Tag Archive for: NEPA

Summer is the best time of the year to explore Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA)! Alright, I lied, my favorite time of the year in our region is early autumn with cider donut runs, changing foliage and high school football back on the menu, but summer is easy on the eyes too. There’s plenty to see and do in the Greater Scranton area and we hope you can set aside some time to get busy and explore.

NEPA has diverse environments with everything from hiking trails to city streets and commercial businesses in the downtown areas of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Dickson City, to name a few. You can explore much of this region from our “search by city” page.

Over the past two years, homebuyers have looked at their purchase slightly differently. Now, some buyers desire spaces where they can work-from-home. They want living spaces without open floor plans to allow for remote work in addition to having areas for their children to complete their homework and other ways to escape. Are open floor plans going out of style? Maybe, but the pandemic brought us here and we’ve taken notice of this trend in recent months. A modification in purchasing habits certainly happens from time-to-time. That’s why there are trends in the first place, but this one came on rapidly. Solitude in the home is welcomed and some buyers need walls for crying out loud. But if you can’t break from an open-concept home, perhaps living in a walkable community will help ground you and alleviate some of that stress.

In Northeastern Pennsylvania, walkable communities are slightly harder to discover, because after all, we have many rural areas. On the other hand, you can get just about everywhere in Scranton. While various parts of the city are certainly walkable and unique to the area (Green Ridge, North Scranton or the Hill Section immediately come to mind), car traffic has its day too. Is Scranton walkable? Yes, but it didn’t make our list. 

The tiny town of Jessup is nestled between Mount Cobb and the Lower Valley (Blakely) with a good mix of dwellings. There’s a rich heritage here, especially from those of Italian-American descent. The town is laid out well with the Casey Highway (Route 6) cutting through/above town, yet not obtrusive in any way. Jessup has a few parks for its residents to frequent, including Jessup Memorial Field Park & Kids Korner and Eales Preserve (a nature conservancy). Another bonus for inhabitants is the ease of access to the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, in the north section of town. Shops and restaurants are within walking distance and most sit on Church Street or Hill Street. One drawback is walking access to grocery stores. For instance, the nearest one is approximately 1 to 2.5 miles depending on where you live. While some errands require car use in Jessup, the town does feature tourists at various times of the year and has access to public transit. Is Jessup walkable? Yes, but it didn’t make our list either.

Nonetheless, here are NEPA’s four most walkable communities:

Pittston

Location – Northeast of Wilkes-Barre, southwest of Scranton, in Luzerne County
Access – Route 11 and within close proximity to Interstate 81 and the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike
Walk Score – 76 
Highlights – Campbell’s Ledge is close to Pittston and for those who love to walk/bike, hop on the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail
Parks – Riverfront Park, Sullivan Park, Jefferson Park, James Clark Park, Albert West Park
Amenities – Restaurants and shops fill in Main Street as well as across the bridge in West Pittston (on/off Route 11)

Dunmore

Location – Neighboring Scranton on its east side
Access – Ranks very high with the ability to connect to Interstates 81, 84, 380/80 and the Casey Highway, all directly from town
Walk Score – 74
Highlights – Walking and biking around town is relatively easy with the wonderful sights of the Dunmore Cemetery and Marywood University. Scranton is relatively close too.
Parks – McHale Park (Dunmore Community Center), Sherwood Park, Saint Anthony’s Memorial Park
Amenities – Restaurants and shops along South Blakely and East Drinker Streets

Tunkhannock

Location – Northwest of Scranton in Wyoming County
Access – Route 6 and Route 29
Walk Score – 61
Highlights – Some of the cutest shops you’ll find outside of Clarks Summit and Honesdale, businesses are coming back into town and if you visit, you’ll see why
Parks – Riverside Park, McCord Park, Lazybrook Park
Amenities – Wonderful access to stores, restaurants and more on Tioga Street or Bridge Street; the Bypass has also helped keep much of the business/commuter traffic away from town

Old Forge

Location – Southwest of Scranton
Access – Quick ability to connect to the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Interstate 81 and Route 11
Walk Score – 59
Highlights – Pizza is a favorite here, but you probably already knew that
Parks – There are nearby parks, which are worth the trip, but other than softball and little league fields, there are no parks in this borough
Amenities – Superb access to restaurants, stores along Main and Oak Streets, grocery stores would need to be accessed by car

There’s more uncertainty in the national real estate market than we’ve seen in some time. We’re two years beyond the onset of COVID and while we’re past many of the main health concerns of the virus, obstacles still remain. Remote work is likely here to stay, thus there are adjustments to housing post pandemic, which continue to unfold and impact the market. Is time running out for sellers to take advantage? Will buyers have a better chance of acquiring real estate being that their purchasing power has somewhat diminished? What’s in store for our market in the Greater Scranton area?

