As the world around us changes, many of y'all have asked about the impacts on the real estate market, home values, mortgage and more. As I get new questions and evolved answers, I will update this as an ongoing resource!
If you have questions or need clarifications, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call 919-455-6228.
Q: Is it a good time to sell my home?
A: YES! As a country and especially as a region, we are experiencing a major shortage in inventory. As of March 31st, the available homes in the Triangle would last for 1.8 more months if nothing else went on the market. A balanced market needs 6 months! Demand is still very much there, multiple offer scenarios are still arising and buyers are still experiencing the natural rhythms that cause them to purchase.
Q: Is it a good time to buy a home?
A: Yes! Mortgage rates are at historic lows, competition is slightly reduced in the marketplace, and sellers may be more open to financial concessions in exchange for security and a serious buyer. It's important to make sure you are pre-approved, have done your research and are certain you love a home before proceeding with showings. There are many other ways to research and see homes virtually in the meantime if you are early on in your process!
Q: Is it still a good idea to refinance my home? What the heck does that even mean?
A: It depends! Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, though they fluctuate more than normal. At it's core, refinancing means taking advantage of the current mortgage rate instead of the rate when you bought your home.
Q: How do I know if refinancing my home is a good idea?
A: Talk to a lender! They can look at your mortgage statement and between what you owe, your credit score and your current rate, they can determine your new monthly payments. A good rule of thumb is if you will be saving at least 1 month of your mortgage payment over the year, then it's a good deal. Keep in mind, you may have closing costs that you can pay or finance into your new loan.
Q: What precautions are being taken for home sellers and buyers during this time?
A: For home sellers, virtual listing appointments and virtual showings are always an option. If you choose to go the traditional route, you can amend the showing instructions, masks/wipes/booties and hand sanitizer will be provided and all CDC guidelines will be strictly enforced. Every situation is different, but rest assured the utmost care will be taken to keep germs out of your home and limit traffic.
For home buyers, virtual showings, video tours and interactive floor plans are always available. Should you choose to see a home in person, make sure you have read all the disclosures, have driven by to confirm you like the outside/lot/location, and have viewed all materials (photos/videos/tours) available before you go in person. All other needs such as inspectors, appraisers and attorneys are practicing very safely and we aren't seeing a huge delay or issue with getting from contract to close.
Q: Is there anything limiting the way that my Realtor can serve me?
A: As of now in Wake County, Real Estate is considered an essential business, along with all other real estate functions like inspectors, appraisers and attorneys. We are all working remotely and as safely as possible, but are still able to conduct business in a cautious but normal way. In Orange County and other counties in NC, Real Estate is not considered essential, so regulations and roles are restricted.
Q: Are remote closings possible? Do buyers have to be present at closing?
A: As it stands, buyers are still required to attend closing because North Carolina doesn't have digital notaries. However, attorneys are taking extreme precautions and offering alternatives like e-signing some things ahead of time, drive through closings and minimizing time spent in office.