How Stay at Home Orders Are Affecting Real Estate Transactions
Purchasing a home is both an exciting milestone and an extremely stressful event. Even when things are running normally in the United States, people who are buying a property must deal with numerous moving parts and expenses. With nearly every facet of our lives upended by the global COVID-19 pandemic, prospective owners are faced with new challenges.
Whether you’re in the middle of a property transaction or are just starting the process of buying or selling a home, you should know:
- In most cases, transactions still can be completed — Though there are some exceptions, such as Maryland and Louisiana, law firms are considered essential businesses in most states and can remain open. However, parties, their representatives and others associated with a real estate transaction might not feel comfortable with a traditional attorney’s office closing, even if it is allowed. Fortunately, cooperation and creativity has helped people and businesses conduct transaction tasks, even appraisals and inspections, while minimizing in-person contact.
- Virtual meetings and notarizations are filling the gap — Some states have already authorized virtual notarizations, and stay at home orders have spurred other jurisdictions to approve them on a temporary basis. Likewise, closings can be handled online in some instances.
- Depending on your circumstances, you might choose to wait — You know your situation better than anyone else. Though real estate closings might still be completed with a little extra effort and the assistance of technology, that doesn’t necessarily mean moving ahead is the best decision for you. An honest conversation with your attorney about your circumstances and the repercussions of backing away from the deal can help you understand what is the best road forward.
Instead of panicking or abandoning your plans immediately, you can benefit by taking some time with a qualified real estate lawyer to discuss the specific provisions in your state and how he or she can facilitate the transaction process under quarantine rules.
Contact a thorough real estate lawyer to make an appointment
Backes & Hill, LLP advises real estate buyers, sellers and owners on a wide range of legal issues and concerns. To schedule a consultation with a qualified attorney, please call 609-396-8257 or contact the firm online.