Coronavirus Safety Tips for Buying or Selling a Home

Buying or selling a home can be stressful in the best of times.

Did you know that moving and buying or selling a home are considered to be some of the most stressful life events people deal with? And, that was before the coronavirus pandemic.

Like almost everything else in life, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way that we buy and sell homes in the United States. But, if you’re in the market — or about to be — you’ll be glad to know that it’s alive and well.

Although it’s too soon to really know how much of an impact COVID-19 will have on the real estate market, for now, historically low interest rates have led a lot of buyers into the market, many for the first time. While a lot of industries have pushed paused, the real estate industry remains strong.

The real estate market is still kicking, but that doesn’t mean that coronavirus hasn’t had an effect or that there aren’t any precautions you need to take in order to keep yourself safe during the process.

Staying Safe While Buying or Selling a Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic

#1. Find the right real estate agent.

Whether you’re buying or selling a home in the midst of a booming economy or during a pandemic, you always want to do so with the right real estate agent on your side. One of the most important aspects of staying safe during the coronavirus crisis is social distancing, which means limiting your contact as much as possible with others during the buying or selling process. That also means that working with a REALTOR® you can trust is absolutely essential.

Flexibility is another valuable quality in any real estate, but as things change rapidly with the coronavirus outbreak, it’s even more valuable. You need your real estate agent to be nimble and agile enough to cope with the changing market in order to get you through the process.

Find a real estate agent near you with Top Rated Local®. You’ll be able to read a REALTOR’s reviews from across a variety of verified review sites. And, with the Rating Score™, you can get a quick snapshot of how each real estate agent is ranking overall online, allowing you to quickly compare.

#2. Take advantage of virtual tours.

In the age of coronavirus, fewer buyers are opting to attend home showings in person, and even fewer sellers are hosting open houses. This is a good thing for the safety of everyone involved — the buyer, the seller, and the real estate agent — but it can be difficult for buyers to truly get a feel for a home with pictures alone.

The fact of the matter is that pictures can be misleading. Just because a home looks great in photos doesn’t mean it will look just as good in person, and most buyers need more information in order to commit to buying a home. This is where virtual tours come in.

Many real estate brokers and sellers have opted to provide buyers with digital house tours through FaceTime and other programs. In fact, Zillow has seen a 215 percent increase in the number of tours created using its software since the pandemic hit. Some brokers have even started video taping themselves touring homes.

#3. Prepare carefully for showings.

If someone is really serious about wanting to buy a home, chances are, they’re going to want to see it in person. Virtual tours are great, but they can’t replace in-person showings completely. And, luckily, by taking several precautions, buyers and sellers can stay safe during in-person showings.

Here are a few precautions sellers can take for in-person showings:

  • Limit showings to only people who are truly interested.
  • Limit the need for anyone to touch anything by keeping lights on and doors open.
  • Sanitize your home before and after showings.
  • Require that anyone coming into your home wears gloves and booties.

Here are a few precautions buyers can take for in-person showings:

  • Only request in-person showings for homes you’re seriously considering.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after seeing a home.
  • If you’re sick, do not attend a showing.
  • Refrain from touching anything while touring a home.

What to expect at closing.

Many parts of the buying or selling process can be done remotely, with about half of the states allowing notaries to do their jobs virtually. However, as of right now, in-person closings are still happening in states where notaries cannot operate digitally, but, of course, there are a few differences.

These days, in accordance with CDC guidelines, there can be a maximum of five people at a closing. Closings are often done around larger tables, as well, which allows everyone to maintain a six-foot distance from each other, and everyone has their own pen so no sharing is required.

Find the right real estate broker near you with Top Rated Local.

Whether you’re buying a home, selling a home, or both, there’s a lot on the line, especially right now. Make the situation a little less stressful by ensuring that you have the right real estate broker on your side.

Don’t settle for just any real estate agent. Ensure you’ve found the right one by doing your research with Top Rated Local. Get started today!

Buying vs. Renting Your Next Home: What to Consider

Whether you’ve finally found your new hometown or you’re ready to start a family, you have probably considered buying a house rather than finding yet another rental home. Owning property is part of the American dream, after all, but is it truly the best decision for you? It’s a big decision to make, and one that no one should take lightly. In today’s article, we’ll go over how to make an informed choice with four things you should consider before making the leap to home ownership.

Your Long-Term Plan

One of the first things you should ask yourself when considering buying a home is whether you’re ready and willing to live in the same place for several years. Buying a home is a commitment in many ways. You’re choosing a location and a mortgage payment that you’ll have to stick with for years into the future. In most places, you need to own a home for at least five years before you’ll be able to get a return on your investment by re-selling the property.

