option but to sell.

  • Market Analysis: We will conduct an initial CMA on your home. This will help determine your expected net proceeds. The Modern Living Team recommends you discuss with your lender to determine if you need to sell to buy your next home.  If you do not, you may want to considering buying a home first so you do not have to worry about being exposed by buyers looking at your home.
  • Video Chats: If you do need to sell to buy, we can take a video tour or meet with you to determine final steps to get your home ready for pictures. Decluttering and staging are very important.
  • Pictures: Our photographers are currently available, and they are taking extra measures when showing pictures. They do have a standard questionnaire and ask the whenever possible, sellers not be in the home. This is subject to change, but we do own a professional camera that can used.
  • Online Listing Consultation: We can conduct a listing consultation over the phone or video chat. We will discuss creative marketing ideas and legal documents so you will have the knowledge you need when you are ready to list.
  • The Modern Living Team will listen to all your needs and together come up with a listing strategy that will help get your home sold but make your health and safety a priority.

Selling AFTER the CoronaVirus COVID19

If you do not have to sell immediately, but plan to in the future, the MLTeam can help you now with the following:

  • Online Market Analysis: We can give you an initial Market Analysis of the Value of your Home. While the number may change when you are ready to go live, this will give you needed information to determine your potential net proceeds that will impact the amount of money you may put down on your next home.
  • Take a Video Tour of Your Home. Give us a video tour of your home from your phone! We can help you prioritize projects you might be able to do yourself now to have your home ready to hit the market when you are ready. 
  • Video Consultation: We can conduct a listing consultation over the phone or video chat. We will discuss creative marketing ideas and legal documents so you will have the knowledge you need when you are ready to list.

This is a very emotionally and challenging time and we are here to help as needed. Even if you just want to chat! We like many are working from home and keeping busy helps us maintain a positive outlook during this time. For the safety of our family, we will be working with buyers and sellers who have an immediate need in person but are available to work via video for all others.

If you are wanting to just browse homes for sale from a safe distance, you can set up a custom home search on our website. We love website visitors!

Find out current guidance for businesses on these sites that will impact if real estate duties can be performed. Wake County COVID-19 Site and Johnston County

Stay safe and healthy!

Can I Sell My Home During The Coronavirus COVID 19 virus Pandemic in North Carolina?

Each county is issue rules regarding Essential and Non-Essential Activities. To determine if Real Estate is considered Essential check your local counties website. Links are on our website.

Can I Buy A Home During the Coronavirus COVID 19 Pandemic in North Carolina?

Each county is issue rules regarding Essential and Non-Essential Activities. To determine if Real Estate is considered Essential check your local counties website. Links are on our website. Lenders are having qualifications change every day so it is important to check with your local lender.