By Danny Margagliano
In just a month, the coronavirus pandemic has turned just about everyone’s life upside down. We have seen changes in every way we conduct our daily lives. One of the fantastic things happening throughout this pandemic that I’ve enjoyed watching is the ability of people and communities to adapt. I’ve also noticed in the South Walton community, neighbors, subdivisions, and businesses coming together to help one another.
We have been understanding each other’s needs. We have asked for help, and we have given support to friends, family, and strangers. Businesses have been changing and adapting to keep the doors open, and real estate is no exception.
Although life has to continue, our most important concern must remain the health and safety of each other. Here are some valuable tips for consumers and real estate agents to take into consideration to stay safe from the coronavirus when selling or buying a home.
- It’s okay for realtors and buyers to ask each other if either party has recently traveled.
- Ask each other if anyone has been in contact with anyone who has respiratory issues lately.
- Do not ride along with your realtor. Either follow them, or meet them at the house you wish to see.
- Limit the number of people that are going to look at the property. Do not bring children unless necessary.
- Ask your realtor if you can virtually view a tour of the property before going to see it.
- Do not assemble in one room with everyone. Instead, do the majority of your talking outdoors, if possible.
- Have one designated person to open and close doors.
- Bring plenty of hand sanitizer and use it after coming into contact with surfaces or people
Realtors should be advised to avoid potential fair housing issues by asking ALL clients the same screening questions based on factual information from public health authorities.
I am sure that you have heard that mortgage rates are fantastic right now. In fact, according to Dean Carrier, mortgage loan officer at BancorpSouth “interest rates are the best I’ve seen in over 21 years in the business. And, although the market is volatile, current rates for 30 year fixed loans have been hanging out in the low 3% range. In fact, I have a couple of borrowers locked in under 3%.”
For those of you that currently own a home and plan on staying there for at least a few more years, you may want to consider refinancing. With rates as low as they are now, you could potentially find yourself saving hundreds of dollars per month on the mortgage. We are seeing and will see more remote closings that will be electronically signed. The majority of banks do not allow electronic signing at this time, but that could soon change.
We see so many changes in the way we are buying and selling homes. Some of the changes may be temporary, and some might stick around for a long time. Even though investment properties and vacation rental sales have slowed down, primary residential home sales are remaining stable.
In these uncertain times, we have found that more than anything else, information is key to making the right decisions. Because of this, I would like to make myself available to anyone that needs help or advice. It does not matter whether or not you’re looking to buy or sell a property.
Your phone call is welcome.
Danny Margagliano is a realtor with 30a Local Properties and can be contacted at 850-830-4747 or visit him at www.destinpropertyexpert.com.