The future of real estate isn’t as dark as some would have you believe. The chance of a housing crash, the likes of 2007-2010, lacks much supporting evidence. In fact, the exact opposite might be true. Many experts are calling for a busy spring market this year and even Zillow projects home appreciation to hover around 9% for 2022. Many of the conditions, which existed prior to the housing bubble, simply aren’t present. When the market began to tank fifteen years ago, there was a surplus in housing inventory, mortgage lending resembled the Wild West and foreclosures occupied their fair share of the market.

Today, the narrative is quite different. There are shortages in markets throughout the country. Here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, our month’s supply of homes continues to unimpress buyers: year-to-date we sit at 1.29.* A magnifying glass would be required if the inventory got any smaller. In the four years, which consisted of the housing bubble, the market was heavily in favor of buyers and saw surpluses of housing between 7.3 and 9.6 month’s supply, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Furthermore, lending restrictions are much tighter than those that existed fifteen years ago. In 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act became law with its eye toward consumer protection and a reform of the lending industry, especially riddance of predatory lenders. In general, those who are approved for a mortgage in 2022 are much more qualified than those approved even a dozen years ago. Finally, negative equity in the national housing industry has reached its lowest level over this same period of time. Much fewer homeowners are underwater than were during the housing bubble.

The future of housing post pandemic is not scary. Actually, 2023 will probably resemble 2019 more than it will last year. Inventory will bounce back, but that might take a year or two. The immediate future for sellers does pose a threat to them receiving top dollar for their investment. “There’s a little insanity in our market right now,” maintains Amy L. Kiesinger Bohenek, an Associate Broker with Realty Network Group. “Listing agents are faced with multiple showings and offers, sometimes over asking price. The appraisal process can be cause for a headache from time-to-time too. When a home doesn’t appraise, where does that leave both parties, especially the seller?” Despite this, the window for bidding wars and high price appreciation is closing. Despite climbing mortgage rates, demand for housing remains strong. Price appreciation will continue to trend up, albeit home prices shouldn’t be in the neighborhood of 18%, like much of last year. Sellers in our region should act sooner than later if they want to take advantage of this market they find themselves firmly entrenched.

Buyers must hang in there if they have a desire to pursue real estate anytime soon. The question remains, how can you sit tight when your purchasing power appears to be vanishing? Homebuyers have seen the average thirty-year fixed mortgage rate increase to roughly 5.3%, which is about 2% higher than it was at the beginning of the year. Many first-time buyers are already struggling to get their foot in the door and compete with others, including investors. Higher rates, for those who require a mortgage, generally mean they’ll have less to contribute toward a monthly payment. That’s why it’s important for buyers to have a plan, stick to a budget and know what they can afford.

In addition to the factors listed above, real estate in Northeastern Pennsylvania continues to have affordability as its ally. Year-to-date, the median home sales price is $179,000 (up 7.7% from the previous year).* New listings are down slightly, but inventory is expected to pick up. The groundwork for homes to appreciate at a slightly slower pace with small improvements in inventory is being laid. With an increase in buyer and seller competition that’s sure to come this spring and summer, being too conservative, will surely impact homeowners thinking about selling.

 

* Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS®

Give a warm welcome to our newest real estate professional, Valerie Altier! She brings into our market a wealth of knowledge from the business and accounting fields. As a graduate of Penn State University, Valerie managed an accounting firm and also worked as the chief administrative officer at a local tech company. Her background in this field coupled with her passion for real estate, has our company, Realty Network Group, even more excited for connecting buyers and sellers in 2022.

Though this is the start of something new, Valerie has always found real estate interesting and has been involved in the ebb and flow of the industry through her husband’s investments, home construction and sales over the past twenty-five years. “We’re excited to welcome an agent who is both a true professional, who loves our region, as well as someone who’s dedicated to her family,” expressed Mark DeStefano, CEO of Realty Network Group.

