Buying a home during the COVID-19 pandemic
Trying to buy a house or business location during a pandemic is anything but easy. While people are fending off the worst of the epidemic with social distancing and only going out for essentials, it’s easy to think that buying a home right now is impossible. Lucky for potential homeowners, real estate agents have been deemed essential workers so that dream is still a possibility.
Since the beginning of the pandemic home purchases have dropped by over half. Numbers were 759 at the beginning of March in Toronto and declined to 299 within the remaining weeks till the end of the month. This information was recorded by Konfidis Brokerage.
Don’t let the drop in numbers make you feel like you won’t be able to close on a house or get a tour simply because of everything going on. Virtual tours and electronic signatures can be just as real without the risk of contracting or spreading the virus. While virtual tours have been around for years it has not been widely used until now. It is currently the easiest and safest way to explore a house, and then purchase it. Digitally signing papers is also the more efficient way. It is easier to keep on file and has the potential to make the buying process quicker.
There is also no reason to be concerned that you may purchase a home in bad condition; or that you may purchase one that needs a little work that you are untold about. Having a Home Inspector ready to assess your potential home when you are is a good investment. They are still in operation currently. Key Home Inspections Enio Ferry states that home inspections are down by 50 to 70 percent at this current time. Home inspections protect the buyer from all these potential and hidden problems the home may have.
What home inspections do currently is gather the history of the resident’s health, travel records, and any other information they need. To ensure their safety, and the safety of those who live in the home they are visiting, home inspections go all out. They get all decked out in hazmat suits, masks with respirators, and latex gloves. This way they know for sure that no contamination takes place.
Due to the pandemic there are also factors of uncertainty. There are lawyers that oversee the process and make sure it all goes well. They also oversee the transfer of funds and the exchange of the keys between the seller and buyer. However, with the current regulations in place protecting renters from eviction if there is failure to pay rent, tenants may not move and may refuse to attempt to do so. This would keep the buyer from being able to do anything with their new property legally.
Either way, electronic transactions, tours, and signatures make buying a home right now still very possible. It is up to the buyer to decide if the right time is now.