With the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and related mandates, many consumers are naturally apprehensive about making the important decision of selling their homes.
There are plenty of reasons to continue with these plans, however, and even to purchase a new home, while following recommended health and safety protocols.
Recent market trends include record-low interest rates and financing options, competitive pricing, and increased enthusiasm among younger, first-time buyers.
The following tips, tech upgrades and guidelines help ensure a safe, productive selling process.
Low interest and mortgage rates are a deciding factor for many potential home sellers and buyers. According to government-backed secondary mortgage lender Freddie Mac, as of mid-November 2020, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages are holding at 2.72%.
An uptick in consumer housing confidence is another enticing reason. While reflecting some concern among those surveyed regarding personal finances and employment, the October 2020 Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index reports a “more optimistic view of both homebuying and home-selling conditions, in addition to expecting mortgage rate declines.”
With regularly changing economic and health circumstances, it’s best to take advantage of these current market trends. Waiting to sell even just a few months from now could mean the difference between achieving the best mortgage rates, financing options, and price for your home.
Health & Safety Precautions
At the height of the pandemic’s first wave in April, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security classified the real estate industry as “essential,” signifying its economic importance. New York agreed, through set specific rules for the sector, including virtual showings for residential and commercial properties. Currently, the purchasing and selling process can continue with adherence to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) social distancing guidance and associated procedures.
According to the nonprofit National Association of Realtors (NAR), several preventative measures must be taken before, during, and following in-person open houses or showings.
- 10-Person Limit Within the Home
- Social Distancing of 6 Feet or More
- Face Coverings & Other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Frequent Handwashing and/or Hand Sanitizer Usage
For additional information and best practices, it’s best to consult CDC-mandated guidelines and your mortgage lender.
Virtual Tours & Other Technologies
Similar to other industries, COVID-19 precautions have prompted increased digital marketing components.
Many realtors and mortgage lenders host remote showings to highlight a home’s best assets. Similar to a virtual meeting, would-be buyers can tour the property through interactive video platforms, social media posts, and other video conferencing applications.
3D technology, video chats, virtual tours, and live streams help simulate in-person experiences.
While the aforementioned technologies can assist with listing, showing and selling your home, certain financial and lending processes can also be conducted via video conferences and other online mediums.
- Seller & Buyer Attorney Negotiations
- Title Insurance, Appraisal & Inspection Discussions
- Mortgage Approvals
- Document Notarizations
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) this month extended additional COVID-19-related loan flexibilities through 2020 to include alternative appraisals, income and employment documentation, and power of attorney expansion.
Regardless of your decision, consult your mortgage lender for assistance with a safe, streamlined process.
The Final Decision
When weighing the pros and cons of selling your home, it’s best to review current housing market trends, such as low interest rates, additional financing opportunities, and proper COVID-19 precautionary measures.