COVID-19 and Real Estate: FAQs

Dated: September 2 2020

Views: 221

As the world has adapted to the coronavirus pandemic, so too has the real estate industry, both locally and afar. While things may look a bit different, activity has picked up and the market is HOT in the Chagrin Valley and surrounding areas! Information is key during such uncertain times, so I wanted to take this opportunity to answer some of the most common questions we have been getting from friends, family, and clients.

How has the process of touring homes changed?

In the beginning we saw a serious decline in buyer activity; very few showings were being done in person, open houses were primarily being held virtually on Facebook live, and broker’s opens were rarely held at all. Facemasks, gloves, and hand sanitizer are being provided for clients touring occupied homes.  By June, as businesses began re-opening, we started seeing fewer virtual tour requests from local buyers. Out-of-state buyers, however, are still taking advantage of the virtual showings at more frequent rates to avoid flying. Keeping all regulations and best practices in mind, our team strives to meet our clients at their induvial comfort levels.

Has activity slowed down for buyer and sellers?

Not at all – it has actually become quite the opposite. Yes, back in March and April buyers and sellers both pulled back and the rate of home sales slowed. Real estate values held strong though, and with the lowest mortgage rates we’ve ever seen, buyer demand has now come back with a vengeance.  Our real estate team closed more homes in July 2020 than any month ever. That said, buyers are still facing the same low inventory issues that existed before the pandemic.   It is a strong market for sellers, but a difficult market to operate in for buyers! 

What has been going on with interest rates during COVID?

The current rates play a significant role in the huge buyer demand we are seeing right now. Money is cheaper than ever. With rates around 3%, we are at near historic lows and buyers are taking advantage. 

Are homes still getting multiple offers?

Yes, homes that are priced right and in good condition are still seeing multiple offers, fewer days on market, and often experiencing sales above list price.  I recently heard that one home had an astonishing 43 offers!  That is obviously not the norm but this environment really puts sellers in the driver’s seat and we’ve been able to secure contracts for our clients with no inspections or contingencies on numerous occasions.

Are transactions falling apart more often?

No we are seeing fewer deals fall apart than before the pandemic. Contingencies and inspections are usually to blame when it comes to a deal falling through. With such a high level of competition in the market, serious buyers are putting together solid offers with fewer contingencies and homes are more frequently being sold without inspections, so there are fewer opportunities for the transactions to fall apart.

Are closings being delayed due to stay-at-home orders?

I am happy to report that no, deals are still closing on time! Title companies are doing a wonderful job of staying ahead of the curve and keeping up with all the necessary precautions. Some have gotten creative to ensure closings are happening in a timely manner, such as curbside or virtual signings!

How can I possibly find my new home and win the bidding in this market?

Buyers today need to be pre-approved and prepared to move quickly from the beginning of their search. Most people think of price when they consider presenting a strong offer, but in this type of market the other contract terms presented carry more weight than ever.  We always aim to learn as much as possible about the sellers and their priorities, and we use that information to help our buyers produce an offer to their liking.  We take a lot of pride in the way we take time to educate our clients and position them for success through this process.

The real estate industry and day-to-day practices will surely continue to shift as our leaders guide us through this pandemic.  If you have any questions, please never hesitate to reach out. Whether you are buying, selling, investing, or just wondering what your home is worth, we are here to help!

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Michael Henry

With an intimate knowledge of the Chagrin Valley and Cleveland's suburbs, Mike enjoys putting his knowledge, experience, and professionalism to work for his clients. As one of the areas top producing ....

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