Everything You Need to Know About Buying and Selling a Home in the Pandemic

Navigating the real estate market was already intimidating, but in this uncertain time, we all have even more questions about how to do it. We asked you, our readers, to share your biggest concerns, which we then passed on to Vince Malta, CEO and broker of San Francisco’s Malta & Co. Malta — who is president of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) — channeled his 43 years of experience to offer advice about buying and selling in this strange new environment. Wherever you are in your real estate journey, start with a Realtor®, a member of NAR, whose expertise can help you find the right path.

Credit: Jess D'Amelio


1Is now a good time to buy?

2Is now a good time to refinance?

Credit: Jess D'Amelio


3What is the best place to find information about how COVID-19 is affecting the home-buying process in my area?

4Is it currently more of a buyer’s or seller’s market? Is COVID-19 shifting these?

5Would it be better to wait longer to see if prices will drop before purchasing?

6What about “bubbles”? Are they going to burst now?

7With uncertainty in the job market, is it a bad idea to put so much cash into a down payment?

8How will the housing market/property value in major cities be affected by COVID-19?

9I’ve heard that mortgage payments can be deferred due to COVID-19. Is that true, and if so, how can I find out if I’m eligible?

10I’ve heard mortgage rates are low. Does that make it harder to get approved for a mortgage? Have lending requirements changed due to the uncertain market?

11Before COVID-19, I heard wire fraud was an issue for sellers and buyers to be aware of. Has that changed?

12Are new protocols due to COVID-19 adding any extra costs I should budget for?

13I’ve heard that banks are swamped with applications to refinance. How does that affect my mortgage application to purchase? How can I prevent myself from getting lost in the shuffle?

Credit: Jess D'Amelio


14Are new safety precautions being implemented in the home-buying process in light of COVID-19?

15What’s the best platform for finding a Realtor® right now so meeting in person may be avoided?

16How am I able to view a property in person while social distancing?

17Are home inspectors and appraisers able to provide their services at this time?

18Loan applications are traditionally very paper-heavy. Is that still the case?

19Does a closing need to happen in person or can they be done digitally now?

20How does a virtual closing work? Don’t some documents still need to be signed originals?

21Are there any special considerations I should keep in mind surrounding COVID-19 before submitting a purchase agreement?

22When should I start talking to a Realtor® if I want to buy a house in the next 12 months?

Credit: Jess D'Amelio


23If I’m using my stay-home time to make improvements, which ones will add the most resale value?

24Is there a reason sellers might want to take their homes off the market for now?

25Do I have to attend the closing? Can I sign paperwork in advance or electronically?

And that’s where we are now. Of course, we’re in a continuously changing situation, and everyone’s situation is unique. If you still have questions visit realtor.com/thats-who-we-r/ to find your local expert. We’ll all get through this together.

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