The Delicate Art of Buying a Home in a Pandemic
Buying a house during COVID 19. Should you do it?
Since much of buying and selling involves face-to-face interactions and multiple people visiting the home, social distancing has challenged the process of buying or selling a property in many ways. In the real estate world, social distancing may include cancelling open houses and walkthroughs, relying on virtual meetings and finding new ways or, at the very least, performing them with more caution.
Many real estate professionals agree that the biggest advantage sellers have right now is that there is less competition as many sellers are hitting pause…
And with people forced to spend more time at home and find ways to pass the time, more eyes may fall on your listing. It may come as a shock that many people purchase a home before ever setting foot inside. These buyers may be moving to a new country or city far away, or they may not have the time or resources to visit for a home search before the big move. Or they may not be able to travel here.
Not everyone has the option (or the desire) to rent for a few months while they find a permanent home in their new location…
Most homebuyers would prefer to purchase a house before they arrive so that they do not have to deal with all the risk of travelling and do viewings. With people turning their focus to their health and safety, there may be less interest in house hunting at the moment. They may not want to – or are not allowed to – walk through a stranger’s home and put their health at risk.
Whether it’s the right time to buy or sell a home right now will depend on your situation. While some people may be able to wait it out, others may be relocating for a new job or may be eager to sell to downsize and cut costs where they can. Sales activity hasn’t completely stopped. Those who are determined can still buy a home. They just have to navigate the strangest market ever.
There are a few things you can do to make the process more manageable if you’ve considered buying a house unseen.
The first step is to find a realtor in the area that you can trust. Hopefully, It will be me. It will be super important to let me know your circumstances so that I know exactly what you are looking for and we don’t lose time looking at properties that do not have all your must-have list. I will be able to provide you (in most cases) to schedule a meeting where I can walk you through the house via FaceTime or another video-based app.
This will help you feel like you’re there in person and give you the chance to ask about any potential issues that may pose a problem in the future. You’ll also be able to see any features that you love, which will help you make your final decision.
Here are also a few tips that may help:
- Check Out the Neighbourhood. Especially if you haven’t lived in the city before, you may have no idea what to expect of your surroundings. From the landscapes to the types of architecture, and beyond. Be sure to get some video of the neighbourhood. See if the neighbourhood has a Facebook group you can investigate. Look up neighbourhood videos, stats and information;
- Map It. While checking out the neighbourhood on Google Maps, be sure to map out the distance to some important locations. How far is the home from the supermarket? How closed you want to be in the city centre? What will the commute be like if you are planning on working? Is it walking distance to the park, school or grocery store? How long will the drive be to get to downtown Tavira or other Algarve weekend attractions? Make sure the home checks off whatever criteria you have concerning the location;
- You can also make a FaceTime (audio and visual) call during which I will walk you through a home, sharing footage of the features. You can also help by direct me to show you what you want to see and uncover any blind spots in the original video. To get the most out of a virtual home tour, buyers should ask their agent to emphasise the little details, like the finishes after a renovation.
When the time comes for you to move in, be prepared for the unexpected. There will always be a few things that you didn’t expect when you’ve purchased a home unseen. However, make the best out of the situation and stay positive. It is possible to find your dream home, even if you can’t see it before closing.
Give me a call whenever you are ready to start your house hunt. Make sure you have check some of my latest properties here.