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Useful Tips for Buying and Selling A Home During Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic has derailed buying and selling activities in the property market. Albeit fewer homes have been listed for sale, the industry is gradually recovering. Prospective buyers can make purchases and sellers can list their properties for sale while adhering to prevention measures for safe transactions.


When this year started, the Real Estate Market was showing prospects of steady growth until the novel coronavirus took toll of the industry in March. With strict restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19 put in place, householders took to a cautious approach, trying not to make purchases or listing their properties for sale.  There have been reports showing the volume of mortgage applications falling up to 24%, despite the rock-bottom mortgage rates.


Nonetheless, that's not to say that all hopes of buying and selling your home are entirely shuttered. Those who were on the verge of closing home deals, or want to purchase properties they can still do so.


Here are helpful tips for selling and buying a property in an age when social distancing, wearing facemasks, and the use of sanitizers are a norm.

Do Your Homework

Despite the slump in the number of newly-listed homes, there are still excellent options in property listings. This is a time to research the market and find your preferred property in a community you like. Don't limit yourself to a few selected areas. Extend your search to other surrounding regions that might have homes with excellent value for money, amenities, and facilities.


As you spend more time indoors, it's an opportunity to assess your current home and determine the level of functionality and comfort it offers you. That helps in knowing your priorities when searching and, consequently buying a home.

Speak to an Agent

Most real estate agents have communication protocols during the coronavirus crisis. They currently leverage technological tools to communicate with property buyers, offer virtual tours; negotiate and even finalize deals without having to meet them in person.


If you've inspected a listed property and are willing to close the deal, make a call to your agent for assistance on how to proceed. Agents can organize for an interactive virtual tour where you can ask questions regarding the design, condition of the property, and chattels, etc.


If selling a home is your decision, you can resort to online appraisals. Housing agents understand the market well and will be glad to offer estimates of the property's value and how it may fair in the property market.

Safe In-Person Meetings

Once you've staged your home, you want to meet the prospective buyer(s) in-person to show them the property. Instead of driving property hunters in your car, let them drive themselves to the property, so you can both rendezvous with them on site.


If you're showing an open house, bring along a hand sanitizer or place a sanitizing agent at the door to minimize the risk of contraction. Alternatively, you can also perform pre-screening procedures on the potential buyer to track their contacts if they've recently travelled.

Prepare the Home

During this time when entertainment, sports, and other social areas are closed, take advantage of this while to prep your home for the market. Preparation may entail anything from mowing the lawn, exterior repairs, tidying the gutters, and decluttering the interior.


Start with a DIY approach to reduce the workload before calling the professionals for help. Do an online home improvement search to note the additional décor that can enhance the visual appeal of the home. Once the restriction measures are eased, you can embark on implementing the changes.

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When Is Mortgage Refinancing a Bad Idea?

Property owners refinance their homes and commercial properties all the time. As your credit improves and you have built more equity into the property, it may make fiscal sense to refinance when interest rates dip low; the move can save you hundreds of dollars every year.


On the other hand, sometimes refinancing a mortgage may not the right thing to do. When you speak to a mortgage professional or real estate agent, we will review what you need to know in order to make informed decisions about how to best proceed with a refinancing plan.


What Are the Penalties?


Possible penalties are a risk for refinancing a home or commercial property. In mortgage agreements, there may be clauses that allow lenders to assess a fee for refinancing and/or paying down an existing mortgage with a line of home equity credit. In certain situations, a mortgage may contain a provision that allows the lender to assess a penalty fee when the homeowner pays more than 20% on the outstanding balance of the loan. If penalties and fees like these wind up amounting to thousands of dollars, it might not be worth it to refinance the property.


New Closing Costs


Then, of course, there are typically new closing costs that must be paid for a mortgage refinance deal. These costs are often difficult to avoid. As essentially a new mortgage, there are the usual examinations, fees, and recording costs that have to be accounted for. Sometimes these fees can be paid in cash or they're simply added to the outstanding balance. However, it's important to accurately gauge the amount in order to weigh it against the cost savings of the refinanced mortgage. As property owners, you would have to ask yourselves if it's worth it.


Moreover, borrowers have to be careful of 'no closing cost' refinance deals. Too often, these fees wind up somewhere. For instance, the interest rates associated with these loans maybe a quarter or even half a percent higher. That translates into more money owed regardless of whether it's dubbed a closing cost or not.


Other Costs


Take into consideration possible fees before you refinance, like costs related to paying an attorney and relocation anticipation penalties for homeowners who refinance and plan to move in three to five years. By taking all the costs into account and weighing them against the potential savings, you can make a smart fiscal decision about whether to sign your mortgage refinance deal or not.


While refinancing makes sense in many situations, people need to enter into these deals knowing all the monetary considerations beforehand. Mortgage Professionals can help make great borrowing decisions by informing you of the refinancing risks.


Contact me today if you want to know more information!
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