22 Apr How To Close On Your New Home During The COVID-19 Outbreak
How To Purchase A New Home During The COVID-19 Outbreak
The novel Coronavirus has created a global pandemic that is affecting almost all businesses and industries, including real estate. Many individuals were already in the process of buying or selling their home and this has now been interrupted by unprecedented events. As all of this is occurring, you may be wondering – what now? How do you proceed with purchasing your new home while adhering to the guidelines and policies set forth for safety purposes? Markotsis & Lieberman has a team of seasoned, experienced real estate attorneys who can provide some tips and tricks on how to navigate this situation. Although our physical office is currently closed based on the Governor’s current policies, we are still available to current and potential clients via email to assist in completing any necessary documentation or transactions.
Utilize The Technology At Your Fingertips
We all know that technology lives at our fingertips, but have you thought about specifically using video chat and e-sign applications? Utilizing these apps will allow you complete the steps in the purchase process while maintaining the social distancing necessary during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can use Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, etc. to meet with agents, view homes, and meet with your real estate attorney. You’ll even be able to sign all of your documents virtually without needing to leave the comfort and safety of your current home.
What Does The Timeline Look Like?
While the purchase of a new home is still allowed to continue and new homeowners are continuing to close, it is important to be mindful that this process now takes longer than before. Be prepared to push your timeline accordingly when thinking of closing dates, move-in dates, furniture deliveries, etc. In New York, title searches are taking much longer because of limited access to the Clerk’s office and other requisite municipal departments. As we have already learned, it’s difficult to predict what can happen in the upcoming months.
Exchanging And Signing Contracts
The contract is negotiated as it was before. There has been language added to contracts specifically to cover delays and other issues relating to the pandemic. The contract is signed electronically by both parties. Once a contract is signed, it is still considered a legal document and agreement regardless of the status of COVID-19. When it is time to close, the closings are taking place where the parties are not in the same physical location and the requisite distancing guidelines are followed. While going through the contract process, you’ll need to hire a real estate attorney to assist in drafting and facilitating.
House Showing Restrictions
Currently, there are no open houses or instances for potential buyers to come into your home. Brokers and buyers are relying on virtual tours to see the insides of homes. This has led to some different provisions being included in Contracts. However, “as is” transactions are still “as is,” and if such a contract is signed, that it was signed during the Covid-19 situation will not change what that means. But, since home inspections have been deemed an “essential service” a home inspection can, and should, still take place prior to signing the contract.
Buying a new home is an exciting experience and it may feel overwhelming trying to complete the process during a time with a significant amount of unpredictability. Following some of these tips as well as following guidance from your real estate attorney will ensure that you’re able to complete the closing on your house quickly, safely, and efficiently.