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As local, state and federal officials work to slow the spread of Coronavirus in the United States, the necessary response can differ significantly depending on your circumstances. And while the overall risk to most Americans continues to be low, certain precautions are consistently recommended to protect yourself, and others, against COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.

With the industry’s peak season now underway and interest rates near historic lows, home buyers and sellers are unlikely to disappear. As the interactions inherent in real estate transactions continue, both parties can benefit by keeping some best practices in mind and applying them specifically to their real estate experiences.

Limit Exposure

One of the most effective means of slowing the spread of an infectious disease is by limiting contact with others. While prolonged contact is more of a concern than casual encounters, at-risk individuals, such as those over 60, may consider avoiding open houses and opt instead for a private showing with a real estate agent.

Relying on technology, such as voice and video calls, can also be a cautious alternative to meeting your Realtor in person to discuss the search or sale.

Effective Hygiene

The uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus reinforces some of the vulnerabilities that accompany buying or selling a home. Visiting a stranger’s house, or having unfamiliar guests explore yours, should warrant precautions year-round, but the impetus to be safe is especially significant now.

If your home is on the market, have hand sanitizer available to prospective buyers if possible, and even a note encouraging them to use it. Plenty of soap and disposable towels in the bathrooms are also a good idea. Following a showing or open house, take the time to disinfect doorknobs, light switches, faucets, cabinet knobs and drawer pulls. Of course, if you or a family member begin to show symptoms of an illness, consider a pause in showings.

Prospective home buyers should make use of hand sanitizer and effective handwashing throughout their house-hunting trips. Offering to drive yourself rather than riding with your agent may offer added peace of mind for both of you.

Taking Advantage

Despite the legitimate fears involved, the spread of Coronavirus is not a reason to abandon your real estate goals. In fact, now may be a fantastic time to move forward.

Lower interest rates help buyers’ budgets go farther. They can also make refinancing more attractive to homeowners. An influx of buyers may create more opportunities for sellers in a market where inventory is already limited. Looking forward, disruptions to the supply chain due to reduced workforces and imports may also add to the price of new construction, making now the best time to buy.

Protect yourself in all aspects of your real estate transaction with a lender you can trust. Open Mortgage originators have the knowledge and experience to find the loan that best meets your needs. Find out more at OpenMortgage.com.

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