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The traditional real estate transaction is a process that consists of multiple in-person meetings and an abundance of paperwork. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S, real estate businesses are transitioning from traditional methods to a wide variety of digital technologies to support social distancing. 

As real estate businesses continue to integrate these technologies into their everyday practices, we can expect the industry as a whole to become more technologically dependent moving forward. Here are a few examples of how real estate companies are changing their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic to accommodate both buyers and sellers. 

Virtual 3D Home Tours 

American homebuyers have been reliant on virtual 3D home tours since the outbreak of COVID-19 in our country. By using a panoramic photo over a smart device, a seller, property manager, or real estate agent can upload these tours online as an alternative to in-person showings. Also, we are seeing more agents use video chat services like Zoom or FaceTime to show homes at this time.

Digital tools

A home buyer who wishes to buy a custom home in 2020 can use an interactive digital tool to help them with that entire process. With the help of one of these tools, a buyer can design a home and with mapping applications, can see how it would look once constructed in the neighborhood. Many of these digital tools even allow the customer to follow along with the construction of the home as it is being built.

Alternative appraisal methods

Many appraisers today are using online data and public information to formulate values on homes as a means to support social distancing.

Remote online notarization

How does a buyer close on a home when many documents require in-person notarization? Because COVID-19 is causing people to remain at home, some states, like Maryland, have adopted remote online notarization (RON) in response to the virus. While it is not currently legal in every state, other states may also adopt RON over time.

 

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Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S, many Americans are under the misconception that the real estate market is in poor standing. However, this is not the case as we have seen appreciation since last year. With interest rates currently low, there are many Americas who still want to buy homes this spring. Because there continues to be a demand for homes, real estate agents are needing to adjust their day-to-day operations to interact with prospective clients and market home listings.

Many real estate companies are turning their efforts to digital technologies to connect with buyers and sellers. There has been a significant increase in the number of virtual tours for prospective homebuyers as an alternative to in person home showings. Vitual tours are beneficial because they are time savers, they help buyers narrow their home search, and they support the concept of social distancing. We are also seeing more agents conduct virtual closings where e-notarizations can be used to also limit the amount of in-person contact throughout a real estate transaction.

If you are planning on buying a home in 2020, there are some steps you want to take to ensure you put yourself in the best position possible. One of the best steps a homebuyer can take is to get pre-approved. The main benefit of doing so is that it expedites the buying process because a preapproved homebuyer knows how much of a mortgage they can qualify for. Also, preapproved buyers are more favorable to sellers because they know they are serious buyers.

Another significant step in the home buying process is finding the right real estate agent to help you search the market for your next home. This individual should have your best interests at heart and want to match you with a home that meets your needs. If you intend to buy a home this year, do not be afraid to speak to a few agents before choosing the right person.

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Do you plan on buying a home in 2020? Despite the ongoing market fluctuations caused by COVID-19 in the U.S., interest rates remain at historic lows, encouraging people to continue with their home search. One of the best steps a homebuyer can make is to hire an experienced realtor to assist with all stages of the homebuying process. Continue reading to discover a few examples of how working with a realtor can support you in your home buying journey.

A realtor will help you search for the right home.

An experienced realtor will help you to narrow down your home search by asking you targeted questions to determine what exactly you are looking for in your next home. While finding the right home can sometimes be overwhelming, a realtor can direct you towards properties that are right for you and your needs, such as school districts, location, and number of bedrooms.

A realtor can help you to get pre-approved for a loan.

One of the most significant steps in the homebuying process is getting preapproved for a loan. By having an experienced realtor in your corner, you also gain access to large networks of lenders who can help you become approved for a mortgage. 

A realtor can guide you through negotiations.

Negotiating is an especially challenging step in the homebuying process. An experienced realtor can help to guide you through the negotiation process with advice on questions to ask and important next steps on moving forward with an offer.

 

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Do you plan on buying a home in 2020? The concept of buying a home can be rather daunting for a lot of people. This major purchase has many steps along the way. Due to the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S, many buyers are also wondering what steps they can take to better position themselves for purchasing a home while being self-quarantined. Continue reading and discover a few important steps homebuyers can take to prepare for buying a home while practicing social distancing

Gather all necessary documentation.

The mortgage application process requires a lot of documentation. The good news, however, is that most of the documents can be gathered/completed prior to your home search. Some of which include residency history, pay stubs, pre-approval documentation, employment history, copies of statements for 401ks, CDs, etc. 

Get preapproved.

One of the best steps a buyer can do is to get preapproved for a mortgage before beginning their home search. A preapproved buyer can act quickly on homes that just hit the market. If you are not preapproved you could potentially miss out on homes that may be excellent matches for you. Another major advantage of getting preapproved is that you know how much you have to spend. Once you receive a preapproval letter from the lender, you will know your exact price range. This will help you narrow down your search to homes that fall within your budget. 

Choose your realtor.

An experienced realtor will be able to guide you throughout all stages of the homebuying process. Not only will they be able to answer any questions you may have, but they can provide you with their own expertise. Be sure to reach out and speak with a few different realtors.  You want to have a list of questions ready so you can find the right person to represent you throughout your home search.

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Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S, many buyers and sellers are concerned about the current state of the housing market this spring. However, many real estate markets remain in excellent standing this year. With many states now firmly enforcing varying degrees of quarantine, real estate agents are changing the way they interact with clients and market their listings. As a result of these changes, various types of virtual walkthroughs are viable alternatives at this time.

(The following information was recently gathered from MLS Snapshots around different parts of the country).

People are still listing their homes on the market. 

Alaska: 184 New Listings

Charlotte: 201 New Listings

Miami: 287 New Listings

Maryland/Virginia/Delaware 4189 New Listings

New Orleans: 133 New Listings

NW Arkansas 151 New Listings

Palm Beach: 282 New Listings


Because home interest rates are historically low, people are still buying homes during this time of social distancing. A major drop in demand to shift the positive outlook of the housing market as we progress into the heart of the buying season. 

Alaska: 140 Sold

Charlotte: 234 Sold

Miami: 270 Sold

Maryland/Virginia/Delaware: 5121 Sold

New Orleans: 113 Sold

NW Arkansas: 121 Sold

Palm Beach: 262 Sold

Although U.S homebuyers and sellers are rethinking their real estate plans due to COVID-19, there continues to be a strong demand for buying and selling homes.

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While periods of self quarantine are quickly becoming a new reality for people around the world, many individuals are using this new lifestyle of social distancing as an opportunity to complete projects within the safety of their home. As a result of these precautions surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic, we can also expect the completion of such projects to increase the resale value of prospective properties for the market in late 2020 and early 2021. 

Cosmetic Updates

With so many homeowners now staying home and avoiding large gatherings, simple cosmetic updates serve as both an enjoyable pastime and a project completion period for many individuals. Projects such as interior painting, wallpaper removal, and flooring updates provide quarantined homeowners with a productive ongoing project while also increasing the value of their home. 

Landscaping Projects

Many homeowners are now relying on their yards and garages as an outdoor escape from their newly established solitude inside of their homes. Landscaping projects such as garden maintenance, deck repairs, and hardscaping can help to boost curb appeal for potential buyers while providing current homeowners with much needed time outdoors this spring.  

Decluttering and Organization

In addition to cosmetic updates and landscaping projects, homeowners can also invest their quarantine time into decluttering and organizing various spaces within their home. Spaces such as garages, living rooms, and bedroom closets can provide isolated homeowners with a productive pastime that will also contribute to their staging process for future selling. 

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