THE HOME BUYING PROCESS During COVID-19
From the initial consultation all the way through the inspection and closing, the home buying process has changed for dramatically. But even with these changes, we are confident that we can help you find your dream home and do so while protecting your health as well as ours and the community. We are constantly monitoring new rules and regulations from state and local authorities as well as guidance from the CDC to modify our plans as things change.
Below you will find the changes we have implemented to adjust to the new norm:
If you’re just starting to work with us, we’ll be “meeting” with you via phone, FaceTime or Zoom for the initial consultation to discuss your home buying search! We will talk about your needs, wants, answer any questions you have and discuss our “game plan” to help you find your next home as well as set up an MLS search for you so that you can see potential dream homes as soon as they hit the market.
SHOWINGS AND OPEN HOUSES
The way home showings are done has changed drastically. In order to view an occupied home, you will need to have a pre-approval letter or proof of funds before even making an appointment to go see the home. We can walk you through this process so it doesn’t seem so scary, but for everyone’s protection, including the seller’s, most listing agents won’t allow in-person showings unless it’s a serious buyer. Therefore, if you see a property you’re interested in let us know and we can ask if the listing agent has a video tour or can set up a virtual showing for us. If you still want to see the home after viewing the video or virtual tour and think this is “the one”, the listing agent will require a copy of your pre-approval letter or proof of funds as well as ask you to sign a COVID-19 disclosure to make sure you aren’t sick and haven’t been in contact recently with anyone who has Covid-19. If the showing is approved, we’ll be asked to wear a mask and gloves as well as booties. At this time in Skagit county, only 3 people (including us agents) are allowed inside the home at one time. We will ask you to meet us at the property. Most listing agents are asking that we do “touch-less” showings meaning that the sellers are leaving on all lights and opening all doors and we are asked to not touch anything in the home other than the front and back door handles.
As of right now in person open houses are not allowed and many listings are doing virtual open houses via Zoom or Facebook Live.
If you decide to put in an offer, we can do that completely virtually and secure via Authentisign for electronic signatures.
We do not anticipate that home prices are going to drop significantly in Skagit, Island or San Juan Counties. However, that doesn’t mean there are not good deals to be found because of COVID-19 – interest rates are at an all-time low. We will set up searches in the MLS for you and make sure you see new listings as soon as they hit the market.
The first major step after getting your offer accepted is the inspection. Most inspectors are asking that you do not attend the inspection right now. As your broker, we will attend the inspection for you, share all the findings and advise you of the items of major concern (if any). If you have any questions or concerns about the house before then inspection takes place, we recommend you write a list and send to your inspector before the inspection date so that he/she can address your specific concerns.
Last step before closing is the final walk through. We can Zoom or FaceTime you through the final walk through if you prefer not to come in person or can do an in-person final walk through with gloves, booties and masks.
The last step is closing. A few days before the closing day, your lender will and you the final loan documents for signature. This can be done electronically. The escrow company will also send you closing documents to sign electronically or by appointment only if it needs to be in person.
We have an entire team dedicated to setting up appraisals, inspections, repairs, notary services, and everything in between so we will make sure you are taken care of and protected from contract to close. Our goal is to make this a seamless as possible in the safest way we can – most everything can be done electronically or with little to no contact with others.