Valerie enjoys spending time with family and friends. She loves to travel. Her work ethic, business skill sets and life experiences position her well for what she’ll encounter in real estate. “One thing I’m looking forward to the most in this business is its uniqueness,” proclaims Valerie. “Each client is one-of-a-kind. Every home is different. Each day is extraordinary.” Having lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania her entire life, Valerie can point her clients in the right direction, navigating them through various neighborhoods and school districts available to them. “Seeking out that feeling of comfort or home is paramount to buyers and it is important to me as well,” exclaimed Valerie. “I certainly discovered that feeling at Realty Network Group. It’s reputation, size and support were some of the things that attracted me to this firm.”

Are you looking to buy or sell? Valerie Altier will listen to your needs and help you achieve your objectives by discovering properties that may even surpass your expectations. Get started by calling Valerie today at 570-702-1104 or via [email protected].

Realty Network Group’s newest REALTOR®, Lisa Armetta, looks forward to the demands of today’s real estate market. Lisa has lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania her whole life. She understands the region, the culture, but most especially its inhabitants. “Our community is loaded with hidden treasures, including its people,” attests Lisa. “Locals need an advocate who will act (when need be) and guide them through the real estate search, transaction and beyond.”

With over thirty years experience in all facets of the restaurant and bar industry, Lisa understands firsthand how to treat clients well. Repeat business has always been extremely important to her! When customers come back, time and time again, it says something about your business: your product and your personal brand. Leaning upon her achievements in managing thriving area businesses, her focus now has shifted. Running a successful real estate business is her goal.

It’s important to work with professionals who understand how daunting the purchase of a home or business can be — it’s a large investment, to say the least. Lisa recognizes how vital it is for those involved to be comfortable with their purchase. Her wish is for her clients to not only see the property for what it is, but also be able to experience it for what it could be, its potential, a reflection of them.

“I chose Realty Network Group because it’s a small business, who’s very involved in our community,” asserts Lisa. “They have a wonderful reputation for supporting their agents and their clients. I’ve spent most of my career building small businesses, where people are family. I desired a company who was inline with that philosophy. My hope is to help prospective buyers find the right property to build their ‘family,’ even if it’s a business one, and help sellers find the right buyer.”

Being involved in real estate over the years, Lisa has a good understanding of potential setbacks for buyers and sellers. Forward-thinking is essential in this business. When Lisa sees opportunity for her and her clients, she acts. She’s an achiever, who will work tirelessly for her clients’ needs. She’s ready for the challenges that lie ahead in this market as well as the next one.

Seeking the services of a professional, but you’re hesitant because of a prior bad experience? If you’re thinking about making a move in 2021, call Lisa Armetta today at 570-840-1793 or via email at [email protected].

Realty Network Group’s newest REALTOR® is a native of the Scranton area and currently resides in Eynon. “I understand that where you live and who you represent are most important,” describes Michael Turlip. “These values have been instrumental in my life and continue to guide my endeavors.” Mike Turlip graduated from the University of Scranton in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. From there he served in the U.S. Army for four years as a Military Policeman. In January of 2002, he was deployed to Afghanistan following the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. Upon returning, he completed an overseas tour in Europe, serving as a member of NATO at the Supreme Allied Headquarters in Belgium. His experience in the military has instilled in him what it means to sacrifice and serve others. In 2005, he was accepted to the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in Hershey, Pennsylvania. For the past sixteen years, Mike has continued to serve the public as a Pennsylvania State Trooper.

“My experience in public service has embodied the principles that we as Americans should strive for every opportunity we can,” emphasizes Mike. “I’m thankful for my experience and wish to utilize this drive, which has developed from my military background, in order to be successful. My success will translate to success for my clients and that’s my priority.” Mike understands how central buyers and sellers are to real estate in 2021. He grasps the connection between homeowners, investors and tenants far greater than most real estate professionals who are beginning to grow their business.

Mike has always had an affinity for real estate. Eight years ago, he purchased his first investment property. “I think real estate has always offered me a challenge that intrigues me,” asserts Mike. Whether it’s buying a fixer-upper and transforming it back to a neighborhood treasure or investing in rental properties that provide affordable, well-maintained housing to those in the community, the growth of his portfolio has meant more to him than sheer assets. Investing in our community is foremost, and coupled with his passion to serve others. As a real estate professional, Mike fully intends to provide his clients with knowledgeable service, based on his experience, while taking into consideration their real estate goals.

