How Home Buyers and Sellers Can Prepare Themselves for a Post COVID-19 World
Rearing into 2020, buyers and sellers alike were preparing for a roaring real estate market. According to real estate experts, at the beginning of February, the housing market of 2020 was off to a strong start, perhaps even stronger than last year. Then came the Coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. Whereas back in February real estate agents were expecting a booming year, now 44% (up from 5%) of surveyed agents are expecting a slow year.
On the upside, real estate inventory remains the same. However, Americans nationwide are practicing social distancing measures and are encouraged to avoid gatherings of 10 or more. This might put a stop to certain real estate techniques like open houses and showings. So how can you set yourself up for success?
You don’t have to pause your buying or selling process
As the world adapts, so will the real estate market. Real estate agents have already adapted by conducting virtual tours, digital closing tools, and remote client meetings. However, whether or not you’ll still be able to legally move forward in the selling or buying process depends on where you. Some state and local regulations have frozen all real estate services, while individuals are taking their own precautions.
Talk to your real estate agent about whether or not it’s a smart idea to move forward. If so, there are plenty of ways to safely conduct business. Those buyers and sellers who are more technologically advanced may find it easier to navigate virtual showings, closing tools, and meetings, while those willing to take the proper precautions may still be able to buy or sell a home safely.
Good news for buyers
Whereas 2019 was mostly a seller’s market, the COVID-19 outbreak may shift the curve to a buyer’s market. For those looking to buy in 2020, this is good news. In the past few years, there simply hasn’t been enough inventory for those looking to buy – making sales extremely competitive. However, now that buyers are hesitant to start their search in the midst of a pandemic, those ready to buy in 2020 might be faced with less competition.
Make it personal
Perhaps you were raring into 2020 with good finances, significant savings for your down payment, and a steady income. It’s a smart idea to reevaluate what your finances will look like in the future due to the current economic climate. Are you in an industry that has seen mass layoffs recently? Are you expecting salary cuts due to the current COVID-19 pandemic?
Ultimately, the decision of whether to dip your toes into the real estate market now or wait until 2021 is a personal one. If you were completely prepared to put your home on the market or purchase a new home this year, but you’re unsure what your future holds… it might be a smart idea to wait it out until 2021.
Beyond virtual routes, there are plenty of other ways to prepare. Talk to your agent to see how you could still conduct real estate business safely. Having buyers and agents drive separately, limiting the number of people per your, requiring all participants to wear masks, disinfecting the property before and after tours, and conducting as much business as possible virtually are all good practices.