On Sunday, March 22, at 8 p.m. the residential real estate world as we know it came to a halt as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order that all non-essential workers stay at home went into effect. Real estate salespeople could no longer show homes, and buyers and sellers were left having to wait out the coronavirus. But this doesn’t mean buyers and sellers can’t do anything. In fact, there is plenty you can do from — and to — your home.
We spoke with several Hudson Valley real estate professionals who provided tips for what you can do now to be ready for that turn around.
Do some lending research
Now is absolutely the time that you can start educating yourself, and taking the time to fully understand the process. If you are vetted in the process, then simply getting your financing in order is a good move. — Irene Amato, CEO, A.S.A.P. Mortgage Corp.
I would advise serious buyers to get their lending process started, so they can move quickly if they find something they like.” — Joseph W. Rand, chief creative officer, Rand Realty.
Calculate how much you want to spend
Think about how you spend your money and how much you need to put toward purchasing and maintaining the house. How much do you want to spend on, say skiing, dining out, traveling? If you are a home-body you may be willing to spend more on the house than someone who spends more of their time outside of the house. — Linda Lindsay, associate broker, Paula Redmond Real Estate, Inc.
Line up your team
Having a list of home inspectors to choose from so you can schedule the inspections as soon as your offer is accepted is always prudent. Even having in mind the real estate attorney you will be working with when the deal is made is very helpful. Being ready and able to move forward immediately could make all the difference. — Gabrielle Adonetti, real estate salesperson, Weichert Realtors
The location is most often determined by the commute to work, and if there are children involved the ratings of the school system. Now is a great time to start researching that online. A family typically likes a neighborhood and dislikes main roads. A buyer coming from the city is not bothered by a main road. Take a drive through some towns to see the layout. A call to the local police dept can also inform the buyer of crime activity in a location or neighborhood, and as realtors we also suggest that they visit the Megan’s Law website. — Suzanne DeCosta, associate real estate broker, Houlihan Lawrence East Fishkill
Start exploring on www.hvmag.com where you’ll fid our 2020 Best Places to Live feature (April issue), focusing on towns with great Main Streets. Our 2019 article featured more villages, plus countryside escapes and live-work-play communities.
Tackle small projects
Now with everyone concerned about funds and most people are self-quarantining, this is exactly the right time to put your time and effort into projects that don’t cost anything or have minimal costs, such as deep cleaning and organizing. If you have clothing or cookware, books, furniture -— anything you are not using or don’t need, what a perfect opportunity to pass those items along to people who are truly in need of essentials. — Linda Lindsay
Declutter and depersonalize: start packing up the excess; you are moving and might as well start now. Pack up the rooster collections or books piled on the floor. Organize your closets — yes, the [buyers] will open them — Suzanne Welch, associate broker, Coldwell Banker Realty
Neutral paint and good lighting go a long way in a home’s appeal. A coat of paint cleans up the space and creates flow. — Gabrielle Adonetti
Take stock of your home
When you list your home for sale, you’ll be required to fill out a property disclosure form. With the NYS Property Disclosure, it’s the seller’s opportunity to disclose any known issues with the home. This includes things like the age of the roof and water heater, any major repairs or additions, and more serious concerns like asbestos and lead paint, or even any fires. — Suzanne Welch
“When we get through the market challenges created by the coronavirus, we’re all going to experience a strong desire to get back to some semblance of normal,” predicts Joseph W. Rand. “Assuming that the economic situation stabilizes, I expect we will see a lot of pent-up demand from buyers whose home searches were interrupted by COVID-19. And I think they’ll have a sense of urgency, because they’ll want to be in their new homes in time for the new school year.”
A.S.A.P. Mortgage Inc., is offering free online courses for different types of products: veterans loans, construction loans, renovation loans, refinances, etc. Consumers can join in on any video conference classes through www.asapmortgageinc.com or call 1.866.thinkASAP to register.