Real Estate In the Time of COVID-19
There are many words to describe the current health crisis - strange, uncertain, scary. One word I would use to describe the impact of the pandemic on real estate is TWISTED.
Many of you have asked “How has this effected your business?” The answer to that question is more complicated than you may think. In general, things are not great. Although Real Estate Agents are considered “Essential Personnel,” the restrictions are causing a major damper on our industry.
Thankfully, we have some business to keep us occupied, but we have seen very little new business since the Governor declared the State of Emergency back in March.
Like any agile business, we want to look more carefully at what has changed so that we can offer reliable guidance to our clients. What I have found is a mess of contradicting motivations on both sides of the transaction, making it extremely difficult to understand the best strategy. Here is what we are seeing:
On the Buyers Side:
Tempted by low interest rates
Tempted by the negotiating power with Sellers who may be in “must-sell” situations or holding stale listings
Deterred by savings dwindling in 4O1K that may be needed for down payments or closing costs
Deterred by the thought that we will be in a Buyer's market after the pandemic is over
The dilemma - to buy now and try and negotiate a discount, or wait for the opportunity for deeper discounts later and risk competing amongst other Buyers.
On the Sellers Side:
Tempted by low interest rates available to Buyers
Tempted by being part of the limited inventory for Buyers who are in “must-buy” situations
Deterred by their concern of Buyers bringing illness into their home
Deterred by the restrictions of Stay-In-Place orders that has lessened Buyer activity
The dilemma - negotiate a sale now or wait to sell later when the general market conditions may be worse and may favor Buyers.
The many different Buyer motives (investment properties, beach homes, retirement) combined with the seasonal nature of southern Delaware will have a major influence on the success of Sellers.
Ultimately, the length of time to navigate through the pandemic and return back to some degree of normalcy will determine the degree of damage it will have on our Real Estate Market.
The best advice for Buyers and Sellers at this moment is to look at your specific situation and balance that with the motivation that exists to buy or sell. No matter what you choose to do, we are here to assist now or whenever you feel the timing is right.