Apr 6, 2020 - Partners

Yes, you can still buy a house under North Carolina’s stay at home order — here’s how


This content was created in partnership with The Redbud Group.

queens road west in charlotte

queens road west in charlotte

On March 12, I had my offer accepted on a condo in Sedgefield. It was the same day two people in Mecklenburg County tested positive for COVID-19.

I remember Katie Peralta writing in the newsletter the next morning, “When it comes to the coronavirus response in Charlotte, Thursday felt like an inflection point.” And it did. In more ways than one.

Buying a home is a big life decision even without throwing a global pandemic into the mix, so you could say I was nervous. But I felt good about the price point and good about the location and decided to stay the course.

Once the stay at home order was issued, I had a lot of questions about logistics. Can I still get an inspection? Can I actually close? Will I even be able to move in? Thanks to technology, it’s been much smoother than I could have ever expected.

The Redbud Group is one local real estate firm that has been able to pivot quickly. Trent Corbin, the firm’s founder, says their technology-first approach has helped them adapt faster to the new climate. “Our team’s foundation is digital, so we were fortunate to be set up for this particular contingency.”

Things may be a little different now but the good news is it’s not impossible to buy a home.

To help others still interested in buying, I talked to Corbin about the current home-buying process to get all the details. If you’re still trying to buy in Charlotte this spring, here’s how it works.

With the new statewide stay at home order, what does that mean for real estate?

“There is still a lot of demand out there from both buyers and sellers. Our team is implementing a bunch of unique ways that can still virtually show our clients listed homes without ever leaving our current respective homes.”

Without showings and open houses, how is Redbud Group adapting and making it possible for people to view listings?

“Our showings and open houses have gone virtual. We have been utilizing high-definition 3D imaging software that allows us to show you a home and it’s layout just as if you were walking through it yourself.”

The virtual tours not only allow you to “walk through” the space but also show you a 3D rendering of the whole floorplan and allow you to take measurements.

You can check out some of Redbud’s virtual listings below:

I’ve heard interest rates are low, does that mean it’s a good time to buy?

“If you’re buying a home with the intent of living in it for more than a few months, then yes, it’s still a good time to buy. The fundamentals of the Charlotte market suggest continued population growth in the coming years, which will continue to drive buyer demand.

We have seen mortgage rates react with a lot of volatility in recent weeks, so it’s important to work with lenders in whom you have a great deal of confidence. Not all lenders are able to provide the necessary range of options during these uncertain times. The preferred lenders with whom we work are doing a fantastic job of finding inexpensive mortgage products for our clients and are still closing loans in under 21 days.”

If I don’t already have an agent, what does the process look like for connecting or finding one right now?

“Most of the people that are reaching out to us right now are finding us on Zillow and/or connecting to us through referrals. In addition to virtual showings and virtual open houses, we are offering virtual consultations for our buyers and sellers. This means, we are sitting with you on a video call so you can get to know us and we can get to know you and really dive deeper into your home buying or selling needs.”

How does the actual process work once you go under contract? Is there still an inspection and all that?

“Yes, inspectors and specialty services such as plumbers, electricians, appraisers, etc. are considered essential, which means they can still go out to your home and inspect it.”

Author’s note: Due to my own schedule and desire to social distance, I didn’t attend my inspection in-person but the inspection report came with photos of any areas needing work, which was super helpful.

What about closing? Can I close on my home during the stay at home order?

“Yes, these services are essential too. The buyer and seller can sign separately while practicing social distancing, and we join you on a video conference line so we are with you every step of the way.

We are working with our preferred lenders and attorneys to see what else we can do to move toward 100% virtual closings. We are excited for that possibility as that would be the safest way for us to operate if revised regulations allow for it.”

What happens if I’m under contract and for any COVID-19-related reason me or the seller is unable to go through with the sale. Am I protected?

“Yes, both the buyer and seller are protected if an unforeseen circumstance having to do with the burden of COVID-19 should arise. There is an addendum available that allows for some date extensions and lays out what happens if something were to go awry due to this pandemic.”

Overall what do you see happening with the Charlotte real estate market during and post-COVID-19?

“Now that we are all collectively staying at home and are no longer showing homes in person or holding open houses while COVID-19 remains a threat, we do expect to see transaction volumes decline in the short-run. That said, we expect that when those restrictions are lifted and it is safe to leave our homes, we will see demand and volume return.

There are too many unknowns and variables to know what effect this will have on prices in the long-run, and much of that will depend on how quickly we get through this crisis – the quicker, the better, so we should all be doing what we can by staying safe and staying at home.”

If you’re interested in buying a home, check out some of Redbud Group’s featured listings or schedule a virtual consultation with one of their realtor pros.

(This content was created in partnership with The Redbud Group.)


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