With the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in social distancing orders in many states, this is a tough time to shop for real estate. Maybe you had just started to shop when the virus hit the United States, or perhaps you've been shopping for a while and are distressed by the fact that your plans are now on hold once again. In either case, you don't have to just sit there and do nothing. Here are some tips to help you find homes for sale and continue with your shopping process while social distancing orders are in effect.
1. Drive around and look for signs.
You can't always tell as much as you would like about a home from the ad on the internet. If the social distancing orders in your area allow for it, a better way to shop for real estate right now might be to actually get in the car and drive around looking for signs — like people used to do 20 years ago! You don't have to have contact with anyone as you don't even need to get out of the car. You can visit just the neighborhoods you want to live in, too, rather than falling in love with pictures of a home online only to then learn it's not in a location where you'd want to live.
2. Ask real estate agents to give you virtual tours.
In many states, real estate agents are not considered essential personnel, and thus, they are not showing homes at this time. However, they are likely permitted to continue with any part of their job that they can do all alone without any human interaction. That could include taking you on a video tour of homes you are interested in. They could walk through the home with a camera, and you could watch on a screen. People who buy homes out-of-state buy off of video tours quite often, so this could be a good strategy if you really need to buy before the virus crisis is over.
3. Reach out to all professionals before pursuing the purchase.
In order to close on a home, you need to have a real estate agent, a lawyer, and a bank working with you. If one of these people is not able to work due to social distancing restrictions, the sale won't go through. So before you start seriously shopping, call all three people and make sure they're working, and that they are able to work remotely. This saves you from spending a lot of time looking at homes only to have the sale fall through due to restrictions.
Social distancing orders have made shopping for a home a lot harder, but with the tips above, you can at least attempt to move forward.
To learn more about buying homes for sale during a pandemic, contact a real estate agent in your area.