With all the unrest and uncertainty in the real estate market due to COVID-19, is it possible that this is still a good time to buy or sell? – TAKING STOCK
DEAR TAKING: There are always opportunities, though your success in finding them may depend on your position and level of motivation. The pandemic has encouraged a significant number of buyers and sellers to step back from the market for now, largely due to safety concerns or uncertainty about where things are headed in the coming months. These clients need to do what is best for them, and I support them one hundred percent.
Meanwhile, those with imminent housing needs may find that a “socially distanced” marketplace can be a good thing. They’ll need to do their homework and watch the market in order to catch a break, but as the old saying goes, luck favours the prepared.
It really doesn’t matter whether you’re buying or selling in a balanced market, a buyer’s market, a seller’s market or a pandemic market. What’s essential is that you keep your eye on the ball at all times. Many people (consumers and professionals alike) stuck their heads in the sand these past few months, but the market has continued to chug away. Locally, our sales volume was down over 60 percent in April, though transactions happened daily and often generated multiple offers.
Real estate in the age of COVID-19 is certainly not business as usual. With a decrease in the number of active buyers, some may find it easier to purchase a home, particularly in the more affordable ranges, where four straight years of market boom made for some fierce competition. Ideally, if a buyer is not in a rush, they can take their time and wait until the right opportunity presents itself. But like a batter at home plate, they always need to watch what’s coming.
In general, today’s sellers tend to be more motivated than they were before the pandemic (after all, many wouldn’t be listing right now if they didn’t have a compelling reason). But it’s not to their disadvantage. This is a season of real estate scarcity. Our typical spring inventory has been cut almost in half, and sellers have the potential to do very well if their listing is positioned properly. With an experienced professional steering the way, both buyers and sellers can capitalize on our current market.
PRO TIP: If you must make a move at this time, rely on your Realtor to track the market, do the legwork, and keep you out of peril. Professional athletes don’t negotiate their own contracts, they all have agents. Likewise, when opportunities are limited and the stakes are high, count on your real estate professional to assess your options and guide you through the process. #AskDavid #Advice