The Coronavirus is consuming all social media platforms these days, not to mention day-to-day conversations and continuing to heighten fear amongst the world. It is now to the point where it’s affecting the day to day of businesses.
How is the Coronavirus affecting our industry as a whole and your clients?
As of now, after checking statistics of homes listed, homes pending and talking with our own agents about what it’s been looking like out there, we continue to be in a strong Spring market with very little change.
Homes are continuing to be listed. It is understandable that some have been nervous about their sellers becoming too nervous to list for fear of having people in and out of their home (showings, open house) or taking their home off the market – Good news is this hasn’t been happening, at least not yet.
Homes pending are still on the rise as well. In the past 4 weeks there has been a dramatic increase in the number of homes going pending. 18% of homes on the market per week are going under agreement (These are MA stats).
In addition, the demand for homes has not gone down. Buyers have not disappeared; they are still out there in full force, ready to make an offer. Unfortunately, since there is no real way to track the number of buyers pre and post Coronavirus, our agents have reported back what they have been observing and how there has been NO slow down in terms of traffic at open houses and showings –the normal busy pace of the Spring market, including bidding wars, are still happening.
So far, it does not seem as though buyers and sellers are changing their behavior.
Could this change?
Of course, but as Anthony stated in the video earlier this week, the market is still going strong. When he filmed this video, the market really hadn’t changed, and we still don’t statistically see changes but we may see some in the weeks to come.
There have been some positive, real estate related aspects of the Coronavirus.
Buyers should buy!
One being interest rates! Rates are at a historic low – down to 3%. Meaning, don’t let you clients make the mistake of holding off on buying! They are at a massive advantage right now and you should be articulating to them that this indeed is a great time to buy.
Sellers should list!
For sellers, although we do not see a decrease with homes being listed, I would absolutely make sure they take advantage of others deciding not to list. When there are less homes for sale they sell for more. Decreased inventory = more demand = more money for your client’s home!
One impact as a result of the Coronavirus however are closing delays. There have been and will continue to be massive amounts of delays due to the fact that mortgage companies are at capacity with re-financing and new home buyer loans. This creates a chain of events as I mentioned in one of my most recent Crush It videos. From mortgage brokers to attorneys to appraisers and everyone in between, everyone is being taxed.
The amount of loans going into the system is so high that some mortgage companies don’t have the funds to keep up with it and are trying to regulate the intake even with the low interest rates.
What you can do is warn your buyers and sellers and set this expectation up front. Remind them that the closing date is the target date that we aim for, but that its possible it will get delayed.
With the virus not yet as its peak here in the U.S. we need to be aware of what is currently happening in the market as well as the fact that things could slow down. However, since news of the Coronavirus broke we have not seen any significant changes in the market or buyer’s and seller’s behavior.
We will continue to keep you posted on any changes or slow downs to the market.