Ask yourself: are you in a stable job? A stable relationship? Rental homes offer the flexibility to move and reevaluate if your circumstances change. For example, you would have the ability to relocate within a few months to a year if you are hired for a new position in a different place. You also have the ability to downsize to a smaller space if your financial situation changes and it becomes a challenge to afford the monthly payments on your current home.

Your Finances

Depending on where you live, rent may be cheaper than a mortgage. However, it is not an investment. For some, paying rent is a waste of money when you could be building equity and paying off a property that you can claim for years into the future. On the other hand, buying a home not only requires a large down payment upfront, but it also includes the cost of maintenance and upkeep moving forward. As a homeowner, repairs will be your responsibility, whether you choose to pay for the materials and try to do it yourself or hire a expert. It’s important that you consider the big picture when weighing the costs of renting versus buying a home.

Your Time and Effort

One way you could lower the costs of homeownership is if you commit to doing as many repairs and maintenance tasks as you can by yourself. A DIY solution may be more budget-friendly, but it costs you in other ways. Ask yourself how much time and energy you have to spare. Some tasks, like mowing the lawn, may be simple, but others, like repairing leaking pipes or faulty plumbing, may require a level of expertise you simply don’t have.

If you’re not ready to tackle the responsibility of repairs and upkeep, then a rental home may be the best choice for now. You can depend on your landlord or property management company to maintain your home, and the costs are more likely than not already included in your rent. You can save money, time, and energy by choosing to delay homeownership for another year or two.

Your Dreams and Expectations

If you want the chance to design your own space, then it may be time to move on from renting real estate. You have limited options when renting — you can’t make changes without the owner’s approval, and you will eventually move out, leaving your hard work behind. Owning property gives you a chance to design the home of your dreams. You can leave behind short-term satisfaction and the dictation of someone else’s opinion.

About Middel Realty

If you are looking for a beautiful single-family rental home in Fort Collins, Colorado, Middel Realty is here to help. We have been in business since 1974, with a dedication to the satisfaction of our tenants every step of the way. If you are looking for a clean, well-maintained, allergen-free home in some of the most desirable locations in Fort Collins, contact us today!

The Features Buyers Look For In A Home

If there’s one thing that’s constant about the housing market, it’s that it’s always changing. Some regions become very competitive, while some styles of homes experience a period of renewed interest. While the market may always be changing, the features that make homes for sale attractive are fairly constant. If you’re thinking of selling your home, or are looking to purchase a home, here are some of the most popular features home buyers look for.

Energy Efficient Homes

Younger buyers are prioritizing eco-conscious living spaces when looking for homes for sale. From LED light bulbs to programmable thermostats, solar panel arrays and energy-saving appliances, if a home has even a few of these features, they’re more likely to draw more potential buyers to the property.

Hardwood Floors

While hardwood floors have always been in fashion, they have experienced something of a renaissance in the last few years. New buyers are looking for flooring that is durable, beautiful, and more importantly, easy to clean. Hardwood flooring fits all of these needs.

Homes In Established Communities

Almost more important than the house itself is the community it’s in. This generation of homebuyers is looking for homes for sale in areas that have a strong sense of community identity and for places that encourage gatherings and interactions. This could be areas like parks, historic downtown districts, or even areas near natural spaces.

Improved Bathrooms

Increasingly, the bathroom is being seen and used as a private oasis for homeowners. For sellers, one of the easiest ways to see a significant improvement in your selling price is to invest in bathroom remodeling. Updated fixtures, tiles, and more in the bathroom are all likely to hold a potential buyer’s interest.

Improved Kitchens

Like an updated bathroom, an updated kitchen will immediately attract buyers. While energy efficient appliances are definitely a draw, even replacing the countertops, cabinet faces, or the flooring can have an immense impact on the visual appeal of the kitchen. Homebuyers want their kitchens to feel welcoming and functional.

Offices And Other Workspaces

With the gig economy ramping up and more and more jobs allowing employees to work from home, new homebuyers are extremely interested in living in homes that have designated workspaces for them. Staging a room as an office is an easy way to entice buyers into viewing your home for sale.

This Blog Brought To You By The Hills Real Estate Team

If you’re looking for homes for sale in the Black Hills area, including fabulous places like Sioux Falls, Spearfish, Rapid City, and Bozeman, give the Hills Real Estate Team a call! With more than 40 years of combined experience, our real estate agents know the Black Hills area very well, and are excited to help you find your dream home. With regular open houses, and real estate agents in four different cities, we’ve made the home buying and selling process easy. Contact the agent nearest you to get started!