To say the real estate market is operating a little differently than most spring seasons would be an understatement. If you rely on the real estate industry for a living, are buying or selling, we can be thankful it is operating at all.
The volume of new listings hitting the market has slowed drastically. The ones that do come on the market are selling quickly, and from what I am hearing and experiencing, for close to or even over asking price, if priced appropriately. Simply put homes in these crazy times are selling.
Many of the sellers that would be on the market now are deciding to hold off until we come out of quarantine and some semblance of normalcy returns to the world. Therefore, sales have slowed over last year.
How we go about showing real estate with the stay-at-home regulations that are in place is certainly different. How we think of traditional open houses with masses of people coming and going are no longer allowed. Even normal showings of a home aren’t possible. Buyers and REALTORS® who are visiting homes are doing so with masks and gloves.
REALTORS® are having to utilize technology more than ever if they want to sell a home in today’s world. Some showings are now being held virtually. Most agents are utilizing a 3D tours that allows a buyer to virtually walk through a property on their computer. The buyer can look around and walk through the property from their home and at their leisure.
This market can be seen as a great opportunity for buyers who have very recently found themselves competing against multiple offers and getting outbid. While some of those buyers are staying out of the market they may be missing an opportunity.
What to do? As I mentioned above, many sellers are deciding to hold off on listing their homes, while others have decided to move forward and utilize the technologies that will allow buyers to still see their homes. Both are perfectly understandable courses.
Projections show that real estate sales year over year will drop due to all of this. That said, it doesn’t mean that prices are dropping along with them. So far we haven’t seen signs of prices falling, interest rates and inventory remain very low. The short term issue is that fewer people are putting their homes on the market and fewer are willing to jump into the market.
The next few weeks should reveal more about the short term real estate market. Currently buyers AND sellers may have an opportunity here. As a buyer you won’t face the competition you did very recently and as a seller you aren’t competing against all the other homes that would come on this time of year. You may be faced with that competition if you wait though.
Unfortunately, we REALTORS® don’t have previous experience to call upon and say “the last time this happened we…”, so in the meanwhile we sit down and evaluate what’s best for each buyer and seller. Stay safe and healthy. We will get through this…together.