Buying or selling your home is a big step that’s often emotionally challenging. Trying to do it during a pandemic can feel even more daunting. However, despite the fluctuations in different markets, real estate has been resilient – buying real estate and selling real estate are both active. Or, as The Economist puts it, America’s housing market “seems strangely oblivious” to today’s current issues. Is this something we will continue to experience? Our perceptions of what normal looks like are being challenged more so than ever before.
But in this post-COVID-19 real estate market, what is the new normal? Now isn’t time to pass up on your dream home or avoid listing your home. There is solid evidence showing that not only is now a great time to buy or sell your home but that doing so now could be an advantageous long-term investment.
Buying Real Estate: Incentives Await You
Buyers, we’re always waiting for the “right” time. And with all the things going on in the world, now might not feel like the right time to buy a home. However, COVID-19 isn’t having quite the impact we expected. While we have to change our behavior to keep ourselves safe and healthy, it doesn’t have to stop us from establishing a life in a new place. Here are some reasons I believe now is a special window of opportunity for home buyers:
Interest Rates are Low
In the past few weeks, Freddie Mac has reported the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has dropped to record lows– down to 3.03%. This means your dollar will stretch more. Over a 30-year mortgage, you can find homes with higher price points, opening the menu of homes available to you.
Home Buying Assistance
In Illinois, during COVID-19, people buying real estate had 60 home buyer programs to choose from, depending on their requirements. For many millennial home buyers, this might be your chance to stop renting and own a home. Homeownership is a worthwhile investment because, as this pandemic is proving, the real estate market is relatively stable.
Flexible, Safe Options for Home Tours
You don’t have to put yourself and your loved ones at risk to find your future home. Instead, you can book special private house tours, view virtual tours, or utilize several other ways to access the details of a listing. With the varieties of technology at our fingertips on our mobile phones alone, you have options for safe home tours.
Selling Real Estate: The Demand is Here
Demand is putting it lightly. With fewer homes on the market over the past few years, buyers are motivated to find their home and put down an offer. Therefore, now is the time to list your home on the market.
Interest in Single-Family Homes is Strong
Demands for single-family homes are increasing. It’s now higher than pre-pandemic days. According to Forbes, buyer demand is now 25% higher than before the pandemic. That’s impressive, but it’s also reassuring. When you put your home on the market, you can do so knowing that the current environment weighs in your favor.
Homes are Selling – Fast
With fewer houses on the market and lots of buyers, it’s easy to see why homes are selling fast. While it might make things more challenging for home buyers, it’s a boon for home sellers. If you’re selling real estate in this COVID-19 world, your success is almost guaranteed. Fast sales and bidding wars are not uncommon these days. Constant communication is necessary, and you’ll rely heavily on your agent to guide you through this exciting process.
Marketing a Home Has Never Been Easier
Since COVID-19 led to a stay-at-home order in Illinois earlier this year, real estate agents like myself were faced with a special moment. To keep our clients and ourselves safe, we had to leverage the technology we already had at our disposal. And it was extremely successful. Here are some ways I am using digital channels to market my client’s homes:
- Virtual Tours: Virtual tours can be pre-recorded or hosted in real-time using apps like FaceTime, Zoom, or Duo. These virtual tours are a great substitute for in-person home tours. For a live virtual tour, prospective home buyers can ask questions and learn as many details as possible without stepping foot in your home.
- Digital Flipbooks: Digital flipbooks are interactive online brochures. The high-quality layouts and stunning photos cast your home in the best light possible to attract interested buyers. These digital flipbooks are convenient, and URLs can be provided to anyone who wants to see your home.
- Videos: Videos are common enough in the real estate world and are no longer in the purview of high-ticket homes. With a mobile device, high-resolution, motion-stable video recordings are possible.
- Social Media: Social media is the place to be when selling your home. I love using social media to reach home buyers. It’s a great way to reach a lot of people at once. Images and hashtags make it easy for buyers to find your home.
Buying real estate or selling your home doesn’t have to be much different than it was five or six months ago. Agents, along with buyers and sellers, have become savvier in the face of disruptions to the way we’ve been doing things. The new normal is this:
1. Increased virtual communication
2. More flexibility in the way we do business by utilizing technology
3. Optimism in the face of adversity by continuing to live our lives the safest way we can
3. Relying on our communities to keep our neighborhoods protected and local businesses flourishing
I hope we can enjoy this vision of the new normal together as we continue to live life and do business in 2020.