Due to the escalating crisis, a lot of our clients are concerned about the real estate market. This includes all the people who have recently bought or sold property and are waiting to move into their new home, and those who were planning on buying or selling this year. We’ve compiled a few tips for both.
If you're planning to put your home on the market when the lockdown is over, use this time to tackle all those DIY jobs you've been putting off, such as decorating and gardening to make sure your property is looking pristine. Hardware stores are still open, and we encourage you to maintain CDC health guidelines. Whenever possible, call and order ahead for fast pickup.
As always, we advise our sellers to de-clutter your home; clean and box up everything you will want to take with you, but aren’t currently using. Bag up your donation items and hold until Governor Hogan allows donation centers to reopen.
“Depending on your area, we encourage you to prepare and organize your donations until your local Goodwill reopens. Information on when your local Goodwill will reopen will be communicated through its website, social media or other communications. Your donations are vital to Goodwill’s mission of helping people find jobs and we appreciate your generosity. We ask that you continue to hold your donations until we can re-open. Leaving your donations at a closed store will force us to dispose of them, impacting our ability to be the best stewards of your donations and decreases resources available to support the communities we serve.” – Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Inc.
We continue to operate as normally as possible, monitoring what is selling in your area and comparable homes that have come on the market. We will be ready to list when you are. Our photographer is following CDC guidelines and asks that your home be in photo-ready condition, with all lights on when she arrives, so that she does not have to touch any surfaces. We ask that you not be in the home when she is there.
Do as much online research as possible, so you have a clear path forward. Check out the local market and review sold property prices. Don't wait to begin conversations with agents. Talk to them on the phone now to let them know what you're looking for. From similar conversations with sellers, agents may have a pretty good idea of what properties are going to hit the market when things normalize.
Create a spreadsheet of everyone you need to notify regarding a change of address and prepare letters or emails to be sent at the appropriate time.
Securing a Mortgage
It's more important than ever to ensure your financial affairs are in order and that you secure a mortgage offer in principle before you begin house hunting. Be aware there could be delays to new loan applications as lenders focus on delivering payment holidays for existing borrowers.
Be prepared to provide evidence of job security, something banks will be checking even more closely than usual.
If you already have a mortgage offer in place, speak to your lender to check that the offer is still valid and that the level of borrowing you're taking on remains manageable if your job situation has changed.
The Whit Harvey Group is here to help. Let us know if you’d like us to set up a property search so that you know as soon as properties in your search parameters become available. Over 90% of buyers begin their search online – now is a perfect time to sit in front of your computer and see what's out there!
Stay safe and wash your hands!