How Can You Protect Your Health While Shopping For A New Home?
If you'd just begun your new home search when the coronavirus crisis hit, you may be wondering what to do next. Because so much of the home-buying decision-making process involves seeing a home in person, things like open houses and impromptu tours aren't great options. But this pandemic doesn't need to bring the real estate world to a halt, and agents, sellers, and other stakeholders are already beginning to implement procedures to facilitate the home-buying process without requiring person-to-person contact. Learn more about protecting your health while shopping for your next home.
Check Out Properties Online First
Gone are the days of leisurely driving around, looking for "for-sale" signs — in today's market, it's important to do your research online first. Often, you'll be able to rule out homes (or put them on your list of finalists) just by researching them online, looking at pictures, GIS data, and property report cards to narrow down your selection. This winnowing process can ensure that the homes you see in person are those you're most likely to fall in love with.
Bring Your Own Cleaning Supplies
Whether the house you're touring is vacant or occupied, you'll want to bring supplies including hand sanitizer, a mask, gloves, and sanitizing wipes to ensure that you don't leave germs behind (or pick up germs that others have left behind). Even if a house appears clean, it's hard to know whether someone who was infected with the coronavirus has recently passed through, and the highly communicable nature of this disease means that it's just about impossible to be too careful. Not only can sanitizing surfaces and using gloves and a mask protect you from viruses in the home, but these actions can also protect potential buyers (and their agents) who tour the house after you do. Remember to do things like wipe down doorknobs and lockboxes as you leave.
Consider Remote Closings
Once you've found your next home, put in an offer, and had the officer accepted, it's time to schedule the closing. Many title companies, real estate agents, and attorneys have already begun to conduct "remote closings," signing closing documents online or having a courier transport them from one party to another to avoid in-person contact. Not only can this be more convenient for those who work full-time and don't have the time to travel down to a title agent's office, but it can also protect against the spread of germs.