The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected life across the globe. Strict social distancing measures, school closures, and, in many locales, a ban on all non-essential businesses have turned people’s lives upside down and thrust us into a surreal existence where we’re spending nearly all of our time at home.
From a real estate perspective, it would be disingenuous to say that nothing has changed. Great agents are honest at all times, even (especially) when it’s difficult.
That said, there’s no indication that we’re in (or headed toward) a housing crisis like the once-in-a-century 2008 collapse. And, by all accounts, the fundamentals of the housing market remain in place, despite the safety precautions enforced by health and government officials.
The following list may help you better understand what’s changed and what hasn’t in the world of real estate:
1. Access to showings
In many places, the process of showing a home has changed. Some states have put limits on the number of people allowed to gather in one place, which has impacted open houses. Additionally, sellers, buyers, and agents are taking more precautions to keep themselves safe, with more cleaning, access to protective gear, and enforced distancing measures becoming the norm. Digital-only showings are also growing in popularity, although they’re still relatively new. Despite all this, if there’s a home you’re interested in seeing, it’s still possible to make it happen.
2. The closing process
Much of the work that needs to be done between going under contract to sell or buy a house and the closing can be done remotely and electronically. But there are many things that need to be done by many people throughout the process. From the mortgage, to the title work, to inspections and appraisals, getting to the closing table depends upon a lot of people doing their job. Social distancing and working entirely remotely has a certain learning curve while everyone involved figures out how to get their end of things done. So, the process may take at least a little longer, and change as everyone figures out the best way to handle things. The upshot to this is that it could create better, more efficient ways of doing things moving forward.
3. Some mortgage products
Perhaps the most impactful changes in the real estate industry are happening in the mortgage market. The conditions on certain products are being tightened, and some lenders are temporarily exiting the market altogether. Jumbo loans (a type of financing where the loan amount is higher than the conforming loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency) seem to be feeling the most impact, while conventional loans, which are considered less risky, have been less affected. If you have questions about getting pre-approved, you should contact a mortgage professional who can help you better understand your options.
What hasn’t changed:
1. People’s dreams
Even when the whole world comes to a stop, our hearts and minds do not. We all have dreams, whether it’s owning a fabulous condo in the city, a sprawling victorian with a rolling lawn, or a starter home that we can finally call our own. A pandemic doesn’t change that, even though it can help put things in perspective and remind us of what matters most. But don’t let the strange times we’re in stop you from daydreaming and working toward those dreams. A pandemic is temporary; our hopes are not.
2. Housing demand
There’s been a well-documented housing shortage for years, and there’s no indication that the fundamentals have yet changed. That said, every real estate market is unique, and what holds true on a macro-level may not hold true in your local area. Regardless of the specific market and overall demand in your area, people always need homes, despite a pandemic. So, if you want to sell, there’s likely a buyer for your home. And if you want to buy, there’s likely a seller who’d love to sell.
3. Our desire to help
Most agents eat, breathe, and sleep real estate, and aside from looking out for our loved ones and wishing for a healthy and safe resolution to this mess, that hasn’t changed. We want to help you with your real estate needs because we’re passionate about what we do, and it’s likely that our newfound home-time has coincided with a lot more real estate research than it has with cleaning or learning how to play the guitar.
Realtor-Tom Gilliam is your expert to buy or sell your home in Oakland County, Michigan, the Oakland County community’s number one Realtor. In Oakland County, Michigan, you need to find a Realtor who knows the community.
Tom Gilliam currently lives in the Oakland County Area and is very familiar with the market, neighborhoods, schools and community issues. His office is located into the heart of Farmington Hills, with five additional offices throughout the south east metropolitan area to serve his clients real estate needs
3 Things That Have Changed in Real Estate Since the Pandemic (and 3 Things That Haven’t)
Have you been searching for your dream house for long? Did you find one but the negotiations did not go your way? Your house search is contingent on negotiations… it can either make or break the deal. Of course, your real estate agent will be by your side guiding you throughout the process but at the end, you have to take the final decision.
Often people let go of a great deal on a home for sale in Farmington Hills, Michigan thinking that the price is too high. Until you have looked at the comps and have had a house inspection, do not make any rash decisions. Yes, the negotiating phase is nail-biting because you never know what kind of counteroffer the seller will come up with but you have to keep an open mind, so that the opportunity in front of you does not slip through your hands.
