SERIES: Home Buying in the Age of Coronavirus III
Stephens Real Estate is here to help you navigate this confusing time in real estate. We are sharing portions of the national realtor.com series, "Home Buying in the Age of Coronavirus," and adding local details specific to the Lawrence market.
Is It Safe To House Hunt During the Coronavirus Crisis?
In the best of times, shopping for a house is a complicated and involved process. But, of course, these are not the best of times. Now that the coronavirus pandemic has folks in Lawrence and across the country trying to limit their exposure levels, even the most determined home buyer might be wondering: Is it safe to shop for a house right now?
While risk is a personal decision, the real estate industry is adapting to provide ways to go about home buying safely. You can now do many things at a safe social distance, or even remotely, that you may not have considered doing in the past.
When it comes to buying a home, pairing up with the right agent is always key to finding your perfect property. Now more than ever, you need one who is comfortable with technology and able to conduct meetings and business online
Stephens Real Estate broker Pat McCandless says, “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we had technology in place that enabled our agents to handle transactions digitally. This spring we added video meetings, ramped up virtual tours, and worked with industry partners to ensure that buyers and sellers could still accomplish their goals. We have re-opened our office, but the Stephens support team has the technology in place to work from home if need be. They are prepared to help our agents and their clients from start to finish. We embrace technology and have developed some systems as a result of the pandemic that we will keep in place moving forward.”
There are several ways to virtually tour a home. Along with photos, many listings already included videos or virtual reality tours. However, these videos are filmed and edited, so you may not be able to see every nook and cranny. Oliver Minnis of Stephens Real Estate says, “If you’re not comfortable viewing a home in person, but you want to check every detail like cabinets, closets, and storage spaces, talk to your agent. Stephens agents are taking precautions and working with buyers to accommodate safety concerns while still helping them conduct a thorough home search.”
Granted, we're not saying you should buy a house without seeing it in person unless there's no choice in the matter. Nonetheless, it's smart to do what you can remotely, so you can choose what's worth an in-person visit, now or later
Your Stephens agent can also connect you with local lenders who worked quickly at the start of stay-home guidelines to create solutions for buyers.
Ashley Zeller of Bank Midwest in Lawrence says, “I recommend talking to your lender even before you start searching for a new home. Bank Midwest has put lots of new measures in place to minimize exposure to COVID-19. We can start by talking over the phone or by video chat to discuss what’s going on in the current market, and how to navigate the whole loan process safely.”
Your Stephens agent will help you find solutions to minimize possible exposure to the coronavirus during your home search. They can also connect you with industry partners, such as appraisers and inspectors, who are prepared to assist you in completing your home purchase safely and successfully.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed many things, but determination and hope for better days remain. We’ve all discovered how important home truly is. And we’ve found that we still need to dream. A new home is part of the dream for many people, so the real estate industry has taken great steps to keep people safe as we all figure out how to keep moving forward.
Portions of content from realtor.com, written by Margaret Heidenry