Buying A House In Nevada w/ Social Distancing Changes
The New Normal
Buying a home in Nevada while Social Distancing is different than it used to be. Demand for Las Vegas housing is high and everyone has learned to live with Covid-19. Still, buying a house in Nevada while social distancing is a good idea. Creativity is still important – you don’t know anything about who lives in the house you’re going to. Our goal continues to be to do what we can to protect you!
Buying a house in Nevada starts the same way it always has. You still choose a Realtor and talk to a lender if applicable. You don’t have to ever physically meet with a home lender. Title signings in Nevada are done in person in their large sanitized conference rooms. Nevada has indoor mask mandates.
Searching For Homes Online
After you know what price range you want to stay within, it’s time to go shopping online. Always search for homes on a good private Realtor’s site. National sites don’t take listings down when they are under contract. Realtors in Las Vegas do. With a national site, you are wasting time looking at houses that you cannot see or purchase.
Search on our 200-page website – we have over 1000 pre-set searches or you can make custom searches. HomesForSale.Vegas – we update every 15 minutes. You can also search homes for sale on our Las Vegas zip codes search page. It contains 7 interactive maps.
Companies like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia are in the “lead selling business.” They sell leads from available and pending sale properties to Realtors. If they removed homes with offers, they would cut their listings and lead selling by over 50%. They can give you a semi-accurate idea of pricing, however, if you’re looking to move shortly, go for accuracy.
View Accurate Websites For Home Information
If you are looking in Las Vegas, Henderson, or North Las Vegas, Nevada, bookmark our website, www.HomesForSale.Vegas and use it. You can save searches and receive new listing notifications and you can save your favorites to your private box to revisit anytime. The best part? We will never SPAM you.
After researching home information sheets, watching videos, and looking at floorplans, select as few homes as possible to investigate further. You really want to go inside as few homes as possible these days. The problem is that in a “Seller’s Market” agents are not paying for video tours anymore.
The biggest change we saw last year was the number of virtual tours posted online. Now Realtors take pretty bad pictures with their phone and few edit them. We find the picture choices amazing. Try to focus on your want list and look at room sizes, floorplan layouts, and ceiling heights.
If you are fortunate, you’ll find a video tour. The most popular tours are Interactive ones. These vary a little, but in general, you can put your mouse on a spot in the video that’s either inside or outside the home and see in a circle when viewing on your computer. You even choose which room you’ll go to next. Others shoot in 3-D and still pictures. One other company has a floorplan mapping program that comes with their videos. They are getting extreme.
In Las Vegas, most homes were built within the last 20 years, and the original owners still live there. If the Realtor is smart, they’ll ask for the seller’s original floor plan provided by the builder and possibly their upgrade list. We smile when a floorplan has been uploaded. The problem we also see is that some people just cannot visualize a floorplan in their minds. Be patient with a spouse or partner if this is the case.
Pictures and virtual tour house shopping won’t show problems or possible issues. They will not show 3-foot weeds in the back yard of the house next door or scuffs on the walls and baseboards. You can’t see settling cracks, drainage problems, and water leaks. If you choose to buy a house sight unseen, let us go look for you. As a former structural engineer Let me be your eyes.
Viewing Homes: Virtual vs. In-Person
Whether you’re buying a new construction home or a resale, you’ll then have two choices once you have a few homes chosen to look at. When buying a home in Nevada while social distancing, some sellers prefer that interested parties make an offer contingent on viewing the property within X days. Expect most other Nevada homes to allow showings “by appointment only.”
In-Person– Meet your Realtor or follow them in your car at a property. Caravan to see additional homes from there. Wear masks. We carry booties in case a client would like to use them. Hopefully, each property’s interior will have all of the lights on. Some will have every door and cupboard door open, so touching is minimal. We ask that the sellers aren’t present during the showing. If you have questions after leaving, we can go back to the home for you and send a video or Facetime. Some questions you have can also be answered by the seller. Don’t hesitate to ask.
Sight Unseen– If you choose the “Sight Unseen” buying method, know that seeing pictures or a video tour won’t show you everything. Every home purchase should have a home inspection. If you plan to replace everything, sight unseen gets your offer into a seller quickly and may make sense. We will view any home you’d like to make an offer on for you and make a visual ‘possible issue” list for you.
If you choose not to see a property in person, it’s always a good idea to have a representative view both the interior and exterior of the home and then the perimeter of the property for you. Home inspections typically do not cover cosmetic issues. If you are the type of homeowner who expects to paint all the walls and replace flooring anyways, “Sight Unseen” might be the way for you to buy a home.
