What it’s like to buy a home during coronavirus

May 21, 2020


Buying a home is a major life milestone. Buying a home during COVID-19 makes it even more significant. To shed some light on what it’s like to buy during this time, we sat down with new home buyers Eric and Kate (via Zoom, of course). Here’s their story. 

Meet Eric & Kate 

Eric and Kate recently closed on a home in Richmond, California. But their journey to find and buy a home started months before Stay-at-Home orders went into effect. 

“We started the process of looking for a home in November,” Eric said. “We felt that as a couple, it was a good time to buy and commit to the Bay Area.” 

“Right–and in January, we made an offer on another home that didn’t work out,” Kate recalls. 

By early 2020, Eric and Kate were still looking at homes and determining where to buy. They were seeking a home close to San Francisco (where Kate works), but also one that was well within their budget. 

Using the Reali app, Eric and Kate requested multiple disclosure packages before touring homes, then connected with Reali’s back office and East Bay real estate team to quickly schedule visits. 

“Reali helped us buy our dream home during COVID-19” 

In March, as the coronavirus pandemic made its way to the Bay Area, Eric and Kate made another offer on a home with Reali.  Just as COVID-19 began impacting the Bay Area, it was accepted. 

“Everyone was trying to figure out what they could and couldn’t do during this unique time. Things definitely took longer (financing, escrow, title), especially with courts closing. We had to be flexible and patient on both sides of the transaction,” Eric said. “I have purchased a home before, so I knew what to expect in the process, but Kate hasn’t. There were delays in closing due to COVID-19 (and our anxiety was growing) as we tried to close quickly and sync our rental to getting the keys to our new home.”

“Our agent, Pegge Trail, was wonderful. We had many calls and consolidated some of the inspections and walkthroughs as much as we could. She was there for us, helping us negotiate every step of the process. We got the same level of service with Reali as with other agents, if not better. And we had someone on our side who never pressured us,” Kate said. 

Some advice, homebuyer-to-homebuyer 

As Shelter-in-Place orders begin to lift, Eric and Kate have tips for prospective buyers. Here’s their advice for those looking to buy a home right now:  

Start looking now

With some people moving out of California and the Bay Area for work relocations and many other reasons, homebuyers have a unique opportunity to find their ideal home. 

Be patient and flexible 

COVID-19 is a situation that hasn’t come up before, so have patience and make sure to communicate with your agent regularly. Also, make sure your agent is communicating with the Seller’s agent and that the two remain in close contact throughout the transaction.

What’s Next for Eric and Kate? 

While an in-person housewarming may not be in their immediate future, Eric and Kate have shown their home to friends and family virtually. Kate’s family is from Russia and Eric’s is in Michigan, so no visitors just yet! 

As for how they’ll spend their Reali Rebate, they are excited to put their money toward renovations on their new duplex. We can’t wait to see them. 

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