In an effort to keep our clients, family, friends, and co-workers informed about the impact of COVID-19 on the real estate industry, we have created a page dedicated to providing information. As much as possible we will continue to update this page with information. The information provided here will be linked directly to the source of information with an effort to minimize any misinformation. If you have any questions about the information provided, please feel free to email me directly at Keith@TheKeithDuncanTeam.com.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What impact is COVID-19 having on real estate sales?
This is the big question that everyone is asking. Going into March of 2020 we had positive signs of another very strong year of sales, with some of the lowest interest rates in history. My opinion is that the future values in real estate are going to hinge on both the impact of a Federal Stimulus Package as well as the length of time for COVID-19 to reach a predictable resolution. The largest concern at a local level is income security. If we can provide predictable income & employment, we will likely see a faster return to a positive market.
What are the major changes I should expect if I am marketing my home for sale?
As of the writing of this FAQ, the biggest changes have to do with showings and open houses. The local MLS has asked that we discontinue marketing homes through open houses. As such, our team has started to record Virtual Open Houses so that buyers can see the highlights of the home online. Also, we are willing to set up face-time or similar showings for clients as needed. Agents in our community are also working closely to provide assistance on a case-by-case basis for each buyer.
I am a buyer in the market right now. What should I expect as I am looking for a home?
Similar to the changes on marketing a home, we are working with buyers on a case-by-case basis to assist in the showing of properties and in providing as much information remotely as possible. If you are looking for a home right now, please reach out to us to discuss your needs and we will work closely with the agents and sellers to establish a recommended procedure for getting you the information that you need to make a decision.
What changes are you seeing with lending, closings, and transacting real estate business?
Policies are being updated daily regarding all aspects of the real estate industry. I would expect to see delays occur as these policies are being implemented. In Arizona, the Governor has stated that real estate is an essential business and it will continue to operate.
Lenders have issued statements to us that appraisals are taking longer than normal – which was already occurring before the outbreak and will likely be even longer going forward. Also, lenders are working with borrowers to verify income and verify future income from their employers. Lenders are doing their best to allow the most relaxed forms of verification from the employer.
Escrow and Title Agencies are also making adjustments. Currently most companies have adopted a policy of having offices closed except by appointment. Arizona is working with these companies to make decisions on the legality of remote notaries in the state as well as forms of electronic signatures that are recognized for certain documents. For anyone currently in escrow in Arizona, please contact your real estate agent for specific policies that effect your transaction.
What options do I have if I am having difficulty making my mortgage payment?
Below are links to the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae websites that outline their response to homeowners who are affected by COVID-19. Also, you may want to reach out to your loan servicer directly for options as well.
I am a tenant and have reduced or lost income due to COVID-19. Where do I find help to pay my rent?
Currently the Arizona Department of Housing is working with the Governor’s Office to provide funding for tenants who are affected by COVID-19. The pilot program is currently limited to certain zip codes in each county. Arizona Department of Housing website is https://housing.az.gov. Click HERE for a link to the eviction-prevention program.
Where can I find out more about COVID-19 in Arizona?
Arizona Executive Order – Prohibiting the closure of essential services.