Contingent To Viewing Offers
If you made an offer contingent on viewing, you will then have the price and terms locked in. This can save you a lot of time. If you are considering a new home, tell us what you’re looking for. We’ve been to almost every subdivision and know all Las Vegas builders. We’d be happy to tell you our thoughts about a builder, subdivision, or house. Terri and I are excellent resources- use us!
New Construction Homes
In Las Vegas, some new home builders are open “By Appointment.” Some have a video tour of their model homes. New home builder’s agents will also film things for you if you have a question. We’ve walked through homes filming/video chatting with our clients with the model home agent talking and the seller on the phone.
With a brand new home, shopping strictly online can be hard. Are you able to read floorplans and visualize the home? Some people have a hard time visualizing a reversed floorplan when the orientation is flipped. The biggest problems we’ve seen are with choosing lots to build on. We video as well as we can and will get you a map so you can drive by and view each available lot before going into contract.
Typically after viewing a model home you like, we drive by and walk available lots. It’s difficult to have someone do this for you as there may be unknown factors but we try. Some lots have abnormal shapes and you probably want to see what the neighboring homes look like. One-story or two, views, busy street or not, where the park is, those kinds of things. This is where driving by is a good idea.
If you choose new construction, can visualize a floor plan, and like what you see on the video, we talk about upgrades. Buying a home that needs to be built is considerably easier but build times are taking twice as long – often over 8 months. Meeting your Realtor at a model home with a camera, wearing a mask is the new normal. We suggest early in the day for visiting models. Because I monitor construction for you, you can make your upgrade choices by video chat and sign papers virtually and online.
Inspections During Social Distancing
Inspections For Resale Homes– After there is an accepted offer on a home, an inspector will inspect the house within a week and provide you will pictures or videos of any found issues. If there is anything you’d like to have measured or pictures taken or video taken, we can do this for you while the inspector is there.
Inspections For New Construction- As your home is being built, I do weekly construction monitoring and send pictures and video to you if applicable. I do a framing walk-through for you (or with you) to verify that all of your options and upgrades are there before the drywall goes up. Upon completion of the home, as our gift to you, the best new construction inspector in town will check every system and feature of your home. Having an inspection of systems leaves you free to learn systems usage or not attend a new-home orientation.
Some builders are choosing to skip the Homeowner Orientation however, there is a liability factor that they may not want to give up. They may still want to show you the home features from 6-10 feet away while maintaining social distancing at all times. We are willing to go for you and facetime or messenger with you. To us it’s all about your comfort level.
Nevada’s new construction homes have a one-year, front to back door warranty, covering everything except cosmetic damage. The inspector checks the windows, the attic, roof, and systems so your repair list can possibly be completed before you move in.
In-Person Contracts and Signings
Virtual contracts and online loan applications have been a normal way of operating for a few years. Due to the possibility of fraud, notarized signatures must still be done in person. Most title and escrow companies in Nevada have Covid-19 Standards that they adhere to. These standards include rooms with good ventilation that are sanitized between all signings. You will be given a new pen if you did not bring one. The person doing your signing will wear a mask and sometimes gloves since they touch papers before you do.
We’ve all been dealing with social distancing and Covid since March of 2020 and know what we feel comfortable with. Our goal as your Housing Protectors is to always look out for you, including protecting you during Covid-19. We are here to keep you as safe as possible and to provide you with the best customer service possible.
Taking Possession Of Your Home
With social distancing in mind and germs, when we write offers, our standard verbiage has been to have the seller have the entire home professionally cleaned after sellers vacate and before closing. Cleaning to include all appliances and hard surfaces. The inside and outside of all cupboards and drawers, windows, screens. Baseboards and wipeable window coverings are also to be included. All doors and door jambs are to be sanitized. We also request all floors to be steam cleaned and sanitized.
To avoid a walk-thru before the home is completely sanitized, are asking for pictures of the front of the house, the interior of the home, the garage and the backyard. From the time the sellers move out until you move in, the property will have multiple days of self-disinfection. It’s important to us for you to feel safe upon entering your wonderful new home.
We Sell Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas
Let’s work together to find you the right property in the fastest and safest way we can. Give my office a call for a housing consultation so we can get to work for you- 702-750-7599.
This page was written by Kurt Grosse at Realty One Group. Kurt joined his wife/partner Terri selling homes in Las Vegas in 1996 and has been protecting buyers and sellers and their investments since. With their experience, technology and innovative ways to protect their customers, their services are invaluable.