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Selling Your House During the Pandemic: Should You Go Through with It or Wait?

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a pause on many people’s plans. Family vacations to other countries were canceled as borders closed. Young people, who are supposed to move out of their parents home and into a dorm, stayed in place as classes shifted online. Weddings have been postponed to a later date as large gatherings were prohibited in many states.

Even summer was canceled as people sheltered in place to stop the spread of the virus in the United States.

However, there is one activity that does not have to be stalled because of the pandemic. Selling your house right now is a good idea. Here’s why.

The Lowest Mortgage Rates in Decades

Earlier this year, due to the economic downturn, the mortgage rates for 30-year and 15-year loans went down. Many people have started shopping for the best mortgage rates available to them. They moved to take out a mortgage for the first time or refinance their existing mortgage to save thousands of dollars.

With the current mortgage rates playing around slightly over or below 3% — the lowest in decades — Americans find themselves more capable of buying and owning real estate.

Houses Not for Sale

More aspiring homeowners are ready to buy their dream homes, but there is a limited number of houses available in the market.

Homeowners decided to postpone selling during the pandemic. Some do not want to endanger their family’s health by welcoming strangers into their homes. While most viewings are being done in a socially-distant way through FaceTime or Zoom, the seller still has to open their doors to real estate agents and inspectors. The buyers also want to see the property before they push through with the sale.

Others do not want to go through the process of moving during the pandemic. With cases still rising, everyone wants to stay put until the disease goes away.

The current condition of the economy, and with the high rate of unemployment right now, families avoid making major financial decisions.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis says that there are only about a four-month supply of houses that are for sale. About six months’ worth of houses is considered healthy. This is the first time that the country reached this level in almost two decades.

Expensive Houses

As the law of supply and demand often dictates the price, houses get expensive this pandemic.

That is what is already happening across the country. The median price of homes rose to $280,600 in March — an 8% increase compared to the same time last year.

Analysts did not expect it to happen. When the pandemic hit, many thought that the market would experience devastating losses. They thought no one would be interested in buying real estate properties.

The opposite happened. In July, Redfin, a real-estate platform, released the result of a survey conducted this year. It found that 45% of home buyers purchased a property without seeing it. It was a significant increase from last year when only 28% of home buyers bid on a home without a physical visit.

Why Sell Now?

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The process of selling a house will be very different from what you were used to. You can certainly expect attending to a lot of Zoom meetings to meet with potential buyers, discuss the terms of the sale, bidding, etc.

Home prices are still steadily rising right now. If your family is already settled in your new house, or if you are ready to move out, there is no reason why you should defer selling the property.

With the low supply of houses for sale in the market, listings are also being snapped up almost as soon as they become available.

There are still health risks from COVID-19, but a huge portion of the process of selling is now done online. There are significantly fewer in-person visits and meetings, which means that you would not be putting yourself nor your family in too much danger—as long as everybody follows the minimum health protocols, including wearing a mask.

The transaction might take longer, however. New bank procedures and temporary closings might cause delays.

Ultimately, the decision to sell or wait depends on you and your personal circumstances. If you do not want to welcome strangers to your house right now, you should not sell. Your and your family’s safety is the priority right now. However, if you were ready to move before the pandemic and you can take extra precautions to minimize the risk of infection as much as you can, then go ahead and sell your house now. You may get a better deal out of it.

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