You might think buying or selling a home in today's market is all but impossible, not correct.
While the coronavirus outbreak, stock market fluctuations, growing unemployment numbers, social distancing, and shelter in place measures have cooled the housing market considerably, it isn't completely frozen. Motivated buyers and sellers still exist, and they, along with their agents, have begun to change their behaviors as they adapt to public health requirements. The number of virtual home tours, home videos, and floor plans have skyrocketed. The volume of tours created nationwide during the last week of March was 408% greater than during an average week in February. In March, listings with virtual and video tours received more site visitors and were saved more frequently than listings with none.
According to Zillow, "one possible reason sellers are beginning to dip their toes back in the water is the news that pending sales have started to rebound noticeably, and are now up 6.2% from the previous week. These pending sales are still down significantly year-over-year, but the plunge seems to have stopped and begun to reverse itself after April 15. It's important to note that pending home sales do not always close as completed transactions, but they can provide an early signal of future purchases."
Many buyers who were looking before the "stay at home" order are continuing to look. Interest rates are desirable, there is less competition, and sellers who have their homes on the market are motivated. Also, the pullback by would-be sellers has been enough to continue shrinking the supply of homes available to buy. So many buyers are not taking for granted that the supply will grow in the future. In addition, they are finding their home, and their surrounding community more critical than ever before.
So how does it work?
Virtual Open Houses and Showings: Facebook Live, FaceTime, and Zoom are all being used to show properties.
3D Floor Plans and Interactive Walk-Throughs: Online tools make it easy to create interactive 3D walk-throughs and even allow for decor and furniture placement to give buyers a more lifelike feel of the space.
Electronic Signatures and Deed Filings: E-signing technology means there's no need to meet in person to sign offers, contracts, or any other paperwork needed in the process.
Desktop and Drive-By Appraisals: If sellers are hesitant to have an appraiser visit their property in person, desktop and drive-by appraisals are a good alternative. These use city data, prior appraisals, and comparable sales information to assess a home's value. Homeowners can video chat with the appraiser to show them the interior and exterior elements of the property.
The way we buy and sell homes may have changed for now, but it's still an active and essential market. If you have any questions about making a move, please don't hesitate to get in touch.