For the past two decades, Mike has served in some of the most prestigious organizations in the country. The principles conveyed through them, led him to Realty Network Group. This company takes pride in serving its clients well and adheres to the highest standards in the real estate community. Loyalty and service to those we represent coincide with his values as a veteran and a State Trooper. He looks forward to applying these same principles to assist and meet all of his clients’ real estate needs.

If you’re seeking the services of a real estate professional who is dedicated to finding your forever home or selling your current one, contact Michael Turlip today directly at 570-290-4421 or via email at [email protected].

What if we told you we were coming up on the sweet spot for buying and selling in real estate? Would you believe us? Real estate has a long tradition of being a seasonal market, especially in Northeastern Pennsylvania where we undergo four seasons. Alright, perhaps we only have three – late summer, long winter and rainy spring! Nevertheless, if and when spring sets in, motivated sellers have their sights set on unloading their home for top dollar. Over the past few years, there’s been a slight shift in the data in how consumers have responded. And of course, COVID-19 has severely affected traditional real estate trends in our Greater Scranton market.

The trends over the past nine months show some of those glaring differences:

Month Sold Listings Year-Over-Year % Active Listings Year-Over-Year %
October 388 68.7 665 -51.5
September 335 46.9 667 -50.8
August 361 36.2 692 -50.9
July 350 29.6 811 -41.5
June 141 -41.2 856 -36.3
May 107 -57.2 888 -30.6
April 156 -23.2 968 -19.0
March 167 -7.2 1046 -8.5
February 156 -1.9 1026 -11.6
January 173 16.1 1079 -8.9

* Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® statistics

The sold listings from this past May, June, September and October clearly point to disruptions the pandemic has imposed on real estate in Northeastern Pennsylvania all while housing inventory continues to fall. Regardless, if we’re trending back to some sense of normalcy in real estate, Thanksgiving time might be the sweet spot for buying or selling real estate.

If you’re seriously considering purchasing a home, November and December certainly can make their case as to why you should make a move into their corner. Generally, autumn has been an excellent time to buy a property. In fact, according to real estate information company Attom Data Solutions, some of the best days to buy are November 9, December 4, 7, 26 and 29. Boxing Day, December 26, a monster shopping day on the calendar, is actually the single best day to purchase a home!

As we approach the heart of winter, buyers notice some of the lowest prices of the year. In fact, low mortgage rates continue to provide many with the opportunity to purchase, while having more buying power. Though experts believe the rates will stay low for the start of 2021, a change in leadership, bond prices and the state of the economy could certainly change that.

Believe it or not, November and December likewise present a good situation for some who are looking at selling. At the end of the year, buyers typically have less choice and homeowners seeking to sell may take advantage of these circumstances. The fact of the matter is this: There’s generally less competition for sellers, whereas there’s more motivation and perhaps the lure of year-end tax benefits for buyers. If buyers are seriously considering homeownership, this creates ideal conditions for sellers, who are typically competing with lower inventory by year’s end. Today, in the Greater Scranton area, our housing inventory is incredibly low! Furthermore in recent years, more homebuyers are less fixated on “summer buying” as well as school schedules (some don’t even have children) and if they have time constraints, their motivation can play right into the hands of sellers.

“Traditionally November has always been a really terrific month for sales because you’ve got people who have been out there looking saying, look, another year is about to pass. Let’s focus”

Depending on your specific situation right now, this time of the year might be the sweet spot for buyers and sellers alike. Yes, you’ll find highly motivated sellers in the market, but there won’t be a shortage of motivated buyers either. Given the right mix, it might be perfect timing to buy and sell!

 

If you’re a buyer or seller and have more questions, see our (buyer/seller) FAQs or contact us today.

 

It’s hard to imagine the real estate terrain we find ourselves in these days, but yet here we are. Many parts of the Northeast, who prior to the pandemic were struggling, are now reporting record signs of growth – the largest increase in home sales since the end of 2006. Unlike much of the Northeast portion of our country prior to COVID-19, Northeastern Pennsylvania’s market was thriving. When the economy became derailed in March, real estate entered stealth-mode for over two months. Since then the terrain has been very smooth, churning at a fast pace. Home sales and home prices have been on the rise. Though homes are selling for 11.6% more this August versus one year ago, home prices year-to-date are enjoying a more comfortable 2.2% increase (year-over-year).*

Sure, the challenges are present for our market: our inventory is very low, more homes are going under contract than are being listed and commercial space is beginning to saturate our market; but the Greater Scranton area appears to be insulated from the other surrounding regions. Lower-priced homes have been in short supply this year, especially in recent months. Hopefully new construction kicks it into gear, but the higher costs of lumber since mid-April hasn’t helped the situation. Some homeowners have decided to stay put, which hasn’t boosted the housing inventory either. Nevertheless, our area remains very affordable and for many first-time buyers, they eventually find what they’re looking for.

