While the world continues to navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19, the health and safety of our clients and team members is our top priority. We are working remotely to ensure that every client receives an exceptional mortgage experience from start to finish. If you were planning to purchase a home this year or if you are in the process of buying a home during COVID-19, here are a few things to keep in mind as you continue to make your way to the closing table:
Credit Score Requirements
Many mortgage lenders have tightened minimum credit score requirements on various loan products. If you have a good credit profile, there are still great financing options available. If your credit score is lower than the typical minimum requirements, you will want to double-check to see if you will meet current qualification requirements.
Loan Product Availability
Due to the impact of COVID-19, some niche loan products may have limited availability. However, there are a wide variety of loan products to select for your purchase. It’s the perfect time to evaluate your home financing plan with a licensed loan officer before you begin your home search. Once you find the right home, you’ll want to move fast, and it will be extremely beneficial to know which loan type you will be applying for far in advance of making an offer.
Excellent rates are still available for qualified buyers. Our dedicated team keeps a watchful eye on the status of mortgage rates, and they can best advise when the timing is just right to lock in the lowest rate available for your home purchase.
Closing Cost Assistance
In a seller’s market, it’s essential to work closely with your real estate agent to negotiate the maximum, allowable closing cost assistance for your loan type from the seller (even if that means working it into the purchase price of the home).
As long as realtors and their clients take certain precautions, it’s still possible to tour homes. Most real estate agents are offering video conferencing options for meetings with sellers and buyers and virtual home tours. The National Association of REALTORS® shared best practices for agents to follow if an in-person showing takes place. The tips mentioned include:
- No more than ten people should be touring a home at one time
- All guests should remain at least six feet apart during the showing
- Require buyers to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering or leaving the home
- Require guests to remove their shoes or cover their footwear with booties
- Leave all lights on and cabinets/internal doors open to prevent contact with frequently touched surfaces
- Encourage clients to disinfect their homes after a tour – particularly doorknobs, countertops, and faucet handles
When it comes to closing day, you’re also covered. Title companies are offering e-signing, e-closing, and mobile notary services to limit the need to appear in person on closing day. Ask your real estate agent to recommend a title company that can offer this type of service.
Despite a few hurdles and changes to regular routines, we’re keeping the momentum going, and making sure that our clients stay safe, healthy, informed while they move through the home buying process. If you are considering purchasing a home during COVID-19, don’t let fear and worry hold you back from taking the next step. Our team is on standby and ready to answer any questions you may have during this time.