Southern Maryland real estate in the age of coronavirus: Is this a good time to buy or sell a home?

Kimberly Bean
Published on March 25, 2020

Southern Maryland real estate in the age of coronavirus: Is this a good time to buy or sell a home?

Social distancing. Self-quarantine. Hand sanitizer, soap and water, and elbow-bumping instead of shaking hands.

In our efforts to deal with the world-wide coronavirus pandemic, not only are our priorities changing, but our vocabulary is as well.

There was little warning, really, so it naturally caught many of us by surprise. We’re getting a lot of questions from our clients here in Southern Maryland, worried about whether they should continue to close on their transactions or continue searching for a home or for a buyer for their current home.

We aren’t medical experts, so we can’t field medical questions. But we are Southern Maryland real estate experts and are happy to offer our opinion of what is happening in the housing market and what experts expect in the coming weeks and months.

Uncertainty reigns

While there are plenty of rumors and a lot of guessing from the experts about how the U.S. economy will be impacted by the safety measures federal, state, and municipal governments are enacting, nobody is certain.

We agree with those who say that it all depends on how long it takes to get the virus under control. The longer Americans are out of work, the longer retailers and other businesses remain closed, the bigger the impact on the economy.

Will our deal close?

If you have already signed a purchase agreement, as a buyer or a seller, lenders are taking extra steps to help speed up the process.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, for example, is allowing VA buyers and sellers to participate in meetings with title companies, appraisers, lenders, and VA personnel via phone or “other electronic methods,” according to the experts at Military.com.

Newly constructed home sales are still quite strong, and closings are running smoothly. “During the first two weeks of March, new orders were up 16%, closings continued on schedule, and traffic in home sales centers was strong,” Stuart Miller, Lennar Corporation executive chairman, told the South Florida Business Journal.

The real sticking point to be aware of is that with municipal buildings closing down, the sale may not be recorded when you expected it to. Some municipalities are offering alternatives, such as closing remotely, through e-recording (thank goodness for technology!), and even by mail.

Is this an OK time to buy a home?

There’s a well-known saying in real estate that the best time to buy a home is when you can afford to buy a home.

While mortgage interest rates have edged up a bit over the past few weeks, we’re still at historic lows. Borrowing money has rarely been so inexpensive.

When rates are higher you won’t get nearly the size or type of home you can right now.

If you’re worried about exposure to the coronavirus while house hunting, understand that touring homes for sale is a bit different now but still quite doable. Much of the process can be done online via virtual open houses, 3-D home tours, floor plan drawings, and more.

Even in-person tours can be accomplished in a safe, healthy way.

What about selling? Is this an OK time?

While spring is usually the best time of the year to put a house on the market, this spring is going to be quite different.

There are buyers in the market in Southern Maryland, however, so if you need to sell, by all means, let’s get your home on the market.

As mentioned in the buying section, above, we can use a number of methods to keep your home and your family safe during and after showings.

Remember, the inventory of available Southern Maryland homes is still quite low, so you won’t have much competition for home buyers’ attention. Across the country, bidding wars are still happening.

If your home is in good condition and priced well, it will sell.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We’re happy to help.

Mechanicsville MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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