Tips for Real Estate Shopping During COVID

Major League Baseball has finally returned, so have our beloved Bronx Bombers and New York Mets. As our favorite players take the field once more, it feels like a step in a familiar and healthy direction.

But, as we adjust to crowdless games and canned audience reactions, familiar and ordinary feel very different from what we used to know. This is a feeling that is not exclusive to baseball, but also real estate shopping.

It’s increasingly apparent that the new realities are not a short-term matter, but a long-term one. We need to think about adapting to the new norm and what these long-term realities mean for housing prices. 

Where Are Prices Now and Where Are They Going?

The biggest question on the real estate world’s mind is where are prices going to land? Is there going to be another housing fallout circa 2008, or will rates normalize? It is impossible to say because the real estate market has never experienced something like this before. 

That said, there are a few almost-certainties that we can expect:

  • Areas that rely heavily on tourism and attractions will likely see the housing market shift upwards as the economy begins to recover.
  • Areas with high unemployment rates will see prices increase when people begin to return to work.
  • You can still get a mortgage. Just plan on adding additional time while you are shopping for a lender. New realities are making it more challenging to secure home loan financing, which means fewer housing transactions occur.
  • Fewer people are shopping for new houses because of uncertainties regarding the market and their job security.  We should see more potential buyers house hunting when the economy bounces back.

Overall, most experts are anticipating a quick bounce back for most real estate markets. However, there will be some small drops in house prices compared to the pre-coronavirus markets.

Is It A Good Time to Buy Real Estate?

The answer is: it depends. It depends on many factors, some of which even the best real estate professionals can’t predict for you. The factors to consider are:

  • The area where you are shopping. Are prices going up or down? Are there financing options available? What are the unemployment rates for this area? Is it profoundly affected by the present conditions?
  • Your job. In particular, how healthy is your company during this time, and how vital is your position? If the company you work for is prospering despite the added pressures, you’re in a safe position to buy. If your business is struggling, it may be best to wait until you can see how the long-term future looks.
  • Your intent. What do you hope to do with this new property? Is it somewhere for you to live? Or, are you just looking for an excellent investment opportunity? This is important to consider because of the uncertainties facing most real stake markets.

If the conditions are right and you are comfortable with your job security and the real estate market you’re shopping in, then it is an excellent time to buy property!

Tips for Buying A Property in COVID Times

If you’ve decided to shop for real estate, despite the new realities facing the market and world, it’s important to remember this familiar but different concept. Shopping for a new home or property investment is still a simple process, but with some differences.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you navigate the new norms of real estate shopping.

Get Pre-Approved!

The way the world understands and approaches the still-developing situation seems to change weekly. Lenders are also very fickle with the rates they offer borrowers. The approval process is a bit longer than it used to be. There are more implications for lenders to think about in today’s world!

Thus, it is in your best interest to try and get pre-approved. This will ensure that you aren’t waiting for approval after you’ve found the perfect property to buy, but it will also give you peace of mind that you’re locked into a comfortable rate.

The truth is that we just don’t know what’s around the corner anymore. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Ensure Job Security and Stable Income

We touched on this before, but it is so crucial that it needs to be said twice. Almost every company is suffering in some capacity as a result of the pandemic situation. The good news is that we’re starting to learn how to adapt and even thrive.

You need to take a serious look at your job, position, and income level to decide if it is smart. Job security, in particular, is a critical factor. What happens if a second swing from the virus does occur? Will your job or company be at risk?

You need to be prepared for all possible scenarios, and unemployment is an unfortunate reality that more and more people are facing.

Don’t Overpay!

Naturally, you want to avoid overpaying with any real estate purchase. The new rules regarding social distancing and restricting specific otherwise-routine processes can make it challenging to research and create a safe, comfortable purchase.

For instance, some buyers may not feel comfortable participating in open houses or meeting with an agent. You shouldn’t let these fears get in the way of landing on the right property at the right price.

There are many real estate companies and agents that are offering online 3D property tours, video conferencing, virtual open houses, and other practices that are more consistent with today’s guidelines for safe and healthy interactions with others.

Take advantage of these tools and get the right deal!

Consider A COVID Clause

More and more real estate purchases being made in the last few months have an added clause in the contract addressing many of the concerns and possible speed bumps created by pandemic pressures. 

A COVID-19 Clause is a special addendum to a real estate contract that offers answers to certain unexpected conditions. These conditions alleviate potential pressures facing both buyers and sellers.

For instance, if the buyer does unexpectedly lose their job or has an issue with income, they may have the option to opt-out of the deal with no or limited repercussions. Alternatively, buyers experience extended deadlines to meet inspection concerns or repair needs because of restrictions for how many contractors can be in their home at the same time.

Essentially, this helpful clause alleviates a lot of the possible unknowns and time concerns regarding a real estate transaction in these times.


Despite everything going on in the world, real estate purchases are being made, and buyers and sellers are experiencing relatively painless transactions. It’s a different world than we’re used to, but thanks to these tips, you should have no problem navigating the new environment!