Pandemic Real Estate Update
This month as I read news stories about the real estate market, I kept seeing predictions of a market crash. Reading the reports made me anxious. But, these forecasts aren’t ringing true to me. Anyone can push stories that incite fear and panic. I don’t know what the future holds for the real estate market, but I can tell you what I’m seeing. Instead of sharing someone else’s account of real estate during a pandemic, this month, I’m sharing my own. In the past 6 weeks I have had a deal fall apart due to financing, had a listing go under agreement in one day after the first showing, had buyers who have been looking for over a year find the perfect house and have their offer accepted, had buyers outbid on a property in a multiple offer situation, had a listing delayed, and showing activity stop for a few weeks on a listing but subsequently start to pick up again. Yes, it’s an account of what has happened during the pandemic, but none of it is unusual. This account could be any 6 weeks in real estate. Deals come together and deals fall apart. What will the market look like 6 months from now, a year from now, 2 years from now? No one has the answer to that question. My advice, if you were planning to buy or sell and you are healthy with stable employment, stick with your plan. Interest rates are great, the inventory is lower, but the competition is slightly less intense as well. No open houses means that instead of having 150 people through a house in a weekend, you might have 25 before an offer deadline. The odds are good that you’ll be dealing with a handful of competitive offers, not dozens. With interest rates low and buyer demand still strong, don’t expect a bargain. If you’re a seller, the low inventory coupled with low interest rates is acting as a buoy keeping sale prices stable. Less showing traffic just means that the tire kickers and curious neighbors have been weeded out.
There have been other changes. I’m not meeting clients face to face, going into the office or attending closings. Appraisers are doing drive by appraisals, fire departments are not going into homes to perform smoke inspections prior to sale and buyers and sellers are signing separately at closing. I’m not sure I would recognize some of my newer buyers without a face mask, but the work is the same. Masks, gloves and Clorox wipes are now part of my daily routine. How business gets done continues to evolve. Regardless, I’m still working to help buyers find the space that suits their needs while making the best investment possible and find their sanctuary from the world. I’m working in new and creative ways to market homes for sale to continue to maximize sale prices for sellers in the safest possible way. Maybe the gloom and doom reports are accurate in some parts of the country, but here and now, I’m adapting, and business is good.