Following are six mistakes that you should know before approaching a seller:
Price Is the Only Thing You Should Focus On
So, you finally found a house that is $10k below your budget. While the price of the house is low but you are forgetting to factor in the cost of repairs and maintenance. Then there’s the landscaping, repainting and most important of all, the roof. Add all these costs to your monthly mortgage payments and the number will reach an astronomical level.
Don’t just look at the sticker price! You might get lucky if the seller is in a hurry to sell the house, which means an even lower price but still, make sure that you look at every feature of the house.
Unwilling To Negotiate on Small Repairs
Say the house has a deck and some of the floorboards are rotten. Instead of focusing on the plus point that it has a “deck”, getting stuck on its repair is not a good argument. You are saving thousands of dollars on the house and the repair will cost you top $100. So, keep an open mind when it comes to small repairs.
Waving Formalities in Negotiations
The home for sale in Farmington Hills, Michigan you just visited is the “one” you have been looking for. Fearing that another buyer might place an offer anytime now, you waive few of the formalities such as a house inspection. Bad move! You don’t know if the basement has termites or the plumbing is faulty. Such repairs can cost you thousands of dollars, which will blow out your budget and your savings account.
Getting Stuck on Your Offer Price
Say the house costs $200,000 and you come up with a counteroffer of $198,000. The seller doesn’t like your offer and won’t budge from his asking price. Are you going to walk away from the deal? You shouldn’t. Say if you have paid 20% down payment and are on a 4% interest rate loan, then the monthly payments will rise by just $8. In the bigger picture, it’s a small amount.
Backing Out of the Deal after the Inspection Revealed a Few Repairs
Are the repairs so big that you feel they will cause a problem in the future? If not, then sit down with the seller and have chat on how to deal with the repairs and negotiations.
Offering a Low Ball Offer
A low ball offer usually feels like an insult to the seller. So, do your homework and ask your real estate agent for comps. Only then come with a price for the negotiations.
Remember, when the time comes to make an offer, look past the small stuff and focus on what matters such as the foundation of the house. If you want to buy a home for sale in Farmington Hills, Michigan that falls under your budget, then visit Homes2MoveYou. Get in touch with me directly at 248-790-5594
“We’re not getting any younger honey!” Have you heard this one before? You may be getting to that age now where the kids are either close to finishing college, finding full time jobs and picking up a sweet rental, or finally tying the knot. There may still be one 20 something year old lingering around for longer than expected, and you haven’t fully achieved “empty nest” syndrome yet, but the time is coming soon.
So what do you intend on doing with all this new found time, space and energy? Chances are you don’t plan on just staring at each other longer than you have in decades, so there must be another solution. It’s time to get back to living on the edge and taking a few calculated risks. Maybe what you need is a little adventure!
Is there something that you have been aiming to do forever, but with the kids, mortgage and other heaping responsibilities, these goals turned more into faded dreams than a reality? Perhaps we can help offer some insight and direction. Believe us, we have worked with many clients in the past who have faced the same choices that you may be dealing with now.
Whether that involves taking a 3 month long European vacation, visiting family across the country, buying that boat and spending your time out at sea, or investing your time serving orphans in Africa, one thing that may be crossing your mind is what you plan to do with your oversized house for two.
For most reading this, we would presume that you either have a majority of your mortgage paid off or at least some retirement savings stashed up that will provide you the flexibility to sell and downsize into a more modest living space. With that extra income, you will now be able to finally experience those long anticipated dreams.
Maybe this looks like taking a leap and moving into a high-rise condominium in the big city. Or perhaps you would rather pick up something a little more tranquil out in the country. Others may be interested in building up a small rental portfolio and not being tied down to any one location. And there are plenty of luxurious 50+ retirement communities that offer mindboggling amenities.
The options could seem overwhelming, so we’re here to serve you along the way.
We understand the hesitation and concerns that can arise when making such a big decision, after living in a residence for 20+ years. These feelings are normal.
Whether you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss possible options with your current home or need assistance in planning for your future move, we encourage you to contact us using the information provided above. Consider us to be your trusted advisors as you begin mapping out your next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your dreams!