Real Estate Market Trends: Why Buying or Selling a House Remotely Now May Be the Right Move

August 13, 2020

With fewer open houses available, and the added convenience of buying or selling a house remotely, it’s no wonder there has been an uptick in online-tour availabilities and internet listings as buyers search for a new home.

That welcome change has also impacted real estate investors as well, as they pivot to conducting their searches remotely, where information concerning a property’s rental potential in different geographical areas can be researched online.

In light of real estate’s rapidly-changing market, and research that shows that home prices are slowly creeping upward, while mortgage rates remain low, it may be a great time to buy or sell a home.

Since there is less inventory available compared to this time last year, there is greater demand, despite record unemployment numbers. For sellers, this means the potential for a healthy profit, if you can make your home stand out. Some buyers may be priced out of the market, so you’ll need to be aware of your competition. For buyers, it’s important to not be hypnotized by the promise of low rates and instead, look for a house that you can actually afford, taking into consideration the features you must have and those you are willing to give up.

Once you find a home or locate a buyer, the buyer will have the opportunity to inspect the property by means of a home inspection. A home inspector can complete the inspection process safely, utilizing appropriate social-distancing measures and by wearing a mask. Many lenders are also utilizing remote operations, allowing borrowers to apply for mortgages and provide financial documentation online. When researching potential lenders, buyers should inquire as to what each lender’s policies are concerning its remote practices.

After inspections are final and financing is in place, the actual closing process can also be conducted remotely without the need to go to the more traditional “closing table.” These practices may include in-person or electronic-signing via web-cam in front of a notary or title agent (assuming temporary orders entered in NJ and PA allowing these practices are still in place), or the advance execution of conveyance documents forwarded to a title company to be held in escrow. Your lender may have specific requirements about original signatures, so again, you will need to be clear about what they will accept when closing is scheduled In any event, title companies have been very accommodating in terms of conducting remote closings or in the alternative, in utilizing safe practices should an in-person closing be required.

For Further Information Dilworth Paxson is adept at assisting both buyers and sellers throughout the closing process, beginning with negotiating and/or drafting a contract, reviewing and analyzing inspection results and title searches, and drafting and reviewing conveyance documents. Should you be in the market to either sell or buy a home, please contact one of Dilworth Paxson’s experienced real estate attorneys to discuss how we can assist.   

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