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As if buying or selling a home wasn’t complicated enough, people now have to deal with a global pandemic, too.

How does COVID-19 change the marketplace? How are people buying and selling homes in the social-distancing era? What opportunities and pitfalls await?

Read on to find out the answer.

Should I withdraw my home from the market?

It’s safe to say that the current pandemic has spooked buyers. As such, many sellers are thinking about pulling their property off the market until the situation stabilizes. But you shouldn’t be so hasty. As this report from The Salt Lake Tribune notes, sales of properties in Park City this July and August were double what they were compared to the same period last year. The reason? A pandemic-induced exodus from big cities for environments that are less dense and the opportunity to live in homes with more outdoor space. And with more companies allowing their employees to work from home on a permanent or indefinite basis, people are leaving expensive places like New York and L.A. to live in more affordable states like Utah.

Is now the right time to buy a house?

Job security is a big question for workers today, and many wonder if buying a house makes sense right now. After all, you wouldn’t want to purchase a home if there’s any chance you’ll lose your job. However, there are advantages to buying property during a down market.

  • Sellers tend to list homes below their market value to entice reluctant buyers
  • Mortgage rates just dropped to a record low of 2.86%, so taking out a home loan has never been more affordable
  • Real estate tends to weather downturns better than the stock market – the more wealth you have invested in real properties, the more secure your finances are despite economic headwinds.

How do you show or view a property?

While properties can be viewed in person, many buyers and sellers feel that it’s safer to hold virtual showings instead. As the name suggests, properties are shown remotely to buyers using 3D home tours or by live-streaming a property walkthrough. This drastic shift highlights the need to find an agent who is digitally savvy and has experienced coordinating remote home sales. If you must view the property in person (e.g., during the home inspection, for example, after you’ve made an offer), make sure to follow health precautions such as wearing a mask and observing proper social distancing.

How will the pandemic affect real estate transactions?

Generally speaking, expect selling or buying a home to take longer than usual. That’s because every step of the process will be delayed due to manpower shortages or limited business hours. Banks will take longer to process mortgage applications, there are fewer home inspectors available, and escrow agents will need more time to close a sale, just to name a few examples. Buyers and sellers may even invoke force majeure provisions if they experience unexpected hardships due to COVID-19.

Needless to say, these are unprecedented times. Everyone has had to change their perspective and adjust to new ways of  doing things. We hope that by answering the questions above, we’ve empowered you – buyers and sellers alike – to make better-informed decisions.

Looking to buy or sell property in Park City, UT? Just get in touch with our team at (435) 640-5660 or info@teamschlopy.com.