How has COVID-19 affected real estate?
We’ve been receiving a lot of questions about how real estate is handling the COVID-19 situation. We’re going to break it down into two parts: How is the real estate market performing, and second, what are we advising when it comes to buying and selling homes?
Are buyers and sellers still moving forward?
The short answer: yes. The long answer. Let’s look
at the data. Almost immediately following local announcements of stay at home orders, we saw a sharp decrease in showings according to ShowingTime Showing Service – Utah’s leading provider for home showing analytics. Through the end of March, showings continued to trend downward as many home sellers and buyers adjusted to our temporary new normal. Showing activity has since increased since the beginning of April.
But are people buying and selling? Even if homes aren’t being shown as much, they’re still selling. March 2020 does not show any significant changes in number of homes listed or sold when compared to the previous three years. However, looking forward to April, we do anticipate a decline in pending home sales, as the number of current homes under contract is down versus previous years.
How are homes being bought and sold during a pandemic?
One thing is constant—change! Much of the transactional process of buying and selling already went through a paperless transition thanks to cloud storage, electronic signatures, and technology-driven startups that complement a Realtor’s workflow. Real Estate was declared an essential service and things like inspections, appraisals, and walkthroughs are being handled with extra caution and should follow recommended guidelines. We’ve seen increases in 3D tour experiences, more attention driven to digital media, and a stronger emphasis on virtual tours in lieu of (or prior to) physical tours. In-person walk throughs often have gloves, shoe booties, sanitizers, and only those purchasing are encouraged to tour the home.
In short, people still want to buy and sell homes right now, and with extra care we’re seeing the market adapt. If you have any questions throughout all of this, don’t hesitate to call, message, or email. We’re here to help.