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How COVID-19 Has Changed The Buying Process

05/17/21

There’s no question that during the past year, COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of our lives—including when it comes to the buying process.

Covid Has Posed a Challenging Time for Real Estate, but I’m Always Up for a Challenge.


There’s no question that during the past year, COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of our lives—including when it comes to the buying process. It has definitely been a challenging time learning how to adjust to the new normal.
 
Lucky for you, my team and I are up for this challenge and have adapted our methods to keep the buying and process going while still being safe. I’m here to share some of the ways that COVID has changed the buying process and how we’ve adjusted in response. 
 

1. Requiring Appointments 


The National Association of Realtors released a guide to assist realtors during this uncertain time. One of their recommendations is to require appointments in lieu of open houses.
 
Since the start of COVID, open houses have been put on hold. But we haven’t let that stop us from helping you find your dream home!
 
Instead, we’ve readjusted and now require appointments to see listings. Requiring appointments helps ensure that groups won’t overlap. It also enables us to show you listings while still taking every measure to ensure our safety. It’s a win-win for both of us!
 
When it comes to making appointments, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind. First, be sure to make your appointments early. You know how the saying goes: the early bird gets the worm. That cliche applies to the buying process, too. Many properties are booking up quickly, so you’ll want to make sure to act fast. If you’re planning on seeing a house, make sure you schedule the appointment the day it comes on the market so you’ll be guaranteed a spot. You can even set a reminder on your phone, so you don’t forget.
 


2. Limiting People During Viewing 


Another way we’ve adapted to these uncertain times is by limiting people during viewings. We want to make sure that we keep up with the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing and take every measure to keep ourselves and our clients safe. Your safety is of utmost importance to me!

The second thing to keep in mind when scheduling appointments is to make enough appointments. This is also important! No more than two people from the same household, plus one agent, can be in the home at any given time. All that to say—if you have a large group of people who need to see the house, make sure to book multiple appointments! This is the way to ensure that everyone has a chance to see the house. Remember, no more than two people at a time. Again, this is an extra step I am taking to ensure that we are staying as safe as possible.

3. New Coronavirus Listing Addendum 


On that note, there is a new coronavirus listing addendum that allows sellers to set the showing rules. To be more specific, one of the options is requiring that buyers must provide proof of financing. One of the others is that a buyer must certify that they have viewed the property information online before their visit. This can include video tours, floor plans, disclosures, etc.
 

4. Have Your Proof of Funds and Pre-Approval Ready

 
The pandemic is still ongoing, so it’s more important than ever to have your pre-approval in hand before you start shopping. Some sellers now ask that all potential buyers have their financing lined up before they view the home to lower their exposure risk.
 
If you’re a first-time homebuyer, this step can often be intimidating. If that’s you, don’t worry—I’m here to break down what this means and walk you through the necessary steps.
 
Once you’re ready to throw your hat in the real estate ring, it’s critical that you have all the necessary paperwork lined up. This includes the mortgage pre-approval and proof of funds. Now, what exactly is a mortgage pre-approval? This boring-sounding term is essentially a letter from a lender stating the loan amount for which you’ve been approved. It’s as simple as that!
 
This letter serves as proof of your financial ability to purchase the home, so you can understand why this is important to get in order beforehand. The pre-approval letter will typically contain your name, issue date, the loan amount you qualify for, the name of the lender, and the lender’s NMLS number.
 
And what is proof of funds? This refers to documents that show the seller that you have the liquid funds available to cover the cost associated with purchasing a home. This might be a statement of accounts from your bank statement, an open equity line of credit, or a copy of a money market account balance. Proof of funds documents typically require your name, issue date, name of the financial institution, and the amount that’s currently available.
 
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! Remember, there are no dumb questions. It’s my job to help you navigate this process, and I will assist you in determining which documents will work best. We’re in this together!
 


5. Don’t Wait! 


Once you’ve decided you want to make an offer, it’s always a good idea to assume you’re not the only one. There’s a good chance many others have decided to make an offer as well. In a hot market, you’ll most likely have one or two days to submit your offer after viewing a home. Speed is the name of the game when it comes to real estate! Don’t forget to check with the seller’s agent to see what the offer deadline is. This will help ensure you submit yours promptly. As we’ve said before, try not to get your hopes up, no matter how hard that might be.
 

6. Find a Good Real Estate Agent


Now, you’ve probably gleaned that navigating the housing market can be challenging. But it can be especially hard during an ongoing pandemic with a red hot housing market or if it’s your first time buying. That’s why it’s more important than ever that you have a good and trustworthy real estate agent who can help you navigate this challenging time. Thankfully, I’m here to help you find the perfect place for you! But before we get into why I’m the right real estate agent for you, let’s talk about why it’s helpful to hire a real estate agent.
 
There are a variety of reasons you shouldn't underestimate the importance of this step. First, a real estate agent has in-depth knowledge of the market. A qualified real estate agent will also have access to home listings and sales data, which allows them to recommend realistic prices to you as the buyer. An experienced agent will be familiar with market trends over long periods.
 
Second, agents work with many other real estate professionals you might need to call upon. This might include mortgage consultants, home inspectors, title companies, and more. If complications arise during the home buying process, your agent can easily recommend the best professional help for your specific situation. Here are some more top reasons to hire a real estate agent.
 
As someone born and raised in the Bay Area, I have first-hand knowledge of this part of the state. My love for real estate first ignited as a child. Whether it was attending open houses or studying architecture, I’ve developed an interest in every angle of real estate. It’s my priority to make the home buying process as simple and straightforward for you as possible.
 
Regardless of whether you’re buying or selling, I will be there every step of the way to guide you through this process. When expected instances arise (such as a pandemic), I’ve learned to adjust, adapt, and carry on. Whether it’s by phone, email, or through my website, you’ve got a variety of ways to get a hold of me. Here are some easy ways for us to connect! 
 


7. Be Patient!


I know that you're eager to take the leap and make the move, but buying a home often requires time and, yes, patience. This step can be especially frustrating, but it’s an integral part of navigating this extremely hot housing market. There’s a lot of demand for housing right now, which means it can take a little while to find the right place for you. And, pandemic or not, sometimes finding the right place takes some time. According to the National Association of Realtors, buyers typically search for eight weeks and look at a median of nine homes before buying one. All that to say—patience is key. And yes, that’s hard for me to accept as well! Patience ensures you won’t rush into a house that isn’t the right fit for you or get your hopes up. 

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started.

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Kalena utilizes the latest technology and market research to make your home buying experience smoother than you could imagine. Most importantly, she listens to what you need and wants in your new home and new neighborhood, making sure that you get the perfect fit.

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