Buying and Selling a House in a
The real estate market came to a grinding halt when Coronavirus hit in early March, and though it’s slowly coming back to life, buying and selling a house looks a little different now. With CMHC mortgage qualification rules changing as of July 1st and new protocol that’s helping minimize the COVID-19 risk, here’s what you need to know about buying and selling a house in a Coronavirus world.
Stringent physical distancing rules
House showings and viewings require a little extra work to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Expect hand sanitizers and masks to be part of any home buying experience. If you are selling, you can request to have prospective buyers sign a health disclosure prior to visiting your home. You can also expect to sign these prior to viewing homes. A minimum number of people may enter homes, so you may need to keep your mother-in-law and kids off of your open house viewing entourage for now.
Technology is your new best friend
Virtual home tours may continue to be the first showing. From 3D tours to virtual open houses, this ensures that only the most interested buyers will be looking at your home in person. If you’re buying, make sure you check out all the available online marketing materials possible, as photos, 3D tours and video vignettes can do a lot to narrow down your in-person house visits. Google Maps can give you a better understanding of your new house’s location and nearby amenities, with useful satellite and street views that give homebuyers an accurate representation of its surroundings.
Open houses are not so open
Even with the market opening up, expect open houses to have scheduling, social distancing and hygiene practices enforced such as mandatory masks, hand sanitizer and gloves. Open houses must only be done if the seller is comfortable to do so, under the advice and along with the best practices of the realtor or real estate company that is representing the seller.
New mortgage requirements
Your borrowing power may be impacted with CMHC’s new mortgage requirements. Homebuyers will need a higher credit score, no borrowed down payment, less buying power and reduced debt service ratios.
"Visit YourMortgageYourWay.ca for custom advice of how the new mortgage requirements will affect your specific situation, or to get an annual mortgage check up. We are set up to help you online and on the phone, no need to meet in person."
It’s always best to work with real estate and mortgage professionals to get the most up to date information as things are changing constantly. Your house is your most valuable asset and while real estate looks a little different than before the pandemic took hold, it’s still possible to successfully buy or sell a house in these times.