Demand remains strong and thus it can be frustrating for some homebuyers, especially in our current seller’s market. It’s particularly stressful if you’re searching in print these days! Some of the properties we market in print are no longer active when they appear in black-and-white in the publication. Honestly, properties are moving fast these days. May we make a suggestion? If you’re actively searching for a home in today’s market, look online without hesitation. We would also strongly suggest having your agent keep you up to speed with the latest listings that fit your criteria and the trends affecting the neighborhood(s) where you’re searching.

Where you search online can make a difference too. Recently, we were awarded Best Real Estate Website in Northeastern Pennsylvania for the third year in a row by local newspaper readership. Our award-winning website, realtynetwork.net, features the entire inventory of homes on the market through our comprehensive database. Our site has a simple interface with straightforward navigation and high mobile-performance, so you can easily connect with us from wherever you are. There are many tools available for visitors to explore as well. Venture to our award-winning website today and let us know what you think.

 

* Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® stats

Over the years, we’ve been thankful for support from our clients as well as our professionals, who’ve been instrumental and vital to our success. They certainly are motivation through the obstacles brought on from this pandemic. As we can attest, connecting buyers and sellers requires new approaches in order to be successful during this surreal year. So far in 2020, the Greater Scranton market has shifted from being balanced to one now highly in the seller’s favor. The absorption rate (the rate at which homes are selling over a specific period of time) has dropped from 6.44 (last July) to 4.02 (this July), while inventory continues trending downward.* Though housing in Northeastern Pennsylvania is among some of the most affordable in our nation, affordability is dropping in many markets and difficult challenges for both buyers and sellers lie ahead.

Our network of REALTORS® will help you navigate these obstacles and put you on the path toward homeownership or vice versa, if you need to sell.

Please spread the love and vote our firm, Best Real Estate Agency and Best Real Estate Website in this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards. [<– This has since ended, but you can see past winners here.]

We sincerely appreciate your time and support!

* Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® stats
Readers’ Choice Awards – Times-Tribune

It’s been a trying time for homebuyers and sellers since mid-March. They’ve had to put their plans on hold. Their real estate future has been met with uncertainty, but of course, sadly some have lost their jobs and are either in no position to purchase property or are afraid of losing their home. Thankfully, mortgage loan forbearance has rescued many in this post-COVID-19 society. In fact, loan forbearance won’t negatively affect your credit. (Learn more about it here.) There are others who have surprisingly found themselves in a better position than they did at the start of the year: People have realized how much they dislike their jobs by having time to reflect and/or working from their residences; some are “earning” more on unemployment compensation than they did when they were employed; and some, who have families, are working from home while saving money on daycare costs (though that’s coupled with homeschooling these days).

It is a crazy world we live in right now. It seems as if my third grader had written this tale – a contagious virus attacks our cities, school’s out (as well as our supply of toilet paper) and when we opened our pool in May, it began to snow.

Presently, real estate is opened for business in only twenty-four (yellow) counties in Pennsylvania, but it’s not “business as usual” yet. There are precautions taking place in those counties resuming in-person activities. Over the next few weeks, we could see real estate showings and in-person meetings resume in parts of Northeastern PA. Homebuyers, who are patiently waiting and believe they’ll be in a position to buy in the upcoming weeks, can take steps to be ready for action. We’ve outlined six ways you can find your next home while sheltering in place:

