The 2020 spring market started out very strong here in Florida. Multiple offers were common and additional property inventory was getting ready to hit the market. Then the coronavirus struck, creating a situation in America that was completely unprecedented – never before has our economy been threatened to come to a standstill due to a virus outside anyone’s control. Within a matter of weeks things have changed dramatically, resulting in a stay at home order except for essential businesses. Real estate was deemed an essential business – people like you still experience situations where it is necessary to buy or sell, and we as REALTORS® are still fortunate enough to still be able to assist you with that.
Although transactions have slowed down, our agents here at Dalton Wade are still out there every single day helping you get the deal done, we are just doing things a little differently these days. Here we will let you know what we are doing to make sure you are having the safest, most stress free experience possible if you find that you need buy and sell right now, and give you a little insight into buying or selling during this time.
Safety is #1
The safety of our agents and their clientele is the most important thing to us here at Dalton Wade. We are not hosting open houses at this time to discourage crowds in our sellers’ homes. We also encourage our agents come equipped with their own masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and/or antibacterial wipes when conducting showings or attending a listing appointment. You are encouraged to bring along your own personal protective equipment as well in order to keep not only yourself safe, but your agent and the buyers or sellers in a transaction as well. Our listing agents are asked to have their sellers leave lights on and doors open throughout the home prior to a showing to ensure buyers do not have to touch light switches or doorknobs when they move from room to room. Our buyer agents request that their buyers do not attend showings if they do not need to or feel uncomfortable – our agents will do a live (ex. Facetime) or recorded video virtual tour on your behalf from the property. If you do want to attend, we ask that you bring as few people as possible to the showing, preferably just the signors of an offer (not extended family, friends, etc) and do not touch anything in the home.
Electronic Signatures and Closings
Our agents have access to the top of the line electronic paperwork and signature system Dotloop. If you are ready to write an offer or list your home, or agent will draft up the necessary paperwork and send it to you to sign electronically via email from the comfort of your own home. Any further negotiation of terms, addendums to any contract, lender paperwork, etc can all be processed and signed electronically as well. The title companies or attorney’s offices that will conduct your closings have also been taking precautions. Some now offer virtual closings where you do not even need to attend, but a lot are offering “drive through closings”. In this scenario just the signors show up at closing (agents and lenders are being asked not to attend at this time), and buyers and sellers will sign separately. When it is your turn to sign, you will be called to come in from your car to sign in a separate room with the closing agent who will don protective gear as well. Closing companies are sanitizing the rooms and pens after each closing as well.
Is now still a good time to buy or sell?
We have had a few buyers cancel contracts and sellers temporarily pull their homes from the market or hold off on listing for now. While erring on the side of caution can be a good thing, buying or selling during this time can still be a great decision and quite lucrative – especially if you don’t have the opportunity to wait. If you are considering selling, now is still a good time to hit the market. Activity has slowed down but good inventory is still scarce and if your home is priced right it should still get activity. No one knows what the future will bring, things could slow down further and it could be harder to sell as things move along so it may be best to proceed now. If you are a buyer, you have probably noticed that interest rates for loans are at a historic all time low. The FED cut the interest rates to 0%-.25% – meaning that banks can borrow at that rate (this does not mean that you as a buyer would see that interest rate). But rates for buyers are in the 2%-3% range, dropping significantly from before the virus hit. It does vary day to day with the volatile market, so before getting under contract and locking in your rate be sure to ask your lender what the rate is that day. If you want to further discuss preapproval, interest rates, and more please do not hesitate to reach out to our own team of well qualified loan officers at the Dalton Wade Mortgage Team or call 727-359-0669. Remember, home is the place to be right now and if you are under a stay at home order, wouldn’t you want to be already quarantined safely in your new home?
If you want to chat further with us about buying or selling real estate, please give us a call today at 727-888-4175 or visit us at www.daltonwadesouthflorida.com, we are happy to help!