- You can still close on your home if needed. Under certain circumstances, real estate is considered an "essential service" under the stay home/work safe order, so title companies are still closing real estate transactions. In our experience, title companies are taking their response to Covid-19 very seriously. They are restricting the number of people at closing to principals to the contract only. They are taking serious steps to disinfect and keep their conference rooms clean. In many cases, they can also come to you, so you don't have to leave your home. Call your title company and discuss what plan they have to protect the community during this time.
- Postponing your closing. To limit your social interactions, you may decide it is best to postpone your closing if you are able. For those involved in the sale or purchase of a home, the Texas Association of Realtors has just published the COVID-19 Addendum. This document provides for a 30-day extension of the closing date in a residential sales contract if the closing cannot occur due to a voluntary or mandatory COVID-19 quarantine or closure. Ask your Realtor for help.
- You may have to move yourself. Obviously, you want to isolate yourself during this time as much as possible. If you are able, it might be best to go ahead and move yourself.
- Hire a serious moving company. Some moving companies are still working, especially outside of Harris County and other non-stay at home order counties. However, make sure they have set strict Covid-19 policies in place for their movers. Some Houston area moving companies are requiring daily temperature checks of all of the movers.
- If you move into a new home, deep clean it. Here are a few resources and tips that may help:
- CDC has some recommendations on how to clean and sanitize your home
- EPA’s list of disinfectants that they believe works best in the fight against COVID-19.
- Use disinfectant wipes for quick cleanings over the most high-touch areas – doorknobs, sinks, cabinet pulls, refrigerators, etc.
- Use disinfectant sprays for areas that can’t be wiped clean. You can use Lysol, for example, on your couches and mattresses which will touch many surfaces during a move (the ground, the inside of a truck, etc.).
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