by: Diane Vespucci ~ Re/Max 100 Realty

These are definitely trying times, no matter your age. Plans are changing daily. Maybe you were planning to put your house on the market this spring, move in the summer, or buy a place. Do you have to change your plans?

The CDC warns the elderly and those who are immune compromised to stay home. If you fall into this group, if you can postpone either buying or selling for a few months, I suggest you do it. If you do decide to move forward despite the virus, proceed with caution.

For buyers, fortunately we have the Internet. Use this time to begin your search there. Make a list of what you want, then take a week or two to go through the online resources. Realtor.com has a great web site to use for searching homes for one, but there are a multitude of others. Watch the home tours. Many Realtors now use not just photo tours, but tours that allow the user to walk the inside of the property. Do some research so you can add or delete the property from your list. Do a drive-by of the property to see how you like the neighborhood. Don’t forget to call a reputable loan officer and get your pre-qualification. Interview Realtors.

There are a number of steps in doing your research and this is a good time to do that.

Eventually, you’ll be able to go look at properties. I don’t recommend going now, but this quarantine will soon end. .When you do finally go look inside properties, I suggest you still use common sense. Use hand sanitizer and wash your hands. These should now be standard for everyone. You don’t want to catch the virus, nor do you want to expose others to it – or any other communicable illness..

If you are not actively on the market now, it’s probably best to wait. It’s only going to be a month or two and it will save you worry and time spent disinfecting your house after every showing. If you are on the market, there will still be people who want to see your home. You are in control here. If you don’t feel comfortable, or are living with people who are vulnerable to the virus, stop showings for this period of time. If you do choose to show, be aware you’ll be having strangers in your home. You’ll be notified of the showing, so make sure you disinfect according to the CDC instructions afterwards. Use your good common sense: disinfect, keep socially distant, don’t shake hands if you happen to pass one another coming in and going out.

If your property is vacant and being shown, ask your Realtor to post a sign so others are aware the house has not been disinfected after showings

There is good news buried in all of this. Interest rates are still at an all-time low and possibly dropping for a period so it’s a good time to buy, and if you’re in the market I suggest you start looking and doing research.

If you’re selling, the inventory of homes is low, and probably this will lower it further. If you wait to put your property on the market, a month or two won’t make a huge difference, and it’s certainly worth it if it makes you feel safer.

These are the times that try us, but use your time wisely. Use your common sense, do your research, call a Realtor and above all, don’t forget to wash your hands.