What you need to know about buying a house during challenging times

Dated: March 26 2021

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The fear of home buying during COVID isn’t unfounded. The Great Recession of 2007 showed that buying a home during an economic downturn can turn into a huge risk. But with enough research and a level-headed approach, it can just as well go in the other direction: a profitable investment.

Want to make sure the conditions are right for you? Here’s the lay of the land so far.

More of the process is going digital

The real estate market has been on its way to offering virtual alternatives even before the pandemic hit. It just took a while. What the pandemic did was to fast-forward the pace significantly.

Within the first six months of 2020, demand for photo and video tours of listings skyrocketed, virtual street views substituted for open houses and neighborhoods walkthroughs, and more state governments passed laws legalizing remote online notarizations to reduce the frequency of in-person meetings during closing.

Thanks to these digital alternatives, buyers can limit their exposure as they continue their home search, often from the comfort of their homes.

Expect delays

Buyers should anticipate delays throughout the buying process. Lenders, appraisers, inspectors, and even title agencies had to modify how they worked because of measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. Growing pains are expected in a market that, until recently, relied heavily on personal contact. As a buyer, patience will come in handy before and after you find the perfect home.

Extending your search can uncover deals

The low supply of housing in Arizona makes searching for homes in popular neighborhoods challenging and competitive. Expand your search into unfamiliar or under-the-radar neighborhoods. Your wider scope increases the probability of finding a home, and you get to discover other ideal neighborhoods. Sellers in lesser-known areas will also be more willing to negotiate.

Sellers appreciate flexibility

Buying a home during an economic downturn leaves little room for substantial price negotiations. Stand out from other bidders by being flexible with timelines or arrangements. It’s possible that the seller won’t have a home to move into right after the sale. If you can afford to arrange a rent-back agreement or a delayed closing date, you might win out over other buyers who can pay more but who have a more rigid schedule.

Teaming up with an agent is crucial

A trusted real estate agent can make buying a home in trying times easier. They can tour homes for you, use their connections to find other options, and facilitate negotiations and paperwork. Their expert eye can also steer you clear of homes that don’t match your needs and preferences or might require a slew of repairs. For a successful collaboration, look for an agent who not only exudes expertise but also listens to what you need.

Are you more optimistic about buying a home during the pandemic? Get in touch with Aeris House Properties. We are a team of experienced real estate agents in Arizona who work closely with our clients to find a home for their means and lifestyle. Call today at 602.466.9771 or send an email to info@aerishouse.com.

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