  • Use Google’s Street View option to explore areas of interest. This tool allows you to catch a view of a house or an entire neighborhood without even taking a step outside.
  • Time is a precious commodity. We value it and we know you do too! Therefore, when you discover areas of interest, estimate how long it will take you to commute to and from work.
  • Research area schools and learn how they stack up against other districts in your community. GreatSchools is one place to look, but there are others as well. Gain insight into our area school districts and properties available for sale within those districts.
  • Research local cities to find out all they have to offer. We’ve done a little research for you on some of the popular cities of NEPA, including Archbald, Carbondale, Clarks Summit, Dickson City, Dunmore, Factoryville, Moscow, Old Forge and Scranton.
  • Connecting with locals is a great way to gain insight into a neighborhood. Scour the web for resources from local communities as well as social media groups you can join.
  • Make sure to equip yourself with crime data for neighborhoods where you’re thinking about purchasing a home. This is one way to be informed about how safe or potentially dangerous an area might be.
  • Find a buyer’s agent you can trust, who has experience selling in various market conditions and who’s knowledgeable about the areas you’re interested in.

For more insight, check out 8 Ways To Test-Drive A Neighborhood While Sheltering In Place.

Coronavirus Q&A below. Over the course of the past three weeks, Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) has undergone changes in lifestyle, business and just about everything else you can possibly imagine, including real estate. Governor Tom Wolf’s orders, as they pertain to our industry, remain non-life-sustaining. Yet, in a recent move by the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (PAR), the association entered a brief in support of a lawsuit, which has been filed against Pennsylvania’s governor. The purpose of the suit? To designate real estate as a life-sustaining business.

PAR recognizes the importance of “[minimizing] in-person services wherever possible and [following] appropriate CDC guidelines” to keep the public safe and flatten the spread of COVID-19, but when deemed necessary, the association believes sellers and homebuyers should have the ability to attain shelter – one of life’s three essentials.

Coronavirus Q&A: How to approach selling your home or buying one during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nevertheless, it’s a confusing time for buyers and sellers and you can add real estate professionals to the list also! Some consumers are left wondering if obtaining a roof over their head is even an option right now. The world is changing, which is fairly evident. Real estate and how the industry will operate henceforth will be altered too. We look to keep you informed as this fluid situation constantly changes. In the meantime, we’ve addressed some of the common questions we’ve received from our clients/customers.

Can I sell my home in this current climate?

If you’re thinking about selling your home immediately, understand that the present terrain in real estate has numerous roadblocks, which you’ll encounter in some way, shape or form. Can a home be sold momentarily? Yes, it’s possible, but realize tremendous assistance from the seller would probably be required in conjunction with the agent, while attempting to procure a buyer. This is a discussion you need to have with your REALTOR®.

Are there things I can be doing now to prepare to sell my home?

There are absolutely things which can be done now to prep your home to sell in the months to come. “Clearing out the clutter” should definitely be on the top of your list. Other strategies like painting, reorganizing, attacking problem areas of the home and landscaping should strongly be considered as well. Check out this page on our site, which will give you a few more ideas to consider. As a homeowner, you should contact your REALTOR® to come up with a plan for proceeding, as many sellers find themselves on the sidelines during this outbreak.

Should I look for a home now or wait?

There are multiple phases to the home search process. Prospective buyers typically start their search online months before they even physically enter a home (which is practically impossible since the outbreak of COVID-19). For the consumer who doesn’t have to move – wait. In the state of Pennsylvania, there are no in-person showings until further notice. Only services that a REALTOR® could offer remotely are permitted at this time. Of course, you can look at homes virtually through our extensive online catalog of properties available for sale in NEPA.

As a buyer if I decide to wait, what steps would you suggest I take so that I’m prepared for a time when in-person showings resume?

First and foremost, we would recommend setting up a “virtual” homebuyer consultation. If you have an agent, get in touch with them and discuss your needs. If you don’t have one yet, start your search there. Choosing a real estate professional is more important than one might think. Select the perfect agent for you! Secondly, reach out to mortgage lenders. Have a firm grasp on what you can and can’t afford, find ways to improve your credit score, if necessary, and look at the lending options available to you. Lastly, begin examining the market and what’s available in your price range. Create a list of pros and cons. Having a better understanding of these three dimensions can only propel you toward making better decisions when the time is right.

As homebuyers and sellers, can we engage in executing an agreement of sale during this unprecedented time?

Yes, but there’s so much that goes into making these types of decisions: Can I place an offer on a property I haven’t stepped foot in? Are there certain reasons I might want to press pause for the time being whether I’m buying or selling? We strongly suggest you discuss your concerns with your REALTOR® as well as your real estate attorney.

 

We hope this Coronavirus Q&A was helpful. Should you need further assistance, please reach out to our network of real estate professionals.