Should I Buy a Home During the Coronavirus?
Spring is upon us, which typically involves a big peak of home buyers checking out properties, negotiating, and closing on new places. But the coronavirus outbreak—with its quarantine measures and economic uncertainties—has many a real estate shopper wondering: Should I buy a home now, or wait?
The National Association of Realtors® offers a fantastic, detailed discussion on this subject in the fascinating podcast and article series, Home Buying in the Age of Coronavirus.
The impact of the coronavirus on the housing market
So what state is the housing market in right now, anyway? While that depends on how bad an outbreak an area is suffering, most markets are feeling some sort of hit. The latest NAR Flash Survey: Economic Pulse, conducted on March 16 and 17, found that 48% of real estate agents have noticed a decrease in buyer interest attributable to the coronavirus outbreak.
However, nearly an equal number of members (45%) said that they believe lower-than-average mortgage rates are tempting buyers to shop around anyway, without any significant overall change in buyer behavior.
For those who are determined to buy a home, there is opportunity out there. In hot markets like Nashville and Brentwood, the changing landscape of buying and selling has enabled many buyers to snatch deals from those desperate to sell and uncertain about when the crisis will be over. And with fewer buyers out there looking, you may have less competition in your house hunt.
How the real estate industry has adapted to keep buyers safe
Although it’s a scary time to be out and about checking out real estate, it is still possible to do so and stay relatively safe. The industry has rapidly adapted, introducing approaches that minimize exposure to the virus.
For instance, many agents are now working remotely and conducting most of their business virtually. You can do almost every step of the buying and selling entirely online and virtually, from house hunting and going on fully digitized home tours, to closing and signing important documents.