Saturday, March 28, 2020

Home matters

Virtual tours offer a way to continue looking for your dream home
By Nicole Foster, Broker/ REALTOR®

People will now have some time to focus on those nagging home improvement projects like organizing & decluttering, fresh paint or flooring upgrades. It would appear that homeowners may even have a few weeks to get a head start on exterior or lawn and garden tasks as well. Homes have never been cleaner than now, with the majority of people taking extra efforts to thoroughly disinfect in addition to spring cleaning. With more people wanting to move to Maine than ever before, we are seeing that in spite of all that is happening our real estate market is still strong and moving.

Is now the time to buy or sell a house? If you are one whose income will not be affected by the pandemic, then now could be a great time to buy. Some of the intense competition may finally ease up a bit, even if only temporarily. Buying real estate during a time when “money is on sale for cheap” is a still a good investment. First time home buyers will have the advantage of no home to sell during uncertain times as a contingency.

Certain sellers have decided to delay putting their home on the market, but we are absolutely seeing a steady stream of newly listed homes both coming to the market each day as well as swiftly going under contract. The technology available today is remarkable and makes virtually touring homes incredibly detailed and accurate. We are now able to provide additional marketing programs as a
courtesy to our seller clients so buyers can feel they are able to “walk into” the home.

Most agencies have been able to quickly implement important changes to the ways we practice real estate. Every aspect of the buying and selling process from how showings and viewings of homes for sale are handled to the building inspection, appraisal process and closing have been significantly modified. The tenacity and creativity of all parties to work together has never been greater and has been awe inspiring to witness in motion. We, as REALTORS® are mindful to screen all clients and customers in the same manner to determine the extent of travel and exposure while being conscious of potential Fair Housing Act violations prohibiting us from discriminating against any segment of the population in regard to ethnicity.

Mortgage rates have increased over the past few weeks as many continue to scramble to refinance but rates still remain significantly lower than they were one year ago at this time. Some lenders feel they may come down again slightly.  If you are considering making an application for a loan in the coming weeks, taking steps such as getting verification of your income or if you are self-employed obtaining verification of any tax returns could be helpful. You do not need to currently be under contract to gather this type of information and there may be temporary waivers or exemptions for certain

Nicole Foster is local real estate Broker in the trenches of the spring market while helping three at home students who is thinking about you all each day and knows that we will get through this.

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