Shutdown Update: Effects on Housing

Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) began providing information to its members about the possible effects of the government shutdown on housing. In an Oct. 1 post on the RE/MAX Blog, RE/MAX passed along that information – and some perspective – to you.

At that point, the shutdown was in its first days and the discussion centered on potential effects only. This week, the discussion is about the realities.

The shutdown is, in fact, delaying closings because lenders are unable to verify loan information only the closed Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration can provide. This means some pending mortgages likely won't be finalized until the IRS and Social Security offices reopen. Here's an Oct. 9 NPR article that offers more information.

So when will the shutdown end? Of course, that's impossible to know. The 1990s shutdown lasted 26 days. It's Day 10 of the current shutdown. The past doesn't necessarily predict the future; however, it's not unrealistic to think this all could last another week.

If you're currently in the process of buying a home or selling a home and want an update on the status of your transaction, call your real estate agent. He or she should know how what the shutdown is affecting your transaction, and should be in regular contact with you, the lender and other parties involved.

The shutdown doesn't have to completely derail your home sale or purchase, particularly if the lines of communication are open. If you have the flexibility to wait it out, it's reasonable to expect that when the shutdown ends, you and your real estate agent will pick up right where you left off in finalizing your home sale or purchase.

If you're not currently in the process of buying or selling property but you're interested in understanding your options during the shutdown and in the future, find a local RE/MAX agent who can walk you through it all – and potentially right through the door of your new home.

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