Below are some simple ideas to stay safe while continuing your house hunting:
- Get pre-qualified. An agent can connect you with a wide range of local and national lenders that can pre-qualify you without requiring a face-to-face meeting, so you don’t view homes that you can’t afford.
- Take Virtual Tours. Limit property searches first to those that have virtual tours, then by those that have the most photos. If you find a home that doesn’t have a virtual tour, work with an agent that can create one. With the seller’s permission, we’ll create a virtual tour of any home at no additional cost for clients that have hired us to represent them.
- Don’t wait until prices drop to get started. You want to have a plan in place well before you’re ready to make an offer, especially if you’re waiting for buyer negotiating power to increase. Cash investors are prepared to close with just a moment of notice, so you need to have your ducks in a row before you’re ready to pull the trigger on a purchase. Contact us now to start building your plan.
- Get MLS access. Agents will often have access to properties before they are available to the public, and their information is usually one to three days more current than the data aggregators like Zillow. They’ll also be able to see private remarks from the listing agent like if someone occupies the property, concessions offered by the seller, and more. All of this will help put you ahead of the curve if prices do begin to soften.
- Do extensive research. An agent knows many of the issues that can come up in the purchase and use of real estate and can consult with you regarding how you intend to utilize the property and what you aim to gain. Whether your goal is to build equity instead of paying rent, increase wealth through price appreciation, reduce taxes through investment vehicles, or to operate a business, an agent can research the properties and give you the data you need to make an informed decision on whether you want to proceed with viewing the property.
- Confirm the property can be purchased with your approved loan type. If you are buying with an FHA loan, not all condos will qualify. There are many other situations where the loan you can get won’t work for a particular property, including when a seller simply prefers to avoid that loan’s requirements. An agent can help filter out properties based on the loans that you can use for them before you go on a tour.
- Make an offer contingent on viewing. While practicing social distancing, avoid looking at a property that will get an offer before yours can be submitted and or where the seller won’t consider your offer in the first place. An agent can help you write an offer that gives you a time to view the property and still back out if there are surprises not detailed in the listing or its photos.
- Avoid open houses, well, like the plague. Work with an agent to schedule a private showing when no others are present. Use hand sanitizer before and after entering a home, and avoid touching surfaces unless necessary to complete your viewing. (Yes, we all love the feel of smooth granite countertops, but try to avoid sliding your hand across it like we all do every time).
- Ride in separate cars. No matter how healthy you or your agent appear, avoid riding in the same vehicle; either follow behind, use taxis or ride-sharing services, or use public transportation. For those unable to make the distance from the bus to the house, there are paratransit services to make the final connection in many areas of Las Vegas and other major cities.