How the Real Estate Market Has Adapted During COVID-19
It's no secret the world has been rapidly changing thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, top real estate agents were up to the task and quickly adapted to the new world standards during COVID-19. If you were headed into 2020 raring to dip your toes in the real estate market, then you'll be excited to hear that the real estate market is still ready for you!
Selling and buying from the comfort of home
While in-person showings are no longer recommended - though they are still very possible - virtual showings are now taking over the industry. Sellers, there's no need to be overwhelmed if you feel as though you're not as tech savvy as some. It's easy to take videos and photos right from your Smartphone, and you can even have these enhanced and edited by a professional photographer afterwards.
Real estate agents believe live streamed virtual open houses are the best alternative to the traditional in-person open house. They allow for far better engagement with the audience, grant buyers autonomy to ask questions, and give sellers a better opportunity to sell their home.
If you're a seller, remember that staging your home is still an important step even in virtual tours, so get to work decluttering and cleaning. While some might have plenty of time on their hands during COVID-19, others might not have the time to set the stage in every single room. According to top real estate agents, the master bedroom, kitchen, and living room need the most attention.
Understanding alternative appraisals
So you're understandably worried about letting strangers into your home during the appraisal process? Thankfully, the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FDHA) has relaxed its standards for appraisals. Following proper social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, on-site inspections with an appraiser will no longer be mandatory. Instead, the FDHA has provided two alternatives: desktop and hybrid appraisals.
Don't worry - your appraiser will still be doing plenty of research and market analysis to determine a proper value for your home, but the appraiser won't need to step foot inside your home to do so.
Lock in your interest rate now
When the Federal Reserve rate dropped to nearly zero in mid March, both good news and bad news resulted. The good news? If you're ready to buy, you could receive an abnormally low interest rate for your loan. The bad news? The loans have become increasingly harder to secure, as some lenders are increasing their standards for these loans and requiring higher credit scores than normal.
While you might feel as though you're jumping through more hoops than normal to secure a loan - the desirable rate is certainly worth the effort. Make sure your employment status, credit score, and savings are in impeccable shape to protect yourself from changing standards, or simply talk to your real estate agent to see what other lending options are available for you - as there are many to choose from!