Selling or Buying a Home During the Pandemic
Jun 09, 2020 10:55AM
By Judi Teller & Tracy Beaudoin – Premier Team, Realty Executives Boston West
You planned to list your home this spring, then suddenly Covid-19 hit our community. It is frightening, and the unknowns are even worse. Everyone is quarantined, children are being home-schooled, businesses have closed and/or are modifying their way of doing business. Everyone’s main focus is to stay home and stay safe.
But you still need or want to sell your home. Can you? Yes, but in a very different and extremely cautious way. Realtors have to be educated and trained on how to manage the listing process safely, ensure safe showings, and marketing your home in the midst of a pandemic. A trusted real estate advisor will explain what selling looks like right now and the measures taken to keep you, potential buyers, and everyone involved safe.
Here is what the real estate market looks like today and how the many aspects of selling your home has changed during the pandemic and will continue to in the “new normal”:
A shortage of inventory
There was a housing shortage pre-pandemic, so imagine what it is like now. There was no “spring market” to speak of. Sure, houses still sold, but nationally homes under contract in April were down over 40%, mostly due to low inventory. Very few homes came on the market in Ashland this spring and those that did sold quickly because of this low inventory.
There are buyers.
There are serious, qualified buyers out there. The days of buyers just popping into open houses to check it out are gone. The buyers out there now are serious and ready to move. Buyers, especially young families from urban areas in and around Boston, are looking to the suburbs for more space, easy access to the commuter rail and highways as well as single family style homes that are more spread out. Being quarantined has made buyers look through a different pair of “goggles.” They now look for home office space as many companies will now be changing and/or relaxing their rules on working from home. And how does the home pass the ‘quarantine’ test for being comfortable during such events?
Technology is driving sales. Forget about open houses. No longer will 40 people march through your bedroom. Those days are gone. Selling agents are tasked with weeding out the looky-loos, and the casual buyers by requesting pre-approvals up front and ensuring buyers are ready, willing and able. We embrace the new virtual sales process. Home staging is more important than ever and because of technology we can virtualy stage your home. We offer FaceBook live showings so we can ‘show’ your home to pre-qualify buyers before they even come into your home. Personal websites are built specifically for your home with photos, virtual tours, floorplans, neighborhood information, schools, etc. all in one place.
Electronics have a bigger role than ever. Listing agreements, offer to purchase documents, Purchase and Sale Agreements are all done electronically with the tap of a button from your home computer, tablet or mobile phone. There is no need to meet in person to sign paperwork.
Mortgage Interest Rates
Low interest rates are prevailing. The housing shortage has kept prices steady if not slightly up, and relocations for the Massachusetts job market is still alive and well. Data from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors is that this summer will be an extremely busy period for buying and selling.
First and foremost, the safety of sellers and buyers is critical, and minimizing risk is of most importance. You want to know that buyers visiting your home are healthy, and they want to know you are as well. We are all in this together. Buyers coming into your home are masked, gloved, accompanied by realtors and do not touch anything. Real estate companies are asking both buyers and sellers to sign a disclosure at the time of the showing regarding their health and contact with others. Every precaution possible is taken.
Judi Teller and Tracy Beaudoin are awarding-winning, trusted real estate advisors with over 20 years experience and live and work in Ashland. For contact information, visit www.PremierResultsTeam.com.