The coronavirus has already changed the real estate market in Texas and across the U.S. in remarkable ways. In fact, the latest data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) show that the pandemic has significantly altered the behaviors and needs of:
- Buyers: About 73% of NAR members have seen buyer interest decline since the coronavirus outbreak, and nearly 60% say their buyers expect lower home prices during the pandemic. During the first week of May 2020, nearly 1 in 5 NAR members reported selling a home to a buyer who had only toured it virtually (and not in person). Also, NAR members say that buyers have become far more interested in suburban areas, home offices, yards, and extra personal space.
- Sellers: More than half of NAR members say sellers are putting off listing their homes. While about 73% report that sellers are not lowering home prices to draw in buyers, nearly 90% say that sellers have made changes to how they’re showing their homes, like not holding traditional opening houses or requiring visitors to take certain precautions.
While more changes may be on the horizon, it’s not impossible to buy or sell a home right now. In fact, there’s good news for buyers and sellers:
- Buyers can benefit from the low interest rates
- Sellers can benefit from the low inventories.
- Both can actually save money if they’re open to making some changes to how these processes usually happen.
5 Ways Save Money When Buying & Selling Homes During the Coronavirus Pandemic
To save time, money, and headaches when buying and selling a home during the pandemic, use these essential tips.
1. Be open to virtual showings.
Take advantage of technology, like FaceTime or video conferencing software, to show your home or view homes on the market. This can eliminate the extra planning, work, and risks associated with open houses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When you’re a buyer checking out a home virtually, prepare questions ahead of time. Think about the features you want to see, and don’t be afraid to ask for a demonstration or test of appliances, lighting, etc. during the tour.
When you’re a seller showing a home virtually, practice giving a virtual tour to a friend or relative. Think about how you can emphasize things like the size of a space, natural light, overall layout, notable upgrades, and more.
2. Figure out financing ahead of time.
When you’re a buyer, shop for lenders before you start looking at homes. If you’re preapproved with a lender, you’ll know your budget, and your offers may be taken more seriously by sellers (when compared to offers made by buyers who have yet to be approved for financing).
When you’re a seller, it may help knowing some flexible local lenders so that you can point prospective buyers in that direction, if needed. Also, consider whether you’d be open to alternative financing options, like owner financing (also known as seller financing).
When you’re buying and selling at the same time, figure out whether it’s better for your buy or sell first (because it’s not easy to line everything up for simultaneous closings). Some things to consider include whether you:
- Need the money from the sale of your home to buy your next home
- Want or can afford to move into a temporary home between the sale of your current home and the purchase of your next home
- Can afford to carry two mortgages and, if so, for how long
3. Expect closings to take longer.
Regardless of whether you’re buying or selling, closings during the pandemic typically take longer. Some reasons include that backlogs, office closures, social distancing rules, and more can make it far more challenging to:
- Obtain required permits
- Get inspections and appraisals
- Meet with other parties in the same room to review, revise, and/or sign the necessary paperwork
4. Have a backup plan.
While it’s very possible for buyers and sellers to make lemonade out of the lemons served up by COVID-19, no sale or purchase is 100% certain until the deal’s done.
So, regardless of whether you’re buying and/or selling a home during the pandemic, know what your plan B is. If the unexpected happens, the right plan B can save you a lot of money, time, and stress while you wait for the next buyer or house to come your way.
5. Work with an experienced Realtor®.
From listings and showings to negotiations, paperwork, and closings, a Realtor® can help you every step of the way.
When you work with the experienced Realtors® at New Home Gurus, you’ll get expert guidance and half of the commission from the purchase or sale of your new home.
Buyers & Sellers Who Work with New Home Gurus
Can Expect an Average of $4,500 to $12,000 After Closing
Find Out How Much Cash Back You’ll Get at Closing
Call (281) 668-8124
We work closely with home buyers and sellers, providing support and advice to help successfully close deals while putting money back in their pockets. Our gurus are ready to answer your questions and tell you more about our commission-sharing program.