Buying a Home in Masthope Remotely: The New Normal
Just a few months ago, shopping for and buying a house in Masthope without ever actually seeing it would be unusual. But here we are in a pandemic, and we’ve found ways to keep moving forward from the old normal to new normal. As we grow accustomed to our new reality (guided by the CDC and WHO), you might be surprised to find out that buying a house remotely and with no regrets is a fairly simple process, so don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you in your tracks. Whether you are just beginning your home search or you are about ready to close, buying a home remotely is easier than you might think.
Finding The Right Agent is Critical
Finding the right agent is always the first step when house-hunting, but it’s especially critical when you are trusting them to be your eyes and ears for a remote purchase. When choosing a REALTOR®, you wan to make sure they are very familiar with the community. You want someone who knows more than just the average price per square foot. Find someone who knows what it’s like to live there – someone who knows what it’s like to call that place home.
It’s also best to find an agent who knows the process of remote home purchasing forward and backward. Work with an agent that will give you access to the MLS, which is, the most trustworthy source on housing market data available online. This will be tremendously helpful when you get serious about the next step: house-hunting online.
Shopping for a house online is definitely part of the old normal that most buyers are used to. That being said, keep in mind that looks can be deceiving. While the layout and location may be exactly what you want, it’s fit and finish that really make one Masthope home for sale stand out from another, and those qualities can only be truly appreciated in person. So before you e-sign on the dotted line, arrange a virtual tour with your trusted agent.
Virtual Touring wIth Your Masthope REALTOR®
During a virtual tour, your REALTOR® can walk through the house (vacated by sellers) with you on a video chat. Ask your agent to open doors and turn on lights, look inside closets, and get close-ups of any details in the house that you care to see. No, it’s not exactly the same as being there in person, but you can ask your agent to deliver feedback on the sounds, odors, and temperature in the home. This will provide an impression that’s far better than the listing description or photos or virtual tours provided by the seller’s agent.
Making An Offer
Once you have decided on a property, its time to get all your paperwork in order and hand over the reins to your real estate expert. These negotiations happen between your agent and the seller’s agent and don’t require anything that can’t be done by phone or email, so COVID-19 can’t put the breaks on this part of the deal. Now is the time to sit back and let your REALTOR® work their magic.
This may be the one and only hurdle in your remote house-buying plan. The impact of COVID-19 is an ever-changing landscape, with rules being written on the fly to keep up with constant change and adaptation. That being said, there’s simply no way to do a remote inspection, so if you are in a state where real estate is considered a nonessential service like Pennsylvania, there’s just no way around it. You’re going to have to wait. Those rules apply to everyone equally, so the good news is that you don’t have to worry about your dream home being bought out from under you by someone else.
Unlike a home inspection, an appraisal can be done without anyone stepping foot in the home. There are many things that go into determining a home’s worth, but the variety of external factors that determine a home’s current value can be combined with information collected by drive-by and desktop appraisals to calculate an accurate figure. Although this may sound like it’s a part of the new normal, it’s actually not.
A title review is essentially an examination of property boundaries and ownership history. It’s a fine-toothed legal comb, looking for any missed crosses on T’s or I’s without dots. It’s almost always done online, so the current coronavirus restrictions don’t have much of an effect on this part of the remote-purchasing process.
The final walk-through
Your agent can conduct the final walk-through for you over video conference, so you can make sure that any repairs requested after the inspection have been completed to your satisfaction and the home is in the condition you want it in. If you’re feeling nervous about buying a house remotely and want a little more assurance, talk to your REALTOR® about how to add a final walk-through contingency to your contract. That way you can get out of the deal if something has gone wrong.
The details of this final step of buying a home remotely will vary state-to-state. Since the E-Sign Act of 2000, e-signatures have been recognized as legally binding, but closing on a home requires more than just an authorized signature, it also requires a notarized signature. Fortunately, the state of Pennsylvania is permitting temporary remote online notarization (RON).
The Senate Bill 841, effective as of April 20, temporarily authorizes all Pennsylvania Notaries to notarize any record for a remotely located individual using communications technology. This law supersedes the previous emergency Notary orders announced by the Department of State. Previously, only certain real estate and estate-planning documents could be notarized using remote online notarization.
Be sure you’re in close communication with your agent and the title company, make sure you know when the documents need to be received, and how they will be sent. Instructions on how and where to wire your down payment should be made clear to you by your REALTOR®, but if something doesn’t make sense to you, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.
Hopefully, this article has shed some light on the fact that there is actually a clear and well-worn path to remotely purchasing real estate.
Partner with Top-Rated Masthope REALTOR® – Alicia Kowalik
Whether you are interested in homes for sale in Masthope or ready to list your current property, Alicia Kowalik provides the kind of knowledge, skills, dedication, and personalized service you need and deserve. Known for her warm and friendly personality and professionalism, Alicia goes above and beyond for her clients to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.
Alicia Kowalik, REALTOR®
Lakeview Realty Inc.
2449 Route 6
Hawley, PA 18428
Direct (Best): (570) 470-5076
Office: (570) 226-6300