Here’s How Real Estate Is Making a Comeback Post COVID-19
We are now in the second half of 2020 and months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many industries have had to pause or scale down operations, the real estate industry is still going strong. Despite the recession, housing prices in many areas have remained relatively stable, and in some markets, they are increasing.
Many experts agree that today’s housing market is going strong because lenders have tightened their lending standards after the 2008 housing crisis. Additionally, since the coronavirus pandemic is not caused by economic factors, its impact is not specific to the real estate sector.
Even with those positive facts, many property owners are asking whether they should sell there home during the corona virus pandemic or wait until things settle down. It’s an understandable question, however given the uncertainty in the world today, and the fact it is impossible to predict the duration of the pandemic, homeowners shouldn’t wait to sell their homes because of the pandemic.
Below is an overview of the current state of the housing market and the ways real estate professionals are transforming the industry.
In early to mid-April, the impact of the pandemic on the housing market peaked. 78% of agents reported that buyer activity had declined in their market, and 87% said that they saw buyers put their home searches on hold due to the virus.
Although this lack of demand would normally cause home prices to drop, many sellers pulled their listings from the market. 76% of agents reported that they have seen seller activity decline at the start of April and 66% had seen sellers take their homes off the market.
Since June however, 79% of agents reported that the market tipped in favor of sellers and that it is now business as usual in their market. Much of this success is because real estate agents are taking new approaches to selling property during the pandemic.
One of the most notable shifts real estate agents have made during the coronavirus pandemic is hosting virtual open houses . These involve real estate agents using web conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Facebook Live to livestream walkthroughs of homes to prospective buyers.
During these events, buyers can ask the agent questions and receive answers in real-time, and even request that they home in on specific areas or revisit a room. While many buyers require an in-person visit before making an offer, virtual showings enable sellers to limit in-person showings to serious buyers.
Lenders are also adapting to the pandemic by allowing buyers to use alternative appraisals to secure a mortgage. Rather than an appraiser conducing an in-person walkthrough of the seller’s home, they instead review tax and MLS records, along with other information to verify whether the home is priced fairly.
In some cases, the appraiser will drive by the property, have the homeowner conduct a walkthrough of the home via web conferencing software, and/or reference inspection reports that were prepared by others.