Real Estate and Coronavirus: How Our Office is Responding
As per Governor Ever’s “Stay at Home” executive order, we are considered an essential business. We will continue to monitor updates and take the necessary steps here at our office. These are unprecedented times. It is through all the collective efforts that we can reduce the risk to each other. We will get through this together!
– Mark D. Olejniczak
Precautionary Measures to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus
We have been taking precautionary measures to ensure that our employees and clients stay safe and healthy. We will all be following these 6 easy tips:
- Wearing face masks.
- Social distancing at a length of 6 ft or more.
- Avoiding contact with people who are sick.
- Avoiding touching our eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Staying home when sick, except to get medical care.
- Covering a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Helpful Resources for Real Estate Buyers & Sellers
Here’s what home buying and selling during the pandemic look like.
Virtual Showings and Virtual Open Houses
The rules around in-person showings vary by city, county, and state. Some allow them and some ban them. Check with your state, county, and local government to get the latest on business closures and shut-down rules.
Matterport 360º Home Tours – This incredible state of the art tool offers the latest and greatest marketing advantages – it allows you to have an always-open house, get more eyes on your property, and sell your home quickly by allowing buyers to explore your home like never before. Contact us for more information on this service.
Real Estate Safe-Showing Guidelines
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® recommends:
- Only one buyer enter a home at a time
- Keep a distance of 6 feet between each guest
- Agents have potential buyers wash their hands, or use hand sanitizer when they come in the door.
- Guests should also remove their shoes.
- No children should be present at showings.
- Agents wipe down door handles.
- Agents spray the lockbox with disinfectant.
- Agents open up the house, closets, everything for a client.
- Agents leave all the lights on so no one touches switches.
- No one touches cabinets or doors during showings.
Down Payment Help for Real Estate Buyers
Many organizations offering down payment assistance to first-time home-buyers have temporarily suspended the programs or changed the rules. You can check the status of programs in your area at the Down Payment Assistance Resource site.
Desktop and Drive-By Real Estate Appraisals
Federal Housing Finance Authority has created new, temporary rules for drive-by and desktop appraisals for loans backed by the federal government.
The Appraisal Foundation guidelines for handling appraisals during the pandemic FAQ.
New appraisal guidelines by agency:
When appraisers come to your home, they should adhere to the Center for Disease Control guidelines.
Real Estate Inspections Via Live Video
The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors advises inspectors to videotape their inspection so clients can watch it at home later, or to use live video chat apps to virtually bring their clients on the inspection.
The American Society of Home Inspectors has also issued guidelines for inspectors.
Mortgage Rates and Locks
Employment Verification for Real Estate Buyers
The Federal Housing Finance Authority, which oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and federal home loan banks, has relaxed the rules for loans backed by the federal government because so many businesses are closed. Lenders for federally backed loans now accept an email from an employer, a recent year-to-date paystub, or a bank statement showing a recent payroll deposit as proof of employment.
Real Estate Walk-throughs
State-by-state list of notary law updates, and the type of remote notarizations allowed.
Find out if your county recording office can complete the deal online.
Student Loan Relief for Real Estate Buyers
Learn more at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s site.