Top 10 Questions and Answers – Selling Your Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak and Stay-at-Home Order
1) Question: Can homeowners sell a home During the COVID-19 stay at home order?
Answer: Yes; however, depending on the county you reside in, many agents are NOT allowed to show your home unless it is vacant due to the stay at home order. Even without the order, sellers should minimize the time strangers are in their home.
2) Question: Are mortgage companies and banks still providing mortgages?
Answer: Yes; however, many of the trades required to process your loan may not be allowed to work. Mortgages companies and banks require or highly suggest appraisals, survey, title work and inspections. In many jurisdictions these professionals may be deemed non-essential, and as a result your loan may be delayed.
3) Question: Can homeowners sell their home without using an agent?
Answer: Yes, you can sell home without the benefit of an agent. Homeowners are still required to comply with the local stay-at-home requirements.
4) Question: Can homeowners use companies that pay for their homes upfront without home showings?
Answer: Yes; however, read the contracts thoroughly, some of these companies have recently cancelled contracts and closings. Many will also offer prices lower than market value. You are advised to seek the counsel of a lawyer to review the contracts before signing.
5) Question: Are sellers required to reduce the price of their home during the COVID-19 stay at home order?
Answer: No, although lowering your home price will attract more buyers; you control the price of your home. The stay in place order restrictions will still apply.
6) Question: If a homeowner has a sales contract on their home and a buyer request repairs, what happens if the homeowner can’t find contractors or trades people to complete the job?
Answer: If you agreed in writing to do the repairs you are obligated to complete those repairs regardless of the circumstance. You may want to contact your Realtor and see if the dates on the contract can be extend.
If you have NOT signed any documents requiring the repairs, you ARE NOT required to make any repairs. In North Carolina, ALL HOME SALES are AS-IS, per Paragraph 4 Section D of the standard REALTOR residential Offer to Purchase contract form 2-T.
7) Question: Can a buyer cancel the contract to purchase my home?
Answer: Yes, If the buyer terminates the contract within the due diligence period. If the buyer decides not to purchase your home after the due diligence period, the buyers could be subject to legal action OR if the homeowner/seller allows the buyer to cancel, the seller may be entitled to the Earnest Money Deposit in addition to the Due Diligence fee.
8) Question: The buyer submitted a COVID-19 addendum, does the seller have to sign it?
Answer: No, Realtor contracts and addendum are negotiable, it is your option to sign only the agreements that you agree with and understand. Your REALTOR should be able to explain all agreements and the significance of not signing any specific agreement.
9) Question: Are sellers required to show their home during the stay at home order?
Answer: No, If your home is listed by an agent, the agent can stop all showings immediately and only allow virtual tours and no personal showings, and your home would still be visible on 3rd party sources OR your agent also has the ability to change the status of your home from “ON THE MARKET”/ ACTIVE to TEMPORARILY OFF MARKET which will immediately stop any showings, but may remove your home from 3rd party marketing sources. Each approach has pros and cons; therefore, discuss the options with your REALTOR.
10) Question: The attorney has just moved your closing date; do I have to comply, and can the buyer hold me accountable for the delay?
Answer: The North Carolina standard contract form 2-T, Paragraph 14, does allow for limited delays in the closing if all the parties are acting in good faith, these are serious times and many attorneys are trying to accommodate closing; however, they are subject to many of the same stay at home rules. Many closings are now being performed as MAIL-AWAYS or via Video conferencing.
Do you have any additional questions regarding selling your home during the COVID-19 outbreak and the stay at home order? If so, please feel free to call Executive Sellers Realty. Our firm specializes in residential real estate in North and South Carolina and has been located in Charlotte, NC for over 10 years. Our firm can be reached at 704-491-2870 or you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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