During these unprecedented times, I have received a lot of questions regarding the home buying/selling process and how it is being affected by the government order to “stay in place”. Here are the major take-aways:
- Real estate brokers and salespersons are not “critical infrastructure workers”and therefore may not leave their homes for work. The only narrow exception to the order is the instance where work is absolutely necessary to assist those with a genuine and emergent need, such as an immediate lack of shelter. Real estate services, like the showing of homes and other property, open houses, and other client contact should be considered to be non-critical and travel to do so is prohibited through April 13, 2020.
- Mortgage Lenders and Title Companies fall under the “critical infrastructure workers” category and will continue working. Lenders are working remotely, so you can still get a pre-approval, apply for a mortgage, re-finance a mortgage, and receive funds to close on a home. Title companies are offering “drive up” closing; they overnight the closing package to the buyer & seller for signatures, then you drive to the office where an employee will collect the closing documents and payments. If the buyer/seller requests to close in the building, the real estate agent will not be allowed to attend. Real estate brokerages have the ability to participate in closings via conference calls or other video conferencing methods to comply with the Governor’s order.
- Home inspectors do not fall into the “critical infrastructure workers” category. If you have an accepted offer during the “stay in place” order, have your real estate agent include an addendum for a delayed inspection.
- Michigan Realtors® have provided real estate agents an “Addendum to Purchase Agreement COVID-19 Condition Extension”. This addendum states that if COVID-19 causes a shutdown or work stoppage of a governmental entity or settlement service provider makes it temporarily impossible for either party to perform as required under a Purchase Agreement, or in the event Purchaser or Seller becomes the subject of a medically required quarantine, then all outstanding contract deadlines may be extended for as long as these conditions continue, but in no event longer than thirty calendar days.
If you are planning to make a move this year, this is a good time to plan. Talk to a lender to find out how much you can afford to pay each month, what amount you will need for a down payment and how much you will need to save for closing cost. Use the links above to search homes for sale, this will give you an idea of what is available in your price range. If you have a home to sell, use the link above to get an idea of your current market value.
In closing, I am always available to answer questions and provide recommendations for local lenders and service providers. You can reach me via phone, text, email or visit me on social media.
Wishing you good health, Dani