How to Safely Shop for A Home During COVID
Even though it can be scary to be out and about these days, there are many ways to keep yourself safe from COVID when shopping for a new home. While current mortgage rates make it a great time to buy your new home, it is important to remember these few tips to stay safe.
Wear A Mask and Gloves
Wearing a mask and gloves are your ultimate protection when going and looking at homes. It is not always certain how disinfected a person’s home may be, so it is best to take precautions. Have your agent open the doors for you and turn on the lights in order to limit the amount of contact you have with things throughout the house. It is mandatory by the state for real estate agents to require people to wear masks when visiting homes; therefore, wearing a mask is necessary. If you do not have any gloves or rather not wear any, no problem! Just make sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after your visit so you can stay safe.
Limit the Size of Your Party
When going to view a home, it is best to limit the size of your party. You will already be viewing the house with an agent so if possible, try to limit your party to 2-3 people. By doing this, you can reduce the amount of contact your friends/family have with the home and it can also reduce the possible spread of any virus.
Ask for Alternative Methods of Viewing the Home
Still don’t feel comfortable seeing the home with your agent or in person? Good thing there exist plenty of alternative methods for viewing a home.
One way you can go about viewing a home is by asking your agent to prepare the home for you. The agent can go early, turn off all the lights, open all doors, and then close everything up after you leave so that you do not have to have much contact with the home or another person.
Another great way to view a house is through virtual services. A lot of homes now offer a 3-D and/or virtual tour you can access. You can also ask your agent to take a video or facetime you while they walk through the home. Some agents even have full-on video tours that they can provide. Feel free to ask for an alternative method when viewing a house – safety comes first!
Be Ready for Delays!
While you are still able to buy a house and have great opportunities in the market, there may be some delays in the process. Home appraisals are taking longer due to the large number of people refinancing their homes. Their work has increased due to low-interest rates. Also, inspections are taking a little longer now, but only by one or two days. Overall, closings have extended from an average of 30-35 days to 40-45 days.
In all, even though the virus has completely changed our world and how we function, there are plenty of ways to continue searching for your new home, safely. There are great deals and lots of new construction on the market – happy (safe) shopping!