The last few weeks have been difficult, wonderful and downright weird. COVID-19 has totally uprooted the traditional spring market we’re used to seeing this time of the year, spiking just when we normally see housing activity also skyrocket. It hasn’t however, dampened housing demand or values, much like the strong spirits of our community. In this time of social distancing, it sometimes feels like people are coming together even more, despite having to stay at least six to 10 feet apart. It’s been beautiful, despite the anxiety and hardship.
What does this mean for sellers and buyers? Right now, we are seeing a decrease in overall activity (new listings and buyer outings) due to people following stay at home orders and doing their best to stop the spread of this disease. Home values (prices) have not changed and are still strong. Buyer demand has also remained high. What we are seeing is the market pivoting in terms of how we get things done. In Kansas City, I think we will see a delayed spring market that lasts longer into the summer. The stock markets have started to rebound after a few volatile weeks, which is also a good sign.
Overall, confidence in the market remains high, at least for the foreseeable future. Longterm we will have to see how the impact of job losses due to COVID-19 will have on the market. The national government has asked lenders to offer forbearance to borrowers in need. This can be helpful but it can also just push off debt to a later date, which could amount to a lot depending on how long borrowers have to delay making payments. Reach out to your loan servicer for more information.
What we are doing to combat the virus, keep our clients and community safe, and still keep helping clients buy and sell:
- No more physical open houses. Instead we can offer live streaming on social media, or pre-recorded video walk throughs.
- Offering virtual walk through tours of homes when possible instead of physical showings.
- When an in-person showing is necessary, only those that will be on title should attend. All parties should wear gloves, face masks, and use disinfectant before and after entering, and stay at least 6-10 feet apart. Parties should avoid touching items in the home. Try to keep showings concise.
- Virtual document presentations and meeting solutions. No in-office meetings.
- Virtual marketing solutions (which we were already front-runners on).
- Only those on the title should attend inspections and should follow CDC guidelines.
- Only those on title should attend closings. Many title companies are offering virtual signings or drive-up signings.
Let me know if you have any concerns or specific questions.