These are uncertain times, which is why it is more important than ever to work with a buyer’s agent you trust who has your best interests in mind. Due to the current pandemic and the statewide “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, we’ve all had to pivot from our usual routines and that includes how we buy homes and conduct business.
Current Real Estate Guidelines
Right now Governor Inslee’s order for Washington state requires that the following protocols are strictly followed for permitted in-person real estate activities:
In-person activities must be by appointment only.
No more than two people, including the broker, may be at the property at any one time.
Those two persons must strictly follow social distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by remaining at least six feet apart at all times.
9 Tips for Home Buyers
Buying a home can be exciting and stressful, even in the best of times. Adding a global pandemic to the equation can cause added stress and understandable concern. There are situations, however, when the show (or sale) must go on. Here are my tips to set you up for success when purchasing the house you’d like to call home.
Get pre-approved if you are purchasing a home with a loan because many sellers now request a preapproval letter prior to a showing. If you don’t know of a lender, I’m happy to recommend a trusted advisor to guide you through the process.
If you’re a cash buyer, it’s important to get your documentation verification of funds ready so that a potential buyer can see it.
Stay home and surf…the housing market that is. Now more than ever, listing agents are doing all they can to allow buyers to “virtually tour” homes safely.
Get really clear on your parameters. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Is a yard important or do you want low maintenance? Is it essential you’re close to town and conveniences or do you want privacy?
Choose a buyer’s agent who listens and really understands your bottom line. Be transparent. They are on your team.
If you’ve decided that physically touring homes at this time is not an option for you, but you need to buy a home, ask your agent to do a video call with you. They can walk you through the homes of your choice to help you decide. And, while virtual tours are great, an additional video call allows you to stop and ask them questions throughout the tour.
If you are able to tour homes in person, narrow your search to homes that are REAL possibilities. It’s not time to be a “looky-loo”. Be aware that sellers may ask that you take additional precautions to keep their home clean and as germ-free as possible. Wear surgical gloves, a mask, and practice social distancing.
Trust your agent! With their finger on the pulse of the market, they are there to inform and guide you. They’ve spent years building relationships with other brokers in their community. Often, they are the reason buyers are able to purchase the home of their choice.
Once you achieve mutual acceptance, your agent will help you through to a successful closing. This includes recommending service providers, movers, designers, etc.
Buying a house is still an exciting process but there are a lot of variables in the mix right now. So call up your agent and get their input. Most importantly be patient with yourself, others, and your broker. We are all in this together and this too shall pass!